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Considering Fires, Floods and Flagstaff’s Future

As we know, the biggest threat to our city’s existence is fire and flooding.

We have a few bonds that the city put on the ballot this November: Proposals 441 and 442. Prop 442 is a housing bond, but I really want to discuss our Prop 441, the Fire and Water Infrastructure Bond.

I can’t stress enough the importance of this bond for the future of Flagstaff. It has four divisions, including: purchasing five new Wildland fire trucks for just over 2 million, helping to grow stormwater infrastructure in Spruce Wash for 26 million, building a 21 21 million wastewater capacity for our wastewater plant, and building energy efficiency. And েক 8 million in sustainable practices at wastewater plants.

As we know, the biggest threat to our city’s existence is fire and flooding. Climate and climate are changing, our forests are burning and what used to be flooding is classified as happening once every 100 to 200 years, six times in the last 10 years. Our basic infrastructure, which was built decades ago, cannot withstand the power of Mother Nature as it is today. We have to adapt, and it’s going to take some serious investment.

Waste water, though, is something that people know less about, but we’re at a tipping point. Our wastewater plant is capable at the moment. If we don’t update the plant in the next few years, we’re going to read into the real problem, we’ll have trouble purifying the water before we go into the aquifer. I know the price tag is high, but we just have to deal with it, and bonding is our only concrete option.

The other division of the bond – energy efficiency – is going to help us achieve our goal of sustainability, such as capturing methane from wastewater plants for energy reuse. Some of these improvements may result in our plant having a dryer, which will collect fuel for transportation so that we can resell our waste. As the University of Northern Arizona continues to consider building a biofuel plant on the South Campus to heat the building and residents ’homes, it would be a great way to provide them with a stable fuel supply. A local biofuel plant would be extraordinarily beneficial in our goal of thinning the forest, which would allow a productive use of forest slash.

I would like to thank all of our firefighters, public works workers and all those who are fighting fires and responding to our natural disasters. Even when dealing with emergencies, they are planning for the future, giving us ways we can invest in protecting our city and the surrounding communities. Proposal 441 will go a long way in building that investment.

Stay safe, Flagstaff. FBN

By Paul Daisy, FBN

Paul DG is the mayor of Flagstaff.

Not all opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Flagstaff City Council


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