Miami Town Council approves Bechtel Tract wastewater agreements

Courtesy image A map showing where the Bechtel Tract is located

BHP’s restoration and regrading project for the tailings pile along South Russell Road triggered the two New Business items considered at the Sept. 12 Miami Town Council meeting. The slope change will require that tailings extend into the sewage lagoon serving the Bechtel Tract, and affecting thirty-three houses. Long-term plans are for these houses to be serviced by the Tri-City Regional Sanitary District when that plant is active.

The temporary solution, worked out between the two districts, is to connect these houses to the Miami sewage system. Town Council approved the necessary Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Miami and Tri-City.

The council also discussed and approved a Cooperative Agreement with BHP Copper, Inc. to link the Bechtel Tract community into the Town of Miami wastewater services.

Alexandria Dionne, BHP Principal for Corporate Affairs, presented the history of how BHP ended up responsible for the wastewater from the Bechtel Tract homes. However, wastewater services is not a business they wish to pursue. Dionne said the company has tried to reach out to the community and no one is “extremely upset” about having modern wastewater services. According to her, the homes currently have cesspools and cannot get loans. BHP will pay for construction of infrastructure to connect the Bechtel Tract homes to the Miami wastewater system. They will also make a payment to Miami for installation of shut-off valves, to allow shutting off services for non-payment. The estimated cost for installation is slightly over $352,000. Adjustments for contingencies and inflation raise the total to $633,520, to be paid when Miami is ready to start.

Town Manager Alexis Rivera met with representatives from the University of Arizona Department of Environmental Science to identify areas to collect soil for analysis. He is also researching grants to install solar panels. The goal would be for the city to have no out-of- pocket payments for electricity.

Mayor Sammy Gonzales and the councilmembers congratulated Councilmember Michael Sosh for the successful town-sponsored car  show on September 10. Eighty-four cars and eight motorcycles registered.

During Call to the Public, Jamie Ramsey, the Capstone Copper senior advisor for communications and public relations, introduced herself. Michael Twenty-three wanted to discuss the town’s Renaissance grant, but agreed to talk with council members later. Council is not allowed to discuss matters raised in the Call to the Public.

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