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Chandler offers HOAs loans to convert reclaimed water

PHOENIX -- The Chandler City Council has come up with a plan that could affect the way grass is watered in some parts of the city.

In northern Chandler, subdivisions use water that is treated through the city's reclaimed water system to irrigate parks and common areas.

But in the southern part of the city, there's a problem.

"There are about 20 subdivisions that are governed by HOAs (homeowner associations) in Chandler that are in close proximity to our reclaimed water distribution center but are not hooked up to it," said Chandler Public Information Officer Jim Phipps. "They're having to use drinking water to irrigate their common areas."

Many HOAs in the subdivisions can't afford to tap into the system, but a new program will let the homeowner associations borrow up to $50,000 from the city to offset the cost, provided they can repay it within five years.

"It's a win for the city, because they are using water that is recycled instead of our drinking water," Phipps explained. "And it's a win for the HOA, because the cost of using reclaimed water is about four to five times less than using potable drinking water."

The HOA subdivisions must be controlled by their homeowners and not the subdivisions' original developers to be eligible for the program.

Chandler is funding the program by using $250,000 collected through its citizens' water bills.

Interested HOAs can call 480-782-3800 for more information.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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