SRP and Pinal County officials met with Randolph residents to discuss promised improvements within the town June 10. Back row seated at table are Christina Hallows (SRP), from left; Anne Rickard (SRP); Harvey Rushing (Randolph Working Group); Steve Miller (Pinal County supervisor); Bill McClellan (SRP). Front row seated at table are Rick Miller (Coolidge city manager); Kevin Cavanaugh (Pinal County supervisor); Bernadine Lewis (Randolph Working Group)./Taylor Griffith/PinalCentral
By TAYLOR GRIFFITH| PinalCentral
For four months, Salt River Project and Pinal County officials as well as a select group of Randolph residents have met every second Friday to discuss mitigation efforts for the unincorporated, industry-bordered town of Randolph.
At Friday’s meeting, the residents expressed their frustration at the lack of action from both entities on improvements that have been previously promised.
Following a recent second denial by the state of a Certificate of Environment Compatibility for SRP’s plans to expand the Coolidge Generating Station, the power company says it is still planning to deliver on mitigation incentives offered to Randolph for its close proximity to the existing 12 active natural gas turbines.However, along with undelivered county duties and plans of infrastructure and town improvement from the energy company seeming to be on a delayed timeline, residents and working group activists no longer seem willing to ignore the situation.
A brief point of contention was the fact that the Randolph community’s chosen facilitator and primary point of contact for all changes and discussions surrounding aid, Bernadine Lewis, still had not received a formal contract from SRP, despite this being on the action agenda for over a month.
“At what point will that be presented so that she can begin doing that facilitation with the group?” asked Kiana Dickinson, representing Pinal County NAACP.
SRP Director of Community Partnerships Anne Rickard said that this is still in the process because “we did not receive Ms. Lewis’ information until earlier this week.”
Dickinson replied that the application should be expedited, “because the things that they are discussing will require a facilitator for that.”
Coral J. Evans, northern Arizona director for Sen. Mark Kelly’s office, attended and mirrored Dickinson’s concerns for expediting Lewis’ on-boarding as facilitator.
“I am very disappointed to hear that after a month, there is no facilitator on contract,” she said, “but it’s my understanding that SRP is working to get that rectified as soon as possible.”