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Cottonwood's water leader Lueder retires

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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After nearly 11 years working for the city of Cottonwood, Development Services General Manager Dan Lueder retired April 30.

Lueder has been involved in the water utility industry since 1975 in Illinois and Arizona, including with Coconino County from 1993 to 2004. In September 2004, Cottonwood hired him as the utility director after the purchase of five private water companies.

It was his expertise in the field of water and wastewater that has developed utility systems in and around Cottonwood that are a model of efficiency and safety. He managed the installation of the arsenic requirements handed down by the federal government, reduced system water losses by more than 72 percent and improved firefighting flows throughout the city and in the Verde Villages.

Most importantly, through his stewardship, the city reduced groundwater pumping by almost 25 percent since acquiring the private water companies in 2004 and 2005. He has been a leader in the city's conservation efforts.

In July 2009, Lueder was promoted to Development Services general manager with the directive to coordinate all the services provided by utilities, public works, grounds maintenance, project management and planning. In this capacity, he managed the reconstruction of several streets including Willard Street extension, 12th Street, Mingus Avenue and 10th Street He also oversaw the renovation of several city buildings and the construction of the recreation center. "Dan has certainly left his mark on the city of Cottonwood and we are a better city today because of his expertise, creativity and his vision," Mayor Diane Joens said.

Lueder was also responsible for developing and implementing the plan to provide reclaimed water rather than potable water to Yavapai College to irrigate its viticulture program demonstration vineyards. The project reduced the need for increased groundwater pumping, reduced the cost of water to the college and served as a model for conservation and water reuse projects in the Verde Valley.

His legacy will also live on as the city develops the Riverfront Reclamation Plant, which will serve as a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and will represent the future for the Verde Valley in terms of water treatment and reuse. "Dan was always willing to.think outside the box in terms of solutions to longstanding or future problems," City Manager Doug Bartosh said. "He was a very good steward of the taxpayer's investment to ensure that their future was sustainable and that they always received the best product for the tax dollars spent."

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Original Publication Date: May 6, 2015

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