Rim Country Educational Alliance

A Separate Legal Entity

A Separate Legal Entity (SLE) is a stand-alone political subdivision of the State of Arizona.  SLEs typically are formed for specific governmental functions and ordinarily include a county, city, town, or school district.

Rim Country Educational Alliance (RCEA) is an SLE formed in 2011 by an intra-governmental agreement between the Towns of Payson and Star Valley, AZ (Members) for the specific purpose of engaging in activities that further the concept of higher or advanced education, and economic and workforce development in Arizona’s Rim Country.  The Towns can grant the SLE any powers they share in common and the SLE can do the same things that the Member municipalities can do within the purposes identified.

RCEA is governed by a Board of six Directors which functions in much the same way as the Town Councils of the Member municipalities.  The Board governs all activities within the “footprint” of the land owned by RCEA.  RCEA has no powers over persons or entities that reside and/or do business outside of its limited enumerated boundaries.

RCEA has specific powers that include:

  • Make and enter into contracts, leases and other transactions with one or more of the Members;
  • Employ agents, employees, consultants and advisors, and contract for professional and other services;
  • Acquire, hold, encumber, lease, and dispose of real and personal property;
  • Acquire, construct, manage, maintain, operate, and lease buildings, works, infrastructure and improvements;
  • Incur debts, liabilities, and obligations;
  • Issue bonds in accordance with ARS §11-952-02;
  • Sue and be sued;
  • Accept grants, gifts, and donations of real and personal property and funds;
  • Exercise, in the name of the entity, any common governmental and/or proprietary powers of its Members;
  • Engage in electrical generation and transmission activities, but not distribution;
  • Pay development fees;
  • Invest funds.

RCEA cannot pass debt along to Members; nor can RCEA engage in or contract for services that would compete directly with Gila County Community College.

RCEA can create Variable Interest Entities (VIEs) to accomplish a single purpose; i.e., academics, housing, research, energy, etc.  The VIE takes full control of the purpose assigned to them by contract but reports to RCEA on their status and progress in accomplishing the purpose.

The creation of RCEA sets the stage for a unique public/private partnership in Rim Country.  In this case, RCEA’s mandate to build a 6,000 student college campus in Payson will increase access by Rim Country students to a university education in a rural setting and at a lower tuition rate.

The accomplishment of this project will not only educationally enrich our communities, but attract businesses, create jobs, generate revenues, lower the tax base for our citizens, and stimulate overall economic development.