By Tammy Gray-Searles –
Two actions affecting Holbrook residents were taken by the Navajo County Supervisors on Tuesday, including an agreement for the sheriff’s office to provide dispatch services and approval of funding for repairs to McLaws Road.
The supervisors approved a $110,000 one-year intergovernmental agreement with the City of Holbrook under which the sheriff’s office will provide police, fire, emergency medical and animal control dispatch services. The city will pay $100,000 to cover salary and benefits for two dispatchers, and an additional $10,000 for equipment maintenance.
The sheriff’s office has agreed to hire two additional full-time dispatchers. Under the agreement, the dispatchers will be county employees.
“NCSO (Navajo County Sheriff’s Office) shall increase the size of its dispatch staff by two full-time dispatchers in order to meet the increased demand flowing from this IGA (intergovernmental agreement). All dispatchers shall be NCSO employees for whom NCSO shall have sole authority and responsibility in regard to employment matters,” the agreement states.
The agreement also notes that NCSO will have “sole and complete authority and control over its dispatch operation,” but also states that the city shall provide “complete information and instructions regarding its police, fire, EMS and animal control departments to enable NCSO’s dispatchers to perform their responsibilities under this IGA.”
Holbrook is responsible for the cost of any upgrades or modifications necessary to make city equipment, such as police car radios, compatible with existing sheriff’s office dispatch equipment.
Payment to the county will be made in four installments, beginning in October. The agreement notes, “If any installment is not paid when due, NCSO may suspend dispatch services until the installment is paid.”
The agreed-upon fees are for one year of service, and can be renegotiated in the last 90 days of the agreement.
“The parties anticipate that this will be a long-term relationship and that this IGA will be renewed from year-to-year for an indefinite number of renewal terms,” the agreement states. “During the 90-day period preceding each anniversary of the effective date, authorized representatives of the parties shall meet in good faith to negotiate any adjustment in the dispatch fee that may be appropriate in light of an increase or decrease in the salaries or employee-related expenses for the two dispatchers…”
Board members unanimously approved the agreement. It was previously approved by the Holbrook City Council.
The supervisors also agreed to spend $200,000 in District III special road funds for an overlay project on McLaws Road in Holbrook. The city will contribute $50,000. Supervisor J.R. DeSpain noted that the county agreed to participate in the project because of the road yard located on McLaws Road.
“We recognize that our heavy trucks cause a lot of wear and damage on that road,” he said. “I didn’t expect to participate in such a large way financially, but I understand that Holbrook cannot spend more than $50,000, and it’s beneficial to the county to keep the road in good condition.”
The overlay will begin at the intersection of McLaws Road and Romero Road and continue for 1.2 miles west. Existing asphalt will be pulverized and a new three-inch layer of asphalt applied. Public Works Director Homero Vela noted that when complete, it will be like a new road and should last for 20 to 30 years.
Vela told the board that the project is the first one slated for the spring construction season, and work will begin as soon as a contract is signed. He noted that he expects to bring the contract before the board on April 12.