Jun 012011

By Linda Kor–

The mayor and members of the Holbrook City Council heard from representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and the Navajo County Historical Society regarding their prospective budgets on May 24.

While neither entity proposed any real changes from this year, there were some suggestions for change made by City Manager Ray Alley.

The lodgers tax for 2011-12 is estimated to be slightly lower than this fiscal year at $154,780. The suggestions for change in allocating those funds included the removal of $49,995 for employee wages and benefits that are being paid for a city employee to man the visitors center desk in the historic courthouse and instead allocating $18,000 for the historical society to hire an employee for that same position. The historical society will also receive $10,800 for operations, the same amount as this year, for a total allocation of $28,800.

The remaining $31,995 from that salary amount would be reduced to $27,536 and used to pay $23,836 for a chamber office administrator four days a week, $2,500 for event insurance and a $1,200 annual fee for a monthly maintenance contract for the marquee on the corner of Hopi Drive and Navajo Blvd. An additional amount of $26,000 would also be made to the chamber, which was the same amount as this year, bringing its total lodgers tax allocation to $53,536.

The Navajo County Fair Board will once again receive $40,000.

For the courthouse, $16,000 would be budgeted for utilities, and $4,000 for repairs and maintenance. There would be $3,500 for materials and supplies, $3,094 contingency for possible courthouse repairs, $3,000 for advertising, $1,500 for public relations, $700 for professional and consulting services, and $500 for mailing and freight, with $150 allocated for contract services.

When Alley presented the changes, the historical society indicated its support for those items presented.

Chamber President Yvonne Larson stated that since the information was just presented to her, the chamber board would need to review the changes for approval. Board members were slated to convene on May 31 to discuss their budget, but their decision was not available at press time.

If all parties agree to the changes, then memorandums of understanding will be drawn up between the city, the chamber and the historical society to be presented as part of the budget hearings.