Jul 292011

By Linda Kor–

The 2011-12 budget received final approval from members of the Navajo County Board of Supervisors during their July 26 meeting. The $113 million budget was presented by County Manager Jimmy Jayne, who thanked Finance Director James Menlove and his department for a well thought out budget.

There was no opposition presented regarding the budget, but District V Supervisor Jerry Brownlow noted that although improvements for the jail are part of the budget, an effort to restore employee wages was in the forefront.

“An item in the capital projects for jail improvements was plugged in there in case we decide to do something, but we’re still trying to find a way to restore salaries after three years,” stated Brownlow, referring to the 2.5 percent pay cut to employees in response to government cutbacks.

Jayne agreed, stating that he had recently toured the jail facility and that there were issues that would soon need to be addressed. “There are some challenges in that area. We owe the citizens of Navajo County the assurance of public safety, but our employees took a 2.5 percent pay cut and we need to be mindful of that first and foremost,” replied Jayne.

Menlove had commented at a meeting earlier this month that this year’s budget is essentially flat, with no major changes. He also noted that while there are no specific capital projects outlined, $5 million is being allocated for potential jail improvements. Those improvements include upgrades to the laundry, kitchen and medical needs in order to accommodate a jail population roughly three times larger than the facility was designed to house.

In other action July 26, the board:

* Authorized the acceptance of a salary grant from the Attorney General’s Victims Rights Program for $41,150 for fiscal year 2012 for victim advocates.

* Authorized the acceptance of the annual fund from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission in the amount of $76,246 for fiscal year 2012 to pay victim compensation to crime victims.

* Approved an amendment to the intergovernmental agreement between the Navajo County Public Health Services District and the Arizona Department of Health Services in the amount of $180,000 for fiscal year 2012 for tobacco education and prevention.

* Authorized a grant agreement between the county attorney’s office and the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission in the amount of $117,040. The funds will be used to enhance drug, gang and/or related violent crime control efforts.

* Authorized the acceptance of an Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant to be assigned to the City of Show Low in the amount of $10,991. The funds will be used to purchase an evidence processing trailer and appropriate equipment, and overtime to benefit Major Crimes Apprehension Team officers.

* Accepted the resignations of Rocky Hill and Don Bushell from the advisory committee for the White Mountain Lakes Recreation Improvement District, and authorized the appointments of Al Gross and Norma Loefler to fill those positions.

* Adopted the final budget for districts including Public Health Services, Library, Flood Control, White Mountain Lakes Recreation and Victory Heights Road Maintenance; and county road improvement districts including Silver Creek, Roan Circle, Sutter Drive, Drifting Snow, Madison Lane, Scott’s Pine Meadow, Shumway Road, Bucking Horse, Hiawatha Trail, Wild Cat Way, Beaver Dam Road, Hilltop Drive, Mountain View and North Whistle Stop Loop.