Oct 282011

By Sam Conner–

The Winslow City Council met Tuesday in a lengthy session, with considerable time spent in discussions of the animal control facility and an agreement with the Silver Creek Humane Society, as well as a proposal regarding a new water well. The council also heard reports by the city manager, finance director and Navajo County Assessor Cammy Darris.

Council reviewed the proposed Winslow Animal Control cooperative agreement with the Silver Creek Regional Humane Society and heard much discussion from such persons as Barbara Olear of the humane society and Dr. Dennis Peters, D.V.M. The council eventually adopted an agreement to maintain animal control as its primary function, but to allow the humane society to have control of the animals for at least 30 days to attempt an adoption. There was agreement that much discussion and negotiation still needs to take place on this issue.

One of the major problems in negotiating a contract with the Humane Society was the proposed payment of $53,000 to the society for its work, money needed even though much of its work is done by volunteers. The city is said to be unable to afford the payment. One possible source mentioned in the discussion was the possible obtaining of grant funds by the Humane Society.

City Manager Jim Ferguson noted that the vacancy on the Airport Commission had been filled, but vacancies on the Historic Preservation Commission and the Board of Adjustment remain.

He reported that the company proposing the oriented strand board (OSB) plant was on the short list with the Forest Service, and a decision may be made in the near future.

There has been no decision from the Department of Corrections yet on the building of private prisons. Winslow is thought to be a possible location for a new private prison.

Navajo County Assessor Cammy Darris spoke regarding property tax bills and notices of value. She described how they were arrived at and how a citizen can appeal an assessment.

Navajo County Treasurer Manny Hernandez spoke briefly, noting that citizens who could not pay their property tax on time should contact his office and work out a payment plan.

Finance Director Regina Reffner gave the quarterly financial report and said that though revenues were down from most sources, the city is still in fairly good financial shape.

Resolutions were adopted authorizing the city to participate as a coalition partner in a Brownfield grant application with the City of Flagstaff, and opposing the commission approved legislative district draft map. The city asked that Winslow remain in the same district as the rest of Navajo County. Another resolution was proposed and adopted asking essentially the same thing regarding legislative districts.

Consideration of a Water Infrastructure Financial Authority (WIFA) loan arrangement, and financial proposal for development and construction of well number seven caused considerable discussion of this proposal before a resolution was passed.

An ordinance was adopted extending the intergovernmental agreement with the State of Arizona Parks Department to provide water to Homolovi Park at the in-city commercial rate.

A resolution directing staff to submit the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funding for the Coopertown bypass was approved, although the discussion showed that Winslow has never submitted such an application and such applications are highly competitive.

A decision was made to cancel the Nov. 22 and Dec. 27 council meetings.

The consent calendar was adopted, which gave approvals of the check register and minutes of an Oct. 11 meeting.