By Linda Kor–
During the Nov. 15 Board of Supervisors meeting, the board approved a legislative priorities resolution that they hope will garner the attention of state legislators and stop funding sweeps and prisoner shifts.
The resolution states that Arizona counties have absorbed $288 million in state budget impacts since 2008, including $93 million in impacts in fiscal year 2012. These impacts have included $130 million in forced county contributions, $73 million in diverted Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) and $66 million in other program shifts, such as restoring defendants to competency.
Navajo County Governmental Affairs Director Hunter Moore presented the resolution to the board and stated that the removal of these funds has inflicted significant financial pressures on counties already reeling from financial effects of the recession such as declining local revenues, decreasing federal funding and escalating state costs.
The resolution supported by the board asks the state to repeal the prisoner shift planned to begin July of 2012, as well as other funding shifts.
“All counties in the state are reviewing the resolution as well to let our legislative representatives know that we do not support the prisoner shift, elimination of funding, the freeze and shift of HURF, and other funding,” stated Hunter.
Supervisor Jonathan Nez asked how the board should take action in requesting not only a freeze but also a refund of monies taken from the counties.
Board Chairman David Tenney stated that as president of the County Supervisors Association he will be in discussions on that matter but that certain things need to be addressed first.
“The state first needs to stop taking the money and get funding back where it was. Then we can see about a refund. The dialog has begun but it is far from completion,” he stated.
In other business, the board approved a fee schedule for a new International Travel Health Clinic being established by the Public Health Services District.
“Travelers will now be able to obtain pre-trip health advice from myself, specialized prescriptions for travel-specific medications and necessary immunizations prior to traveling,” stated Dr. Wade Kartchner, director of the Health Services District.
The clinic, to be located at the Show Low Health Department, will be held on the first Wednesday of each month beginning on Jan. 4. The fees for the clinic will be $15 for Hepatitis B; $30 for Herpes Simplex; $18 for Measles; $15 Mumps; $12 for Rubella; and $18 Varicella Zoste. There will also be an administrative assessment fee in the amount of $50 for one person, $75 for two people, and $100 for groups of three or larger.
According to Kartchner there are now four clinics in the state offering these services. They are in Yavapai, Coconino, Maricopa and Pima counties.
“People travel for business, adventure and missionary service. I get at least two to three requests per month for these services that we have not been able to provide,” he noted.
In other business, the board:
* Approved a cooperative law enforcement agreement between the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service and Apache Sitgreaves National Forest for an operating and financial plan.
* Authorized naming an existing road in the Pinetop-Lakeside area Rockerest Drive.
* Approved public roadway and utility easements for the general public over, under and across Catalyst Paper Inc., property in Snowflake and across Navajo County Assessor’s parcel number 212-45-052E.
* Approved a contract for professional services with Terra Genesis, Inc, for web-mapping improvements in an amount not to exceed $8,800.
* Approved the appointment of Dara Michelle Vanesian, Michelle Eva May Haverland, James Gucwa, Vincent Romney Farr and Tina Marie Sinclair as precinct committeemen to fill vacancies in the respective precincts as part of the Navajo County Republican Committee.
* Approved amendments to contracts with the Arizona Department of Health Services for STD, HIV program services.
* Approved teen pregnancy prevention program services for Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 2012 in the amount of $113,194.
* Approved a lease agreement between the Navajo County Health Services District and Baldwin Jones Properties, LLC for office space in Snowflake for the Nutrition and WIC programs from Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012, with funds to be provided through grant funding.
*Authorized clarification of projects for a grant application for Community Development Block Grant funds from the Arizona Department of Housing to include improvements to the Rim Country, Silver Creek Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low senior centers; a traffic signal at Deuce of Clubs and North Ninth Place; electrical and lighting upgrades at the county fairgrounds; Timberland Acres Road and Water Improvement Districts; and county administrative costs associated with the administering the grant.
* Approved a resolution authorizing Navajo County to participate as a coalition partner with Flagstaff in a Brownfields grant and authorizing the county manager and public works director to sign any necessary document for the participation in the coalition. The grant is provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will focus on assessment and clean up of idle or undeveloped properties along the Route 66 corridor.
* Approved a memorandum of understanding between the City of Show Low and the county for the installation of microwave link infrastructure funded by the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. This project will provide the necessary infrastructure for a regional dispatch center and future progression of the Sheriff’s Office data transmission.
* Authorized acceptance of the Constable Ethics Standards and Training Board grant in the amount of $1,800 for tasers and training and $1,200 for ballistic vest covers and associated equipment for the Navajo County constables.
* Authorized the chairman to sign a letter of request to Congressman Paul Gosar to support the Little Colorado River Feasibility Study.
* Approved the renewal of a three-year joint funding agreement with the United States Geological survey for the maintenance of seven stream-flow gages in an amount not to exceed $176,400.
* Approved a memorandum of understanding between Navajo County and the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation.
* Approved expenditure of $50,000 of District 1 Special Road Funds with each of the 10 Black Mesa Region Chapters contributing $10,000 for the crushing and hauling of Red Dog material.
* Approved the proposed amended financial assurances for the White Mountain Lake Airpark, Unit 1 subdivision located in the White Mountain Lake area.