Nov 302011

By Teri Walker–

The Holbrook City Council voted to increase fees at the Hidden Cove Golf Course, but green fees will remain the same.

Citing maintenance costs, City Manager Ray Alley asked the council during a public hearing Nov. 22 to approve doubling the fees charged for golf cart rentals. Cart rentals were increased from $5 to $10 for nine holes of play, and from $10 to $20 for 18 holes.

Mayor Jeff Hill supported the increase in cart fees, but commented it was important to him that green fees remain the same.

“Because the citizens, we, pay for this golf course, and it’s a municipal golf course, the green fees in this city should be as cheap as possible. Citizens in this town should be able to afford to golf if they want to,” said Hill.

In the regular city council meeting that followed the public hearing, the council unanimously approved the increase.

During reports to the council and the public, Hill said he has received a draft bill from Senator Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake) addressing public intoxication, which she plans to advance to the state legislature in its upcoming session. The bill was drafted by County Attorney Brad Carlyon. Hill said he is currently reviewing the bill.

“As I wade through it, I really kind of like it,” said Hill.

Vice Mayor Charles Haussman reported he and Manager Alley had met recently with President and CEO of American West Potash Pat Avery. Haussman said Avery expects to begin the mine permitting process for construction of a potash mine east of Holbrook in March 2012, with the potential for beginning mine operations as early as the beginning of 2014.

Alley reported GHD, Inc., the city’s engineering firm based in Phoenix, has begun its review of the city sewer system to correct errors in the recent flow study it conducted for Holbrook, and errors that occurred during the digital mapping project undertaken by the same firm a few years ago. The re-evaluation is being conducted at no charge to the city.

Alley also announced that road construction continues on Florida Street, and that the new water well the city constructed on McLaws Road is close to becoming operational, with work underway now to tie the well into the city system.

In other action Nov. 22, the council:

* Approved a resolution calling upon the Arizona State Legislature to stop reducing the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) allocations to Arizona cities and towns, and to restore the allocations to at least 2008 levels over the next three to five years. The resolution language says the State of Arizona has taken 25 percent of HURF funds from municipalities to fund the operations of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, in addition to the losses caused by reduced state shared revenue allocations.

The resolution further states, “as a result of the reduction of HURF revenues the City of Holbrook will no longer be able to do either minor or major future local road construction, reconstruction or maintenance…” and will “be forced to seek higher local taxation to replace swept and lost state revenues for street repair or allow its transportation infrastructure to fall into further disrepair.”

After the council voted to pass the resolution, Councilmember Wade Carlisle remarked, “It won’t probably mean that much, but at least it’s on the record.”

Councilman Phil Cobb said, “They’ve tried phone campaigns, tried letter writing, the next step is to try to get the legislators to understand the pain that this issue causes cities, especially small cities.”

* Approved a memorandum of understanding with the City of Flagstaff, City of Winslow, Coconino County and Navajo County to meet the conditions of jointly applying for a $1 million Brownfields Assessment Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The city is seeking the grant to secure money for asbestos and other hazardous materials abatement projects within the community.

* Approved an application for Lena Alley to offer Zumba classes at the Holbrook Fitness Center, located adjacent to City Hall at 465 1st Ave. Alley will offer classes at 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

* Approved the renewal of an agreement with Olivia Gonzales to continue to offer massage therapy services at the fitness center.

The next regular meeting of the Holbrook City Council will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. The council voted to cancel the Dec. 27 meeting due to holiday schedules.