By Linda Kor –
The Navajo County Board of Supervisors met Feb. 14 to honor those who have served at the county and to celebrate Arizona’s centennial.
Hunter Moore, director of government relations for the county, addressed those in attendance, providing a history of Navajo County and detailing the events that led to its formation. In attendance at the meeting were former supervisors John Dalton, Louis Tenney and Marlin Gillespie, and former county recorder Jay Turley. Each of those men addressed the board, recalling their years of service to the county.
In addition to celebrating statehood, the board also recognized Winslow High School teacher George “Rocky” Rockwell, who is retiring this year after 50 years of employment at the school.
Rockwell began teaching metal shop classes at WHS in 1962, and has spent his entire career at the school. He grew up working in metals, as his father raced cars and owned a service station in Phoenix when Rockwell was young. He took as many machining, drafting and other industrial arts classes as he could in high school, and finished his degrees in industrial arts education at Northern Arizona University, earning both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts.
Looking about the room Rockwell noted many former students, including District 2 Supervisor Jesse Thompson and County Treasurer Manny Hernandez.
“You taught everything for every student. I can think of many students who have benefited from your teaching,” Thompson advised Rockwell.
Rockwell expressed his gratitude for the honor and, along with his wife Kathryn, accepted a plaque and a Navajo clay pot from Thompson and Chairman J.R. DeSpain.
In other business, Flood Control District Director Trent Larson presented an overview of the depart-ment’s strategic plan for the next five years.
Included in the plan is improvement of the county’s Community Rating System score to a Class 7 by 2017. The class system reflects the community’s floodplain management and the county is currently at Class 8, with 10 being the worst score and one being the best.
Larson also anticipates that the feasibility study for the Winslow Levee will be complete by 2014, bring-ing the Winslow area one step closer to removal from the Little Colorado River floodplain. Other goals in-clude improving response times to all flood requests and drainage complaints. In addition, the department is working to close all violations that have been open longer than one year, and to close all new violations within one year of the initial complaint date.
The department will also complete a minimum of one neighborhood drainage improvement project from the Flood Control Capital Improvement Plan every two years. Other goals are to continue with ongoing edu-cation, support use of technology to enhance departmental workflow, and review and update web-based flood control information and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) materials.
Deputy Director of Public Works Greg Loper also addressed the board, outlining his department’s over-all goals for the next five years, including creating greater public awareness of projects taking place within the county. Those measures will include involvement with local economic development groups, and continu-ing to provide web-based information regarding permits and projects.
In addition, the department will also be looking to improve response and resolution times for building inspections and plan reviews. Other measures toward improvements correlate with flood control objectives for ongoing education and use of technology.
In other business Feb. 14, the board:
* Approved an intergovernmental agreement between the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the sheriff’s office for funding in the amount of $74,000 for overtime for watercraft details or patrols.
* Approved a renewal of the First Knolls Cinder Pit lease with the U.S. Forest Service for five years for the area located along State Route 60 and First Knoll Drive.
* Authorized the appointment of Clayton Jack Howard as precinct committeeman on the Navajo County Republican Committee.
* Approved a professional services agreement between Navajo County Public Health Services District and Connie Baine, registered dental hygienist, to complete services for the regional oral health coordinator contract at a rate of $50 per hour.
* Approved an amendment to the Emergency Preparedness Program contract to include a rollover amount of $54,268.09 in the price sheet.
* Approved abatement of personal property taxes for uncollectable tax, penalty and interest.