May 252012

By Sam Conner —

Winslow City Manager Jim Ferguson noted Tuesday evening that he was happy to learn that the U.S. Forest Service has awarded a contract to Pioneer Associates to establish a wood product plant in Winslow, and to gather wood materials and thin the forest to lessen the fire damage. Speaking to those attending the city council meeting, he warned, though, that this is just the first step in the project and it is a long way from reality. There can still be appeals and changes, and the reality of the project is still in the future. Nevertheless, this is an important first step, and could be very beneficial to the city and to the forest.

Concerns with the salt pile south of town were brought to the council’s attention, as was the fact that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has been contacted, and will be asked to provide a monitor to watch the situation and lessen any danger.

Alan Rosenbaum reported that the new well is producing a good quantity of good water, and the city’s dredge is now working well.

Finance Director Regina Reffner gave the monthly financial report. Regarding the budget process, she said requests from departments are some $140,000 more than anticipated revenue. Department heads will need to find ways to lessen their requests and live within the resources available.

City Attorney Dale Patton gave a report on the Winslow Arts Council, which included a budget with all of the funds coming from donations or earnings from council sponsored events.

The Arts Council asked to be allowed to begin accumulating an arts collection for the city through both donations and good purchases. The request was granted.

A $167,974.43 contract was awarded for the purchase of a new street sweeper for the Sanitation Department from H&E Equipment.

A $68,227 change order was approved for wastewater treatment plant modifications, and will be paid with grant funds.

An intergovernmental agreement was approved between the city and the Arizona Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety of Manufactured Housing.

A contract was renewed between the city and Smartworksplus, Inc. Councilman Thomas Chacon voted against the renewal.

A resolution was adopted approving and accepting the canvass of votes and election results from the May 15 city election in which Mayor Robin Boyd was re-elected as were Councilmen Peter Cake and Marshall Losey. Bob Schlesinger was elected as a new councilman, and the one percent bed tax was renewed for five years.

A resolution was adopted approving amendments to the Rural Arizona Group Health Trust Agreement.

An ordinance was adopted amending sections of the city code regarding vacation and sick leave. The change lessens slightly the number of days of sick leave or vacation for new employees.

An ordinance was adopted authorizing the execution of a rental agreement with the Northern Arizona Council of Governments Head Start Program.

The consent calendar was adopted, and gave approvals of the check register and minutes of the May 8 council meeting.

A request for assistance for the First Annual Native American Appreciation Day was tabled until June 12.

The council went into two executive sessions, both for personnel matters. The first was regarding a community development director position. The second was for review of the city attorney’s contract.