Jun 152012

By Sam Conner —

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Winslow City Council, Mike Krebes of PACE Engineering gave a lengthy and very informative presentation on the equipment needed to improve the wastewater treatment plant, and make it operate more efficiently and at a lower cost.

He noted that the equipment was evaluated by the engineers and the persons who will operate it. Two filters and four pieces of dewatering equipment are needed. Many factors were considered in the decision to purchase Nova filters and PSI dewatering equipment. One factor affecting the decision was that one of lower costing pieces of equipment would mean having a new building built to hold it. With that figured in, it made a more expensive item the better buy.

The eventual cost of the project is expected to be almost $6 million. The equipment is expected to cost about $1.5 million. Krebes explained that the firm is pursuing a Department of Agriculture grant that may cover 45 percent of the cost. The city has reserve funds designated for upgrading and repairing the wastewater facility and those will be used.

The council voted to authorize spending the reserves designated for the project, and going to bid for a contractor to buy and install the equipment.

City Manager Jim Ferguson reported that there are still two vacancies each on the Board of Adjustment and the Historic Preservation Commission, and one on the On-Call Firemen’s Pension Board.

He also said that he had been in contact with officials of Pioneer Company, which won the contract from the U.S. Forest Service to thin the forest and use the material removed to make wood products. Representatives of the company will be in Winslow on June 28 to meet with officials and the public.

Ferguson also noted that three trailers were lost in a recent fire in which there were some problems. Investigations are continuing with assistance from an official from Flagstaff.

Alan Rosenbaum reported that the Southside water line project is underway, and that yet to come is putting pipe down Cottonwood Avenue and under the railroad. He also said that the city has one block of old cast iron pipe which will soon be removed and replaced.

The consent calendar was adopted giving approvals of the check register and minutes of the May 22 council meeting.

Action items began with the proclamation of May 20-26 as Emergency Services Week in Winslow. A copy of the proclamation was given to Fire Chief James Hernandez.

Next the council awarded a $118,010 contract for the theming and signage project to Conco Concrete Specialists of Lakeside.

The council acted upon a request for assistance for the inaugural Native American Appreciation Days on July 20 and 21 by approving paying just under $800 for insurance and PolyJohn rentals.

Former Winslow Public Housing Director Fran McHugh was appointed to the Board of Adjustment.

A liquor license was approved for Hot Pizzas, LLC, also known as the Pizza Hut.

An internal loan was approved from the sanitation fund to the water fund in the amount of $358,854 for dredge basins.

Two resolutions were adopted committing local funds as leverage for Community Development Block Grants. Susie Kaufman noted that both projects are needed and matching funds pledged may increase the chances of getting the grants.

An ordinance was adopted approving a non-exclusive lease agreement for a hot dog stand west of the old Two Stars Cafe in the amount of $100 per month.

An ordinance was approved amending the city code to extend the two percent sales tax for additional five years. This was approved by the electorate in a recent election.

Several people spoke during the call to the public, including Ellie Lau regarding a notice from the city inspector about which she had concerns.

Judy Howell and Ken Evans also spoke regarding problems with the city finances and some of its expenditures which leave other needs unmet.

Several future agenda items were proposed, mostly regarding recycling.