Jun 202012

By Naomi Hatch —

On behalf of the Historic Review Committee, Dean Porter presented an idea to the Snowflake Town Council last week to make Main Street even better by having flowerpots with wooden covers to make them look more western.

Porter had talked to Lowe’s employees and reported, “They were quite excited about helping us.” He said that he could also talk to Home Depot. Someone will donate the potting soil, and he will talk to businesses about watering flowerpots in front of their business. “We hope to do this with not too much cost,” said Porter as he asked the council to approve the measure.

“I think the biggest issue is that they get watered. I don’t think the city’s going to be able to do that,” said Mayor Kelly Willis.

Porter responded that they will suggest to businesses that they add $5 or $10 on their water bill during the summer months to cover the cost of watering.

Councilwoman Bev Kay asked what the Historic Review Committee’s responsibilities were.

Town Manager Paul Watson explained that the committee was put in place to review potential projects, new projects coming into town, as well as remodel projects that would affect the historic nature of the community. “They really don’t have any power or enforcement,” said Watson. “Council passed it that this would be an advisory committee and just say here’s the kinds of things that would make the character of our community.”

“I would love to see pots at the historic homes,” said Kay, noting that she would like signs pointing to the historic homes sites. She went on to say that she would like to see businesses clean their frontages, but added, “Pots are adding more work to the city.”

“We want to go one more step and make this a more outstanding city,” said Porter.

Vice Mayor Jason Whiting and Councilman Tom Poscharsky questioned whether they could put pots in the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) right-of-way.

Town Attorney Robert Hall explained that a town ordinance that requires property owners to maintain the rights of way adjacent to their property, but he did not know if that would include ADOT rights of way.

“Yes, I have concerns. The concept is great,” said Watson, “but it seems like we do projects like this and all of a sudden everybody points to the town. I really would like, rather than this be a town project, this be a community project. If there’s a void, I’m sure the town would be glad to fill in.”

Mayor Willis asked Porter to bring back a list of townspeople interested in this project, and asked Watson to see how the staff feels about the project.

In other business June 12, the council:

* Approved a budget adjustment, increasing salaries and wages by $25,000 and decreasing the contingency fund by the same amount.

The Snowflake Fire Department sent several firefighters to the Wallow fire in July 2011, and the Gladiator fire and the Little Bear Fire this year, as well as to a hazardous material spill at the Chevron station. This increased expenditures as the town paid the individuals, even though the town was reimbursed.

* Unanimously approved the tentative budget of $10,404,740 for fiscal year 2012-13.

Finance Director Brian Richards explained that this is an increase of $2,454,952 over last year’s budget, largely due to the addition of Reaches 2 and 3 of the Southern Solution flood control project.

Richards said the town will publish Schedule A of the Auditor General budget forms in the newspaper for two consecutive weeks, then hold a public hearing on Tuesday, July 10, when the final budget will be presented to the council for approval. This budget cannot be increased prior to final approval, but changes can be made to line items.

* Unanimously approved purchase of services from Lexipol to develop, update and maintain the current police department policy and procedure manual and training.

Snowflake-Taylor Police Chief Jerry VanWinkle explained to the council that $4,975 of the cost will be funded by RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) funding, and the police budget’s portion will be $5,425, noting that the department has officer vacancy savings that will cover the cost. He went on to explain to the council that when he brought this to council at the previous meeting, he was under the assumption that RICO would pay for everything, but after submittal he found it would only pay for the training portion.

“Police work is such a high liability issue, and our policies and procedures are not where they should be,” said Chief VanWinkle. “This is a mechanism that will update the best practices,” further explaining they will get almost immediate, current updates when changes to the law are made.

* Unanimously approved Resolution 12-009, approving an intergovernmental agreement with ADOT that will reconstruct 32’ roadway pavement width (two travel lanes and bike lanes), ribbon curbs, turn lanes at the intersection, drainage improvements, striping and miscellaneous grading on a project on West Seventh Street South from South Ninth Street West to Flake Crossing at Cottonwood Wash, and will include the Centennial Road intersection and 400’ of Centennial Road to the south.

The Regional Transportation Improvement Program will fund $148,462 in the 2012 fiscal year and reconstruction is estimated to be in the fiscal year 2013 budget for a total funding amount of $633,616. The agreement is required for the town to move forward with the project.