By Sam Conner
The Winslow City Council approved acceptance of a COPS hiring recovery program grant Tuesday evening, includ-ing transfer of grant matching funds of $72,361 for a three-year period and adding of one police officer position to the authorized position list of city employees.
Police Chief Steve Garnett said that the grant had to be used to hire a military veteran, and that Winslow would be hiring a Marine veteran who has been on assignments in battle areas.
A $199,400 engineering contract with WestLand Resources, Inc. for the final phase of well number seven was ap-proved to be paid through a Water Infrastructure Finance Authority loan on the project.
Representatives of the company doing the work said that the well had been tested and was producing an abundance of good water. Plans call for using that good water to blend with some of the poorer water from other wells to give the city an improved quality of all its water.
City Manager Jim Ferguson announced that a public meeting with Department of Corrections officials regarding proposed private prisons will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Winslow High School Performing Arts Center. He said that he was pleased with citizens’ attendance and support last time, but urges them to attend this meeting to show their support.
He also said that the city has two vacancies each on the Historic Preservation Commission and the Board of Ad-justment, and one on the On-Call Fireman’s Pension Board and a student member vacancy on the Arts Council.
Allen Rosenbaum reported that the new water line to Southside would be tested the following day and likely in op-eration soon. He also said that a new line would be installed to service La Posada.
The consent calendar was adopted, giving approval of the check register and the July 10 minutes. The closure of Hicks Avenue between First and Second Streets and waiver of vendor fees was approved for the ninth annual Fire Truck Tug. Also approved was a temporary extension of premises patio permit for PT’s for a bike rally to be held Aug. 24-26.
A public hearing for citizen input on the final 2012-13 fiscal year budget was held with only one speaker asking that sidewalk upgrades be continued.
After the hearing, the council passed a resolution adopting that budget.
A request for assistance with the 9/11 Memorial Celebration resulted in granting of assistance up to $2,000.
Dee Rodriguez spoke for the organization planning the celebration, noting that any funds not needed or expended would be returned.
Ferguson pointed out that the city would require receipts to justify expenses before money was given for the cele-bration.
An ordinance was adopted amending the schedule of fees for animal care facility usage, liquor licenses and commu-nity services. Most fees were increased slightly, as recommended.
An ordinance was approved extending the Hubbell Trading Post lease agreement until June 30, 2013.
A tourism promotion contract with the Winslow Chamber of Commerce was approved. Todd Roth voiced praise for Chamber Director Bob Hall and his staff for their prompt greeting of visitors to the center.
Harold Nimtz spoke during the call to the public, asking that the softball program and facilities be improved.
He was asked to meet with city staff members to help work out solutions to problems.
Valentine Lopez spoke regarding salt problems south of town, an issue which has been spoken of before by several people.
The council went into executive session for legal advice regarding possible sale, purchase or lease of real property. At issue was a connection route between State Route 87 and Interstate 40.
No action was taken on the issue other than discussion and obtaining of pertinent legal advice.
The council met as the Winslow Housing Authority prior to its regular meeting, and passed a resolution which is required by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A second resolution was pulled from the agenda, as Public Housing Director Jesse Fernandez said that HUD now extracts the information normally in the report from his monthly data submissions.
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By Sam Conner