By Naomi Hatch
Taylor Town Engineer Stu Spaulding asked the town council May 1 to dissolve the planning and zoning commission until there is more for it to do, noting that the council would serve as the commission interim. After much discussion, the council decided to keep the commission intact, but suggested it meet less frequently.
At present there are five commission members, but the terms of several have expired terms or will expire in June. Merry Nutter’s term expired June 2011; Jack Babb’s, June 2012; Eric Ritz and Loretta Whitlow, June 2013; and Ralph Schreiber, June 2014. Whitlow, Babb and Schreiber were present, and said they are still willing to serve.
“Tell us the reason for the recommendation,” said Mayor Fay Hatch to Spaulding.
“Right now our P&Z Board is kind of at a lull,” said Spaulding. “P&Z does a lot of work that the council doesn’t have to.”
Babb said he has enjoyed sitting on the commission and giving back to the community, noting that there are different perspectives from members because of their background. “My concern is if somebody has an appeal,” said Babb, explaining that they would lose one appeal if the town council acted as the commission. That could cause a greater expense for the town because the first appeal would go through the legal system, rather than to the council.
Babb also said that he understood until discussion at this meeting that the recommendations from the commission went on the consent agenda unless the council had questions or concerns, and he was not aware that the council was discussing every recommendation the commission made.
“One other issue that I should bring up is it’s our dream and intent to do a general plan,” said Spaulding noting that it should be done every five years and they are behind. Spaulding had wanted to set up three committees, which would consist of landowners, utility representatives and commercial representatives.
“My only concern about suspending them is do we need them?” asked Mayor Hatch.
Councilman Gary Solomon said he felt it might be a good idea.
Councilman Alan Ramage agreed with Babb and expressed concern about not using those who were willing to serve, but said he could go either way.
Vice Mayor Jane Lee said she thought they could hold fewer meetings and keep the commission.
Councilman Jared Hatch said he feels that the town needs people outside the council, and he didn’t think the commission should be dissolved.
After discussion, the consensus of the council was to keep the Planning and Zoning Commission in place, and hold meetings quarterly, semiannually or as needed.
Spaulding was asked to bring back committee members’ names and committee recommendations.
In similar business Spaulding discussed the town code, which was adopted in 1983 from the City of Chandler Code, noting, “In that time there have been a lot of changes in every area.”
Spaulding said that the code is more goal oriented.
“My support of this idea is because in recent months it has been brought to council’s attention that there are some discrepancies in our code,” said Town Manager Gus Lundberg, who recommended they organize committees to identify those discrepancies.
Councilmen-elect Jason Brubaker and Carl Cosper were present. Each has experience in different fields and offered to serve on committees, and Councilman Shawn Palmer agreed to serve.
Spaulding agreed with having three council members and suggested Eddie Hancock represent the citizens.
“I talked with Eddie and he said if his name came up…if we’re making decisions for the betterment of the town and in the best interest of the town to count him in,” said Palmer.
Palmer moved to appoint a Taylor Town Code Review Committee consisting of himself, Brubaker, Cosper, Spaulding and Hancock. The motion passed unanimously.
In other business, Lundberg explained that a meeting was held in November “in the spirit of anticipation of Walmart.” Two scenarios were brought up in order to meet the fire flow requirements. One was a significantly large water tower behind Walmart, and the other option was water line upgrades throughout Taylor and to connect the water line with Snowflake.
Lundberg presented an intergovernmental agreement that had been reviewed by three engineers, attorneys and town managers of Taylor and Snowflake, and asked for approval of the concept in order to meet requirements. Lundberg acknowledged that this is contingent on the Walmart plans, noting they are still in the design phase.
The council unanimously approved the agreement.
The council also unanimously approved a motion for Task Order No. 2 to be issued to Morrison Maierle, Inc. for the airport fencing project at a cost not to exceed $300,000.
This will complete half of the Taylor airport fence project with funds from the Federal Aviation Agency.
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By Naomi Hatch