By Nick Worth
Holbrook city workers will see their paychecks grow starting next month.
City Finance Director Randy Sullivan asked the council for direction Tuesday evening in implementing the budgeted raises for all city staff beginning July 1.
City Manager Ray Alley told the council the raises are included in the fiscal year 2013-14 budget, which is under consideration for adoption.
“These are raises of $4,000 for every city employee with the exception of myself,” Alley told the council, referring to a deal recently made in which he forgoes all raises in exchange for insurance coverage for a limited period after his retirement.
Vice Mayor Charles Haussman, who was running the meeting in the absence of Mayor Jeff Hill, questioned the fact that the subject of raises was not on the agenda.
Sullivan said the budget was on the agenda and the raises are part of the budget, and so could be discussed.
“I don’t want to be an old curmudgeon, but even though the raises are in the budget, I’d like to see it on the agenda,” Haussman said.
Sullivan then told the council they did not need to vote on the raises since they would do that by voting to adopt the budget, but that he merely wanted direction to implement them for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Finding no more discussion, Haussman told Sullivan to implement the raises.
The council also voted to accept a Heritage Grant of $6,150 from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Sullivan told the council the grant would be used to buy day packs, binoculars, cleaning kits and field guides for use by people visiting Petroglyph Park.
“They’ll either be day packs or fanny packs people can use to carry water when they’re hiking to look at the petroglyphs,” Sullivan said. He added there would be field guides to birds and some of the wildlife to be seen at the park, as well as a list of birds that might be seen.
Sullivan said the grant also includes a matching amount of $5,100 to be paid by the city, but that the city’s portion is going to be taken care of by in-house work in preparing the bird lists and field guides.
Councilman Myron Maxwell asked about the status of the proposed hiking trails and improvements at the site and Sullivan said that was a different grant of approximately $90,000, which is still pending.
In other action June 18, the council:
* Heard from Navajo County District III Supervisor Sylvia Allen during the call to the public.
“I just came to see what’s going on here in Holbrook,” Allen told the council. “I’ve been trying to visit all the city and town councils in my district.
“If the city ever needs anything from the county, please call me,” Allen said. “I like joint projects with the city and the county.”
* Discussed the proposed 2013-14 budget.
* Approved an ordinance authorizing the sale of city property to Paul and Robin Gonzales.
* Heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the purchase of property by the city.
* Approved a special event application for the Holbrook Gearhead Burn Out Competition.
Adrian Tubbs of the Holbrook Gearhead Club told the council the object of a burn out is to make a vehicle’s tires smoke by spinning the tires with the vehicle held in one place.
He said the danger involved was no more than with any other activity.
“Other organizations are doing them (burn outs) and they’re very popular,” Tubbs said.
* Adopted a resolution authorizing a joint project agreement between the State of Arizona and City of Holbrook for airport pavement preservation.
Alley told the council the work will be done under an Arizona Department of Transportation Aviation grant. The project total comes to $422,342 and the city will be required to pay 10 percent of that.
* Heard a report on the final contract for the purchase of a new fire truck.
Sullivan said the truck will be built to the city’s specifications and will be delivered in approximately eight to nine months. The total cost will be $252,002.45.
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By Nick Worth