By Nick Worth
The Navajo County Board of Supervisors approved of the use of magnesium chloride ice melt on an experimental basis on roads and a magnesium chloride anti-ice product on county parking lots for the 2013-14 winter season.
Russ McCray of Navajo County Public Works told the board the pelletized ice melt would be mixed with cinders, using one part of ice melt for every two parts of cinder, and will be applied to approximately 15 miles of roadways in the Pinetop-Lakeside and Heber-Overgaard areas.
“You’re not doing any roads in the Snowflake, Holbrook or Woodruff areas?” asked District III Supervisor Sylvia Allen.
“At this time it’s just a trial on roads in areas that tend to stay icy all the time,” McCray said.
“What are the side effects of using the ice melt?” asked District V Supervisor Dawnafe Whitesinger.
McCray said the side effects are minimal, if the product is applied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Assistant County Manager Homero Vela told the board the product would have a low impact on the environment.
“We’re looking to reduce accidents across the county,” Vela said.
McCray told the board public works wanted to try to ice-melt pellets on a trial basis and that is why only a few roads were chosen.
“How will you assess it for the trial?” Whitesinger asked.
“One storm will not be enough to assess it, because each storm is different,” McCray answered. “That’s why we would like to use it for a complete snow season, so we can assess how well it works.”
McCray added that the department could make the assessment by comparing the treated roads with untreated ones receiving only cinders. He said the cost of the project would be approximately $9,000.
Bret Starns, also of public works, asked the board to approve the use of a liquid magnesium chloride solution on parking lots. He said the project would cost $10,000, and all Navajo County parking lots in Holbrook and Show Low would be treated.
According to Starns, the liquid solution is sprayed on the parking lots in advance of a snowstorm, and prevents the snow and ice from binding with the parking lot surface.
“We’ll be able to assess it by comparing it with untreated parking lots in Show Low,” Starns said. He said the department is not yet certain if it will treat the entire parking lots, including the spaces, or merely the roadway portions.
In other action Nov. 12, the board:
* Approved a guaranteed maximum price amendment to the construction manager-at-risk contract for the new public works complex with Haydon Building Corporation.
Vela said the price tag on the new office and equipment shop complex will be $4,999,046.
“We found a pre-engineered building for the metal shop building,” Vela told the board. “The lowest bid is from the D.W. Lusk firm in Snowflake.”
Vela noted that the Public Works Department is preparing the building pad to make a ready to build pad for the construction. The county will also be doing the road improvements to Highway 77 to include an entrance and turning lanes, as well as installing the utilities at the site.
“We’re going out for subcontractors this week,” said Vela. “We’ll be looking for low-cost, local contractors to do the work.”
Fritz Behrhorst of Haydon Building Corporation, the chosen contractor, told the board his company is serious about keeping the work local.
Tom Wells, project manager for Haydon Building Corp., then introduced himself to the board.
“I will be the one delivering the project on time and within budget,” Wells said. “I look forward to working on this project.”
* Approved a contract addendum with Levi, Ray Shoup for consultant services for implementation of a content management system in the additional amount of $11,950.
* Approved an agreement signed by the county manager per Board of Supervisors resolution regarding a work order quote from CCI for onsite Deskside RealWare Version 5 training.
* Approved a resolution urging the Arizona Legislature to discontinue sweeps of Highway User Revenue Funds and to restore funding to pre-sweep levels.
* Approved a letter to Governor Janice K. Brewer regarding Navajo County Statewide Legislative Priories for 2014.
* Approved a resolution extending the agreement between the Town of Pinetop-
Lakeside and Navajo County for the lease of justice court facilities.
* Approved a letter to Patrick A. Bray, executive vice president of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, regarding adding Navajo County as signator to the stakeholder letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
* Approved an appreciation letter to the Gregory Mendoza and the Gila River Indian Community.
* Approved a letter to U.S. Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart regarding new prohibitions on parking trailers in the national forests.
* Approved a statement of support by Navajo County for the Guard and Reserve.
* Approved the fiscal year 2014 Victims’ Rights Program Award agreement.
* Approved personnel actions.
Acting as the Navajo County Flood Control District Board of Directors, the board approved the Community Rating System recertification letter.
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By Nick Worth