By Sam Conner
Winslow City Attorney Dale Patton announced during Tuesday evening’s city council meeting that he will be retiring at the end of April. He said that he has enjoyed working with the city, and that this is the best council the city has ever had and a very good staff.
The meeting was the council’s first with new City Manager Stephen Pauken. There were only four council members present, so the first action the council took was to appoint Harold Soehner as vice mayor. He conducted the meeting with Councilmen Peter Cake, Marshall Losey and Bob Schlesinger in attendance.
Pauken said that he has met with department heads, and asked Allan Rosenbaum to report on the water tank under repairs.
Rosenbaum said that the floor is in and that the tank will be filled with water next Wednesday.
Patton noted that repairing the tank had saved the city more than $2.5 million over what a new tank that had been thought necessary would have cost.
* Appointed Judy Howell to the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Marcor Greenwood and Ken Evans to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement Board.
* Adopted a resolution ordering a special election extending the existing one percent transaction privilege tax for 20 years from Jan. 1, 2016.
* Adopted a resolution approving an application to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for a Shooting Range Development Grant.
Police Chief Steve Garnett explained that the shooting range will be near the old city dump and that the resolution was needed before Jan. 15.
* Adopted a resolution asking the Arizona State Legislature to restore statutory funding formula distribution of Highway User Revenue Funds to Arizona counties, cities and towns.
It was noted that many councils are likely asking that this fair use of tax moneys be restored.
* Adopted an ordinance on solid waste collection, increasing the residential fees by nine-tenths of a percent.
It was pointed out that Waste Management is charging the city this rate.
* Adopted an ordinance authorizing the acceptance of certain real property abandoned by the Arizona Department of Transportation.
* Adopted an ordinance amending the city code on permitted conditional uses to extend the hours of operation for non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries.
The change will allow the facility in Winslow to be in operation until 8 p.m. instead of the current 6 p.m. limit.
Chief Garnett said that there have been no problems with the facility.
* Tabled discussion and possible action regarding an animal care facility, including cost estimates, until the Jan. 28 meeting due to the absence of three council members.
* Tabled an item regarding water deposits and commercial sewer rates until the Jan. 28 meeting although there was some discussion.
Businessman Tom McCauley told the council that the higher rates for some businesses is unfair, and a reason some businesses leave or don’t come to Winslow.
* Tabled an executive session for legal advice regarding the possible purchase of real property until the Jan. 28 council meeting.
* Received the monthly financial report from Teresa Foy.
* Adopted a two-item consent calendar giving approval of the check register and minutes of Dec. 10 council meetings.
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By Sam Conner