Jun 272014

By Sam Conner

The Winslow City Council adopted the city’s fiscal year 2014-15 budget Tuesday evening. The proposed budget was for just over $20 million, and was the subject of a public hearing before the council passed a resolution to adopt it.

During the public hearing, Ellie Merritt said she had two concerns: a police department that is not fully staffed; and a fire department that needs equipment such as a ladder truck and is too dependent on volunteers.

Judy Howell agreed, and said that the proposed animal shelter will not be big enough.

At the beginning of the meeting a presentation was made to retiring police dispatcher Vivian Stinson for her 50 years of service to the city. She gave a brief talk, thanking the city and the police department for their support.

The council heard reports on city activities from City Manager Stephen Pauken, who announced that the city had hired Adrianna Chavez as the fulltime animal control officer and was seeing improvements in the department.

Pauken also noted that two representatives from the Arizona League of Cities and Towns would be available at 2 p.m. on June 26 to discuss legislation coming into effect.

Jeff Swan of Woodson Engineering spoke about the Winslow levee, the flood plain map and the information which has been sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He said that preliminary maps from FEMA should be available in about three weeks and could be in effect in about nine months. Maps will be available at city hall once they are in effect.

Finance Director Teresa Foy gave the monthly financial report, which showed revenues received by the city increasing in most areas.

Navajo County Manager Jimmy Jayne, Assistant County Manager Homero Villa and County Supervisor Jesse Thompson presented the county’s budget overview.

Jayne noted that the county has the third lowest tax rate in the state and would have a rate of 81 cents per $100 of assessed valuation this year. He said that county employees had taken a 2½ percent pay decrease in 2011 and that the county has 75 fewer employees than in 2008.

Mayor Robin Boyd commented on the payment to the county Winslow has to make for incarcerating prisoners, which is a significant amount.

Villa spoke about the Winslow levees and said that he would be back with someone from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in August to address the issue.

The council considered a request for a liquor license application for Slowtown, located at 1001 E. Third St., and voted 7-0 to recommend that the Arizona Liquor Board deny the request.

Police Chief Steve Garnett told the council that there are 29 liquor establishments within 12 miles of Winslow, and that two of those with the same owner as the new request was from had had 22 violations in recent years. He said it was time to say, “enough is enough.”

City Inspector Marshall Larson pointed out some concerns that the building was not suited for that purpose.

During the call to the public, Judy Howell said that the proposed new animal shelter was too small and that it would soon become a kill shelter. She said, “If your can’t build it larger, don’t build it at all and continue to use the old facility.”

Pauken reiterated that the city does not kill animals and that Howell’s information was wrong.

Marie LaMarr spoke about the need for a fulltime code enforcement officer.

Alex Monsegur spoke about problems at Clear Creek, especially with the dredge.

The council approved the consent calendar, including the check register, minutes of June 3 and 10 council meetings, open purchase orders for fiscal year 2014-15 and a service agreement with Granicus, Inc., which the city has been using since 2004. The city is upgrading its encoder and has been asked to approve a service agreement. An agreement with the Flagstaff Medical Center for delivery of pre-hospital medical care to certified emergency paramedics was renewed. A request from the Winslow Freedom Festival Committee to hold a Fourth of July event was approved separately.