By Naomi Hatch
The Snowflake Town Council approved a request for payment of $1,643.68 as the town’s share of the cost of a new bus for the White Mountain Connection, which connects from HonDah to Holbrook.
This transit system is supported through the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and receives federal funds for new acquisitions.
Town Manager Paul Watson explained that federal government pays 90 percent and six entities pay the remaining 10 percent.
ADOT approved a capital expenditure of $585,440.04 to purchase four new buses. Three will serve the Four Season Connection, which connects from Show Low to HonDah, and one will be used by the White Mountain Connection.
The buses will replace existing vehicles and will be purchased from Creative Bus Sales, a state-approved contractor, according to back up material provided to the council. Funding for the buses was made available through the acceptance of previous grants.
It was estimated that rehabilitating the five buses would cost $421,050. The consensus was that this was not a good option, so purchasing five new buses as ADOT authorized was recommended.
The City of Show Low and Town of Pinetop-Lakeside will each pay $20,237.80, which includes the buses for the Four Seasons Connection. The towns of Snowflake and Taylor, as well as Northland Pioneer College, were asked to pay $1,643.68 each, and Navajo County was asked to contribute $6,574.73, for a new bus for White Mountain Connection.
Responding to questions regarding usage of the buses, Watson noted that he did not have that information, but in the summer of 2015, the council will be reviewing a request to continue participation in the bus line and more information will be available at that time.
A motion to approve passed, with Councilman Terril Kay dissenting.
In other action Nov. 18, the council:
* Held a hearing regarding a request for a liquor license transfer for Country Club Fuels, located at 2575 W. Snowflake Blvd., which is owned by Jose E. Alvarez, and unanimously approved recommending that the license be transferred.
Alvarez explained that as part of the purchase of the facility, the liquor license would be transferred to him.
Watson noted that liquor will be sold as take out only packaged good.
There were no comments from the public.
* Recognized that through an Arizona Public Service Co. grant Snowflake Fire Department received, the cost for training four firefighters was offset.
* Approved a request from the SFD to approve the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1500 manual pertaining to emergency vehicle operation.
Fire Chief Pat Hancock explained that this is a condition of receiving the grant for the type 3 fire engine. He said that the fire department has long practiced the provision mentioned in NFPA 1500, but has not officially adopted the requirements, and noted that department administration determined that the community would be better served if these provisions were officially adopted. The town attorney had reviewed the request.