By Sam Conner
Little Colorado Medical Center CEO Jack Dempsey gave the quarterly report on the hospital to the Winslow City Council Tuesday evening. He said that not long ago the auditor had been concerned that the facility might have to close. Improvements have been made and the hospital is doing well now and making steady progress.
He noted that would not be possible without the city’s help and partnership, and was very complimentary of the work of City Manager Stephen Pauken, City Attorney Ellen Van Riper and City Finance Director Elias Jouen.
Pauken reported on city activities, noting that a request from 4-H and the Future Farmers of America to use the rodeo grounds would result in repairs to the facility and more use in the future.
He also said that the next agenda would include discussion and possible action regarding how much the Arizona Department of Transportation is able to “extort” from the city, noting that the engineer is studying how the city can do the work necessary without involving ADOT. He said that it is time to try to stop the state from balancing its budget on the backs of local governments.
Pauken added that the good news is that the Federal Aviation Administration may approve renovating the entire runway rather than just part of it.
The monthly financial report was given by Jouen, who also gave an update on the low-income utility rate program.
Councilman Thomas Chacon introduced new Postmaster Arthur Gonzales, who was in the audience with his wife.
Councilman Curtis Hardy spoke about consideration of a concession stand at McHood Clear Creek Park.
Kenn Evans spoke during the call to the public on events planned at Homolovi Park.
Harold Soehner spoke about a meeting in April regarding transportation to and from Flagstaff.
In other action Feb. 23, the council:
* Discussed reducing the number of members for the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Historic Preservation Commission, and adjusting the Planning and Zoning Commission’s meeting schedule.
The city attorney noted that the Board of Adjustment had already been reduced from seven members to five, and suggested that the Planning and Zoning, and Historic Preservation commissions should also be reduced from seven to five.
She further suggested that their meetings be held only on the second Wednesday of each month, which would mean that she could attend those meetings and a council meeting, reducing the number of times she would have to make a trip to Winslow.
There will likely be a resolution on the next agenda to decide on the proposed changes.
* Approved the consent calendar, including the check register, minutes of the Feb. 9 council meeting, appointment of Kevin Coolidge to the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Sandra Purcell to the Historic Preservation Commission, an intergovernmental agreement between the city and Navajo County for provision of election services, and the final agreement with Waste Management for residential solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services. The measure passed in a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Chacon voting in opposition.
Several people had questions about the Waste Management contract, especially the recycling provision.
* Proclaimed March as Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. The proclamation was given to Evans, who serves as a ranger at Homolovi State Park.
By Sam Conner