REGULAR MEETING OF THE
TOWN OF MIAMI MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Monday April 11, 2016 6:30 PM
Town Council Chambers - Sullivan Street
Concurrent with last night's Regular Meeting of the Town of
Miami Mayor and Council was the second of two public
hearings required in the process of passing “Home Rule”, an
alternative expenditure limitation. The arcane process is part
of Arizona state law that limits spending by municipalities to
the amount spent in Fiscal year 1979-80, unless either a
permanent base adjustment, a home rule in the form of an
alternative expenditure limitation, or a one-time adjustment
is passed by voters. Permanent base adjustments have the
benefit of not requiring regular passage of alternative
expenditure limitations, but the municipality is then limited
to the base adjusted rate, unless an alternative to it is passed.
The alternative expenditure limitation, the Home Rule,
provides the most flexibility, but if it is not passed by voters
according to the process set forth by the state, a municipality
faces hefty financial penalties for any spending that exceeds
that of Fiscal year 1979-80. Miami in the past has paid these
Home rule was last adopted by Miami in 2012. In 2013, the
Arizona legislature approved extending the alternative
expenditure limitation through 2017, providing a
municipality seeks voter approval in 2016. There were no
public comments last night, and Resolution #1169 passed,
putting Home Rule to a public vote on August 30, 2016, the
date of the Arizona primary.
Town Manager Joe Heatherly announced that the Public
Works Department may have an announcement of a new
supervisor/director in the next week. The department is
currently working on filling the remaining potholes and
cutting grass and weeds on Sullivan Street. Heatherly said
he anticipate splitting Public Works into five divisions:
1. Streets and parks.
2. Trash and garbage
3. Wastewater Plant
5. Facilities and building support
Heatherly reported that there was a code enforcement
inspection by the Town's insurance carrier, and the state of
safety in Miami is 98% better. Coming soon will be a
proposal for an IGA with Globe for a fire inspector. A one
year extension for the IGA with Tri Cities Fire was
approved, and the Fiscal year 2014 financial audit report
should be done next week.
An update on Phase 2 of the Sewer Project was presented.
On April 20th, repaving begins on streets affected.
Southwest Gas has been helpful in changing design for
Canyon Avenue, but Arizona Water is being very difficult.
They've been in possession of the plans since 2011, and their
stance is they will not do anything to relocate conflicting
lines until construction starts. By when construction starts,
it's too late. There are several intersections where this is a
problem, and it has delayed Phase 2. But as Heatherly points
out, it's important to work this out without escalating it to a
legal dispute as Arizona Water is in a position to spend a
great deal of money on lawyers before anything will get
Resolution 1170, authorizing the submission of an
application for Fiscal Year 2016 State Community
Development Grand funds was passed. It specifies that the
CDBG money will go for resurfacing streets disrupted by the
There was no police report as Chief Scott Gillen was absent,
still involved with a critical incident on Hwy 60 that
occurred earlier in the day near Copper State Sanitation.
Librarian Delvan Hayward's report included a reminder that
next month is the Friend's of the Library semi-annual book
sale. The White Elephant sale was a big success, netting the
library over $1,000. The heater is finally fixed, but it's old
and parts are hard to find. And tax forms are available at the
Library, along with computer training for seniors.
The Boomtown Spree will be held this Saturday, the 16th, a
busy day with several events planned in the area, including
Globe's ATV Jamboree. KQSS' Jon Cornell suggested that
for next year's event, the town should coordinate with Globe
so that events will not be scheduled simultaneously.
Next weekend, April 22nd and 23rd, STEMfest, the Art Walk
and the Paint The Town project will all be held. Paint The
Town is a joint effort with Taliesen.
Resolution Copper presented a project update. Project
Director Andrew Taplin and others from the company were
in attendance. They're using a number of Gila County based
firms as part of their efforts, including Marcanti Electric, and
a dozen other local vendors.
During 2015, Resolution Copper supported many projects in
Miami including renovations to Bullion Plaza, Summer In
The Park, the Miami Schools Robotics program, boys and
girls high school soccer teams, and the Gila Community
Food Bank. They've just completed the scholarship awards,
where they offered $3,000 to graduating seniors through
three programs: General Scholarship, Native American
Scholarship, and the Steven L. Besich leadership grant.
Recently, Resolution Copper was acknowledged for its
safety performance by the National Mining Association.
Last year, the Land Exchange Act was passed, and now
Resolution Copper is in the NEPA process, which as been
extended for a 120 day comment period. Taplin said final
approval for the mine should take another five years. He
also addressed the issue that has been in the news-that Oak
Flat has been designated as a heritage site. He explained that
between the Pinal Mountains and the Picket Post Mountains,
there are 409 possible sites that could be designated as
traditional cultural property by the Department of the
Interior. Oak Flat will probably be one of them, but it's only
one of four possible cultural sites that exist in the Resolution
Copper footprint. The bottom line is that the proposed
heritage designation for Oak Flat will not prevent the project
Taplin also had good news about relations with the San
Carlos Apache Tribe. Previously Resolution Copper was not
allowed on the reservation to discuss the project. But now,
three meetings with the Tribe, with about 150 tribal members
attending, have been held.
So far parent company Rio Tinto has spent $1.2 billion in
developing the Resolution Copper Mine site. #10 shaft is
completed. $540 million was spent on it. They're going to
build another shaft at the same cost. In preparation for the
EIS, the Environmental Impact Statement, they've been
doing extensive groundwater testing on 40 different sites.
Taplin asked the Council for a letter of support for the
project during the US Forest Service Comment Period.
There's no doubt they will get it.
The Council debated authorizing the underwriting of a trip
for three students and one adult chaperone to attend the
Arizona League of Cities and Towns meeting. They agreed
to do it, but expressed concern that it might be difficult to
find students interested in the civic process.
There was discussion about using a building behind Bullion
Plaza as a food bank, since the current Miami location is
now closed. Councilmember Susan Hanson said not a viable
option, but the Council is intent on finding a location.
Mayor Darryl Dalley brought up proposed improvements to
Veterans Memorial Park including adding security cameras,
repairing lighting and erecting a rules sign, and a fence along
the creek. Heatherly voiced his opinion that if resources
could be found, they would be put to better use renovating
the Public Works Yard as protecting vehicles is a higher
priority. The Council is working on a grant to underwrite the
cost. KQSS volunteered to make the rules sign and donate it
to the town of Miami.