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KQSS News Archives May 2017
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MAY 2017

Monday May 8, 2017   6:30 PM
Town Council Chambers   Sullivan Street

Miami is in better financial shape than it has been in years-at
least as far as audits go. The Fiscal Year 2015-16 audit report
was given at Monday night's Town of Miami Regular
Meeting of the Mayor and Council.  Auditor Scott Powell
discussed specifics for the audit period, which ended on June
30,, 2016.  He relied on both local and federal government
standards due to the grant money Miami receives.  General,
Transit and Senior Center funds are all OK.  He was not able
to give an opinion on the Utility fund, as he did not have
enough valid information.

Spending for the year outpaced revenue by $200,000, an
improvement over past years, and well under the expenditure
limitation imposed by Home Rule.  Over the past 12 years,
the general fund has borrowed over $800,000 from HURF
and excise tax revenue. While this will eventually have to be
paid back, Powell said the state is primarily looking for
improvement from year to year and a reasonable way to
track spending and income.  He recommended an
expenditure policy be put in place with rules to follow
regarding income sources  and payouts.

Town Manager Joe Heatherly announced that payments are
currently being made in 30 to 45 days, rather than six
months, as had been the case in the past.

Heatherly proclaimed the pool ready to go. It opens later this
month.   Regarding the broken library coolers, he said the
county will provide some of the funds to replace them. 
There are four coolers on the roof, but only two work.  Parts
for repairs to the wastewater treatment plant are on order.

As for the status of the sewer project Phases 3 through 5,
Heatherly said he met with AMEC and went through the
systems report on the video inspections they did, manhole by
manhole. He also talked to construction project manager
Hilgard-Wilson and walked the project looking for above
and below ground conflicts.  He said it is a challenging
project tha will face some disruptions. 

Regarding Phase 2, the good news about the sink holes on
Sullivan Street and Bullion Plaza is that the Town will not be
responsible for their repair.  A letter to the contractor is
going out this week with the results of the inspection
showing that their work did not meet the contract

Heatherly will be going to Provo, Utah soon to train on the
Caselle accounting software.  

Cobre Valley Community Transit will be the recipient of two
used busses from Cottonwood through ADOT at no cost. 
Both are in good shape, needing only new CVCT decals.

Acting police chief Spence Preston reporting hiring a new
officer from Globe PD.  And the two new police cruisers
should arrive this month. 

Michael 23, in his role as local project coordinator for
Taliesin West gave an open invitation to attend this
weekend's meeting on Sat. May 13th from 6-8 pm at
Inspiration School, 955 Rose Road in Miami on how to
repurpose the school into a living space. There will be an
exhibition of the designs by the Frank Lloyd Wright School
of Architecture focusing on different ways in which derelict
and discarded buildings can be transformed into quality
architectural spaces.

Michael 23 reported the 8th Miami Loco Celebration last
month included seven gallery shows and many musical acts,
but attendance was less than hoped.  He said that next year's
event may move into May. 

Tom Foster was reappointed to the municipal property
corporation, the non-profit organization that applies for
grants, for a three year term, expiring May 1 2020.

Mayor Darryl Dalley reminded the public that a week from
Thursday, on May 18th, there will be a joint meeting of the
Globe and Miami Councils, 6 PM at Bullion Plaza.

And a benefit car show for the Top of the World residents
whose homes burned down recently will be held this
Saturday, May 13th downtown from 8 to 2. 
Thursday May 18, 2017   6:00 PM   Bullion Plaza

L-R:  Front Row:  Miami Vice Mayor Sammy Gonzales,  Miami
Councilmembers Rosemary Castaneda, Angel Medina and
Mike Black.  Globe Councilmembers Roberta Lee Johnson,
Lerry Alderman, Mike Stapleton and Mike Humphrey.  Back
Row:  Miami Mayor Darryl Dalley, Globe Mayor Al Gameros,
Miami Councilmember Susan Hanson and Globe
Councilmember Charlene Giles. 

The historic character of the unprecedented Joint Meeting of
the Councils and Mayors of the City of Globe and Town of
Miami last night began with an update on the fire in the
Pinals, While not unprecedented, it's been 65 years since fire
ravaged the area, and the lightning strike that set off the burn
on May 8th was well-timed and welcome.

According to Incident Commander Andrew Mandell,
12,000 acres of the Pinals have been under consideration for
a controlled burn due to unhealthy overgrowth and dead
trees, which no longer allow for prosperous vegetation and
wildlife.  At the time of the lighting strike, which was ideally
located in a high altitude, weather conditions including
moisture and wind were as good as they get for a controlled

Currently there is zero percentcontainment and over 700
acres are involved.  The Forest Service considers this a
healthy situation that will benefit the Pinals, however
personnel are actively protecting private property including
the communications towers there.  As this is a slow burn, the
resident animals including bears, mountain lions and
koatimundi (raccoon-like creatures) have plenty of
opportunity to leave and are not in danger.  All are probably
watching in amazement from Madera Peak.

L-R:  Incident Commander Andrew Mandell and Forest Service
- Globe District Ranger Mark Sando

KQSS' Jon Cornell enquired about Agent Orange.  Mandell
replied that the current fire area was not contaminated by
Agent Orange, but the fire could spread to an area where
spraying had occurred, if the Forest Service lets it.  The EPA
believes the chemical life for any residual Agent Orange in
the area is long expired, however some brush that the Forest
Service believes was contaminated has been sent to North
Carolina for testing.  Mandell emphasized that there are 240
fire fighters on the scene and he would not be willing to send
even one of them into an area that he believes could put their
health in danger.

Emails are sent out every morning with an update on the fire.
If you want to get on the list, write to or call 928-487-0676.

The Pinals Fire as seen from Globe Thursday

Miami Librarian Delvan Hayward announced a joint
program of the Globe and Miami Libraries to be held on
Saturday June 10th from nine to noon at Bullion Plaza to
kick off both libraries' summer reading programs.  The
theme is “Build A Better World.

Several items on the agenda were discussed including joint
support of local community events, which Globe Mayor Al
Gameros said would enhance the all-important quality of life
in both Globe and Miami; and contracted garbage services.

Currently Miami does its own garbage collection and Globe
uses RAD, Right of Way Disposal.  Everyone on the Globe
Council agreed it was a good service.  Former Chairman of
the Gila County Board of Supervisors, Mike Pastor,
suggested to both councils that they try to negotiate a
regional contract.

Miami Councilmember Sammy Gonzales gave an update on
the Miami pool, which will open on Memorial Day
weekend.  The pool's life-expectancy is just another three
years and he voiced hope that the new pool could be open by
then.  A presentation by Evelyn Vargas on status of the
Cobre Valley Regional Aquatic Center revealed that in the
best-case scenario, that is what would happen. 

Vargas said BHP is currently doing an environmental
assessment on the land it is donating for the pool and it's
looking good.  The application for 501c3 non-profit tax
status for the regional center has been submitted and she
expects it to be granted shortly.  She believes the $8 million
necessary in donations and grants to build the facility will be
fairly easy to secure. The issue is the timetable for the
passage of a statewide legislative change necessary to enable
Gila County to join a taxing district that must be created. 
The taxing district is integral to the project as that is how the
$400,000 annual operation and maintenance costs will be
paid. A bill to revise the applicable state statutes was
dropped in the last legislative session but will be
reintroduced in the fall.  If it makes it to a vote by this
November and it passes, it then can be voted upon by local
residents in November 2018.  If that happens and it passes, it
is possible that the pool will be open by 2020.   

Globe Director of Planning and Zoning, Chris Collopy,
gave a brief explanation of the demise of the Globe pool,
which was losing 12,000 gallons of water a day before its
closure.  No one is sure where the water was going. For all
anyone knows, it created fertile ground for a huge sinkhole
under the pool.  The insurance carrier did an inspection,
uncovering numerous violations.  An outside contractor
estimated it would take $1.4 million in repairs just to keep it
up to code so it could reopen, but that it would be a
temporary fix. The final analysis was that for the safety of
the public, it had to be shut down.

A brief synopsis of Miami's Cobre Valley Community
Transit was presented.  There are two routes:  fixed and door
to door. The fixed route has 23 stops.  All the vehicles are
ADA compliant. Miami Mayor Darryl Dalley reminded the
crowd that the majority of riders are either going to, or
coming from Globe.  He stressed the need for promotion of
ridership, which is vital to the continuance of state funding
for the program.

Ellen Kretsch from the Chamber of Commerce briefly
spoke of the need for promoting tourism and a coordinated
effort throughout the copper corridor to work together to
obtain additional state funding for the area.

Mayor Gameros brought up regional economic development,
saying that money needs to be spent on developing a
strategic plan and marketing it.  He suggested that
professionals are needed to create branding for the area as a
destination.  He talked about the success of Cottonwood,
which viewed itself as an old west town until the result of an
eight-month marketing survey was revealed four months
later.  The marketing firm conducting the survey uncovered a
hidden gem, and convinced Cottonwood that promoting the
local wine industry was the way to go.  The whole town got
behind it. Downtown was transformed after one person put
money into rehabbing a couple buildings and turned them
into restaurants.  Then one by one, other property owners fell
in line.

Solicitations for marketing studies in Globe have gone out
and five bidders are expected shortly. 

Globe Code Enforcement Director Michelle Yurkovich
addressed blight through the need for public education on
what the codes actually require. CAG's Alan Urban stressed
the importance of the same standards in all communities,
including written guidance in the ordinances.  As
Cottonwood proved, the domino effect is pretty amazing in
towns under renovation. Just two buildings can make a big

KQSS' Jon Cornell said if Globe and Miami really want to
make a difference, they have to get the county involved,
because there is virtually no code enforcement in
unincorporated county areas here. 

Mayor Dalley spoke about IGAs between towns for services
and repair work.  Alan Urban chimed in that CAG is here to
help.  'We work for you.  There are lots of things we can do,
but we haven't been asked,' he said.

Bob Zachs from the Tri-City Regional Sanitation District
brought up the problem of failing septic systems.  He said he
met with the USDA last week and was told it is possible that
Phase One funding for a sewer system might be available
next year, with the potential to have pipes in the ground in
three years.  There will be no cost to hook up homes, a factor
he stressed due to the median household income in the
district being a very low $26,000 a year.  He did not broach
the issue of potential resistance from homeowners who do
not want to be saddled with a new monthly bill, since septic
tanks are viewed as having no ongoing costs. 

Elephants remained in the room.  The undesirability of the
area to relocating families due to the deservedly poor
reputation of public education was not discussed, nor was
the effect of the area's lagging infrastructure, including
notably poor broadband options, on employer relocation

Tuesday May 9, 2017  6:00 PM
City Council Chambers  Pine Street

Will the City of Globe continue to pay the full cost of health
insurance for city employees?  That question came up at
Tuesday Night's Regular Meeting of the City of Globe
Mayor and Council when a contract from Blue Cross Blue
Shield of Arizona was approved.  The total amount is
$1,395,000 annually, but it assumed that the city would pay
$1.1 million, with employees paying the remainder.  When
Mayor Al Gameros ascertained that city employees were not
required to make contributions now or in the past, he
requested a revised contract with the city continuing to bear
full responsibility for premiums for review. A benefit
proposal was approved for dental at a cost of $63,000, and
vision at a cost of $18,000 a year.

Fernando Shipley

The area's Boys and Girls Club will now be the Cobre Valley
Youth Club.  Fernando Shipley explained that the
partnership with the East Valley Boys and Girls Club was a
temporary one, formed in 2012 after the closing of the San
Carlos Boys and Girls Club, of which the local club had
been a part.  The newly-named Cobre Valley Youth Club will
be an independent entity. It currently serves about 45 kids a
day on a regular basis, and around 100 a day during the
summer.  The club will continue to be housed in the same
facilities by the Community Center that are rented from the
city for $1.00 a year, but upgrades, such as computers and
tables, provided by the East Valley club, will not remain.  
Donations are welcomed.

There was a discussion about “public art” and “art in the
public”.  Public art is that which is displayed on government
property.  Art in the public includes non-commercial murals
and such on private property.  Currently the city has no
regulations for any of it.  Chris Collopy is working on that.

Funds have been secured to pave parts of Hill and Oak
streets next year, said Jerry Barnes who added that the
portion of Hill Street beyond Route 60 will be another

The Council approved a grant from the Governor's Office of
Highway Safety. Globe Fire Department will receive just
under $18,000 for technical rescue equipment.

Charlene Giles announced that Relay For Life will be this
Friday, 6 PM to 6AM at Harbison Field.

Several proclamations were issued including
Saturday May 13th as National Food Drive Day.  Letter
carriers will pick up non-perishables placed by your mailbox.

Police Chief Mark Nipp and Mayor Al Gameros

May 14th through the 20th as National Police Week
May 21st through the 27th as National Public Works Week
And June 14th as the 242nd birthday of the US Army

A Mayor's Branding and Marketing Advisory has been
created. From Globe, it will include Mayor Al Gameros, the
city manager and his assistant; one member from each of the
five bed tax recipients:  the Chamber of Commerce,
Downtown Association, Cobre Valley Center for the Arts,
Historical Society and the EDC.  Additional members
include one each from APS, Southwest Gas, and the four
mining companies-Resolution Copper, BHP, Capstone and
Freeport-McMoRan, as well as three small business owners,
by application. Applications are available at City Hall. 
Additionally, two non-voting members include James
Menlove from Gila County and Sandy Palmer from the IDA
Tuesday May 9, 2017   10:00 AM  
Gila County Courthouse

DUI's were up 56% last year according to the Sheriff
Office's 2015-16 Fiscal Year Annual Report presented by
Sarah White at this morning's Regular Meeting of the Gila
County Board of Supervisors.  The annual budget was
$13,447,252.  There are 158 employees, 49 of which are
patrol personnel.  Volunteers provided 22,342 hours of
service, saving the county $806,546 in salaries.  The Sheriff's
office took a total of 50,874 calls.  911 call volume was
12,735.  Dispatch took 6,720 calls.  There were 21,212
administrative calls and 10,207 wireless calls.   $3 million
worth of drugs were seized.  There were 2093 felonies and
3023 misdemeanors.  3 canines were retired:  Duco, Rocky
and Kingston.

The 2017 Gila County Teacher of The Year was announced
by School Superintendent Roy Sandoval. He is Andrew

Pharmacy services for Gila County Detention Medical was
awarded to the lowest bidder.  Richmond Virginia based
Westwood Pharmacy, which provides similar services across
the country, will save the county 42% over the previous
provider, Palace Pharmacy, which is no longer in business

Resolution 17-0504 was passed for the renewal of Arizona
Water Company's  water service franchise for an additional
25 years.  Supervisor Tim Humphrey quipped, 'It's a good
thing we did our research because this contract will last a lot
longer than we will.'

Sandy Palmer, Bobby Davis and Fred Barcon presented
two items on behalf of the Industrial Development Authority,
requesting a $30,000 grant to hire  a broadband consultant
for northern Gila County,  and $50,000 for administrative 
costs and grant match funding associated with various IDA
projects.  Both requests were deferred for consideration on
the 2017-18 annual budget. There will be a work session to
go over the details.

After the meeting, Supervisor Humphrey and Finance
Director James Menlove were discussing plans to present
the possibility of hiring an economic development director
for the County, which will be presented on a future agenda.  
Humphrey said he's been working hard since he got into
office to try to make it happen. 

An IGA between the Sheriff's Office and the National Park
Service for four years of law enforcement assistance at the
Tonto National Monument was approved.  The monument is
1120 acres (2 sq. miles).  It was one of the first national
monuments, declared in 1907.   It preserves the cliff
dwellings that date back 700 years.

The Canyon River Ranch domestic water improvement
district was dissolved due to inactivity. 

Jon Bearup was given the green light to file a grant
application for $25,000 to be used for a 2018 field trainer.

An IGA between Gila County and ADOT was approved for
an additional 5.7% match, which will cost the county
$12,331 for the design phase of the Colcord Bridge
replacement project over Gordon Canyon, east of Payson

The Board increased the speed limit on Stage Coach Trail
and Roosevelt Estates Road, from 25 to 30 mph.  New signs
go up this week.

A road project agreement was passed between Gila County
and the USDA Forest Service for reconstruction of Baker
Ranch Road in the Tonto National Forest, to be paid by
$250,000 from Eastern Arizona Counties' resource advisory
council funds.

Approval was given to submit a letter to US Senator Jeff
Flake requesting full funding for PILT, the federal Payment
In Lieu of Taxes program to secure rural schools for fiscal
year 2017-18, and into the future.  PILT funding addresses
the inequities in counties with substantial federal land
resulting in significantly less property tax income for
schools.   Gila County, which is 96% federal land is hard hit. 
The remaining 4% private land brings in $20 million in tax
revenue annually.  By comparison, the federal government
has been providing $2 to $3 million for its 96% of county
land, and even that low amount is now in danger of being

Supervisor Woody Cline mentioned a million dollar sale at
the livestock auction at the cattle yards recently.  Supervisor
Humphrey said he'll be in DC next week.  Most important to
him is improving Gila County infrastructure.  County
Manager John Nelson announced it's time for health
insurance enrollment for all county employees.


Officials say Agent Orage is not an issue. At first they said
the fire wasn't in the sprayed area.  Use the above link to
decide for yourself.   And if you think Agent Orange wasn't
ever a problem (which official tests claimed over the years),
you might want to read the 'Poisoned Lives' story here.