Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for February 22, 2012
Scott Heaton resigns as Mayor of Fredonia
Mayor Heaton announced he is going to resign as the Mayor of Fredonia. “It’s been a pleasure working with you,” he stated, “I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed looking out for the town and trying to make this my hometown and give a little back, and I feel like we’ve done some good things.” Heaton said he hopes the progress will continue in his absence. “I wish you guys luck in your continued efforts.”
Watson informed Heaton the resignation would not be accepted until the end of the meeting.
The Fredonia Town Council meeting last week began with public comment by council member Brent Mackelprang updating the Fredonia Town Council regarding the mining withdrawal. During a recent withdrawal meeting, it was decided to file three lawsuits in an attempt to overturn the recent withdrawal decision by Director of the Interior Salazar. Utah’s Attorney General’s Office and each county’s attorney will take part in the suits, with Fred Kelly Grant as a consultant.
Alvin Johnson informed the council he and Town Manager Dan Watson had attended a meeting on a grant last week. The grant is for possible sidewalks, curb and gutter from the school to Main St. on two roads. The grant is for up to $750,000, with a match of less than 6% of the total cost.
Watson explained the grant is very restrictive in what the money can be used for. The sidewalks, curb and gutter are one of the few eligible items. However, they are considering a multi-use path as well. The projects are quite costly, though, so Watson is unsure of what could be accomplished with the limited funding.
Watson informed the council he is currently working on an energy efficiency grant to replace the lighting at the Public Works building and the pool.
Watson stated Fredonia had received recognition by KaBOOM! for the work done on Ponderosa Park, formerly “the Scariest Park in America.”
CDBG has opened the competitive grant for this year. Eligible projects are bringing parks and recreation areas into ADA compliance, roads, water and other infrastructure. They still do not allow actual parks and recreation projects, so the pool is still out of the question.
Watson plans to contact other small towns eligible for the grant to encourage them to attend the CDBG meeting as a group to petition for the allowance of parks and recreation projects within the grant.
Watson received confirmation that the replacement for the Blue Star Memorial has been ordered. The monument will be moved from the north side of Hwy 89A to the Welcome Center, where it will be better protected. The Blue Star Memorial is sponsored by the Arizona State Garden Club, American Legion Post 69 and the Town of Fredonia.
Steve Palmer from Hinton Burdick, CPA, presented the Town of Fredonia’s 2011 Audit, “I’m happy to report there are no material weaknesses or no significant deficiencies noted in the town’s internal controls. That’s something to be proud of. Most of the places we audit at least have a significant deficiency. So great job, that’s really good.”
Palmer discussed the financial health of the town. “Overall, it’s pretty good. There are a few items to keep an eye on, but nothing that would ring the alarm bells.”
The Fredonia Town Council discussed the Planning and Zoning Commission appointments. According to the town’s ordinance, they must be re-appointed every three years or so, but there are some who have been on the commission since as far back as the 1990’s. Also discussed was the desire to change the meeting date from the first Tuesday of each month to the third Tuesday, time would remain at 7 p.m. The council approved the schedule change. The appointments will be revisited at a later date.
Watson has been researching the possibility of retiring as the Fredonia Town Marshal. He would like to retire from the position in the near future. In order to do this, a Public Safety Retirement Board must be established. The board should consist of the mayor, two council or community members, and two law enforcement officers.
The council expressed their gratitude to Scott Heaton for his work as the Mayor of Fredonia. “I enjoyed working with you, every minute of it,” stated Mackelprang, “I think you did an excellent job.”
“I will miss Fredonia, I hope someday you find that magic recipe to help it grow,” stated Heaton; his final words as mayor as the council accepted his resignation.
Brent Mackelprang was appointed as the interim mayor. Mackelprang stated he feels the town has one of the best councils he has ever sat on. His term expires in approximately five months and he is not running for another term. He reiterated to the council, that the mayoral appointment is very short term and they would be reappointing another person soon. He encouraged the council members to open discussion about the future appointment.
The Fredonia Town Council discussed the necessity to appoint another council member to fill the seat left vacant by Mackelprang’s appointment to mayor. His appointment will be for two years, the time left by Heaton. The council decided to appoint a member at the next meeting. Interested parties should contact a Fredonia Town Council member or Town Manager Dan Watson.