The Fredonia Town Council meeting last week began with Dan Watson’s town manager report. He informed the council that the office would be offering an “equal pay” option for its utility customers. In addition to online bill pay, customers will be able to have their bills averaged for the last year and can pay that average each month. The idea is to assist customers who may have high winter bills from heating or high summer bills from watering to be able to budget their utility expenses. Those customers opting for the equal pay program will see their actual usage on their monthly bill, but will only be required to pay the equal pay amount.

Watson reported he had discovered the Tiger V Grant. The federally-funded grant is part of the stimulus program. There are specific funds earmarked for rural communities. Watson said he submitted the letter required to be allowed to apply for the grant, requesting the funds be used for roads. He will be attending two webinars meant to assist with the application process.

The vacant Fredonia Town Council seat was discussed next. Two letters of interest were received from community members. The council expressed their appreciation to the residents and stated both would be great assets to the community. 

The council unanimously approved Mike Waters to fill the seat. He addressed the council, “I am looking forward to serving my community and get more involved. I will give it everything I’ve got.”

The council then entered into executive session to discuss Dan Watson’s position as town manager. Upon reconvening into open session, they approved the attorney to begin working on a contract, which would make Watson a contract employee. Watson would also reduce his time working for the town by about 50%.

Watson informed the council he has not received the salary survey from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns yet, but he has been researching other communities of similar size. He feels when comparing salaries, more than just the size of the town must be taken into consideration.  Demographics, location and area industry should also be considered.