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Top Stories for July 12, 2018
Fredonia Town Council looks at vacation rentals, ways to pay for new dike
The Fredonia Town Council met June 26 and began with a community member expressing his concerns with the local transfer station, and the vehicle sales tax in Fredonia. The council then approved the agenda, regular meeting and executive session of June 19, 2018, and the payment approval register.
Town Manager Philip Cushman reported he submitted a written report and presented a short summary including economic development, public safety and traffic control through town.
Town Clerk Shannon Lathim reported the trash truck was having mechanical difficulty for the second week in a row.
Hazel Hatch, on behalf of Fredonia Care, reported things are going well, despite refrigerator problems.
Danielle Smith, on behalf of the Civics Committee, reported on upcoming events, including the Fourth of July celebrations in the works.
Mayor Kimley Purvis presented the Oath of Office to Don Johnson as the new Fredonia Town Councilman.
The council approved and Cushman presented Resolutions of Appreciation to Paula Yancy and Morgan Wynne for their community service as members of the Civics Committee.
Lathim reported the need to upgrade the payroll software used by the town, and the council approved an upgrade to Caselle Connect.
Cushman presented the proposed Property Maintenance Ordinance, which allows the town to compel property owners to clean up or repair “unsafe things on their property.” For example, Section 108 of the proposed ordinance defines unsafe structures and equipment. It also talks about means of appeal, how a property owner would be given a citation, how exterior property should be maintained, as well as plumbing and electrical requirement. The ordinance is based on Kanab, Utah’s Property Maintenance Ordinance. This item was tabled.
Cushman then presented a proposed Vacation Rental Ordinance. He stated that vacation rentals are currently unregulated and affect many aspects in the community. He feels vacation rentals are the cause of a housing shortage in Fredonia. Cushman said vacation rentals are a legitimate business, but the town currently doesn’t have a way to ensure those businesses are safe.
The ordinance is based on the Vacation Rental Ordinance of Prescott, Arizona (a city with a population of over 42,000). It was noted that Arizona recently passed a law that prohibits towns from placing business license requirements on vacation rental owners. Instead towns can require vacation rentals be registered, allowing the town to check up on owners.
Cushman anticipates registration cost would be similar to what a home business license costs. Councilor Johnson expressed concern with the proposed ordinance, while Councilor McConnel feels vacation rentals should be held to the same standards as hotels.
Cushman highlighted a few items addressed in the ordinance, including a limit to how many people are allowed to stay in a vacation rental, a stipulation about where trash is to be placed, and a concept called the Good Neighbor Brochure. The brochure would be created, and mandated by the town, that each owner place one in their rental. Cushman claimed he reached out to one vacation rental owner, but the owner “didn’t want to talk about it.” This item was tabled.
The Arizona Governor’s State Emergency Council financial assistance to the Town of Fredonia for the 35 percent cost share for renovations on the Fredonia Flood Retarding Structure was discussed. Cushman reported the Town of Fredonia’s petition for emergency assistance was denied and claimed he didn’t know why. Federal funds for this project will run out in 2019, and the town will need to cover 35 percent of the cost if the town decides to go forward with the project. Options for raising the necessary funds include property tax increases and loans.
Dorene Mudrow, a member of the Municipal Swimming Pool Committee, spoke regarding the new municipal swimming pool. She covered minimum requirements, maintenance costs, other specifications and a new pool design. Cushman presented regarding the building by the pool.
The environmental cleanup of unused properties located in the industrial zones of the Town of Fredonia was discussed, as well as the possible appointment of a town engineer.
Complete recording of all discussions is available at the city office.