Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for March 17, 2010
Agreements, road closures and water discussed at Fredonia Town Council meeting
The Fredonia Town Council meeting on March 9 began with a discussion led by attorney Steve Horton. Horton attended telephonically to discuss the current situation with the DB Land Holding lawsuit against the town.
Horton explained, although the original case had a favorable outcome for the town in court and in the court of appeals and was now waiting to be reviewed by the Arizona Supreme Court, DB Land Holdings had filed a separate suit requesting damages.
According to Horton, this should not be cause for concern because a person is not allowed to file more than one lawsuit using the same information.
However, DB Land Holding requested former Town Manager Tom Corrigan be deposed for the case. Because Corrigan’s consulting contract terminates at the end of March, Horton feels it necessary to create a legal agreement to bring Corrigan back to be deposed if need be.
The council agreed to pay Corrigan’s reasonable travel expenses if it was necessary to bring him back for this reason. Horton expressed he was “not quite there with Tom being willing to do that.” According to Horton, Corrigan does not want to commit to assisting the town until he is given “access to e-mails he thought he would have access to longer.”
Horton stated he would go forward with negotiations with Corrigan. “I will do the best I can to get the ball rolling the rest of the way down the field.”
Russ Funk of Sunrise Engineering presented the council with information on the upcoming water project. “[We’ve] made some good progress on the project,” stated Funk.
He explained ADEQ was preparing the approval to construct and they should have the BLM right of way granted by the end of the week. Because of this progress, Funk felt confident it was time to move forward. “We need to consider the schedule for construction and bidding out.”
He would like to submit the publication for proposals next week and open the bid the second week in April.
“This is a really neat project [that’s] going to benefit the town for many years,” expressed Funk.
Council member Brent Mackelprang agreed, “the number one priority of the citizens has been upgrading the water system, and this just ties right in with their desires and goals.”
Council agreed to move forward and work to get the necessary permits to begin the project.
Todd Allison of the US Forest Service updated the council about the Kaibab. He explained, “Our priority is travel management… [our] main intent is to come up with a sustainable motor use system on the plateau.”
They planned to close roads “causing resource damage,” as well as those running parallel to other roads, “no sense having two roads with the same purpose.”
The plan also prohibits cross-country travel other than for administrative, fire, big game retrieval (elk or buffalo, not deer) and for ranchers with cattle there.
Mayor Dixie Judd expressed her apprehension with the travel management, “when the public hears road closure, they become concerned.”
Allison stated they hoped to put the plan out to the public at the end of March and would provide a map of the system of motorized roads.
Council ratified the purchase of a snowplow from state surplus. The plow cost $8,800, but was an $80,000 truck new. The town was given only a brief window of opportunity to purchase it at the above price and so council was unable to convene in open meeting to approve the purchase. The town accountant was consulted prior to the purchase, as were the council members and mayor.
The question of the cemetery water was again questioned. Judd stated, “My feeling is we need to go to culinary water on the cemetery.”
Mackelprang expressed his concern with the switch. “One thing we cannot do is get in a position where we’re short… we run our citizens out of water, we’ve made one hell of a mistake.”
Town Manager Dan Watson requested the council test a stone sealer on a headstone before making a decision. The council agreed to water at night and test the stone sealer to see if it makes a difference in the protection of the headstones prior to switching to culinary water.
Watson approached the council with his proposal to purchase Spillman Law Enforcement Software. The software program is currently being built for Kane County, and if the town committed to the purchase, they would receive it for $26,000, as opposed to the regular $200,000 price tag.
The software would allow the Marshal’s Office to place warrants on the system, run criminal histories, interact with other police departments and greatly increase the safety of the officers.
According to Watson, the benefit is the interactivity with other agencies, “the ability to run somebody statewide is crucial to officer safety.” Watson seemed confident he would be able to secure a Justice Assistance Grant for the purchase of the software.
Judd said, “I’d hate to see us slip by something that maybe we’d regret later.”
Mackelprang agreed, “I think it’s a great idea, especially if we get a grant to cover it.”
The council agreed to the acquisition.
Fredonia Fire Department Captain Mark Overas presented a proposal to the council to restructure and reform the department. After a recent inspection from the ISO, the department discovered several items needed to be changed.
An inspection like this had not been done for more than six years, so the department was unaware of many of the problems. They have decided now to focus on creating an even better department.
Overas presented his request to become Chief of the Fredonia Fire Department. After reviewing bylaws, it was determined the department itself must vote on the change prior to the council’s input.
Also discussed and approved were the sponsorship of the annual Easter Egg Hunt and putting the summer Rrecreation program out to bid.