Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for July 21, 2010
Preliminary Fredonia Town budget shows $200,000 cut
The Fredonia Town Council meeting began with public comment from council member Jennifer Lukus.
Lukus indicated a need of volunteers for various town committees, ie, the cemetery board, parks and recreation, beautification, etc. The council decided to ask existing members of the boards if they would like to remain, and to also try to recruit new volunteers. Those interested should contact the town office.
Public Works Director Jay Mackelprang discussed the grass at the park. He stated they increased the watering to 45 minutes per circuit, but it still looks bad. He said the town was in need of an aerator similar to one used at golf courses. This would allow water and fertilizer to penetrate into the soil and reach the roots of the grass. He indicated it would be beneficial for all lawns maintained by the town. While he felt it was too late this year, he would like the council to consider it for the spring.
Fire Chief Mark Overas gave his report to the council stating, “We’re moving along consistently to maintain the ISO rating.” He listed several obstacles. One is the water pressure and fire hydrant issue, which will be taken care of with the water project now underway. The other two issues are the number of firefighters and declining equipment. Overas said they needed more volunteers and better equipment in order to do their jobs protecting the community and keeping the ISO rating down, thus keeping homeowner’s insurance rates down.
Town Manager Dan Watson reported good and bad news. He said the town had been denied on the grant to pay for the new Spillman software. Watson explained the software did not have to be paid for yet, and he planned to apply for grants until it was approved.
He presented the good news that the town was approved for the Arizona Department of Commerce Energy Efficiency Grant. The $44,000 grant will be used to upgrade the lighting at the Senior Center, Library and Medical Center. It will also be used to redo the ballfield lighting at the park.
Overas again approached the council. He told them the City of Mesa currently has two engines up for bid starting at $5,000 each. He explained one of the places the department lost credit on is the amount of pump capacity on the engines. They only received approximately 1.16 out of 10 in this category. The engine from Mesa, if purchased, would need work, as there is coolant in the engine.
Overas said he was not looking to take on any other problems, but wanted to get the best deal possible. If able to purchase the engine in the $5,000 range and make the necessary repairs, it would be probably the best bargain around, and would help maintain the ISO rating. The council agreed to allow Overas to bid up to $5,201.
The Fredonia Humane Society, the non-profit business owned by Tom Corrigan, was next on the agenda. The contract for the group expired June 30, 2010, yet they remain in the building.
According to Watson, Corrigan sent a letter to Marilyn Johnson requesting the discussion be postponed until the first council meeting on August 10. Watson explained that because the contract had expired, they were basically running on a gentleman’s contract.
Lukus asked if that put the town in a bad position on liability.
The council agreed to table the item until August 10, as long as Corrigan’s insurance was current and could release the town from any liability.
Watson presented the 2010-2011 preliminary budget. The preliminary budget, which must be to the state by July 15, is almost $200,000 less than the previous year. Watson reiterated it was just a preliminary budget and there was plenty of time to make any necessary changes.
Council member Brent Mackelprang stated, “I think it’s critical each of our department heads need a voice in it.”
Watson explained he would be meeting with each department head regarding the budget prior to finalization.
Discussion began regarding East Park Lane and Sunnybrook. According to Brent Mackelprang, the road in question is a right of way given to the town to provide access to East Park Lane and Sunnybrook. “When we accepted it, we took the responsibility on to upgrade and maintain it,” said Mackelprang.
Town resident Eva Evans voiced her concern, “I live on that road and we have some renegades that go through at 100 miles an hour.” She voiced concerns about the severe dust that is a constant issue because of the road.
Watson explained a water line is going in at that road with the water project, so any upgrades should be made after that.
Mackelprang said they needed to start the groundwork right away and put it out to bid. He agreed it needed to wait until the line is in. “As soon as the waterline is done, let’s get after it.”
Town Clerk Marilyn Johnson was presented with Town Resolution 10-008 and the key to the town. Johnson dedicated almost 30 years to the Town of Fredonia, beginning her commitment to the town in September 1980.