The Fredonia Town Council held a work meeting prior to its regularly scheduled meeting on February 8 to discuss the water project. The lengthy discussion spilled into the regularly scheduled meeting. 

Russ Funk, of Sunrise Engineering, led the discussion explaining there were a small handful of services presenting a challenge; the distance from the existing meter to the new meters being installed. As the town is only required to provide service to the property line where the meter is usually placed, those homes with meters inside the property line or close to the home will need to extend their water line to the new meter. The council agreed to propose to homeowners that the Public Works Department provide the labor, i.e. digging and installation, if the homeowner provides the materials. 

Funk explained the town was not required do this, but it would relieve some of the burden from the residents who would have to pay for the installation. The council agreed it was important to assist the residents as best they could.

Funk also explained an issue with the Cowboy Dr. water line. The water project plans indicated the existing line was six inches, which would adequately service the new fire hydrants being installed.  As the hydrants were put in place, it was discovered the existing line is actually only four inches, which does not meet state requirements. Funk proposed installing an eight-inch line to better serve the hydrants and the residents. The council agreed.

Funk next informed the council of the newest issue at the reservoir. Contractors began laying the liner at the new reservoir, and as they came down the embankment they quickly discovered the soil was too “mushy” because of the recent thaw. 

They must now dig out the wet soil and replace it to get the reservoir online for spring. In order to avoid costly delays and remobilization fees, contractors are diligently working to replace the soil directly ahead of the workers laying the liner. 

Funk told the council administrative services have spiked because there have been two inspectors. He said one of the inspectors could be removed, but did not feel comfortable with the level of service that would be provided. 

The council asked Public Works Director Jay Mackelprang his opinion on the issue. Mackelprang thought it was necessary for two inspectors to remain, at least until the reservoir was complete. The council agreed to keep both inspectors for up to three weeks.

Town Manager Dan Watson updated the council on Dixon Spendlove’s project at the Welcome Center. District 1 Supervisor Carl Taylor brought an archeologist from NAU to visit the site and discuss the collection with Spendlove. Watson said they were impressed and excited about the endeavor. The Historical Society will also have an area to display items at the site.

Watson said he received a call from Liz Latham, of Canyonlands Community Health, who stated the town would be receiving a check for $25,000 in back utilities. The attorneys agreed upon the amount, and will complete the settlement. She also told Watson she would like to renew the clinic lease for two more years. Mayor Scott Heaton said he would like to review the lease rate prior to renewal.

Watson said the purchase of the new landfill trucks was on hold with the attorneys. He said there are two companies interested in bringing cell towers to the area. He is waiting to find out if a tower would be allowed at the sewer ponds per grant agreements.

Mayor Heaton recently attended a Legislative Day in Phoenix, where he discovered the state will be “passing the [budget] pinch” on to the cities and towns, such as the $20 million state budget shortfall. The League of Cities and Town is working to distribute the burden evenly.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended a variance for Shane Stotlar, allowing him to have a commercial business on agricultural property. Stotlar plans to start a Dude Ranch to make the ranch experience accessible to those interested. The council approved the recommendation, and wished him well.

The council approved the purchase of gravel to improve East Park Lane and Sunnybrook as agreed upon previously.

The council sadly accepted council member Cody Judd’s resignation and thanked him profusely for his service. The council requested anyone interested in filling the open council seat submit a letter of interest to the Fredonia Town Office to be voted on by the Fredonia Town Council.