The Fredonia Town Council meeting wss held on December 7 and several items of concern were discussed.

Gary Mudrow began the public comment portion with his concerns about the town’s impact fees, an agenda item to be discussed in the course of the meeting. 

He felt the impact fees put an undue burden on people and discourages growth. He asked that the council consider lowering, reducing or waiving a portion of the impact fees.

Also during public comment, Town Manager Dan Watson distributed the proposed ordinance regarding medical marijuana. 

Because the State of Arizona legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, the town must now adopt an ordinance to regulate the use and distribution within Fredonia. Watson requested the council review the proposed ordinance to be discussed at the next council meeting on Tuesday, December 14.

Town Clerk TinaMarie Horlacher informed the council that while cleaning and organizing the town offices, she discovered a key to a safe deposit box at Zion’s Bank. She contacted Zion’s and learned the contract for the box began in 1980 and had not been opened since 1983. There is no indication as to what might reside in the box.

 The council was curious about its contents. They voted to allow Horlacher and Mayor Scott Heaton to open the box on Monday, December 13, with the contents to be discussed at the next council meeting.

Next, Watson explained the findings of his research regarding the Welcome Center. He spoke with ADOT regarding the ownership of the building and was informed that a memo should have been sent to the town in 2004 giving it all rights of ownership. 

ADOT will forward the memo. Because the town owns the Welcome Center building and property outright, it is free to use it as it desires, which would include the museum proposed by Dixon Spendlove.

Spendlove is ready to begin construction on the site. Watson informed the council Cody Judd will donate his talents by drawing up plans for the museum. At this time, $1000-$1500 is needed for materials to begin construction. 

The council agreed to purchase the materials up to $2500 when plans have been approved and building permits secured.

Watson informed the council that in order to make changes to town fees, the council must agree to a public hearing and post the hearing for 60 days. The council agreed to post a hearing regarding the possible temporary lowering or elimination of impact fees within the town, as well as for changes to the town’s fee schedule.

Sale/Use Tax was then discussed. The general consensus of the council was they would like to see the town’s businesses be able to thrive, and felt with an 11.725% sales tax, this was very difficult. The state portion is 6.6%, the county is 1.1% and the town is 4%. The council agreed to post for a public hearing to be held in 60 days for the possible lowering of the town portion of the tax. Along with this, the 4% use tax, which is imposed on residents who purchase vehicles out of state, will be reviewed. 

Next, Watson explained the town’s current hiring practice. A board is compiled of those in the department, outside the department and a community member. 

Each board member has the same list of questions, which are asked of the applicants chosen to be interviewed based on experience. Each member scores the applicant on each question answered during the interview. The scores are tallied, and the applicant with the highest score is chosen to be recommended to the council to be hired. 

Based on this procedure, Watson recommended Jessica Lathim be hired for the front office clerical position. She received the top score during the recent interview process.  The council approved her unanimously.

A deputy marshal position was also on the agenda. Based on the above procedure, as well as physical and written exams, Kim Lathim, who received a high score as well, was recommended and approved for hire to begin the academy on January 9, 2011.

Finally, the proposed Fireworks Ordinance was revisited. Discussion ensued regarding the possibility of requiring a permit for vendors of fireworks. The council agreed to further review the ordinance and discuss further at the December 14 meeting.