City of Winslow moves ahead with transit study

By L. Parsons

Included in the items for consideration by the Winslow City Council Sept. 12, was an update from the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA) regarding a draft plan of the study on public transit in Winslow. The draft has been completed and is available to the public for comment during September.

The draft includes a broad spectrum approach pertaining to transit development, such as usage, needs, inner city, and transportation to Holbrook, Flagstaff, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations. Residents are welcome to visit to review the draft that was presented to the council.

The next step in the transit plan is to develop recommendations and implementation options. The final report from NAIPTA will go to the council in November, followed by the Arizona Department of Transportation application period based on action and discussion from the council.

Also presented to the council was the monthly finance report by Finance Director Elias Jouen. The report covered July, the first month of the new fiscal year. Citywide revenues, as written in Jouen’s report, “totaled $775,000, or 3.6 percent of the total yearly budget.” Those funds include $193,000 in the general fund, $269,000 in enterprise and water revenues, as well as sanitation revenues totaling $69,000 and wastewater revenues at just over $185,000. Citywide expenditures in July were just over $1 million.

Jouen added, “As we begin fiscal year 2017-18, staff is finishing the unaudited actuals for fiscal year ending June 30, and getting ready to work with the independent audit firm to complete the audit for fiscal year 2016-17.”

City Inspector Marshall Larsen presented an ordinance to amend “selected sections and chapters of the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code,” he said. “This adoption and the language that is in the property maintenance code helps to clarify the existing language that we have in the Winslow municipal codes and the building codes. For instance, one of the things we are having a little trouble with, the language in the Winslow Municipal Code says the owner is responsible for cleaning of the property. Well, in this property maintenance code it says the occupant is responsible to keep the property clean.”

Larsen explained that often property owners may be attempting to have the tenant take care of the property, but under current code language the city has no recourse for holding the occupant responsible. The language in the newly adopted code will clarify that. The council approved the ordinance presented by Larsen.

Also on the agenda for discussion and action was the authorization of the purchase of real property in anticipation of future use as expansion of Winslow Lindbergh Regional Airport Runway 4-22. “The airport master plan calls for the extension of Runway 4 at some point in the future. When that happens, there will be property acquisition that would need to take place,” stated City Manager Steve Pauken. The opportunity was presented to the city by the property owner, who offered the parcel at the end of Runway 4 for $5,500 for five and a half acres. The council approved the purchase unanimously.

In other business, the council:

* Proclaimed Sept. 11 as 9/11 Remembrance Day in the city.

* Proclaimed Sept. 10-16 as Suicide Prevention Week.

* Proclaimed Sept. 13-17 as Navajo County Fair Days.

* Approved a renewal of the existing lease agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and the city 
in regards to occupation and management of the Hubbell Trading Post. The lease has been in effect since 2009 and there were no changes in the renewal.

* Approved the renewal of the tourism contract between the city and the Chamber of Commerce for the purpose of promotion, management, financing and development of increased tourism. The contract includes the operation of the Visitor’s Center. The contract terms remain unchanged from previous agreements with the exception of the fact that the chamber will take over payment of its utility bills, which were previously paid by the city due to the economic downturn.

* Approved a renewal of contract with Woodson Engineering, continuing a 21-year relationship with the firm. Funds for the contract are budgeted in various city accounts and reflect a three percent adjustment above the July 2016 rates.

* Approved the sale of approximately 3.5 acres of land located near the northeast corner of North Park Drive and North Road to Dr. Emerson Scott. He plans to use the property, zoned in the agricultural residential district, for relocation of his veterinary medical practice. The full purchase price is $5,250.

* Approved the sale of approximately 10 acres located at the northeast corner of North Park Drive and North Road to R’dondo Investments LLC. The purchaser plans to use the property for relocation of his towing facility. The proposed use will require the adoption of a special development zoning overlay, to be voted on in a future council meeting. The total purchase price is $15,000.

* Approved the appointment of Mary Ann Smith to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement Board until Jan. 31, 2018.

* Approved the appointment of Michael Leary to the Board of Adjustment until April 30, 2018.

* Approved the appointment of David Bassani to the Airport Commission until Dec. 31, 2017.

The next scheduled meeting of the council will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the council chambers, 115 E. Second St.