County’s tax revenues higher than projected


By Linda Kor

State sales tax is up by half a percent since the last report, Navajo County Assistant Manager Bryan Layton told the Board of Supervisors May 9, though, “County sales tax is still disappointing, but trending a little better. Last month we were at a negative 2.66 percent, we’re trending at a negative two percent now. I expect we will see, conservatively anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 below budget, which is better than we had thought earlier in the year.”

He also noted that at the May 23 meeting presentations from the various departments will be made and proposed reductions will be offered. The proposed budget will be presented June 27.

Layton also introduced Jeff Lee as the new director of the Navajo County Public Health District. Lee served as interim director of the Coconino County Emergency Management Department prior to taking the position with the district last month, and has an extensive background in the fields of public health and emergency management.

The board also approved a one-year continuation of a contract with CRM of America, LLC for the hauling of waste tires. Public Works Director
Glenn Kephart told the board that most people can bring their tires to the locations at no cost.

“We have hauled away, off the mountain, nearly 1,000 tons of tires that have gone to be ground-up and be recycled to be used in asphalt and other purposes,” said Kephart. “This is sort of a quiet program, but this is huge. Where would those 1,000 tons of tires be? They’d be somewhere on this mountain.”

Tires can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the public works building located across from the government complex in south Holbrook.

In other business, the board:

* Approved a keynote contract with Elizabeth Smart for the 2018 Victims Rights Symposium in the amount of $10,500, with 35 percent to be paid by a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) training grant and the remaining 65 percent by donations.

* Authorized acceptance of a $12,719 Department of Public Safety VOCA Victim Assistance Discretionary Training Grant.

* Approved an agreement between Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board, the Navajo Nation Regional Partnership Council (First Things First) and Navajo County Public Health Services District to provide nutrition education in the Navajo Nation region using a $582,930 non-matching grant.

* Approved an agreement with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) for the HIV Prevention Program using a $32,770 non-matching grant.

* Approved an amendment to an agreement with the ADHS for the Healthy People, Healthy Communities program due to a line item change.

* Approved the application for a supervised fireworks display permit submitted by the Heber-Overgaard Chamber of Commerce.

* Approved contracts signed by County Manager James Jayne pursuant to a board resolution on the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management amended right of way grant.

* Recognized White Mountain Apache Head Start for receiving a Four-Star Quality Plus rating through Arizona’s First Things First Quality First program.

* Authorized a proclamation declaring May 14-20 as Random Acts of Kindness Week.

* Approved the abatement of personal property taxes for 32 locations.

* Authorized a letter to U.S. Senator Jeff Flake regarding support for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program.