Council discussed the fact that the Town still owes state

Cassie Tafoya/Arizona Silver Belt Copper Miners’ Rest located at 198 Chisholm Ave.

The Miami Town Council took care of a couple of issues involving themselves and state Agencies. The Arizona Attorney General’s office looked at the way that Miami resolved a vacancy caused by a winning candidate who did not fulfill residency requirements. The council was required to go back and pass a resolution rescinding RES. No. 1215 which was adopted Nov. 26, 2018 which declared Patricia Warden not qualified for the council. As a result Donald Reiman lost his council seat for a few minutes while the council voted to reappoint him and he was able to move back to his position in the Covid distanced council.

The second issue was more substantial involving a 2016 matter between the State Auditors and the Town of Miami. On Monday, Aug. 24, Council discussed the fact that the Town still owed $75,218 to pay back one half cent excise tax loan. Councilman Black suggested paying all of it if the town were able. Mayor Sammy Gonzales and Town Manager Joseph Heatherly suggested that the town was in compliance with the State’s requirement that Miami pay the money back at a rate of 10 percent per year. And there was general agreement that the town should stay in compliance by making that 10 percent payment but not put the town’s finances at risk by repaying the whole amount. The council voted 6 to 1 to direct the town management to pay the 10 percent and to keep current. A dissenting vote came from Councilman Reiman who expressed the opinion that the motion put the council in the position of acting as financial managers, something they were not qualified to do. Councilwoman Patty Bringhurst declared that it should have been done already and abstained when the vote was taken. The action occurred against a backdrop of uncertainty about the town’s finances. Town Manager Heatherly said that the next three to six months were going to be “dicey”.

Then followed a couple of instances involving two particular addresses. One place on 223 S. Adonis Ave. involved a special use permit to allow the owner to put a 5th wheel RV on the property till she could complete the purchase of a modular home, which according to Josh Derhammer was looked upon as the same as any other one family dwelling. After some discussion the council decided to allow her to put a mobile home or a 5th wheel on her property but with a time limit of a year.

The other location, The Miners Rest, a bed and breakfast at 198 Chisolm Ave. is being crowded by an unsightly gaggle of cars littering the street just a house away. Bringhurst brought the matter to the council who directed the Town Manager to study the matter and bring back recommendations to the second council meeting in September.

Josh Derhammer brought up the delicate process of finessing the ownership and the grant which the Town can get to finance the up to 5 million dollar cost of remediating the buildings totaled in the Sullivan Street Fire. Before taking ownership, the town has to be sure of the grant. So far competing contractors have completed a walk through of the buildings preparatory to issuing their bids.

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