Globe Council approves tentative budget

Photo by Susanne Jerome/Arizona Silver Belt Water Wastewater Superintendent Kenny Sellick’s retirement was celebrated at the Globe City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 25. Mayor Al Gameros shakes Kenny Sellick’s hand while onlooking Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton and Councilmember Jesse Leetham applauded Sellick for his many years of service.

In a second hours-long session for the month of June, the Globe City Council approved a tentative budget for 2019-2020 without funding for the type 3 fire truck. They celebrated the career of retiring Water/Wastewater superintendent, Kenny Sellick. They heard City Information Technology Manager Dan Trammell present the results of his preliminary research concerning a new phone system. And they heard and saw a detailed presentation by the Level I firefighting team that had fought the Woodbury fire since June 5.  Before business started council heard an invocation by father Arnold of Holy Angels who has been reassigned to Tucson.  Council members expressed that he will be sorely missed.

Craig Daugherty, the team ground operations manager for the firefighters, explained the course of the fire and the plan of attack they used to save all of the important values in the path of the fire and get residents and campers out of its way.  They were effusive in their praise of the local professionals that they worked with and of the community itself. They particularly liked the cards the kids made for them, which they pinned to their trucks.  As Incident Commander, Rich Nieto, said “When you are gone for two weeks on end that makes a difference.”  They repeatedly praised the “active cooperation” of local agencies.

Daugherty the operations section chief was able to report that even edges of the fire not outlined in black on the map are not likely to break out and run past fire lines, but that those areas still outlined in red are being monitored for hot spots as they show up on infrared photos of the area. He was particularly proud of the fact that the “values” they had set out to protect buildings, wells, mines, powerlines were saved, and that there were not reportable injuries associated with the fire.

In response to a question by Fernando Shipley, Nieto explained that “You do a Google Earth.”  They did, he said, and it showed them an area with incised drainages that were too dangerous to put crews into. The difficult terrain was covered with dried grasses. “And given those flashy fuels, that’s where you kill firefighters. Given where it started, they hit it pretty hard initially, but it spread pretty rapidly.” 

He outlined the plan as waiting to fight the fire “on our terms.” Setting low intensity back fires such as on the west side of Hwy 188 at night when fire intensity lessens, to provide a wide, fuel-free buffer zone to stop the main fire when it arrived.  A change in weather enabled the many drops of fire retardant to successfully stall the fire in several places even without ‘boots on the ground” to make sure the fire didn’t burn under the retardant covered fuel. People can google Woodbury Fire and choose among the sites that come up for the latest date.

As of Friday, June 28, the fire is officially 68 percent contained, but firefighters are confident that even those areas that are not definitively black-lined should hold. On Friday June 28, Central West Zone Type III Incident Management team took over the incident to chip trees and shrubs left by the Type I team and to engage in other “suppression repair” activities.

There was cake for Kenny Sellick and Jerry Barnes presented him with a genuine cast iron miniature fire plug draped with a medallion. He praised Sellick for his rise from garbage man and meter reader. Jerry Barnes said that “He is an inspiration to all who want to better their lives in service to their community.” Sellick praised his men saying that they were very special and that “they have a good heart and a lot of knowledge and we need to keep them going.”

In new business, the council approved the issuance of bids for a new dump truck in an amount not to exceed $109,365. They approved the Library Service Agreement with the Gila County Library District, and they approved a Pension funding Policy for public safety personnel, which is required by the state law. Jepson said that due to timely action in the past, Globe is well on the way to having that pension obligation fully funded.

In action items, the council agreed to authorize $20 thousand to cover the cost of the city’s share of the increase in a vender’s bid to rehabilitate the pavement on Broad Street from Mesquite to Cottonwood, and to upgrade the sidewalks on that stretch. This was approved. According to Jerry Barnes, It might be reimbursed. Giles said that it was a win-win situation since Globe was getting a 500K project for an outlay of 25K or 5.7 percent of the cost.

Council approved purchase of police equipment with a Proforce Marketing, Inc., a firm that is contracted with the state.

A resolution was passed by the city which approved a resolution supporting the placement of works of art in the downtown Globe. In response to previously discussed offer by Thea Wilshire to place bronze gila monsters around downtown, the council will allow city staff to issue permits free of charge for the gila monsters, subject to city approval of where and how the statues are to be installed. Charlene Giles raised the question of what is fine art? City Manager Jepson promised that in the future, staff would come up with a plan of defining and setting up a Fine Arts Council to make those sorts of determinations. This future action would not interfere with the gila monster statue deployment according to Jepson.

The last of the action items involved discussion and possible approval of a contract with Structural Preservation Systems, LLC to evaluate the City of Globe’s swimming pool. The city wanted to learn if the structure could be successfully rehabilitated and given a continued life span of five years. The firm was found by engineers from  Freeport McMoRan who had originally set out to do the survey themselves but  found themselves without the pool-specific expertise in-house. Freeport would reimburse $17,575 of the $35,150 bid. The $17,575 is contained in the 2019-20 Capitol Improvement budget as a line item. This passed. Charlene Giles expressed gratitude to Freeport for their efforts. “They are such an asset to our community.”

The tentative budget was approved.  The final approval is scheduled for July 16. The final budget will be published in the paper, and August 6 is the deadline for adoption of the Final Budget. Paul Jepson explained the addition of $500 per councilmember to reimburse council for related community action expenses as discussed in the last council meeting. The funds that were allocated for new chairs for council would be added to pay for Christmas decorations and garbage receptacles. The new budget will begin a line item to start setting aside money for replacements of sewer common lines in the amount of $60 thousand. Council adjourned at 10:20 p.m.

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