Members of the Globe City Council: Mayor Al Gameros, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton (District 4), and Council members Freddy Rios (District 1), Mike Pastor (District 2), Jesse Leetham (District 3), Mariano Gonzalez (District 5), and Fernando Shipley (District 6). All members were in attendance at this meeting.
Council adopts $43 million tentative budget for FY 2022/23
Council adopted a tentative $42,541,669 budget for the City for financial year 2022–2023.
Interim Finance Director Chancy Nutt explained that the $42 million figure does not represent what the City will be spending, which is much lower. The $42 million includes all possible expenditures that the City might be able to receive grants to pay for. The budget also includes funds like reserve funds that have been set aside for financial safety, but that the City doesn’t expect to spend.
Jepson reviewed a few changes that had been made to the budget since the discussion at the last meeting. Estimated property tax increased slightly with the addition of new construction, and is now $538,388. Estimated state collected tax (tax collected by the state on behalf of the City) dropped to $2,998,557 from $3,079,749, due to the City’s population estimate changing. Total ongoing revenue therefore decreased from $14,503,433 to $14,426,150.
At Council’s last meeting, remaining operational revenues had been estimated at $1,007,000. The new estimate is $948,327. The budget also now includes a third goal of providing funds to support the maintenance of the additional quality of life capital improvements, along with bringing City staff salaries to market rates and funding USDA loans for a new fire station and ladder truck.
Some items have been added to the budget. Under general funds, amounts were added for:
- An additional Public Works staff reorganization ($275,000)
- An additional patrol officer ($90,000)
- A City grant writer in Economic and Community Development ($75,000)
- Continuation of a Police Department five-year vehicle lease plan ($45,528)
- The Gila House, a local nonprofit ($15,000)
- A donation to Gila Posse, in recognition of service during First Fridays ($5,000)
- Purchase of an evidence building ($180,000)
There was also an addition to HURF to pay for a lease for a sweeper ($80,000).
The tentative budget will be published in the Silver Belt and on the City’s website for two weeks, and a public hearing will be held on July 26. Final approval will follow at the same meeting. The final budget will then be published on the City’s website.
Council disapproves Family Dollar liquor license application
Council heard public comment on an application for a series 10 liquor license for the Family Dollar store at 2250 US Highway 60.
During the public hearing, Sushma Patel, the owner of Beverage House, located next door to Family Dollar, spoke in opposition to the license. Patel said Family Dollar selling liquor would hurt her business, which is an independent, local business that serves the community, and that is managed and operated by women from Globe and Miami. She said there are 14 stores with liquor licenses in the area, including seven local stores and seven chain stores, and by denying the license to Family Dollar, Council would be supporting local businesses. She said the chain stores sell alcohol at lower than cost in order to bring people into their stores, making it difficult for local stores to compete.
Jackie Jenkins, the manager of the Beverage House, also said the license for Family Dollar would impact sales at Beverage House and could devastate her business. She said Beverage House has been supporting the community for at least 27 years and that the license for Family Dollar could potentially cause Beverage House to close its doors.
Ashley Haines, a longtime employee at Beverage House, emphasized how she supports Globe-Miami by giving visitors to Beverage House information about the community. She also pointed out that mom-and-pop stores support their employees better.
Two commenters by letter and text also expressed opposition to the liquor license for Family Dollar.
No representatives for Family Dollar were in attendance at the hearing.
According to Jepson, Globe’s attorney, Bill Sims, said Council has the right to approve, disapprove, or table the request. If the City recommends disapproval, the state liquor board will hold a hearing to determine whether the public would be served adequately without the additional liquor license. The state liquor board would then be able to issue the license even if Council votes it down.
All council members expressed opposition to the license. Councilman Pastor said Beverage House was one of the first main businesses in the Cobre Valley Shopping Center and has been employing local people.
“I’ve lived here 73 years now, and it’s always been support your hometown people. … I think it would be a detriment to take a longtime business in our community and not support it.” Councilman Mike Pastor
Councilman Shipley pointed out that Beverage House is the only place in town where people can obtain a keg. He said Beverage House offers a full range of items, and Family Dollar would only be selling beer and wine – so if Beverage House were put out of business, it would be a detriment to the community.
Councilman Leetham agreed that Council should support and stand behind local businesses.
Councilman Gonzalez said he has seen large corporations come into town and run local businesses out of business. He said it’s good government to support local businesses.
Councilman Stapleton said he feels competition is good and that he had been inclined to approve the license, but after hearing comments during this hearing, especially from the Beverage House owner, manager, and employee, he opposes it.
Councilman Rios said he also believes in competition, but he is disappointed that there was no representation at the hearing from the applicant, which leads him to believe the application is not important to Family Dollar. He pointed out that Beverage House is a one- or two-product store, whereas Family Dollar doesn’t depend on liquor sales to survive.
Mayor Gameros said it was unique to have a petition in favor of a liquor license signed by customers; usually a petition is signed by neighbors who are opposing the license. He pointed out that the buck doesn’t stop with Council, as the state board could still issue the license. He expressed a concern that local businesses might start to turn to Council to protect them from healthy competition. He agreed with Rios that if the application is important to Family Dollar, they should have sent a representative to the hearing.
Council voted unanimously to disapprove the liquor license for Family Dollar. Council will send a statement to the state liquor board explaining the disapproval.
City to apply for USDA loan to pay for new fire station and ladder truck
Council passed a resolution enabling the City to submit an application for a USDA low-interest loan to fund the construction of a new fire station, in an amount not to exceed $8 million, and the purchase of a new ladder truck, in an amount not to exceed $2 million. The interest rate would be 2.75%, and the term would be 35 or 40 years for the station and 15 or 20 for the ladder truck.
Jepson explained that the current fire station is so old, the City doesn’t know exactly when it was built. The current ladder truck is a 1992 model. Jepson said a modern fire station is a necessity for the safety of City employees, and the ladder truck is needed to provide adequate service to residents. The $8 million for the station construction and $2 million for the truck are maximum numbers.
Councilman Rios said that with the new station and truck, the quality of life for people in Globe and in the region will be improved for decades to come.
Funds to service the USDA loan will be provided through the sales tax increase recently approved by Council.
“The public needs to understand that [funds to repay the USDA loans] are already incorporated. That’s that 1% sales tax. Without that, we wouldn’t have been able to do this.” Mayor Al Gameros
Chief Dale Robinson said the City expects to receive funds in January or February, and completion of the fire station would be in about two years.
The new station will be located at 713 E. Ash.
Globe Cemetery expansion moves forward
Council approved a contract with Rick Engineering for the design of an expansion of the Globe Cemetery, in the amount of $29,950.
Jepson explained that some land is unavailable for the cemetery’s use because of the Humane Society’s recent move into a building there, so the City is having another piece of land prepared for cemetery plots. Rick Engineering will be designing the drainage, walkways, and plots.
Currently, the City has a moratorium on non-residents (or first-degree relatives) purchasing cemetery plots. When the new section becomes available, the City anticipates lifting that restriction.
The City is working on a long-term plan for further expansion of the cemetery.
Council adopts redistricting maps
Council approved the adoption of new City district maps, finalizing the redistricting process that began after census numbers necessitated the redrawing of district lines and discussed at previous Council meetings. Jepson said the boundaries will go into effect in the 2024 cycle.
Fire crews clearing Globe-area washes
During call to the public, Martin [last name not provided] spoke about the state Department of Forestry and Fire Management’s work in the area. Martin said under Governor Ducey’s Healthy Forest Initiative, the state is hiring 72 ten-man inmate crews throughout the state. Globe has four crews, with 40 inmates.
Ever since the Telegraph and Mescal fires, the area has been under a Phase 2 fire restriction, which means according to DFFM policy, chainsaws cannot be run. As a result, Martin’s crews can’t work in the forest.
However, recently, Martin was able to talk to the City of Miami and get permission to clean out the Bloody Tanks wash. They removed about six to seven tons of debris, and the wash is now running free. The crews have also started cleaning washes in the Globe area.
Once the red flag warning lifts, his people will be doing normal projects including thinning the forest in hopes of preventing big fires in the future.
Council also approved motions for the following:
- Accounts payable in the amount of $640,801.61
- Several pieces of art to be added to the Stairizona Trail Route, all donated to the City by the I Art Globe organization, including:
- A four-foot bench to be added to the North Broad Street Staircase (Pascoe Stairs)
- A mural called “Poppies and Serapes” to be added to the Sutherland Street Historic Staircase
- A mural called “Red Cardinal Perched on a Ponderosa Pine Branch” to be added to the N. Sutherland Wall
- A change order to a contract with CDX Contracting LLC for the Police Department remodel project, in the amount of $6,063.90
- A donation from BHP Mining of rope equipment for the Globe Fire Department
- An intergovernmental agreement between the City of Globe and Gila County for criminal misdemeanor and criminal traffic case management. Jepson explained that this is a traditional agreement entered into from time to time. A judge from the magistrate court explained that the magistrate court for the City does not and cannot handle criminal cases, as it doesn’t have the necessary resources to function as a criminal court, such as security and a jury box. Hence, the County’s justice court handles criminal cases. The IGA enables the justice court to do so. Council approved the IGA with a stipulation of final approval by the City attorney for language.
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Patricia Sanders lived in Globe from 2004 to 2008 and at Reevis Mountain School, in the Tonto National Forest, from 2008 to 2014. She has been a writer and editor for GMT since 2015. She currently lives on Santa Maria island in the Azores.