Council discusses joining distribution of opioid settlement funds
Bill Simms, Globe’s City Attorney, explained that due to the opioid crisis, settlements are being negotiated with pharmaceutical companies and distributors similar to the tobacco industry settlements of around 15 years ago.
Globe has the opportunity to agree to join a legal settlement with three opioid distributors and a manufacturer. In this case, the state of Arizona will receive 44% of the settlement amount and the rest will be allocated to counties, cities, and towns depending on the local impact of the opioid crisis.
Up to $26 billion will be available nationally.
In a future meeting, Simms will bring specific numbers as to what Globe could receive and what the money could be spent on, as well as what rights the City would be waiving if it does join the settlement.
Redistricting process update
City Manager Paul Jepson provided an update as to Arizona’s redistricting process. The process is now in the 30-day review period for the final draft of maps. That review period will end on November 21. Arizona has nine seats in U.S. Congress and has 30 state districts, and these are all up for redistricting following the 2020 Census. The redistricting at the state level is determined by an independent commission.
Jepson said one issue is that in the past Gila County has been “joined at the hip” with Pinal County in terms of representation in the Arizona legislature, but Pinal is a high-growth county and Gila still has a population of only 57,000 and remains more of a rural place – which raises the question, according to Jepsen, of whether Pinal and Gila can really be represented together.
“My preference would be that we have rural leaders representing rural areas, so at least they know our issues, they understand them. We may not always agree what the solution is, but at least they talk the same language.” Councilman Fernando Shipley
Council will be sending comments to the state-level redistricting commission to inform them as to the City’s wishes, and will be discussing what these comments should be at their next (November 9) meeting.
The City of Globe does not currently plan to do any redistricting of city districts, but Jepson said he will be researching whether this is necessary.
Councilman Rios sits on the redistricting committee for the county redistricting process.
City considers gifting employees with a full week off for the holidays
Jepson presented a plan to give City employees four additional holiday vacation days this year between Christmas and New Year’s. City staff would get December 24 through January 2 off, with public safety employees assigned to shifts getting four accrued vacation days. There will also be special time-and-a-half overtime for people who do have to work.
The same thing was done last year, although the schedule was slightly different, and was very popular with employees. The plan will be brought back at the next meeting for Council to vote up or down on.
Council also approved motions for the following:
- Accounts payable in the amount of $556,038.11.
- A bed tax distribution in the amount of $21,527.65 to Cobre Valley Center for the Arts for the third and fourth quarters of 2020/2021.
- Purchase of playground equipment for Veterans Park at City Hall, from Game Time in the amount of $116,126.56. Linda Oddonetto, director of Economic and Community Development, said the City is receiving a 100% grant match from Game Time but the City has to apply by November 2 in order to receive it. The project should be complete by spring, around the same time the community pool reopens.
- A contract with Superior Tank Solutions in an amount not to exceed $962,500 for the repair of leaking water storage tanks at the Hagen site. These are two 1.5-million-gallon tanks located on top of Hagen Hill. According to City Engineer Jerry Barnes, leakage was observed during a recent inspection, which is considered an ADEQ violation. The City has 120 days to correct. Barnes emphasized that these repairs would be a long-term fix, not a band-aid. To purchase new tanks would cost around $3 million per tank, plus the cost of new foundations.
- Purchase of a 2022 F250 with a service body for the Water Department, from Chapman Ford for $48,991.51. With the ongoing supply chain issues, only one of the nine dealerships requested submitted a bid. The local dealership did not submit a bid. The purchase order will have to be submitted to Ford by November 10 for build in 2022 – which Chapman has already done. The City plans to purchase a total of three trucks this year.
- A contract with Earth Quest Plumbing in the amount of $48,826 plus a contingency amount of $1,174 for the elimination of the Dugan common sewer line in District 5. Barnes said the City has numerous common line situations – possibly as many as 150 – and is gradually working their way through them to bring them up to code. The City has an annual allocation of $65,000 set aside for these projects, with an additional $725,000 available in WIFA funds for more expensive projects.
- A contract with Rodriguez Construction in the amount of $10,500 for the new water barn office build, and a second contract with Advanced Air in the amount of $37,287 with a contingency amount of $2,713 to furnish and install four 1600 cfm evaporative coolers in the water barn.
- Renaming of the Globe Preservation Advisory Commission to Historic Preservation Advisory Commission (HPAC).
- Appointment of Grace Whalen to the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission.
Councilman Gonzalez informed the public that they can view the City’s many upcoming and under-way projects by going to the City website and pulling up the strategic plan. The projects include infrastructure, recreation, and many other aspects of the city.
Gonzales also said, based on a City staff meeting with the Gila County Board of Supervisors, it appears the County will be willing to provide grant money to help Globe reach its funding goals for the community pool rehab.
Jodi Martin, Utility Administrator, introduced Brittney Meza, the City’s new utility billing clerk. Brittney just moved to Globe from Phoenix and will be the face people see when they go in to pay their water bill.
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.
Full minutes can be found by going to the City Hall website and clicking on Agendas/Minutes in the bottom left-hand corner.
The Globe City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. The meetings are currently open to the public at 50% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask except when seated. Seating is limited to allow for social distancing.
Members of the public can also participate in City of Globe public meetings by viewing the meeting live on YouTube. To view the Council meeting live stream, go to the City of Globe’s YouTube channel.
To speak to agenda items before or during the meeting, you can call or text (928) 200-0154 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you desire to speak to the Council during an agenda item.
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.