Members of the Globe City Council: Mayor Al Gameros, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton, and Council members Freddy Rios, Mike Pastor, Jesse Leetham, Fernando Shipley, and Mariano Gonzalez. All members were in attendance.
COVID measures reinstated
City Manager Paul Jepson noted that with the resurgence of COVID, the City is reinstating some measures to protect the public and City staff. The City is requiring masking for members of the public entering City facilities, and City staff are being asked to mask up when interacting with the public indoors, as well as outdoors when within six feet of members of the public.
Fund for flooding victims
Mayor Al Gameros acknowledged that some people who experienced flooding have been frustrated by the lack of funding to help them. Some of these people are unable to live in their homes. Mayor Gameros noted that the City Globe received $100 million in flood funding made available by the governor, but those funds are designated for cleanup and mitigation. So far there’s been no funding for individuals. Mayor Gameros said he is initiating the process to create a Globe-Miami Cares fund, similar to a program that was done in Texas. This program would seek donations and then distribute the funds to people in need.
Council considers EV charging station at Globe library
Council discussed the possibility of installing a charging station for electric vehicles at the library. APS had approached the City about the possibility of installing a charging station somewhere in Globe. A number of different locations were considered, and the library was chosen due to the issues of parking in the downtown area.
Engineering Director Jerry Barnes said the charging station would benefit Globe by bringing people who own electric vehicles through the downtown area twice—arriving and departing—and would also mean people would be exploring the downtown area while their vehicles charged.
Linda Oddonetto, Economic Development Director, said the EV Car Club of Arizona met with her three years ago and said the Globe area isn’t a viable day trip area for EV vehicle owners because there are no charging stations available. The Holiday Inn has two charging stations but they’re for guests only, and there’s one at the Chamber that’s more of an outlet, not a fast charger. She said people want a fast charger, and this gives Globe the opportunity to tap into the EV car market. It provides opportunities to promote Globe as EV friendly and would benefit downtown Globe much more than having the charging stations on the highway.
“Downtown, they can go to four, five, six stores and patronize our small businesses and discover our downtown…. This is a win-win for all.” —Linda Oddonetto
The charging stations would be located in the gravel lot north of the library building. APS and Electrify America are asking for space for five parking spots. Barnes said the library could regain parking area by using the teepee side. Barnes said he would have to divert drainage, but the major issue is that water coming off Cottonwood would have to be redirected down Cottonwood to Broad Street.
Barnes recommends approval given the benefits in economic development and the fact that it would be at no cost to the City. He said APS would foot the entire bill.
Jepson agreed about the benefit to economic development and said it’s the best choice of location because it doesn’t take away any existing formal parking.
Public comment on the charging station
Sherry Rice, the immediate past president of the Friends of the Globe Library, said she attended a meeting with City staff last week where the project was discussed, but the actual contract is inconsistent with what was discussed then. For example, APS is not a party to the contract; instead, the contract is with a private company, Electrify America. Also, at the meeting it was said that ingress would be moved to Cottonwood, but the contract doesn’t actually provide for ingress from Cottonwood, which Sherry said is necessary. She said the contract also gives Electrify America the right to take five more parking spaces in the future, which would further reduce the library’s parking and wasn’t discussed at the July 28 meeting.
Nancy Bowyer, chair of the City Library Committee, spoke as an invididual. She said the library committeee was not made aware that the council discussion tonight would involve a vote to approve the contract. She urged Council to not be hasty in approving the agreement. She said the contract doesn’t reflect what was discussed at the July 28 meeting, and the provisions include saddling the City with responsibilities that had not been discussed. For example, the City would be assuming responsibility for cleaning, maintenance, and security, as well as environmental compliance.
Robin Wuerst, president of the Friends of the Globe Public Library, said she was originally extremely excited about the project, and still feels that way, but has many concerns about the licensing agreement. Those concerns include:
- The agreement says it will be in effect for 10 to 15 years, and she wonders what will happen after that.
- The agreement talks about expanding the station by five spaces, and she wonders how that will impact the library. Would those locations be predetermined?
- The agreement says Electrify America can reconfigure “the parking spaces,” but it doesn’t specify which spaces.
- The agreement refers to the possibility of ancillary and additional services but doesn’t specify them.
- The length of the construction period, because that would affect the library’s operations.
- How complaints and problems related to the charging station would be handled, to avoid adding to the workload of library staff.
- Whether the library would still be able to close the lot off for special events.
- The fact that the parking lot is in a flood plain.
- How traffic patterns would be handled if there’s no exit onto Cottonwood.
Claudia Armer, a member of the City’s Library Board Committee, said she’s excited about the charging station but said she doesn’t want to see it negatively impact the children who use the library. She said she was a counselor for the Phoenix Union High School District for 30 years and knows what happens when children don’t get enough attention from adults and enough educational opportunities. She urged Council to take it slow, be mindful, consider all the possibilities before they jump in, and answer all the questions people have. She also asked Council to be sure the charging station doesn’t take up too much space, or to consider look at what they can do to provide a better library space for Globe.
“My encouragement would be to take it a little slower on the charging station if need be, and I would appeal to you to take it a little faster on doing something better for the library.” —Claudia Armer
Responses to questions from the public
Jepson said his intention is to respond to all of the questions that have been raised tonight.
He said at the meeting last week it had not been known that the Cottonwood ingress would have to be closed. He agreed that the existing processes for moving traffic through the lot for meal pickup and so forth should be facilitated.
With regard to maintenance, Jepson said he feels general maintenance makes sense to be the City’s responsibility.
With regard to environmental, he said the clause in the contract is referring to an existing environmental issue that might exist under the parking lot and providing that Electrify America would not be liable for that.
Barnes said the contract should be modified so any expansion provided for should be at the approval of Council.
A representative from APS who was in attendance said normally with contracts like this, at the end of the contract the equipment is turned over to the owner of the property, if they want to have it. He said this program would be similar.
The same person said Electrify America is a program manager with APS, and that’s why they are the party to the contract. He said the APS would always be standing behind it, and Brian Gosling, APS’s local representative, would oversee construction.
Councilman Gonzales said he has concerns about responsibility for cleanup, such as for a battery problem. Barnes said this would be Electrify America’s responsibility. The APS representative said the only batteries at the location would be in people’s vehicles, and the owners would be responsible for those.
Gary Robinson, Globe’s Fire Chief, said his people are trained to deal with electric/hybrid vehicles, and APS is offering to train personnel to help mitigate the expansion of these facilities and vehicles.
Mayor Gameros asked whether the charging station project could be combined with upgrades to the teepee area. Jepson said absolutely, and talks are already ongoing to beautify that area after the EV station goes in.
Councilman Pastor said he feels the location is good, but he expressed concerns about the contract. Barnes agreed that the contract needs to be reviewed, and said City Manager Jepson will have the authority to negotiate the terms of the contract if Council so desires.
Jepson recommended Council give preliminary approval but ask for a final draft of the site plan and the contract to be placed on consent for the August 24 meeting. This would allow the City to ensure everyone’s concerns are addressed and allow an opportunity for further discussion.
Council authorized Jepson to move forward and work with the City’s attorney to revise the agreement and bring it back to Council at the next meeting.
Gila County makes Globe a priority for FEMA
Jerry Barnes said Gila County and FEMA made the City of Globe a party to a discovery process with regard to priorities. The City informed FEMA there are concerns with mapping within the City, identifying structural elements of the stormwater system, and issues with the diversion dam and diversion tunnel.
The next step is for FEMA to study the issues and possible mitigation, FEMA will decide whether it makes sense to remap the area. Barnes said the City is aware of some areas where the mapping is very inaccurate. FEMA will decide whether only part of the City will be remapped or all of it. FEMA will be taking measurements with LIDAR survey drones as part of their decision process. Once the decision is made, funding will have to be found. Barnes said Gila County has identified Globe as their top priority.
Barnes said if private individuals want to speed up the process, they can get map amendments through a private engineering company. The process Barnes described is citywide.
Barnes said the last time the maps were adjusted was around 1983, and some specific adjustments have been made over the years as they were found. Barnes said he’s been working toward this project for seven years, and the entire process going forward could take three to five years.
Councilman Shipley asked about the impact of the fires on flooding zones. Barnes said that, with the burn scar, a flood that would normally occur every hundred years could now occur every ten years.
“In other words, the risk is nearly ten times what it would normally be.”
“It’s going to run and it’s going to flood for the next five years. It’s going to get better every year.” —Engineering Director Jerry Barnes
Mayor Gameros asked whether the recent floods helped clarify who is and is not in a flood plain. Barnes said a lot of people who had bought flood insurance and did mitigations, without knowing whether it would be necessary, “opened their eyes and said thank God we did this.”
Trails and open spaces master plan presentation
Two representatives from Wilson & Co. Engineering presented a master plan his firm has prepared for the trails and open spaces in Globe and the surrounding region. They said Wilson & Co. is an engineering and architectural firm that has been around for more than 90 years and, unlike many other engineering firms, focuses on funding assistance.
The primary purposes of the project are flood control, to keep Pinal Creek clean and beautiful, and to encourage self-enforcement of security. Secondary benefits would include to create spaces for health and wellness, education, and economic development.
A Wilson representative, Mario, said the fact that the project would integrate with flood control would make funding available sooner, particularly given the flooding issues the area is experiencing now.
Phase I of the project would extend from Jesse Hays Road to Hill Street. Mario presented a conceptual rendering to give an idea what could be done. Over time, he said, the project could extend as far as the north end of Miami and become a more regional amenity.
Mario said the implementation strategy begins with council consideration, then moves to the capital improvement plan, issuing the RFP, selecting a consultant, identifying funding sources, preparing to apply for funding, and then advocacy at the local and federal level. Funding could come from a variety of state and federal sources, including U.S. DOT and AZDOT programs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assistance, FEMA BRIC disaster mitigation funding, and more.
He said the timeline would be 12 to 18 months to obtain funding, 12 months planning and design, and 12 months construction.
“That project has been on the shelf for well over 30 years. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to see happen. It makes perfect sense for this community. … It’s something we need.” —Councilman Mike Pastor
With regard to cost, Mario said there’s a possible range depending on the design, which will be discussed during the planning process.
Jepson said in order to go forward, the City would initiate a procurement process to hire a consultant, who would then find the funding, develop the plan, and then complete the project.
“With the activity that we’re seeing now, the interest in our community, the time is right to start looking at something to advance our quality of life and our recreation with different amenities.” —Mayor Al Gameros
Council asked City staff to work on moving the project forward.
- Wall signage at 610 North Broad Street for Turn the Page Vintage
- Amendment of City code to change the name of Globe Preservation Advisory Commission to Historic Preservation Advisory Commission
- Distribution of 4Q FY2020-2021 bed tax funds to Gila County Historic Society in the amount of $10,911.98
- Appointment of Mariano Gonzales as Globe Council liaison to the Downtown Association
- An accounts payable report of $1,700,866.04. Jepson said the large amount results from the fact that many lump-sum budget items are paid at the beginning of the budget cycle. Some things are being paid for the entire year all at once. It also includes Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) payments of over $1 million. Councilman Rios pointed out this happens every year.
- Adjustment to the property tax rate (re-approval). Council re-approved the adjustment in the property tax rate for FY2021-2022 from $1.27 to $1.26 levied on each $100 of assessed property. A public hearing was held on July 27. Shelly Salazar, City Clerk, said the adjustment was brought back to Council for a second read to comply with state statute regarding the time that has to be allowed between the public hearing and final approval. Nothing is being changed, just the date of final approval is being moved out to comply with statute.
Maple water line abandonment complications
Council approved adding $28,062.29 to a contract for the Maple water line abandonment project to cover two change orders. Jerry Barnes explained that the City had agreed with Mr. Trotter, who owns a property at Seventh and Maple, to abandon a water line that passes through his parking area, in exchange for some property at the intersection that the City needed for improving the intersection.
Barnes said the City believed the current water line was three feet down and in good shape. But the line was seven feet down and deteriorated. One change order involved cutting a trench through Mr. Trotter’s parking lot, pushing ¾-inch copper lines to his meters, and then repaving over the trench. The second change order was for repairs to a leaky 12-inch valve. The City performed some related repairs at the same time. Barnes said some of the money for the change orders will be reimbursed by WIPA and the rest will come from water funds.
“A two-day job ended up almost a week and a half. Once we start something, you gotta finish it.”
—Engineering Director Jerry Barnes
Barnes said another contract will go out to make the Seventh and Maple intersection a four-way stop. He said the water infrastructure had to be done first and that the new intersection will be much safer. Jepson pointed out that the project is taking a long time, but it’s being done right.
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 (search for City of Globe Arizona). Or click on the “Live Stream on YouTube” link at the top of www.globeaz.gov.
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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 is currently traveling long-term and researching a book on dance. You can follow her writing on the website medium.com, under the pen name SK Camille.