Our coverage of the City Council meeting on June 22nd, continues with Part 2 covering the discussion and overview of the City’s Strategic Action Plan for 2020 through 2023, the City’s capital improvement budget, and the City’s operational budget for its wastewater enterprise, among other items.
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 Gonzales. All members were in attendance.
Council engaged in a lengthy discussion of the City’s Strategic Action Plan for 2020 through 2023. City Manager Jepson presented key elements of the plan, and Council will come back in two to four weeks to finalize the plan. The key elements are as follows:
Economic & Community Development
Council priorities include:
- Marketing the city/telling our story/sharing accomplishments
- Annexation opportunities
- Business attraction, retention, and expansion (including engaging and assisting local businesses)
- State of the City event
- Citizen’s academy
East Globe Enterprise/Entertainment District
A suggestion by Council member Gonzales to establish an east-side enterprise/entertainment district (stretching from Globe High School to La Casita East) was discussed, and it was decided to add this to the Strategic Action Plan.
Economic Development Director Linda Oddonetto explained that much of the City’s economic development effort in recent years has focused on the downtown area because that area doesn’t benefit from the highway traffic – over 40,000 vehicles per day – that passes directly through other parts of the community. However, a significant amount of wayfinding funding exists at the EDC, and it’s intended to benefit all of Miami and Globe.
She noted that the east side is the location of upcoming housing developments – including Copper Creek, which will include housing and a retail pad – and that hotels on the east side tend to have higher nightly rates, which translates into more bed tax. Oddonetto noted the possibility of placing signage on Highway 60 to bring attention to Round Mountain, the Elks Club, the winery, and other east-side features. This signage could be paid for from the wayfinding funding.
Jepson added the concept of an east-side entertainment district to the Economic Development category of the SAP.
Council priorities include:
- Continuing to invest in and expand infrastructure, specifically the northeast corridor sewer expansion
- North Broad Street lighting
- Cemetery cleanup
- Remediation of the future fire station location, road building, and the Silver King property
Quality of Life/Recreational Development
Council priorities include:
- Downtown revitalization
- Investing in youth
- Bandstand lighting at the Center for the Arts
- North Broad Street lighting (at the trestle)
- History plaques on buildings
- Recreational master plan
- Maximizing volunteer opportunities
Council priorities include:
- Investing in City employees
- New fire facility plan
- Providing adequate gear for staff
- Providing adequate equipment for staff
Overall Council Priorities 2021-2022
- Citywide customer service training
- Plan to improve retention
- Long-term financial sustainability of the city
- Downtown redevelopment
- Business attraction, retention and expansion
Update on operational budget for City water and wastewater enterprise
Jeannie Sgroi, Finance Director, presented the operational budget for the City’s water/wastewater enterprise.
Revenue projections for the water/wastewater enterprise are, as of 5/31/21:
- Proposed enterprise fund revenue for water: $4,693,350
- Enterprise fund revenue for wastewater: $2,705,402
Sgroi said water revenue and expenditure have not changed much from last year, but wastewater revenue and expenditure have increased because the city has parked an increased amount in the contingency line item for FYE2022. A FY2022 budget was prepared based on analysis and projections of line items.
Council discussed the funding of fixes to common lines (a CIP item). City Manager Paul Jepson noted that the City has set aside funds to repair all common lines over the next 20 years as they come up. Engineering Director Jerry Barnes said all common lines have not been identified, but a sewer study has been planned that will identify all the laterals that are connected, and this information can be overlaid with the City’s GIS to identify a lot of the common lines.
Also, Barnes said $600,000 has been provided through the state Water Infrastructure Finance Program (WIFA) to jump start common lines mitigation. He said a fund has been set up to enable common line fixes that need to be done immediately. Currently, one off Pinal Street is under design and about a month away from going out to bid. The sewer study will take about a year.
Council member Shipley noted that Globe can expect more funds to become available through WIFA for general wastewater, potable water, and stormwater projects.
Sgroi indicated that fund balances are as follows:
- Beginning water fund balance: $5,122,238, with contingency amount budgeted of $1,135,157
- Beginning wastewater fund balance: $3,372,535, with contingency amount budgeted $1,686,267
Jepson noted that Globe runs a water and wastewater utility and is investing the fund balance back into the services the City provides.
“These fund balances are there so we can make sure that we deliver quality service, do preventative maintenance, and improvements that we need to have.” – City Manager Paul Jepson
City staff performs maintenance, repairs, and keeping things running, while for refurbishing and improvements, the City depends more and more on contractors.
Discussion of capital improvement budget
City Manager Paul Jepson explained that capital improvement projects are one-time projects or purchases, usually of $10,000 or more, and are paid from one-time funds. He noted that these projects can also be paid for out of ongoing revenues (taxes), but in Globe these revenues are reserved for ongoing costs such as salaries. Jepson said this year Globe is benefitting from a wide range of one-time funding sources, including WIFA loans, HURF funds, state direct appropriations, DEMA fire-flood mitigation funds, recreational grants/donations, CDBG funds, excise tax, and fund balances.
Jepson explained that if the City has an opportunity to receive grant funds during the year, there has to be a budget to cover that grant amount already allocated in the budget for the year. Hence, the item for recreational CIP grant is very large to allow for the possibility of obtaining funds.
The CIP [Capital Improvement Projects] list includes:
- New items
- Carryforward (items appropriated for last year but not spent; this money has to be re-budgeted)
- Equipment vs. construction (based on procurement)
- Priority B (important items that may still be funded internally)
- Priority C (items requested but not funded this year)
The General Fund CIP stands at $1,147,365. Highlights of the CIP budget include:
- Mayor and Council total: $23,200, including purchase of new chairs for Council at $3,200.
- Admin/City Hall: $83,000.
- Fire: $240,611, including lease of a new Type 3 truck appropriate for wildfire and structure use, with a lease cost of $90,000, and a second set of turnouts at $60,001. The City plans to use wildfire funds to make payments on the truck lease. Fire Chief Gary Robinson estimates that if the City had had the truck available during the Telegraph Fire, it could have earned about $35,000 from this truck. Chief Robinson said it can be taken anywhere in the country and can be used as a front-line pumper.
- Police: $98,250 of general fund, mostly building remodel cost carryforward of $75,000. Police Chief Dale Walters had requested four vehicles – three SUVs for patrol plus a truck for evidence – but for this year the City will only purchase the evidence truck. Chief Walters said the City will also be purchasing three or four less-than-lethal rifles, which are 40mm single-shot, multipurpose, gas and beanbag deployment weapons. They will be colored orange to distinguish them from weapons that fire live rounds and people will need special training.
- According to Jepson, Globe’s half-cent excise tax is budgeted at $1,335,055. The tax is paying for work on the Seventh Street and Maple intersection, costing $45,000.
- CAG TIP total: $1,450,000. CAG funds will be providing $1 million for the Cottonwood bridge, with Globe putting in another half million.
- With regard to state direct appropriations, the total is $4,111,249, and Globe still has $2.4 million remaining to complete the Connie’s bridge project, to be carried forward. The Hill Street corridor has an amendment in the state budget, and when Gov. Ducey signs the budget it should be there. That would be $1.6 million, which Barnes and Rep. Cook worked to obtain.
- Public Works total: $639,494, including the $500,000 for the community pool rehab.
- The water enterprise total of $2,263,111 includes funds to purchase a CAT 420 backhoe loader, purchase a propane forklift for Globe’s water barn, pay for manhole and water valve adjustments, and pay for water improvements performed by contractors. The water valve adjustments involve putting risers on manholes and water valves that are below grade. The total also includes a separate item for equipment to exercise water valves. According to Barnes, an estimated 10% of Globe’s water valves are inoperable, meaning they either don’t turn or they leak. The new equipment will enable a preventive maintenance program to ensure that the valves work properly.
- DEMA funding
New items this year include a DEMA CIP, which creates a funding line for cost reimbursements due to the Telegraph Fire, and a recreational CIP, which lists all potential recreational projects. Recreation is a focus this year, so this list helps clarify possible projects and costs to Council and residents and helps Council and City staff get on the same page. The recreational CIP plan is large because the City has a lot of needs. The City is not planning to spend general fund money on these recreational projects but will be seeking partners, donors, and other sources such as Covid-related programs.
In an important development, Economic Development Director Linda Oddonetto announced that BHP is investing $480,000 in the City of Globe for recreational projects. Earmarks include:
- $250,000 for new equipment at the community center and City Hall Park
- $100,000 for a splash pad (most likely at the community center)
- $100,000 for adult fitness equipment at the active adult center
- $30,000 for water bottle filling stations throughout downtown.
Oddonetto noted that the City has been working with BHP since the closing of the walking trails at Old Dominion Mine Park in 2019 to identify opportunities for recreational facilities in the City.
Funds for restrooms at the dog park are on the Priority B list, meaning they are not on the current request but the City plans to find funding soon. John Angulo, Public Works Director, pointed out that restrooms are currently available at the dog park, but they are not ADA compliant. He said the plan is to create a new restroom facility that would serve the dog park, Noftsger Hill Field, and the new softball field.
DEMA funds are fire-related money that Gov. Ducey has obtained. Jepson noted that the amount the City will receive is currently uncertain, but the item will probably be set at $2 million.
Priority B items
The Priority B list – items that the City has not yet found funds for, but is still seeking – includes:
- Outdoor wireless at City sites. Plans are also on the board for wireless in the downtown business district. Jepson said broadband improvements can be funded from rescue money.
- Digital bulletin boards and a podcast as part of the City’s marketing efforts. These also could likely be funded through rescue funds.
- A business marketing program (potentially funded from COVID-related sources)
- Phase III remodeling for the Police Department
- Restrooms for the Noftsger Hill/dog park
- Swings at multiple parks
- Purchase of full-matrix message boards (potentially paid for through DEMA). These are solar-powered highway message boards for use in emergencies and for construction projects and special events. Jepson said the city doesn’t currently own any message boards. They cost $21,000 apiece.
Priority C items
Priority C items – not likely to be funded in this year’s budget – include:
- A control booth to be constructed in Council chambers to improve broadcasts of Council functions, at a cost of $20,000. About 300 to 350 people are watching Council meetings over YouTube. Council directed that this item be moved to Priority B. Council member Shipley noted that funding might be available through the USDA.
- Conference room upgrades around the city, specifically Public Works, Besh, and the active adult center
- Electronic door access systems for City Hall
- Three police patrol vehicles. This item is being postponed because changes are coming in the police budget. Chief Walters said that the original plan for the vehicles was to purchase four vehicles each year for five years, to get the Police Department on a rotation to maintain a current fleet. The decision not to purchase new vehicles this year does not set the PD back because Council and City staff were able to find the funding to purchase eight the first year.
- A non-DCL Broom Bear street sweeper
- Gift shop expansion for the museum: Jepson said this item is being pushed to next year so Council can consider it as part of a master plan for the museum.
- Pressure regulating valve (PRV) removal and relocation: This may become part of the Connie’s bridge relocation.
- Ellsworth well test pump
Council member Leetham suggested that the City set aside money each year for Priority B and Priority C priority items. Jepson agreed and said the reason he provides the list of those items to Council is so that they are aware of the need for these items within the reality of the City’s financial resources.
“I believe our staff is really strong; they don’t ask for something unless they know that it’s needed.” –City Manager Paul Jepson
A tentative budget will be ready by June 29, except for the compensation component. Final budget adoption will happen on July 13.
Bed tax distributions
Council approved distribution of $12,997.88 for 1Q and $9,188.63 for 2Q in bed tax monies to the Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce.
160 Murphy Street building
The former Headstart building at 160 Murphy Street has been gifted to the City by Pinal Gila Child Services, and Council voted to accept the title to the building.
City Emergency Proclamation regarding Telegraph and Mescal fires
Council discussed a City Emergency Proclamation for the recent fires. This is an official requirement to allow the City to receive funding based on the fires, such as from DEMA.
Council member vacancy policy
Council voted to approve the Council vacancy policy discussed in prior meetings.
Maple Waterline Abandonment Project
Council voted to ratify a contract related to the Seventh and Maple project, where it was necessary to reroute the water line in order to improve the intersection. According to Engineering Director Barnes, the project is being funded through WIFA. Abandonment in this case refers to abandoning a water line that goes through an individual’s private property, as part of the right-of-way agreement made with that individual. The line is being capped on both sides. Work on the intersection improvement could start as early as the end of July.
Police Department plumbing contract
Council approved a contract with Earth Quest Plumbing Inc. for phase II plumbing at the City of Globe Police Department main building. According to City Manager Jepson, this item is being included in this year’s budget so was considered as a late item. Chief Walters said it covers repairing ongoing issues in the building, plus completing the remodel and trim work for the remodel.
Chief Walters explained some of the history of the buildings. The very first building was built in the 1800s, and an addition was constructed sometime around 1910 to 1915 for fire. Sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, the original Police Department was built. In 1976, the two buildings were combined when another addition was built. Hence, the buildings are a hodgepodge of generational fixes. The current project intends to correct some of those issues.
The current project does not incorporate the Fire Department side. The City has insurance with a $5,000 deductible. According to Jepson, this is not a band-aid but is a 100% fix, but is it also not a remodel. It will bring the building back to functionality with the current design. The Police Department anticipates moving into much of the space in the buildings that the Fire Department will be vacating.
June 29 meeting
The Council will be meeting again on June 29 to discuss the tentative budget, the Silver King purchase, and a Pinal Gila item that must be approved before the end of the month.
See Part One in our coverage of June 22 City Council Meeting: Fire Mitigation
Full minutes can be found by going to the City Hall website at https://www.globeaz.gov/government 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 25% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask when entering and exiting the Council chambers. 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.
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, please contact the Council in advance and include your phone number on your request.
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.