Home » Government » Globe’s water supplies discussed at Council’s September 27 meeting

Globe’s water supplies discussed at Council’s September 27 meeting

Overlooking downtown Globe. Photo by LCGross.

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 except Councilman Rios.

City water supplies sufficient for the foreseeable future, consultant says

Council heard information about the current state of the City of Globe water supply and began a discussion to set strategic steps and long-term goals to build water resiliency for now and the future.

City Manager Paul Jepson said questions have been arising statewide about water supplies. He said the City continues to maintain an adequate water supply, currently using only about half of the water available to it – 2,500 acre-feet per year. The City could add 3,000 new homes and would still have enough water to supply them, Jepson said.

However, the City does want to plan for the future. Council members discussed the fact that their decisions now would affect Globe residents 50 years in the future.

Victoria Hermosilla from Montgomery & Associates Water Resources Consulting, based in Tucson, presented background information about water supplies in the State of Arizona and for the City. Hermosilla was a coordinator/facilitator for the Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership for three years and has a background in hydrology, hydrogeology, and water policy.

“This study and other studies are pointing the way for us to be prepared for the future….It behooves us now to call this a planning moment and to look at everything we can and bring all this knowledge to bear.” Councilman Mariano Gonzalez

Hermosilla started by giving some basic information about current and projected water levels at Hoover Dam. She said the recent Tier 2 shortage declared by the Bureau of Reclamation was determined on the basis of a study that BOR performs every year to forecast the water situation for the next 24 months. The most likely scenario has water levels continuing to decline over the next 24 months.

The State of Arizona is a “junior user” of the Colorado River and is entitled to 2.8 million acre-feet of water annually. Almost half of that amount goes to “on river” users near Yuma, including the City of Yuma, Yuma agriculture, tribes and military bases. The rest goes to the Central Arizona Project. Within the CAP allocation, there are allocations and priorities for different users.

Globe not part of the CAP system

However, the City of Globe does not use CAP water because we’re located too far away from the CAP canal. Nonetheless, Globe is still in the same boat as the rest of the state, Hermosillo said, because our area is experiencing drought just as the rest of the region is. And, she said, the future will be hotter and drier.

The Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership is a voluntary alliance aiming at improving water quality and quality of life. Hermosillo created the partnership’s Watershed Action Plan, which she had to rewrite after the Telegraph Fire to account for new conditions. The priorities are fire preparedness, resiliency and restoration, drought contingency planning and water supply security. These priorities all overlap, she said.

“A 1/16-inch hole at 60 pounds per square inch in a year will leak 300,000 gallons of water.” American Water Works Association

Jepson suggested Council brainstorm about two topics. First, system efficiency, including maintaining and improving Globe’s water distribution system, increasing the efficiency of pumps and wells, and improving leak detection. Second, reducing consumption, including updating building codes to current standards, reviewing the retention requirement (a technical area for Planning and Zoning), education and encouraging voluntary compliance, and providing City-wide water conservation assistance.

For example, the City could provide tools like toilet tablets that show if the flapper is leaking, could give out the flappers themselves, and could also give out low-flow shower heads. Hermosillo said much state funding is available for water system resiliency, conservation, and efficiency.

The city could diversify water sources for resiliency

Hermosillo said the City could consider diversifying its water supply. Currently, the City’s water all comes from wells, mostly the Cutter Basin wells. Diversifying supply would give the City options in case of any need, such as replacement or persistent drought, which would enhance water supply security. Globe could also look at recapturing flood waters, which would require cooperating with the Forest Service and SRP.

“Building out your ability to be resilient now is helping yourself in the future.” Victoria Hermosillo, water resources consultant

Jepson said reclaiming effluent for treating into potable water isn’t a short-term possibility because the City has a 50-year contract with the mines to sell them its effluent, and even if that contract didn’t exist, creating a system for treating the water would take decades and would be very expensive. Hermosillo said selling the effluent and using the proceeds to fund other water projects could make more sense.

Hermosillo also suggested Council look at stream and floodplain restoration to reduce flooding and allow the water to sink into the ground instead of running off. A retention basis would help with this.

Jepson said the City would continue to consult with additional experts, research unanswered questions, seek funding opportunities and create documented plans. Council will be hearing more presentations about water over the coming year.

City Manager receives salary increase, completing City employee salary adjustments

Council approved an increase in the City Manager’s salary via approval of the Market Rate Salary Study Adjustment applied to the position of City Manager. Mayor Gameros commented that Council has viewed presentations about the City’s salary study and how it is being applied to staff. It now is up to Council to apply the study to the City Manager’s salary. The City Manager’s annual wage was adjusted to $146,371.

I hope our employees understand that we value them. We truly value them and all they do. They are one of our greatest assets.” Mayor Al Gameros

Councilman Shipley pointed out that all City employees work under the City Manager, and the only employee the City Council employs is the City Manager, which is why Council needs to adjust his salary as a separate item. Shipley also said this salary increase is not a merit award; it’s only bringing the City Manager up to market level, to the average salary for city managers at cities of Globe’s size.

Councilman Leetham pointed out that Jepson had delayed taking a raise until all other City employees had received their increases and has not had a raise in three and a half years. Leetham also said replacing Jepson would cost far more than the salary increase. Mayor Gameros said the salary increase applied to all City employees and it’s only fair that it now be applied to the City Manager as well.

Public Safety workgroup seeking a grant to fund PD and FD requests

During updates about Council workgroups, Mayor Gameros said the Public Safety workgroup is working on a grant to help satisfy some of the Fire Department’s requests relating to the wildfire plan and firewise community efforts, as well as to fund requests from the Police Department.

Motions approved

Council also approved motions for the following:

  • Accounts payable in the amount of $454,689.88
  • Appointment of Douglas Shugart to the Historical Preservation Advisory Committee. Shugart is a graduate of the Citizens Academy.
  • Designation of Globe’s City Manager, Paul Jepson, as Chief Fiscal Officer on behalf of the City of Globe to submit the Annual Expenditure Limitation Report for FYE 2023 to the Auditor General.
  • A request for a 17.5-foot-tall monument sign located at 1100 N. Broad Street (the former NAPA building). This height is in excess of the City’s 16-foot maximum height limitation. The request was discussed at Council’s previous meeting. Dana Burkhardt, Globe’s Planning and Zoning Administrator, discussed traffic visibility around the site and said the sign does not impinge on any sight lines. P&Z recommended approval.
  • A resolution declaring and adopting the results of the August 2, 2022, primary election. Shelly Salazar said Jesse Leetham, Mike Stapleton, Mariano Gonzalez and Fernando Shipley were reelected to their Council seats.
  • Awarding of three contracts for water line replacement to HT4 out of Thatcher. Council heard information about these projects at a previous meeting. Globe’s Water Facilities Manager, Vince Mariscal, explained that these projects are part of the City’s water conservation efforts to fix leaks.
    • The Bailey Waterline Replacement Project, in the amount of $78,298.56 plus an owners contingency of $11,744.78. Mariscal said this leak is “a big pain for us, so it’s great get this one fixed.”
    • The Pasquale Waterline Replacement Project, in the amount of $59,092.43 plus an owners contingency of $8,863.86. This one is located near the Pickle Barrel.
    • The Dickinson Waterline Replacement Project, in the amount of $93,500.88 plus an owners contingency of $14,025.13. This is an old HDP line in poor condition and is high on the priority list. It is a City line on county land near the college.
  • A purchase agreement with Jesse E. and Kathy J. Bolinger to purchase the property located at 1300 N. Broad Street. Jepson explained that this is the City’s Evidence Building, previously a pawn shop, which the City has been leasing. An appraisal has been completed and an environmental report is underway. The purchase agreement will allow the deal to go into escrow. The purchase price is $180,000.

To view this meeting online, visit here.

To view documents related to this meeting, click here.

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 50% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask except when seated. Seating is limited to allow for social distancing.

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 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 email council@globeaz.gov. If you desire to speak to the Council during an agenda item.

 

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