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 Vice Mayor Stapleton and Councilman Pastor.
Million-dollar grants and loans set to fund major water projects in 2024 and 2025
Luis Chavez, Globe’s City Engineer, presented to Council about the major water-related projects the City is looking at for 2024 and 2025, and sources of funding.
The City is applying for a $2 million loan from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA) to fund the following primary projects:
- $700,000 to serve as matching funds for an Army Corps of Engineers 595 Program project
- $1 million for an Enhancing Well Capacity project to support City wellfield sustainability
- $300,000 for Groundwater Assessment and Mitigation, also to support wellfield sustainability
Reserve projects that might also see funding from this loan include the following:
- $250,000 for Central Avenue Waterline Replacement Conservation
- $150,000 for Disinfection Enhancement and Automation
- $200,000 for Apache Water Storage Tank and Booster
- $1.4 million for Fairgrounds Water Storage Tank and Booster
Paul Hendricks said the City is looking forward in order to enhance well capacity and get ahead of future problems. He said in the wellfield, it’s best to stay at least five to ten years ahead of any problems, and the drought conditions drawing down water levels in the wells could cause many problems in years to come.
City wellfield sustainability activities would involve the following:
- Field testing hydrologic groundwater capacity of each well, comparing historic to current production capacity
- Field testing casing for condition and feasibility for deepening wells. This includes modifying or replacing wells to maximize long-term pumping reliability and capacity, cleaning well screens mechanically and chemically, and upgrading and lowering pumps and other equipment to maximize efficiency and capacity.
- Sonic testing and testing for PFAS
- Upgrading well and water level monitoring capability
- Field testing, analyzing, and piloting test Alisio wellfield water for possible wellhead treatment
- Projecting aquifer capacity for up to 50 years
- Preparing short-, medium-, and long-term asset management programs
“This is a way that…we are providing top-quality water and sewer services, that we stay ahead of the curve, that we make sure it’s reliable and everything is always safe, and make sure we keep our standards and plan for the future.” City Manager Paul Jepson
WIFA Water Conservation Grant
Globe is also applying for a $3 million water conservation grant from WIFA that would primarily pay for water meter upgrades and water lines. This grant requires a match of $750,000.
The project would take at least two years and would be completed in six phases, one per district. It would include:
- Upgrading 3,299 AMR meters to AMI meters. AMI meters use cell towers to communicate real-time data to customers and to the utility office. The new meters do not require City staff to collect data, and they can improve billing, leak detection, and water resource management. They also allow customers to track usage.
- Meter inventory
- Lead and copper assessment
- Replacement of 475 linear feet of water lines on Fourth Street
- Replacement of 1,790 linear feet of water lines on Daybreak Drive
- Upgrading the water billing system
The WIFA water conservation grant committee has already recommended approval. If approved, Globe will receive a grant award letter around November 17. Council will then approve the solicitation of bids at its December 12 meeting.
Jepson said the match of $750,000 will be funded through the City’s Securing Future Water funds, which has a current balance of $1.3 million. He pointed out that SFW funds can be offset by in-kind costs or future water fee revenues.
US Army Corps of Engineers 595 Program
This grant would pay for the fairgrounds water line project, which will be completed in two phases:
- Phase I – Replacement of 1.45 miles of 12-inch water main from ADOT to Apache Peaks
- Phase II – Replacement of 2.0 miles of 12-inch water main from Apache Peaks to the fairgrounds entrance
The program would award the City $2.1 million and requires a match of $700,000. The $2 million WIFA loan mentioned above could be used to fund the match, City Manager Paul Jepson said. Like the SFW funds, WIFA funds may be offset by in-kind costs or future water fee revenues.
For this project, the contract will be advertised in August 2024 and construction should start in November 2024. Anticipated completion is in May 2025.
Councilman Rios expressed concern as to the total amount of money being dedicated to these projects, and as to whether the City would have adequate resources remaining for other purposes. Jepson pointed out that the City could explore other options for providing the match for the 595 project, if Council prefers not to fund the match with borrowed funds. Dennis Osich noted that an advantage of using the borrowed funds from WIFA is that it essentially is an interest-free loan over a 10- to 20-year period.
In connection with these projects, Council approved the following three motions:
- Authorizing an application for a water project loan in the amount of $2 million from WIFA. This item will come back before Council twice more, once for adoption and again for acceptance of the loan agreement, assuming the City receives it.
- Moving forward a project partnership agreement between the City of Globe and the US Army Corps of Engineers in order to receive funding initiated by Rep. Greg Stanton in the amount of $2.1 million. Jepson pointed out this vote will commit the City to the project. However, tonight Council only moved the item forward to the next available meeting for a final vote.
- Moving forward a request to set aside $750,000 to be used as possible matching funds for the $3 million WIFA water conservation grant associated with the City’s water meter project, in anticipation of possible WIFA board approval. Jepson pointed out that this motion puts Council on record as to where it will obtain match funds, assuming the City receives the grant.
Council also approved motions for the following:
- Accounts payable in the amount of $320,086.48
- Installation of new signage for Ambrose Realty at 286 N. Broad Street
- A new exterior paint scheme for the building located at 392 N. Broad Street
- A new exterior paint scheme and awning for the building located at 394 N. Broad Street
- A new exterior paint scheme and installation of a white picket fence for the building located at 233 N. Broad Street
- The donation of the High Street “Rainbow Bridge,” including a commercial grade bench in the shape of a bone, a life-size bronze sculpture of a dog, and 12 small memorial signs, by the Love Where You Live organization
To view this meeting online, visit here.
Full minutes can be found by visiting the City Hall website .
The Globe City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. 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 currently lives on Santa Maria island in the Azores.