Weed and Seed program funded
At the City Council meeting on October 24 Chris Mobley, city recreation director and co-chairman of the Weed and Seed Steering Committee, told the council that Weed and Seed is now a funded program. In his Sept. report Mobley told the council that the program had achieved designated status, but at the end of the month it was also funded. A check for $175,000 is now in Winslow's possession and there will be $50,000 additional funding through asset forfeitures.
Winslow city officials were notified that the City of Winslow was awarded funding for its Weed and Seed project. This project is grant funded by the U.S. Justice Department with 51% for community policing efforts and 49% for community prevention efforts, especially among youth.
The Weed and Seed program is directed by Stephen Rickman. Rickman was appointed in 1996 and the program has expanded from 35 sites to 178 while becoming a model for community rebuilding efforts.
The Winslow Police Department is already working on community policing concepts and a steering committee is working on community plans as well. The funding, at $250,000 a year, will continue for a period of five years. The U.S. Department of Justice expects that changes in the pattern of policing and in community organization will take root within the five year grant period.
Winslow is one of the smaller cities to become a Weed and Seed site and it is one of ten sites in Arizona. Chris Mobley said that the people most responsible for Winslow being chosen and funded as a site are Louis Flores of La Familia, WPD Officer Afton Foster and our former Chief of Police Ray Sands.
The Steering Committee for Weed and Seed in Winslow is now beginning the process for hiring a coordinator. There is also a city police grant position to be filled. Action items are expected to be on the City Council agenda for Nov. 14.
In other business the council heard a report from the City Librarian Irene Best that a five member committee was working on the list of options for filtering Internet access. When they have chosen a path it will be checked with the city attorney and then brought back to the council.
Mayor jim Boles told the council that he had been elected the treasurer for the League of Cities and Towns. Boles said that it would not be much more work that he now does for the league and that the advantage to Winslow is that now some of his expenses will be paid. This will allow an additional member of the council to attend meetings within the budget allowance.
The Citizens for the Improvement of Winslow presented additional reasons for the people who are not satisfied with city actions on solid waste. Judy Howell said that there should be vote of the people to ratify this change.
Disability Awareness Month was recognized and certificates were presented. (see page 2)
With Dee Rodriguez abstaining the council voted to pay the insurance fees for SummerStruck Theater. This is a pay-back, since the theater already paid the fees.
John Roche, Development Services Director, presented the need for new rotors and controls at the waste water station. The previous ones had been in service only two years, but were over warranty and, as Roche pointe out, worked 24 hours a day in caustic conditions.
A more complicated problem was found in the Indoor Pool Spa. This has developed a leak which has been traced to some place below the jets. The pool may need to be replaced, but Roche said that he would know more about this at the next meeting of the council. A pump has been purchased, but it can be used in other facilities.
Public Housing received a drug elimination grant for an additional $25,000. This will be used 100% for drug prevention programs. Some of it will bring the police salary grant from 60% to 100%. Mayor Boles asked Fran McHugh of public housing and Actin g Chief of Police Steve Garnett to get together and report on the utilization of the officer funded by the grant.
The council authorized the painting and stucco repairs for Northwest Square. The painting is expected to be bid, but McHugh said that city workers had already done the patching.
The first reading for an ordinance to abandon a right of way and utility easement for the proposed Mike's Pike extension was read. THis fits with the change made in the location of the extension.On Monday at 11:30 a.m. the Council met in special session to consider the negotiations top find an interim city administrator. Don McDaniel will be leaving at the end of November and a new full-time city manager is not expected to be on board for at least three months.
Boles said that city staff already had full plates and he thought an interim administrator was necessary. While the council voted to negotiate, they also voted for an amendment offered by Councilman Tom McCauley that staff members would be considered in seeking an interim person.
The council will probably met again within a week to meet a proposed candidate for the interim position who is recommended by the League of Cities and Towns.
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