Wilson rezoning defeated in council vote; Thermal Imager purchase approved unanimously

The Wilson street rezoning proposal was defeated in City Council by a vote of 5-2. Mayor Jim Boles and Councilmember Robert Beamish voted yes and councilmembers Tom McCauley, Robin Boyd, Harold Soehner, Dee Rodriguez and Robert Mansell voted no.

The proposed rezoning was to allow a change from singe family to multiple-family for manufactured homes. The homes were meant for single families but manufactured housing requires the multiple family designation. Beamish said that perhaps the council "shot itself in the foot" with its own regulations.

In the public hearing held before the vote Dana Heath and Marie LaMar both spoke against the rezoning. Heath reminded the council that she had land immediately adjacent parcel and had spoken consistently against its rezoning. She said that she owned a manufactured home in New Mexico and knows from experience that this kind of housing deteriorates faster than homes like her brick house in Winslow. LaMar said that the rezoning proposal was in the interest of one member of the community and asked the council to "remember the whole community."

Firefighter Jim Hernandez presented a report to the council on the fundraising for the Thermal Imager which the Fire Department wished to purchase. The Firefighter's Association raised $4123.50 toward the purchase, much of which came from helicopter rides raffled off at the Baca Rodeo Series in February and March.

Hernandez told the council that the machines would be used to help locate victims sooner in a fire. "It gives us our sight back basically, when we go into a house," he said. Hernandez thanked the community for its support.

The council approved funds for the purchase of the Imager for up to $18,000. This will be offset by the funds raised by the firefighters. It was also pointed out that the Imager could be rented by other agencies in Northern Arizona since it will be the only one in the area.

During the public comments in the unscheduled appearances segment of the council agenda, Judy Howell, speaking for the Citizens for the Improvement of Winslow expressed some concerns for the use of the Imager. It can be a tool to invade privacy, and in an interview she said that there are some cases pending on this in the courts.

The council approved proclamations welcoming the participants to the All Class Reunion, September 29 through October 1; declaring September 29 and 30 as Standin' on the Corner Park Days; celebrating the Winslow Elks Lodge No. 536 Centennial and declaring September 23 as Winslow Elks Lodge Day; declaring September Rodeo Days Month; and declaring September 20 as Undoing Racism Day, which was requested by the president of the League of Cities and Towns as part of a national proclamation.

The council reappointed Henry Juergens and Harvey Cassidy to the Board of Adjustment and also appointed Steve Alfrey to the board.

A presentation on "Alice's Place," a proposed safe haven for domestic violence, was made by Dr. Ken Ogilvie. He said that the need for the haven was recognized across the community of Northern Arizona. A non-profit corporation is being set up with a community board. Ogilvie said he had been surprised and pleased by the extent of the cooperation from all sides for this enterprise.

In other business the council:

* Approved the purchase of an in-car video system for the Police Department. Acting Chief Steven Garnett said that there are already officers trained in its use.

* Heard a status report from Supervisor Tommy "Tee" Thompson on money from the county to help with the landfill closure. There is $15,000 this year and for the next eight years. Thompson said the county told him that Winslow did not get this money before because the city did not ask.

* The Winslow Improvement Now (WIN) team project members are meeting on a regular basis. This is a clean up campaign that will eventually reach the entire city. If the WIN team is not already in your neighborhood, you can look forward to them coming soon! Members of city department s are cooperating in checking out ordinance compliance on street, in alleys and in yards around town. East Winslow is the first area to be visited. Properties in violation will be listed, and homeowners will be notified by mail and given a chance to clean up on their own. Then there will be citations.

City Administrator Don McDaniel said that once the first area is felt to be under control the team will move on to the next. "It will go on for months and months," he said, "and probably have to start all over again one day."

* Councilmember McCauley thanked the council for its investments at Clear Creek. He urged families to take their lunch and go to the creek "Its just wonderful," he said. McCauley also urged Winslow to remember the All Class Reunion coming up and clean up for it.

* Mayor Boles and Economic Director Randy Bombardier went to the Governor's Rural Development Conference. Boles noted that one award went to Standin' On the Corner Park [see photo essay, right].

* George Stegmier, President of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce, asked the council to consider refunded money spent on the Winslow Rodeo Grounds by Casper Baca last winter. Many volunteers helped to "rebuild that atrocious mess over there," Stegmeir said. Baca also paid $3500 out of pocket to get the grounds ready for the Rough Stock Rodeos in time. Stegmeir said that he would contribute $500 and challenged the council to reimburse Baca to remainder.

* Members approved Ordinance no. 839 dedicating land for the future extension of Parker, with the proviso that when paving it was planned there will be a public hearing.

* Approved funds for 5000 copies of a community profile for marketing purposes for industrial development as requested by Economic Development Director Bombardier.

* Authorized emergency repairs to City Well No. 6.

* Awarded the bid for the city council chamber sound system upgrade; approved purchase of a sod cutter for the Parks Division; authorized repainting of the Visitors Center; and approved fencing gate and trash enclosure expenses at Winslow-Lindberg Regional Airport under the ADOT grant.

The council set its next regular meeting date for Monday, September 25 since the Meeting of the League of Cities and Towns is scheduled for Sept. 26.

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