Due to the cuts the City of Winslow is making to balance its Fiscal Budget for 2001/2002, the creation of a City Skateboard Park has been tabled, for now.
Plans for the park, which actually began two years ago, consisted of built-in permanent equipment for skateboarding and rollerbladding. The park was not included in the recently proposed budget and City Administrator John Roche said the $2,500 that would be added to the City’s insurance bill to cover the park would add to the deficit if the park was built.
As of Tuesday night, the $39,000 that remained in the Skateboard Park’s fund was transferred to the General Fund and the program was placed on hold until other methods of funding could be found. This addition of money brings next year’s budget deficit from $170,000 to $139,000.
Representatives from Bent, Inc., the company working with the City of Winslow on the project, were on-hand to express disappointment that the program was cancelled, and asked the Council not to do away with it entirely.
Councilman Tom McCauley answered this plea by stating, “It’s not that we don’t want the park, it’s that we can’t afford it right now.”
Mayor Jim Boles pointed out last year the Arizona League of Cities tried to change state laws with a bill that would minimize a city’s liability if an accident occurred on city parks and playground equipment if proper attention is directed to that equipment and the equipment is not at fault. This would lower the cost or even rid cities of the need to provide insurance for such a park. He said the bill had been killed at the last minute, but the League of Cities would be back fighting for the bill next year. If this bill is ever it could decrease the cost of insurance and help the Skateboard Park become a reality.
The Council also heard a report from Randy Bombardier, the City’s Economic Development Director, about the Municipal Golf Course. Bombardier informed the Council that no proposals to operate the golf course and no proposals to develop a surrounding residential area had been received. Only one proposal for a travel center had been received by the committee. Mayor Boles announced that a special Council Meeting concerning the Golf Course would be held Monday, June 18, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.
The Council also passed an agreement between the City of Winslow and Erin Collins and Associates to act as the City’s health insurance program for city employees as of July 1, 2001.
The Council approved the construction of a stem wall, or foundation, for the new modular building that is currently positioned by City Hall at the intersection of First and Kinsley. The building was a donation to the city and will be used as a conference room, to house the City’s blueprint machine and the City’s maps. Roche addressed the issue of the building being an eyesore because of its current condition and unstable foundation. He said the building would have a deck added on the outside, receive a paint job to match the City Hall and have landscaping surround it.
Roche reminded people that the building appearance was all in the eye of the beholder. “I think when it’s finished people will be impressed,” he said.
He added the building would not be a permanent feature, it would be there until the construction was completed on First, Second and Third Streets as part of the Downtown Vision.
Along with renovating the new modular building, the Council approved construction contracts to restore the Winslow-Lindberg Airport terminal exterior back to its original 1927 facade that Charles Lindberg designed. Port Java Café, which is located at the airport, will receive new facing and a paint job to match the terminal. Decorative wood posts that give the terminal its Hacienda flair will also be added to the outside of the building. The restrooms inside will be modernized and made handicapped accessible.