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More news from the City Council Meeting

The Winslow City Council met July 26 for a regular meeting. Vice Mayor Harold Soehner was absent. Among the issues discussed were:

‹ Public Housing Director Fran McHugh presented the following report to Council:

The department completed fiscal 2005 in good condition. We have adequate reserves to cover approximately nine months of operation and our budget will provide additional funds to reserves for this year. Since this includes our capital fund, it is necessary to "save for a rainy day" and we plan to dip into this reserve for relatively large projects like re-roofing.

We continue to qualify as a High Performing Housing Authority in both the Public Housing and Section 8 programs.

On June 30, 2005 all 55 Public Housing units were occupied. We completed the year with one outstanding rent payment of $222 out of a total collectable for the year of 57,831, 4/10ths of 1-percent.

All Public Housing units have been inspected and maintenance staff has completed all necessary repairs, in preparation for the biannual HUD inspection. Maintenance staff has also been busy working on "curb appeal," trimming trees and bushes and keeping the lawns neat and green.

The Section 8 Voucher program has significantly changed over the last 12 months. In July of 2004 the department was authorized to assist 128 families. Based on cuts in the federal budget, Section 8 funds were cut nation-wide and the program was changed from a unit basis to a dollar basis. This has resulted in a 13-percent reduction in the number of families we will be able to assist. We begin the fiscal year with 112 families under assistance. This is probably close to the maximum sustainable number under the new funding formula.

Under the portability provisions of the Section 8 program, a family may move to another jurisdiction (port-out). The receiving housing authority administers the voucher, makes payments to the landlord, and bills the initial housing authority for Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) costs and 80-percent of the initial housing authority's Administrative Fee (AF). We have three families who are residing in other jurisdictions and we currently administer the contracts for nine families from other agencies.

‹ Approved and adopted Ordinance 977 for the preliminary plat of Painted Desert Country Club Estates. The O'Haco Cattle Company plans to design a 15-lot subdivision north of the Mike's Pike extension and east of Hipkoe Drive. Approved and adopted Ordinance 978 for the preliminary plat of Votech Subdivision. The Winslow Unified School District plans to allow high school students to build a seven-lot subdivision at the corner of Maple and Pope as part of vocational training programs.

‹ Approved Resolution 1332 allowing the city to invest funds up to $10 million with reputable investment agencies other than the Arizona Local Government Investment Pool. The LGIP saw investment rates drop 5.3-percent from 2000 to 2004 forcing many state government agencies to find alternate investment options.

‹ Approved payment for dues for the city to remain a member of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns for $5,522. The league is a lobbing body that meets with legislatures and other special interest groups. The fee is based on population at 37 cents per capital.

‹ Approved annual advertising contract with the Winslow Mail at $6.30 per column inch.

‹ Approved purchase of 46 50-pound bags of Bermuda grass seed for city ballparks, cemetery and East End Rest Area from Fertizona-Casa Grande for $4,413.24.

‹ Accepted an Arizona Criminal Justice Commission Grant of $6,675 for use in combating criminal activity associated with transients.

‹ Approved purchase of 150 horsepower pump for well No. 2 for $4,522. The previous motor burnt up on July 8.

‹ Authorized the Fire Department to purchase new equipment for the Dive Team not to exceed $9,000.

‹ Approved additional funds to be spent on leak detection survey of downtown area not to exceed $2,700. On July 12, Council approved the project not to exceed $2,000. However, the contractor said work could not begin until late October. To speed up the process to begin Aug. 2, the contractor needs the extra funds to bring in an extra crew from Washington.

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