Cottonwood council approves final budget

Cottonwood's 2001-02 budget of $36,038,739 received final approval unanimously Tuesday evening by the Cottonwood City Council during its regular meeting.

A tentative budget had been adopted in June, said Rudy Rodriguez, the city's finance director.

He outlined the changes from the tentative budget:

• Increased expenditures of $5,000 in the Custodial Division to cover the recently accepted contract.

• Increased revenues of $5,740 for the County Library contributions.

• Reduction of $5,740 to the General Fund Transfer Out and Library Transfer In.

• A net increase of $740 to the Council's Undesignated Reserves.

The budget documents are available for public review in the city clerk's office, said Rodriguez.

The council also unanimously approved a bid for a new long-distance carrier – NTS Communications – that reportedly will save approximately 60 percent on long-distance costs.

NTS was the only respondent out of 10 possible companies that were sent invitations to bid, city staff told council members.

Staff had contacted other municipalities that are using NTS and found "a very high satisfaction level" among them, Rodriguez said in a memo to City Manager Brian Mickelsen.

In other business, council members:

• Approved a $26,200 consulting agreement with Earth Tech, Inc., of Phoenix for design and installation of a traffic signal on the west leg of the intersection at Mingus Avenue and Main Street. The agreement was slightly amended to tighten liability.

• Approved intergovernmental agreements with Yavapai County for public health services for city residents, with the city's cost budgeted at $37,197; for sharing court facilities and sharing the court supervisor's salary, budgeted at $27,760; and for unified emergency services, as a member of the county's Joint Office of Emergency Management, budgeted at $3,855.

• Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Yavapai County Library District, with the district paying the city $110,011 – $82,408 for library services and $27,603 for library materials.

• Approved a $15,442 final payment to Drill-Tech Inc., Chino Valley, on a contract for drilling two monitoring wells adjoining Del Monte Wash, as part of a wastewater project.

• Approved the city's annual agreement with the Old Town Association, slightly modified to result in a more specific work plan with measurable performance standards, as part of the Draft Focus Future II plan. The city will continue to provide up to $15,000 annually as a match for money raised by the association.

Steve Rose, the association's director, said, "We're not an event organization. We do more than events."

The association's goal is to become a full Arizona Main Street Program, he said, with Cottonwood already being a member of the Main Street program.

"There's so much economic development," said Rose. "There's so much we can do."

• Approved special-event liquor licenses for the Verde Valley Fair Association for Aug. 25, Sept. 14-15, Oct. 5 and Oct. 19-20. Council member Steve Dockray abstained, citing his membership on the VVFA board.

• Approved special-event liquor licenses for the Old Town Association for Aug. 31; Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28; and Oct. 5-6.

• Approved a draft of a letter regarding legislative redistricting by Mayor Ruben Jauregui, asking the state Independent Redistricting Commission to consider the Verde Valley as a single geographical area.

"Further, we urge that the City of Cottonwood and the Verde Valley be in a legislative district including the Flagstaff area. We feel that we have common issues with the Northern Arizona area, such as transportation, environmental and economic development," the mayor said in the letter.

Council member Randy Lowe said, "I think it's a very good idea to do this."

"We seem to be more in line with Flagstaff and Northern Arizona…philosophically and problematically," he said.

Nonaction items:

The council also discussed, in executive session at the end of the regular meeting, a development agreement regarding the G.M. Fratelli and Mongini House, and an undisclosed contract that is being negotiated.

Richard Faust, the city's Parks and Recreation Department director, and the council received a plaque of appreciation from the Bert Black Jr. VFW Post 7400 for the patriotic display at the city's July 4 program at Cottonwood Park. The plaque was presented by Post Commander Don Finney.

Jauregui also received a plaque, presented by Rose, for being instrumental in developing the Old Town Association's annual Sizzling Salsa Street Fair.

The mayor also proclaimed September as Arizona Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in Cottonwood, joining a statewide effort by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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