County supervisors keep their eyes on taxpayers’ dollars
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors looked closely at several agenda items at its Oct. 5 meeting to determine if projects and decisions made good use of taxpayers’ dollars. Grants, donations and contributions on a couple of projects brought the county more than $1 million.
On two items relating to Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) and the county’s newest department, Community Health Center of Yavapai (CHCY), Chair Jack Smith opposed, citing the necessity of board oversight. The board considered, and approved 4-1, authorizing the directors of both departments the ability to sign “contracts, Intergovernmental Agreements, amendments, memorandums of agreement, and other documents related to the ongoing operations of approved health services programs.”
The board created CHCY this past month as a department separate from Community Health Services, with a new director who also serves as executive director to the Prescott Free Clinic, Inc.
Smith said he opposed having the directors sign off on contracts. “I think it requires oversight by the public and the Board of Supervisors,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that oversight belongs here at the top.”
Davis said he would like to see government entities run in the least possible bureaucratic manner, and supported the authorization. “If you have an incompetent director, you get rid of him.”
Supervisor Rowle Simmons mentioned that a number of issues are time sensitive in health departments, and waiting for two or three weeks for the next board meeting would not work in many circumstances.
The county’s revised policy delegates authority to specific representatives that includes Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter to sign contracts related to special programs, CHS Director Stephen Tullos to sign renewal of contracts related to public health services, the CHCY director to sign renewal of contracts related to health clinic services, and County Attorney Sheila Polk to sign contracts related to anti-racketeering funds.
Williamson Valley substation
In another matter, Smith questioned extending the lease agreement for the Williamson Valley Sheriff’s substation in the amount of $1,210 per month ($14,520 annually) with White Gopher, LLC, John A. Hunt, owner, with an option to renew after one year at $1,300 per month.
Smith said the county has paid about $86,000 in rent since 2011, and he would rather see the county build something to own, not lease, as the need for a substation exists
at least 20 years into the future.
Sheriff Scott Mascher said the station “seems to be pretty well situated for our needs,” and he hasn’t looked for any other location.
Bourdon said the Facilities Department and Sheriff’s Office would look into whether the lease continues to make sense for long-term planning purposes.
Bagdad Airport restrooms
Smith also asked about the $74,994 needed to pay for design services for the Bagdad Airport Restroom and Pilot Lounge, of which an Arizona Department of Transportation Aeronautics Grant will pay 90 percent, or $67,495, and the county will provide $7,499, or 5 percent.
“I’m not in favor. The money could be used in other projects,” Smith said, citing the jail, as one of those projects. The board approved the request 4-1, with Smith opposing.
CYMPO lease, PNI contract
Davis questioned the amount the county pays in funding and in in-kind contributions to Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization, which leases space in the county-owned offices at the Commerce Center Circle property. This item will come back to the board with a financial breakdown from all contributing parties.
The supervisors took no action regarding the award of a contract to Prescott Newspapers Inc. (PNI) for advertising and legal notices. The agenda item had no copy of the bid – PNI had the sole bid with the same amount as this past year. Legally, notices must be published in a newspaper printed within the county.
Kudos for saving money
The supervisors gave kudos to Dan Cherry, director of Flood Control, for receiving a nearly $1.2 million grant from FEMA Cooperating Technical Partners for restudy of the mapping of Oak Creek and its major tributaries in both Yavapai and Coconino counties.
County Librarian Barbara Kile reported that multiple donations from entities that included Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Northern Arizona Council of Governments, and members of the public who gave 5,688 books to the newly opened Paulden Public Library, saved the library district $25,000. Facilities Director Kenny Van Keuren said the contributions and grants saved the county a total of $88,000. The library opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony later in the day.
The supervisors also met in executive session to discuss litigation in the Arizona Cattle Growers Association vs. Yavapai County case, and the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) contract agreement. The board unanimously approved $10.39 per acre at full cash value for tax years 2016 and 2017, and took no action on the YHS contract agreement. Watch The Daily Courier for an upcoming story on the tax issue.