My Votes July 1, 2014


Last night I voted;
-Against a new tax (use tax). Unfortunately it Passed 4-3
-For the TRAX Development on 4th St, Passed 6-1
-For a graffiti ordinance, Passed 4-3

-Tonight at 6:00PM, public hearing on “the Standard” project

My Votes Council Meeting July 1, 2014

ITEM 4A
APPROVAL OF PAST MINUTES
PASSED 7-0

ITEM 8
LIQUOR LICENSES FOR FIVE APPLICANTS
I moved to forward all five to the state with a recommendation for approval
Granny’s Closet, Brandy’s, Alpha Omega Greek, Nadli, Air Cafe
PASSED 7-0

ITEM 9A
$117,000 Police Body Camera purchase
This is to mount body cameras on Flag PD uniforms so there is a recording of their interactions with the community.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM 9B
Computer hardware and support maintenance agreement.
This is the service contract to record and store the video from the PD cameras.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM 10A
Zoning Map Amendment Pine Canyon
This is to allow Pine Canyon to restrict access during the evening hours.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM 10B
Property Tax Assessment
This sets the property tax levy for the 2015 budget year. In short, what the City collected last year in property taxes they will collect this year. No increase in taxes for the third year.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM 10C, D and E
TRAX PROPERTY
This is the vacant City property on each side of the Fourth Street overpass along Rt. 66.

10C was the development agreement, this was a bit contentiouse. Four of my colleagues opted to amend the agreement having the developer contribute hundreds of thousands to widening the overpasses on 4th Street over I-40. The developer was fine with paying this however this does have broad implications on other developments and sets a precedent for dramatically increased costs for new development in the pipeline. I’ve argued many times that increased costs to the developer are passed onto the end user, the homeowner or renter. I’m concerned that $5,000,000 will now be spread to the homeowners and renters thus compounding Flagstaff’s affordability issue.

Mayor Nabours floated a motion to not have the developer pay for the 4th street overpasses. That failed 3-4 with myself, Mayor Nabours and Vice Mayor Evans voting for it.

After that failed a motion was made to adopt the development agreement with the payment towards the overpasses. In the end I supported the agreement as amended. It’s a great development. I am strongly opposed to the development fees being pushed to the developer though. These will ultimately be passed onto Flagstaff residents.
PASSED 6-1 with Mayor Nabours against.
10D is the purchase contract (withdrawn)
10E is the zoning map amendment. PASSED 7-0

ITEM 10F
GRAFFITI ORDINANCE
Mayor Nabours and I fought to remove language in the ordinance that would put a lien on someone’s property if the City came onto their property and removed the grafitti. I commented that this makes the victim the guilty party. After much back and forth the lien language was removed.
PASSED 4-3 with Councilmembers Barotz, Brewster and Evans voting against.

ITEM 10G
RECREATION FEE INCREASES
Council agreed during our budget hearings last year for a 3 year phased in increase of recreation fees. A constituent spoke against the increase due to the high costs at the ice rink. While I appreciate these comments the reality is that the rink is a very expensive facility to maintain and even with the increase it is still heavily subsidized by the tax payer.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM H
LANDFILL TIPPING FEE
This is a $2.50 per ton fee that is charged at the landfill. This is a reinstatement of this fee and the proceeds will go towards the construction of a new maintenance facility.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM I
FMPO CONTRACT
This is a joint agreement between Flagstaff, the State of Arizona and the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization. This agreement brings about $250,000 into the City for planning.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM J
INCREASED FUNDING TO HUMANE SOCIETY
This is an increase in funding to the Humane Society of $50,000 that was decided during the budget retreat. I fought hard for this increase in funding through the reallocation process.

ITEM K
ORDINANCE PROHIBITING TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
Last month Council unanimously opted out of County’s cell phone ban. Last year Council opted out of a City wide texting ban. Well it looks like the third time is a charm. I supported opting out of the County’s cell phone ban, which I believe the County Board of Supervisors hastily write. The new ordinance addresses texting while in motion. So for example, if you’re waiting for a train at a crossing, you can text. This solves the issue I’ve brought up before about encouraging people to text while not in motion versus sneaking a text with your head down while driving.

ITEM 14B
WATER DEPOSIT INCREASE
For about 20 years the deposit has been at $25.
Staff proposed an increase to $150 for residential and $300 for Non-Residential. After 12 months of on time payments the deposit will be applied to the water bill. This is being done in hope of reducing the City’s uncollectible accounts.
We also created an option for the deposit to be paid in three payments.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM 14C
RE-CODIFICATION OF THE BBB TAX
This is part of our tax simplification process. This is not a new tax, just some cleanup language.
PASSED 7-0

ITEM 14D
USE TAX
This is a new tax supported by four of my colleagues during the budget retreat. I was and remain against this new tax. It taxes the purchase of out of town/state purchases. For example, if a company purchased a large format printer for their printer shop and brought it into Flagstaff for use, tax would be due. I see this as an obstacle to job creation in Flagstaff, especially when you talk large purchases on equipment when it relates to a business.
PASSED 4-3 with Mayor Nabours, Councilman Woodson and I against.

ITEM 14A
PUBLIC HEARING ON “THE STANDARD”
Council heard a request by Landmark Properties to rezone 3.06 acres from manufactured housing to highway commercial (Arrowhead Village Trailer Park)
Project is a 191 units student housing project with 10,000 sq ft of commercial uses and a 6 level parking garage.
The project currently has the Snow Gate Motel, two abandoned gas stations as well as Arrowhead Village Trailer Park

The project is 6.73 acres total

Most properties around the proposed project is commercial except for one rental complex. Maximum hight allowed is 60 feet.

Talk about….
xTraffic Calming, this would be on Blackbird Roost (a round about) and clay, a center median.
x ADOT, pedestrian crossing near Blackbird Roost, what are they? ADOT is recommending a pedestrian crosswalk similar to the one on West Street by Coconino High School.

About $700,000 has been offered as a donation from the developer to the trailer park residents for relocation.

1. 180 day notice required by law
2. Owner is required to make contribution to state redevelopment fund equal to $500 to each single wide and $800 to each doublewide. Residents would then have to apply to the state for moving costs to be paid to a third party, up to maximum of $5,000 for single wide, $10,000 doublewide. If they cannot be moved $1,250 is the maximum they can receive and $2,5000 doublewide.

Average of $14,000 is being offered per resident.

Developer Is Offering
$9,910 to renters
$12,323 to owners

For new residents the developer is offering 1 bus pass for entire school year per student to help reduce car travel.
Pedestrian crosswalk at Blackbird Roost and Rt. 66.
Landscape Clay Ave with Trees. Put a street light on Clay (very dark area)
Roundabout on Clay and median dividers.
Sidewalk completion on Clay
Left turn arrow at Clay and Milton

Council continues deliberation on this item at 6:00PM.


One thought on “My Votes July 1, 2014

  1. Jeff, does the Use Tax (Item 14 D) apply to individuals as well? If so, let’s say I get a better deal for a new car in Phoenix compared to Flagstaff. Will I have to pay the Use Tax if I buy it in Phoenix, but won’t have to pay it if I buy it in Flagstaff?

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