Historic Fort Tuthill Quad Dedication

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Parks & Recreation dedicated the Historic Fort Tuthill Quad Tuesday. The dedication celebrated the renovation of the Historic Quad, a site that served as the summer training facility of the Arizona National Guard from 1929-1948, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Renovation of the Historic Quad began in 2016 and was engineered by Peak Engineering and built by Kinney Construction Services.

“I want to thank voters of Coconino County for making the renovation of this historic site possible,” Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta. “This project shows that as a community, we greatly value our parks and open space. I’m proud that we could renovate this historic place to better represent the people who served our country at Fort Tuthill.”

The Historic Quad renovation upgraded the site’s infrastructure, including water, electricity and communication. Crews constructed several major drainage systems to accommodate water flow in the Quad so historic mess halls would be conserved. The electric was upgraded on-site and features connection points for special events. A public announcement system was also installed.

“The renovation of the Historic Quad at Fort Tuthill Park is a beautiful and historic addition to the other attractions and public private partnerships we have here,” said District 3 Supervisor Matt Ryan. “I really hope people come out to see and enjoy all the park has to offer.”

The main entrance to the Historic Quad features two sections of concrete stamped with “USA WPA”. These are sections from the Works Progress Administration era of the Quad during the 1930s. Two of the historic fence columns that run along the eastern perimeter of Fort Tuthill County Park were moved to the Historic Quad. The 1930s era columns were salvaged from an ADOT roadway construction project and are located between the two buildings housing the Fort Tuthill Military Museum.

This project used funds from Coconino Parks and Open Space (CPOS) sales tax, a 1/8 cent sales tax approved by voters in 2002 that raised $33 million to acquire open space, develop parks, and make improvements to existing parks. As part of the ballot measure, voters approved to “complete restoration of historic portions of Fort Tuthill and continue fairgrounds improvements.” The project budget is $4.7 million.

For more information on Coconino County Parks and Recreation: http://www.coconino.az.gov/parks

AzCourtHelp.org earns international award

FLAGSTAFF — The National Association for Court Managers (NACM), in partnership with the International Association for Court Administration (IACA), awarded AzCourtHelp.org top honors for this year’s top 10 Court Technology Solutions Awards.

The awards are given each year to recognize courts that make the best use of technology to improve courts’ service and access to the public. AZCourtHelp.org was selected to receive the award over entries from Dubai, Rwanda and several other states within the U.S.

“I want to congratulate the courts for this great achievement and receiving this worldwide recognition,” said Chairwoman Liz Archuleta. “It is the court system’s innovative ideas and dedication to the community which continually make our system more efficient and more accessible for everyone.”

AzCourtHelp.org offers free assistance to people who need help resolving disputes or have legal questions regarding divorce and custody, landlord/tenant issues, civil dispute and criminal charges. Residents outside of Flagstaff can participate due to an onsite and virtual legal self-help program which helps save time, effort and money to more fully understand their legal rights and obligations. It’s also helpful to self-represented litigants who would not have access to legal resources in their area.

Coconino County Superior Court and the Law Library are major stakeholders of AzCourtHelp.org and selected to pilot this program because of available resources and previous success with innovative programs. Other stakeholders that contributed to the development include:

• Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts
• The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education
• Arizona State Library, Archives, & Public Records
• The Office of the Arizona Attorney General
• The Department of Economic Security’s Division of Child Support Services

Free live webinars on popular topics are available at AzCourtHelp.org/public-events or you may attend in person at the Coconino County Law Library.

Fleas test positive for plague in additional location in Coconino County

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) officials confirmed that fleas collected in the Doney Park area, northeast of Flagstaff, have tested positive for plague (Yersinia pestis). Last week fleas collected in the Red Lake area, approximately five miles northeast of Williams, tested positive for plague. The tests were conducted by the Center for Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University.

CCPHSD is notifying area residents and the burrows, which are located on private property, will be treated. The area will be closely monitored to determine if further action is required.

Because the disease is endemic in Coconino County, there are likely additional locations with infected fleas. CCPHSD Environmental Health staff will continue to collect and test flea samples from locations throughout the County.

CCPHSD is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals. The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal. To limit possible exposure, people are encouraged to avoid rodent burrows and keep dogs on a leash as required by Arizona State law.

An abundance of active prairie dogs doesn’t indicate disease is present. However, a sudden die-off of prairie dogs and rodents, may be an indicator of plague. Persons noticing a sudden die-off of rodents or rabbits are urged to contact CCPHSD Environmental Services at 928-679-8750.

Joint Land Use Study contract awarded

FLAGSTAFF — The Coconino County Board of Supervisors awarded MAKERS Architecture & Urban Design the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) contract during a regular board session this week.

The Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment awarded Coconino County a $532,700 grant for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) earlier this year. The grant will be used to hire a consultant to provide recommendations for land uses that are compatible with the military missions of Camp Navajo and the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station while also supporting economic development and community values.

The County issued a request for proposals (RFP) soliciting consultants to perform the study in April, 2017. MAKERS submitted the most competitive proposal and after deliberation, the selection committee determined it had the best plan to meet the RFP requirements and community interests.

“We are pleased to have MAKERS working with the County, the City of Flagstaff and the community on this important study,” said Vice-Chair of the Board and District 3 Supervisor Matt Ryan. “Our military installations are vital to our economic vitality and our national security and an integral part of Coconino County. It’s important that we all work together. MAKERS has a solid team of experienced professionals and is prepared to conduct the extensive public outreach we requested to develop recommendations.”

MAKERS will start the project by developing a detailed communications and feedback plan for public involvement that includes key stakeholders and community leaders.

“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I want to thank all partners for their hard work on the JLUS project,” said Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta.

City of Flagstaff Councilmember and Chair of the JLUS Policy Committee, Celia Barotz said, “I’m pleased MAKERS was awarded the JLUS contract and am enthusiastic about the upcoming stakeholder meetings and community conversations. Given the development pressures in the Flagstaff area, this study couldn’t have come at a better time.”

MAKERS is an award-winning architectural and urban design firm providing services to clients throughout the Pacific Northwest and the United States. Founded in 1972, the firm provides a client-oriented business approach stressing attention to project requirements, design quality and budget.

Arguments ‘For’ and ‘Against’ WUSD ballot question sought

FLAGSTAFF – Williams Unified School District #2 will hold an override election to exceed its revenue control limit by 10 percent on November 7, 2017. Voters will be asked to vote on the following issue:

  • To adopt a General Maintenance and Operation Budget which exceeds the revenue control limit specified by statute by 10 percent for fiscal years 2018-2019 through 2022-2023 and in fiscal years 2023-2024 and 2024-2025, the amount of the proposed increase will be 6.66 percent and 3.33 percent, respectively, of the District’s revenue control limit in each of such years. The 2018-2019 budget override authority represents an extension of the existing 10 percent budget override. If the override is not approved for continuation, the existing 10 percent override will phase out by reducing one-third for fiscal year 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. The estimated tax rate to fund the continued override in fiscal year 2018-2019 is $0.39 per one hundred dollars of net assessed valuation used for secondary property tax purposes.

The Coconino County Superintendent of Schools will prepare an informational pamphlet for the election. The pamphlet will be mailed to households of registered voters who reside within the school district.

Arguments “For” and “Against” the special budget override are being requested by the County Superintendent of Schools Office for inclusion in the informational report. The County School Superintendent shall review all factual statements contained in the written arguments and correct any inaccurate statements of fact. The County School Superintendent shall not review and correct any portion of the written arguments which are identified as statements of the author’s opinion.

Arguments are to be 200 words or less and be typed or printed and signed by the author. The arguments shall include the name of the district, author’s name, the name of any entity submitting an argument, address, telephone number and the author’s signature. The entity and author’s name will be printed in the informational pamphlet. All submitted comments must include these criteria.

Arguments must be received by 5 p.m. August 14, 2017, in the Coconino County Superintendent of Schools office, Ponderosa High School, 2384 N. Steves Blvd., Flagstaff, AZ 86004. Faxes will be accepted at (928) 526-1469; however, the original must be mailed to Coconino County Superintendent of Schools by the stated deadline.

For more information regarding the statements, call (928) 679-8070. For more information concerning the election, contact Williams Unified School District at 636 S. 7th St. Williams, AZ 86046, or (928) 635-4473.

Fleas test positive for plague in Coconino County

RED LAKE – Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) officials confirmed that fleas collected in the Red Lake area, approximately five miles northeast of Williams, tested positive for plague (Yersinia pestis). The tests were conducted by the Center for Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University.

CCPHSD is notifying area residents. The burrows are being treated and the area will be closely monitored to determine if further action is required.

This is the first location in the County where fleas have tested positive for plague this year. Because the disease is endemic in Coconino County, there are likely additional locations with infected fleas. CCPHSD Environmental Health staff will continue to collect and test flea samples from locations throughout the County.

CCPHSD is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals. The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal. To limit possible exposure, people are encouraged to avoid rodent burrows and keep dogs on a leash as required by Arizona State law.

An abundance of active prairie dogs doesn’t indicate disease is present. However, a sudden die-off of prairie dogs and rodents, may be an indicator of plague. Persons noticing a sudden die-off of rodents or rabbits are urged to contact CCPHSD Environmental Services at 928-679-8750.

Symptoms of plague in humans generally appear within two to six days following exposure and include the following:  fever, chills, headache, weakness, muscle pain, and swollen lymph glands (called “buboes”) in the groin, armpits or limbs. The disease can become septicemic (spreading throughout the bloodstream) and/or pneumonic (affecting the lungs), but is curable with proper antibiotic therapy if diagnosed and treated early.

Persons living, working, camping or visiting in areas where plague and/or rodents are known to be present are urged to take the following precautions to reduce their risk of exposure:

  1. Do not handle sick or dead animals.
  2. Prevent pets from roaming loose. Pets can pick up the infected fleas of wild animals, and then pass fleas on to their human owners. This is one of the common ways for humans to contract plague. Cats with plague can also pass the disease on to humans directly thorough respiratory droplets.
  3. De-flea pets routinely. Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations.
  4. Avoid rodent burrows and fleas.
  5. Use insect repellents when visiting or working in areas where plague might be active or rodents might be present (campers, hikers, woodcutters and hunters).
  6. Wear rubber gloves and other protection when cleaning and skinning wild animals.
  7. Do not camp next to rodent burrows and avoid sleeping directly on the ground.
  8. Be aware that cats are highly susceptible to this disease and while they can get sick from a variety of illnesses, a sick cat (especially one allowed to run at large outside) should receive care by a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment to reduce human exposure to plague.
  9. In case of illness see your physician immediately as treatment with antibiotics is very effective.

 

More information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/plague/.

Coconino County earns National Achievement Awards for innovative programs

FLAGSTAFF — The National Association of Counties (NACo) awarded Coconino County multiple Achievement Awards and other recognitions. The awards honor innovative development within county government programs that enhance services for residents.

“We are honored to be among one of the counties to receive achievement awards from NACo” said Chairwoman Liz Archuleta. “We’re very glad to be recognized by NACo for our County Departments and the innovative programs they implement to improve the lives of the citizens of Coconino County. On behalf of the County, I would like to thank NACo President Bryan Desloge for his recognition, and congratulate all other award winning counties for their hard work and dedication.”

The following Coconino County programs were recognized by NACo and received Achievement Awards:

  • Adult Probation Distance Learning in the category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety
  • Collective Impact Initiative in the category of Human Services
  • Diversity and Inclusion Program in the category of Personnel Management, Employment and Training
  • Professional Development Academies in the category of Personnel Management, Employment and Training
  • The use of video directly observed therapy in the treatment of Tuberculosis in the category of Health
  • Rural County Outreach to Special District Partners for Annual Compliance and Service Improvement in the category of County Administration and Management
  • Teen Clinic Accessibility in the category of Health

The following program received the Achievement Award Best in Category:

  • Adult Probation Distance Learning

NACo 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work for the following programs:

  • Adult Probation Distance Learning in the category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety
  • Collective Impact Initiative in the category of Human Services
  • Diversity and Inclusion Program in the category of Personnel Management, Employment and Training

Digital Counties Survey Top Ten for counties with 150,000 people or less – Identifying the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services:

  • Coconino Information Technology Services

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the comprehensive services counties provide.

NACo President Bryan Desloge said, “Counties overcome complex challenges, provide essential services and constantly do more with less. We applaud these Achievement Award-winning counties for outstanding efforts to improve residents’ quality of life.”

The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government, and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.

County Manager Seelhammer wins Gabe Zimmerman Service Award

FLAGSTAFF — The Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) awarded Coconino County Manager Cynthia Seelhammer the 2017 Gabe Zimmerman Civic Leadership Award.

The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are a statewide competition created to recognize outstanding non-elected public servants in three categories – Community Builder, Emerging Leader and Civic Leader. The awards recognize the commitment and dedication of more than 100,000 professional public servants across Arizona.

The Civic Leadership Award recognizes extraordinary leaders who have demonstrated knowledge, skills and commitment to addressing Arizona’s long-term issues and the personal leadership capacity to make Arizona a better place for future generations.

“This award is a true testament to Cynthia’s dedication to outstanding public service and her desire to deliver exceptional services to the constituents of Coconino County,” said Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta. “On behalf of The Board of Supervisors, we congratulate County Manager Seelhammer for this award and for her exemplary career in public service. It is well deserved and another example of the excellent work our employees do for our citizens every day.

Seelhammer has more than 30 years of experience working for small towns, large cities, and counties in three different states. As County Manager, she advances the organizational excellence of Coconino County by instituting many programs and policies demonstrating her passion for the employees, citizens and the organizational effectiveness of the County.

“CFA is an innovative organization that exemplifies public service and the need to bring the people of Arizona together,” said Seelhammer. “Our current form of local government was invented in the US about 100 years ago to end cronyism, be fair to taxpayers and build trust. It’s an honor to receive this award that recognizes the importance of building and keeping trust among the citizens we are dedicated to help. My success is due to the good work of colleagues who work every day to help make things better.”

In 2002, CFA was established as a nonpartisan, nonprofit resource to provide impartial analyses to identify long-term solutions to challenging issues. It combines research with collaborative partnerships to drive the state’s economic prosperity, quality of life and civic health.

Coconino Amateur Radio Club presents special award

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino Amateur Radio Club met for their regular business meeting at the Sizzler in Flagstaff Thursday, July 13. In addition to the business, however, they had a prestigious award to present. In addition to the normal routine—such as winning the 2017 Field Day trophy—they made the presentation to the Arizona Amateur Radio Ham-of-the-Year.

Joe W7LUX (left) receives Ham of the Year award from Jack KD7RCJ.


Joe Hobart W7LUX, was awarded the Ham of the Year award for 2017 by ARA Staff member Jack Lunsford KD7RCJ.

Joe Hobart is the area coordinator for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and technical representative for the Arizona Repeater Association in Flagstaff.

Coconino, Kaibab Forest and County fire restrictions end tomorrow

FLAGSTAFF — In coordination with area partners such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, Coconino County will remove fire restrictions at 8 a.m., Tuesday, July 18.

Significant moisture and fewer wildland fire starts throughout northern Arizona has brought has decreased the fire risk in the region. When local area U.S Forests lift fire restrictions, the Coconino Wildland Defense Ordinance allows for Coconino County Emergency Manager Whitney to remove restrictions.

Several areas in the region may have received less precipitation, causing fire danger to be higher in some locations. Residents and visitors are asked to use caution when using equipment or items that can spark a fire. They are also asked to extinguish all campfires, operate ATVS and motorcycles with spark arrestors and to use caution when operating barbeque grills. Residents and visitors are reminded they can be legally responsible for causing wildfires.

The County Enacted Stage 2 fire restrictions on June 22 due to very high wildfire danger in the area and went back to Stage 1 fire restrictions at the onset of the monsoon, July 13.

The Coconino and Kaibab forests have lifted their restrictions, also. The Coconino has been under Stage 2 fire restrictions while Kaibab remained in Stage 1 since mid-June.

“With the monsoon moisture we have received, the decreasing fire danger, and the availability of many firefighting resources, fire officials on both forests collaboratively decided it is the appropriate time to lift all fire restrictions for the Coconino and Kaibab,” said Jason Clawson, fire staff officer for the Kaibab National Forest. “Fire restrictions are a great tool for us in preventing unwanted, human-caused fires, and we’d like to thank our visitors for their vigilance in being cautious with potential ignition sources while recreating in the forests.”

The Coconino and Kaibab forests initially implemented campfire and smoking restrictions on June 13, in order to protect public health and reduce preventable, human-caused wildfires. While fire restrictions will be lifted over the next two days, visitors are always expected to use caution with campfires and other potential ignition sources. Campfires should always be completely extinguished and never left unattended or abandoned.

The task ahead is to remind people that they still have to be careful with camp fires. First you are required to have a shovel and enough water on hand to put out the fire out when you leave. A camp fire is NOT a bonfire. You should only build a fire that you can control. Remember winds can kick up and distribute sparks over a wide area.