Pile Burning Planned July 25-28 on Mingus Mountain
Fire managers on the Verde Ranger District plan to burn piles on Mingus Mountain; weather conditions permitting. Locations are near the Summer Homes, North and South of the Communications Towers and areas along Forest Road 413, 105 and 132. Piles have been generated from harvest activity and Timber Stand Improvement thinnings.
Smoke will be visible in the immediate areas of the burn activity and some Forest Roads may be affected; no closures are anticipated. In the interest of safety, forest visitors are reminded to obey all traffic signs and use caution when traveling in the vicinity of the prescribed fire burn units as firefighters and fire-related traffic will be in the area.
All prescribed fire activity is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment, weather forecasts, fuels moisture levels and conditions that minimize smoke impacts as best as possible and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors will save the residents of Yavapai County nearly 1.8 million dollars when the budget, scheduled to be voted on next month, is approved. Yavapai County Chairman Thomas Thurman says, “Yavapai County has very little debt, and the little we do have, we are always looking for ways to reduce.” By refinancing the debt, and getting a lower interest rate, Yavapai County expects to save just under $200,000 a year or what works out to be almost $1.8 million over the remaining ten-year life of the loan.
County Administrator Phil Bourdon says “The Budget for this coming fiscal year is up nearly 11%, but that increase is due in large part to the one-time addition of a refinancing loan, at the lower interest rate, to pay off the old debt with the additional savings.”
Yavapai County in past times of economic downturn has used its financial reserves to avoid raising taxes. This was the case several years ago when the State shared revenues declined dramatically along with county revenues because of many economic factors. The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors cut expenses and asked the Flood and Library Districts to reduce their levy and utilize reserves to help the county keep taxes down while maintaining the critical services Yavapai County residents have come to expect. This year the Flood Control District will raise their levy and regain about half of what was reduced a few years ago. This increase will allow them to continue the important work they do in monitoring and mitigating flood issues.
So what does this mean to you? The Flood Control District portion of the property tax on a home worth $100,000 was $19.14 last year, and this year it will be $23.46. Bourdon said, “Because this is a tax increase, Yavapai County must hold a hearing where the public is invited to ask questions on this issue and voice their opinion.” There will be a hearing during the Board of Supervisors meeting in the Verde Valley on 7/19 and the formal hearing in Prescott on 8/2, where the board will take action on the budget
In the same $100,000 home scenario mentioned above, the Library District portion of the property tax will be going down from $18.42 to $18.15. This reduction combined with the Primary Property Tax amount, has once again provided for a reduction in the total tax rate. Thurman said “I am very proud to be able to say, this is the third year in a row that this Board has been able to reduce the tax rate in Yavapai County. Keeping your taxes down while doing everything we can to maintain county services is one of our top priorities.”
If you have questions about the budget or would like to voice your opinion, please be sure to attend one of the two meetings that will discuss the 2017-2018 budget in the coming weeks.
Fire Restrictions Lifted
A coordinated decision has been made to lift fire restrictions across lands with similar conditions. As of Monday, July 17th at 12:00 p.m., fire restrictions will be lifted across the following jurisdictions:
- Prescott National Forest;
- Yavapai County;
- Bureau of Land Management – Phoenix District;
- Arizona State Department of Forestry and Fire Management – NW District;
- Lands serviced by Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA- the former Central Yavapai and Chino Valley Fire Districts) which includes the Town of Chino Valley, Paulden and the areas surrounding the City of Prescott such as Williamson Valley, upper Copper Basin Road and Mountain Club area, Ponderosa Park off of White Spar Road, the Senator Highways area of Karen Drive, Sweet Acres, and Oak Knoll Village and finally the areas extending south of Prescott including Govt. Canyon, Diamond Valley, the Town of Prescott Valley and the Town of Dewey/Humboldt;
- And all lands serviced by the City of Prescott Fire Department.
Coordination regarding this decision also included discussions with the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests in northern Arizona; the Tonto National Forest; and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Decisions and timelines regarding the lifting of fire restrictions on lands administered by these agencies are likely close or will coincide with the decision noted above. However, visitors are encouraged to check the conditions and fire restrictions status on those lands.
“Despite some significant rain storms over the past week, we hadn’t seen enough rain across enough of the area to feel comfortable lifting the fire restrictions. However, this weekend brought about quite a bit of rain in many areas and the forecast calls for a dramatic increase in rain chances across most of the state in the next few days. The conditions are changing dramatically and rapidly reducing the threat of any significant fire behavior” – Pete Gordon, Fire Chief – Prescott National Forest
Prescott National Forest and our Inter-Agency Partners would like thank our local neighbors and forest visitors for their cooperation in preventing wildfires. While all fire restrictions will be lifted on Monday, everyone is reminded that the potential for wildfires still exist and to please use caution with campfires and other potential ignition sources. It is also important to pay attention to the monsoon weather where rain storms can cause flash-flooding and dangerous conditions can quickly arise several miles down-stream from the storm.
For a more detailed explanation concerning agency restrictions and fire information in general, please contact the nearest land management agency office where you plan to work or play, visit http://wildlandfire.az.gov or call the toll free Southwest Fire Restrictions Hotline 1-877-864-6985. The direct fire restrictions information website for Arizona is http://firerestrictions.us/az.
Tissaw Trailhead Ribbon Cutting
WITH MONSOON SEASON UPON US – PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST MOSQUITOS
As our monsoon season approaches it is important to understand the risks we face from diseases mosquitoes carry like Zika, West Nile virus, Chikungunya, Dengue and Yellow fever and what you can do to prevent them. Arizona is home to about 50 mosquito species including Aedes aegypti, a mosquito that can carry and spread diseases like the Zika virus. This mosquito is well-adapted to the Arizona climate.
Cecil Newell, Yavapai County Community Health Services Public Health Protection Section Manager reported, “YCCHS is performing routine trappings of mosquitos throughout the county - for the West Nile Virus no lab results have come back positive, however, we have found Aedes aegypti species in the Sedona/Village of Oak Creek area.”
Who is at risk?
While we see West Nile virus in our mosquitoes most years, imported Zika cases are new to Arizona and should be a real concern to everyone. Only 20% of those adults infected with Zika will experience any symptoms at all and are very similar to flulike symptoms.
What can you do?
Remove standing water from around your house. The specific mosquito that we have in Yavapai County that transmits most of these diseases is called the Aedes aegypti (ae). Ae likes to stay close to home and won’t travel very far for a blood meal, which is what we call a “mosquito bite.” This means that if we remove the opportunities for reproduction around our homes we dramatically reduce the chances of being bit. Mosquitoes need water to reproduce, so by removing all standing water we remove the breeding grounds. This includes water dishes, bird baths, tires, anything that can hold as little as an inch of water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast- feeding women.
Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items. Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last. If treating clothing items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully. Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.
When do I need to take action?
Now. Start looking around the exterior of your home and remove or overturn anything that can hold water. Where do I need to take action? Start in your own backyard. With Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Yavapai County, YCCHS wants to encourage and educate the public on the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
WHY do I need to take action?
To protect yourself, your family and your neighbors.
For more information, see Arizona Department of Health Services webpage: http://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-services/zika/topics/index.php.
3rd Annual Arizona Sonshine Event
The Sonshine event was held at the Prescott Valley Event Center on June 15th and 16th and offered free medical, dental, and vision care to anyone that needed it. There was no charge to enter, and everyone was welcome.
Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Chairman Thomas Thurman was there on Wednesday to welcome the more than 300 event volunteers and thank the event organizers for bringing this service to the people of Yavapai County.
In addition to the free medical, dental and vision care, those who attended were offered free immunizations, HIV and Hep-C testing from Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS). Together with the Community Health Center of Yavapai, YCCHS was able to work with over 800 people during the two-day event on healthy eating, Well-woman health checks and assistance with applying for AHCCCS.
On Thursday the 15th, three of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, Rowle Simmons, Craig Brown and Randy Garrison, were given the opportunity to tour the event and showed some of the new services that were offered this year. This was the first year the Sonshine event was able to offer a place for the children to go and play while their parents were receiving the medical care they needed. “This service is a real life saver,” said one of the attendees as she dropped off her three children. At the end of the tour, the event coordinators took the opportunity to thank the board officially for their ongoing support of the health and wellbeing of Yavapai Residents and the Sonshine event by presenting them with a Certificate of Appreciation.
“By the time the event was wrapped up, somewhere around 800 people had received over 1900 medical, dental and vision services,” said Michelle Ritzer one of the many coordinators for the event. The local Seventh-Day Adventist church staff, which hosted this event, is already working on next year’s event where they hope to serve an even greater number of Yavapai County residents with these much-needed services.
For pictures of the event go to Facebook.com/YavapaiCounty
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Present Arizona Flag to 100-year-old US Vet
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors presented Leonard Chester Nawroci with a Yavapai County Flag, flown over the Prescott Courthouse, on June 15, 2017 in honor of his 100th birthday and thanking him for his service to our country in WWII. Mr. Nawroci was accompanied by his son in law Michael Perkins.
Leonard Chester Nawroci was born June 15, 1917 in Hamtramack Michigan. He joined the US Army on April 4, 1941 and served in the Pacific Rim (Philippine Islands). He was a Radio Officer/ Field VHS/ High Frequency and commanded 240 men to set up communications and field command.
He moved to Cornville in 1978 after retiring from Chrysler Corp. and started an organic orchard where he reportedly works harder in retirement than he did in his actual career. My Nawroci is proud of his 7 children, 16 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren.
New Wheels in Jerome
In May of this year the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors approved the sale of a 2000 Chevrolet C2500 truck to the Town of Jerome for $1 to replace a very old 1970 era truck they were currently using. On June 13th Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Randy Garrison presented the truck keys during the Jerome Town Council meeting.
Clarkdale Memorial Library
Although the Clark Memorial Library will be closing its doors on June 30, 2017 the closure may be more temporary tan anyone had imagined thanks to a proposal that recently surfaced from Yavapai County Free Library District Director Corey Christians.
Library District Director Corey Christians commented, "The Yavapai County Free Library District is excited to pursue the opportunity to work with the Town of Clarkdale to share the responsibility of managing their library services. Yavapai County and the Board of Supervisors have consistently shown support for their local libraries and the critical services they provide. I would especially like to thank Supervisor Randy Garrison who has been an essential part of laying the groundwork for this potential partnership. We look forward to the possibility of serving the residents of Clarkdale in this new capacity."
View Full Article
More controversy for Verde Village Property Owners Assn.
Once a vibrant force, the VVPOA boasted a community pool, regular social activities at the clubhouse and provided regular communication to the membership with its own newspaper.
Today, the VVPOA is an organization embroiled in the downward spiral of conflict and controversy. April’s annual meeting was an exercise in ugly outbursts and bad behavior.
Now, some two months later, there has been a mass exodus of board and committee members. The VVPOA, in the words of District 3 County Supervisor Randy Garrison, “does not have a functional board.”
“At this time,” Gozdan said, “there is no plan to replace the president. Vice-President Christina Kinderman will act as President Pro Tempore until the annual meeting and election in 2018, probably March. There is a committee working on updating the by-laws now.”
Garrison, whose District 3 responsibilities include Verde Village, said, “It is a very contentious situation and there is a lot of bad blood out there … the situation has gotten very political and the people on the board have received a barrage of insults and complaints. There is a concern out there about the transparency of the organization … it’s just a very difficult situation all around.”
The crucial issue for what’s left of the VVPOA should be an honest assessment of whether the organization is a representative voice of the eight Verde Village units. Garrison said paid membership in the VVPOA is meager. Gozdan said, “We haven’t been able to find an updated membership list, although we have been told it exists but … estimated that only about 500 - 600 property owners actually pay their $40 annual dues.”
The key question for the VVPOA should not be about moving forward, but whether it’s time for the organization to fold its tent.
View complete article here.
Thanks For Your Dedicated Service
At the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting on June 7, 2017, the Board of Supervisors presented the Honorable Janis Sterling (Ret.) a plaque in recognition and appreciation for her dedicated service as Chairwoman of the Yavapai County Merit System Commission for 9 years.
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions
Dry Conditions Trigger Fire Restrictions in Central and Western Arizona
Phoenix, Ariz. (May 31, 2017) – Effective Thursday, June 1, the Bureau of Land Management Phoenix District, the Prescott National Forest, and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management will implement campfire and smoking restrictions in central and western Arizona. In coordination, Yavapai County will implement a fire ban across all unincorporated Yavapai County lands. The Tonto National Forest and the Tonto National Monument will continue to enforce their fire restrictions already in effect. Campfires are never permitted on Imperial, Cibola, Bill Williams River, and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges (NWR); campfires are permitted on Kofa NWR.
Beginning June 1, 2017, and until rescinded, the following are prohibited:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove other than in a developed campsite or picnic area where grills are provided.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site/improved site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
- Discharging a firearm except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.
Fireworks and exploding targets are always prohibited year-round on federal and state lands.
Violation of restrictions on federal lands is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, by fine, imprisonment or both. Violators also may be held personally responsible for reimbursement of fire suppression costs.
Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters possessing shut-off devices are allowed. When using a portable stove, make sure the area is clear of grasses and other fine fuels. Prevent stoves from tipping and starting a fire.
Fires in developed campsites or picnic areas where grills are allowed should never be left unattended and should be completely extinguished upon departure. Always, drown, stir, and repeat until the fire is cold to the touch.
Cigarettes should never be thrown out the window of a vehicle. Instead, ashtrays should be used in order to prevent wildfires. Always practice Leave No Trace principles.
Maintain spark arrestors and do not run power equipment on windy days. Never park a vehicle over dead grass, the catalytic converter can ignite the vegetation.
Fire conditions as well as localized closures and restrictions are subject to change. Because tribal, federal, state, and local mandates are different, they may have some differences in their restriction notices. For a more detailed explanation concerning agency restrictions and fire information in general, please contact the nearest land management agency office where you plan to work or play, visit http://wildlandfire.az.gov or call the toll free Southwest Fire Restrictions Hotline 1-877-864-6985. The direct fire restrictions information website for Arizona is http://firerestrictions.us/az.