Contract For Event Center Fund-Raiser Tops Agenda

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If a proposed contract with multi-event center fund-raiser Barry Cardinael is fulfilled as proposed, Payson residents will see the rodeo grounds at Rumsey Park moved to the south edge of town by Sept. 30.

Cardinael has been negotiating for more money to finish the relocation of the rodeo grounds and his proposed contract goes before the Town Council Thursday.

Town Manager Rich Underkofler will recommend that the Town Council approve a six-month, $26,000 contract, which would more than double the monthly amount Cardinael has received from the town since August 1998.

Underkofler said Monday that Cardinael, in his monthly reports to the council, states that he has worked an average of 50 hours a week, but has only been compensated for work which was expected to be on a half-time basis.

"I'm recommending the $26,000 because that was the figure that was presented to the council two weeks ago," Underkofler said. "Nobody objected to that at that time."

He had presented the council with a list of expenses at the special meeting which included a figure of $29,300 for a project manager. A business expense fund of $3,000 was added to the weekly compensation for the six month period of the contract. The council took no action on the list of the estimated costs to relocate the rodeo grounds.

"If we hired any other construction manager to work on a full-time basis, that level of compensation ($1,000 a week) is below market," Underkofler said.

But there is some disagreement over what the Town Council actually proposed in extending Cardinael's contract.

Council member Jack Monschein, who made the motion to extend Cardinael's contract, said he included no dollar amount. "To the best of my knowledge, that was not my motion," Monschein said. "There was no discussion on the amount."

Monschein's motion, as written in the minutes of the special meeting of March 23, was simply to authorize staff to negotiate a new six-month extension to Cardinael's contract.

He then amended the motion to read: "and that the six-months compensation for $2,000 a month to Mr. Cardinael be taken out of the Contingency Fund."

Council member Ken Murphy, who seconded the motion, said Monday that he was in favor of extending Cardinael's contract with the added amendment, and agreed with Monschein that the motion specified no dollar amount.

The vote was 6-0 in favor of the motion to extend Cardinael's contract. Mayor Vern Stiffler was absent from the special meeting.

Monschein said there was also no discussion about having Cardinael go from part-time to full-time work. When he read the proposed contract for Cardinael, Monschein said he was surprised to see the amount that was negotiated.

"I didn't know that's what they were planning," Monschein said Tuesday. "If he can show the common council and the people of Payson corral fencing and lights and everything up there, I would think the money would be well spent."

Monschein also said he thought he was out of touch regarding consultants' salaries today. "Salaries are way up now, much higher than they were eight, nine, 10 years ago."

But he said he believed he could support "something in the area" of what (Cardinael) wants. "I still have three days to think about it," he said.

Cardinael said Tuesday that when someone works with public or donated funds, there are those who are naturally concerned with what they're getting for their money.

"What the public is not aware of, is what I have privately invested financially in this job, nor how much progress or funding has been achieved while I was working on the project," he said.

In addition to coordinating volunteer efforts, Cardinael has raised $90,770 in cash donations and pledges for the event center project, and had a hand in obtaining a $143,230 grant from the Arizona Department of Commerce for improvements to the Highway 87 intersection at the site and its access road.

Cardinael said he will give a brief report a the council meeting Thursday "so the public might judge for themselves whether or not I have earned my keep in the past and whether I am worth future consideration."

The council authorized an earlier contract with Cardinael that began last July for $2,000 a month. Cardinael was to secure funds and to coordinate with the town to develop the multi-event center on 36 acres of the town's property across from the Mazatzal Casino. The earlier contract for part-time fund-raising ended April 1.

If the new professional services contract is approved Thursday, Cardinael will work under the supervision of LaRon Garrett, public works engineer for the town.

Cardinael will serve as "project manager" and will be a liaison between the town's staff, volunteers and other contractors to be retained by the town.

In the new contract, three performance goals are specified for completion this year:

  • Awards for infrastructure work, sewer and water lines, power poles and electricity at the new site shall have been made by May 27.
  • A report shall be submitted to the town by Aug. 15 on how the multi-event center shall be independently managed, marketed, operated and maintained.
  • The rodeo grounds shall be completely relocated to the new site from Rumsey Park by Sept. 30, when Cardinael's proposed contract with the town runs out.

Cardinael has submitted a list of construction items for the relocation of the rodeo which totals $292,329, a total which is significantly lower than the town's estimated cost of nearly $600,000.

He told council members at the March meeting that the lower figure depended on the value of contributions secured for the project.

In other business Thursday, the council will consider a request to approve a preliminary plat for Town & Country Estates Subdivision, which was accepted by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission is recommending 12 conditions be attached to the approval of the subdivision.

The council will also hold a public hearing on an application filed by Rim Golf Club Investors LLC for a zone change request for two lots at 501 S. Tyler Parkway.

The reason for the zone change, which would consolidate the whole subdivision, is to relocate the main entrance to the subdivision from Highway 260 to South Tyler Parkway.

According to the report from the Planning and Zoning Commission, the proposed change in the entrance location is because the Arizona Department of Transportation would not allow the subdivision entrance to be located on Highway 260.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Town Hall Council Chambers at 303 N. Beeline Highway.

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