With a board member missing from their Thursday meeting, the Northern Gila County Sanitary District could not come to a decision on whether or not it should participate with a local business group interested in starting an open dialogue on business development needs.
Recently, a group of local businesspersons started the Rim Country Alliance of Businessmen, an informal group that meets to discuss ways to entice and keep businesses in the Rim Country. The group proposed that several members of the sanitary board meet with the alliance to discuss ways to make it easier for businesses to enter the local marketplace.
Alliance member Ray Pugel said it is important that businesses and organizations like the sanitary district think outside the box to get the economy going again.
There needs to be a more concentrated effort to “champion business interests in this region,” said Ken Volz, executive director of the Northern Gila County Economic Development Corporation and alliance member.
Pugel said the alliance is interested in creating an open dialogue with all town entities to improve the business environment.
Sanitary board member Patrick Underwood said he was all for talking with the alliance. Other board members agreed, but cautioned they did not want to attend alliance meetings unless the topic explicitly dealt with the sanitary district.
Pugel assured the board they would only meet with them to discuss sanitary issues.
After discussing the issue, the board ultimately decided to carry it over to the next meeting when board member Robert Sanders would be present. Sanders could not attend Thursday’s meeting and listened in over the phone. Because he could not hear all of the discussion, Sanders asked to listen to the recording and weigh in later.
Also at the meeting, the board discussed considering switching to a local financial advisor. Currently, the board uses a financial advisor based out of the Valley.
Joel Goode, manager of the sanitary district, said the board does not need to consider a new advisor because the current one is doing a great job.
“Everyone is very happy with him,” Goode said.
Pugel said it is important to support local businesses and it would not hurt the district to look at other advisors.
“If you don’t go out and look, you don’t know what you are missing,” Pugel said.