James Menlove

James Menlove

The Gila County Board of Supervisors talked about ongoing and planned Capital Investment Plan projects at its special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 25.

“County staff has identified a number of various issues with facilities that are necessary to provide essential services to the county. This includes ongoing projects for the 2019 bond issuance,” County Manager James Menlove told the board in the documentation for the discussion.

He said some of the projects could be completed in the short-term while others may take a couple of years to finish. “We look forward to prioritizing these projects in collaboration with the board of supervisors,” Menlove said.

He said the board needs to be careful regarding its CIP spending with a downturn in revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the county’s $10 million CIP bond covers a substantial amount of the cost for several projects, a portion is also coming from general fund revenues. Menlove said the staff needed the board’s guidance on which projects to focus.

District 3 Supervisor Woody Cline, chairman of the BOS, asked, “If the money is not being spent (on the project it was allocated to) can it be shifted?”

“The board has the authority for flexibility,” Menlove said. He added that because of staff scrutiny of costs, it is expected not all the CIP money would be spent, but then told the BOS the Payson Complex seems to be more expensive than anticipated, but he did not go into details.

The county manager then commended Assistant County Manager Homero Vela for coordinating the many projects and keeping everything moving forward.

Vela credited the facilities team for the progress, and said it was due to their vigilant dedication. He said they met by Zoom every week, sometimes more than once.

Updating the board on project progress, Vela said the building remodel for the new Payson Probation Office and Teen Center was completed for $300,000; the remodel of the Payson NAPA building for the Health Department is nearly completed; recently the board approved a contract for $870,000 for the Gila County Jail roof and air conditioning and heating units in Globe; and earlier at the Aug. 25 meeting had approved $2.8 million for the county’s Animal Care and Control facility at the fairgrounds in Globe. He also said the facilities committee, architect and contractor are getting close to finalizing the design of the Payson Complex, which will have space for jury trials and BOS meetings, offices for the supervisors and other elected officials and more.

Vela’s presentation to the board showed $8.53 million of the bond is scheduled to be spent in FY 20-21 for: the Globe Jail room and HVAC, $570,000; the new Payson Complex, $5.23 million; new Animal Shelter, $2.63 million; and a remodel of the Payson Sheriff’s Office, $100,000.

The sheriff’s office project in Payson continues into FY 21-22, with an additional bond allocation of $353,233.

The county has also designated $1.8 million of general fund Capital Improvement Project money for facilities in FY 21-20. The work includes improvements to the County Attorney’s offices for $15,000, which Vela said the County Attorney would help pay; a GCSO training facility at the fairgrounds, $25,000; parking lot and asphalt repair, $50,000; Michaelson Building remodel in Globe, $302,360 in partnership with several other entities; security upgrades for COVID-19, $100,000; Payson Health building, $196,732; Payson sheriff’s office culvert, $10,000; Payson Courthouse remodel, $250,000; Payson County Complex furniture, $300,000; HVAC replacement units, $50,000; Payson regional drainage, $500,000.

Additional work with county money designated for FY 21-22 includes: Globe Jail laundry and booking remodel, $300,000; remodel of the county facilities at 608 and 610 E. Hwy. 260, Payson, $55,000; HVAC replacement units, $50,000; Globe Jail grinder, $150,000; and Globe Jail paving, $100,000.

Vela told the BOS additional CIP money for FY 20-21 is budgeted for the fairgrounds road, infrastructure and more, $300,000; broadband, $2 million; Gila County Community College projects, $250,000; and Gila County Project Development reserve, $643,077.

“Are these projects going to stay within the $10 million (bond) budget?” Cline asked.

Menlove said the projects would be at the limit and not go over it.

“I appreciate our team keeping us moving forward and fixing things in a permanent fashion and not doing a patch job,” said District 2 Supervisor Tim Humphrey.

At that Vela added county staff is doing a large part of the work and saving money on the projects.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

Recommended for you

(1) comment

Mike White

What percentage of county spending ends up in north county (where about 2/3rd of the revenue comes from)?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Avoid obscene, hateful, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful.
Be Nice. No name-calling, racism, sexism or any sort of -ism degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. Real names only!