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Bill Van Nimwegen - page 2

Bill Van Nimwegen has 737 articles published.

Prospectors Golf Award Winners

Postseason award winners were announced at the Apache Junction boys and girls golf banquet, held Nov. 7 at Los Gringos Locos. Above from left: Harrison Talbott (boys most valuable player), Hayden Pride (girls most valuable player) and Jake Washburn (boys rookie of the year). Not pictured is Elexis Toro (girls rookie of the year). (Photo by Daniel Dullum)

Prospectors Shine at State Swimming

Apache Junction’s girls earned 35 team points at the State Division III Swim Tournament, held Nov. 2-3 at Phoenix Country Day Aquatic Center. Madisyn Wood (above right) placed ninth in both the 100-yard butterfly (1:03.56 finals, 1:03.93 prelims) and the 100 backstroke (1:02.91 finals, 1:04.04 prelims). Audrey Washburn (above left) was 12th in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.47 finals and prelims). The AJ girls’ 200 freestyle relay finished 11th in 1:51.29. The AJ boys’ 200 medley relay was disqualified in the finals after turning in a 2:05.27 in the prelims.

AJHS Places 16 on All-Region

Miller Named as Black Canyon Coach of the Year

By Daniel Dullum

The number of All-Black Canyon Region selections for Apache Junction football continues to grow each year.

Coach Vance Miller points out, “In the last few years, we’ve gone from three to nine to 12 and now 16. It’s a way of showing the gradual improvement of our program overall, and it reflects on the all the hard work these kids are putting in.”

The AIA recently announced the all-region selections, as voted on by the region coaches.

Senior linebacker Joe Pomeroy was named as Defensive Player of the Year, and Miller repeated as Coach of the Year.

Pomeroy was the Prospectors’ leading tackler with 87 total – 23 solo – and picked off two passes.

“Joe was one of our captains and led the region in tackles as a middle linebacker playing at under 200 pounds,” Miller said. “He has a high football IQ and it’s a nice reward for how hard Joe has worked.”

First team selections from AJHS include:

OFFENSE – Gibson Limongello, quarterback; William Lohman, running back; Adam Lopez, interior line; Justin Ramirez, wide receiver; Ethan LaBrue, tight end.

DEFENSE – Chazz Chavez, secondary; Freddie Borunda, interior line; Zach Langenbach, end; Joe Pomeroy, linebacker.

SPECIAL TEAMS – Jordan Morris, kicker; Manny Acosta, punt returner; Zach Langenbach, long snapper.

Second team selections from AJHS include:

OFFENSE – Logan Dela Cruz and Cameron Garcia, wide receiver.

DEFENSE – Manny Acosta, secondary; Justin Fabritz, interior line; Eli Alexander, end; Brody Bullard, linebacker.

Lohman, Lopez, Dela Cruz, Limongello, Acosta, and Borunda were repeat selections. Chavez was an honorable mention choice last season.

Lohman gained 1,272 rushing yards on 189 attempts (6.7 average), scoring a team-high 23 touchdowns. The senior running back also caught 14 passes for 264 yards and three TDs.

“Willie came a long way this season,” Miller said. “He put in the work and did a great job of picking up his blocks and making that final cutback. The O-line, with Adam Lopez, consistently opened up those holes.”

Limongello completed 98 of 183 passes (.536) for 1,459 yards, 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Dela Cruz caught 20 of those passes for 209 yards and one touchdown.

As a runner, Limongello scored five touchdowns, and averaged 6.0 yards per carry, gaining 776 rushing yards.

“Gibby didn’t have the best stats in the region, but he’s our No. 1 guy,” Miller said. “Along with game-planning for Lohman, the coaches said they had to game-plan for Gibby as well. They thought he was more of an impact player.”

Ramirez caught 15 passes for 261 yards and four TDs, and LaBrue caught 12 passes for 197 yards and four touchdowns in six games after sitting out the first five games per the AIA transfer rule.

Garcia, a sophomore, averaged 6.9 yards per carry rushing, and two of his seven pass receptions went for touchdowns.

Chavez made 24 solo stops (54 total), and recovered two fumbles. Borunda led AJHS with 7.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries, along with 16 solo tackles and a blocked field goal.  Langenbach recorded 3.5 sacks, 12 solo tackles and blocked one punt – as did Alexander – and one field goal.

Acosta made two interceptions, Bullard made 45 total tackles, made one sack and recovered one fumble, and Alexander had two fumble recoveries. Fabritz made 3.0 sacks and was credited with eight quarterback hurries.

Morris, a freshman, averaged 43.3 yards on 39 kickoffs, the longest 63 yards.

“At 6-3, 175, Morris is starting to kick to the goal line,” Miller said. “He’s developing as a wide receiver and maturing – he was a little timid at first – but he’s worked very hard.”

Of the Prospectors’ 15 all-region players, six are underclassmen.

“We have a lot of talent coming up,” Miller said. “The expectations are higher, and they’re already looking at our opener next season against Royal (Calif.).

“I’m excited.”

Photo above: Apache Junction’s 2018 All-Black Canyon Regoin football selections. Front row (from left): Cameron Garcia, Eli Alexander, Justin Fabritz. Back row (from left): Justin Ramirez, Zach Langenbach, Adam Lopez, Ethan LaBrue, Gibson Limongello, Coach Vance Miller, Manny Acosta, William Lohman, Chazz Chavez, Jordan Morris, Joe Pomeroy. Not pictured: Freddie Borunda, Logan Dela Cruz and Brody Bullard. (Photo by Daniel Dullum)

AJHS Drama Department Seeks Help to Launch Wizard of Oz

Dorothy, Toto and the rest of the cast of the Wizard of Oz need your help.

AJHS’ Drama Department will be performing the classic musical “The Wizard of Oz” with additional performers from Desert Vista Elementary and Peralta Trails Elementary, January 24 and 25, 2019, at 7 p.m. (with DVES) and Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction.

The musical fantasy is considered one of the greatest films in cinema history and audiences look forward to the award-winning songs, costumes and special effects that have made it an American classic for decades.

“As you can imagine this will be a major undertaking and will be very expensive to produce,” said Paul Lanphear from the AJHS Drama Department. “Since we receive limited funding to help cover the costs of putting on shows, it has been the responsibility of the Drama Department to find a way to cover the costs. Our source of funding comes from ticket sales of previous productions, as well as fundraising and donations. In the past, we have been able to break even on most shows by holding back on our expenditures. However, because of the uniqueness of this particular show, we currently find ourselves short on funds. Therefore, we are making a plea to the community to help us generate the $10,000-15,000 we need to do this show.”

There are a number of ways you can help:

  • Cash donations, in the form of tax credits and tax deductions, would be the easiest way to contribute. Any member of the community who gives a cash donation will be recognized in the show’s program. Any individual who donates a full tax credit ($200) specifically for the show will be given a free reserved seat for any one performance. Any couple that makes a full tax credit donation ($400) will receive two free reserved seats for any one performance.
  • Those of you who own businesses and would like to purchase an ad in the program may do so by contacting the Drama Department. Business card size ads are only $10 and will run 2 nights.
  • If you are able to donate items or your time to help us create the scenery, props and costumes for the show, it could save us money. We could really use some farm type props, emerald green clothing, bright flowered dresses & blouses and gray military coats for the Winkie Guards.

Tickets for “The Wizard of Oz” can be purchased at the AJHS, DVES & PTES front offices, the AJUSD District Office or by contacting Paul Lanphear at 480-982-1110 x5317.

General Admission tickets: $8.00/adults, $6.00/children (ages 3-18) and seniors (60+).

Reserved Seats: $10.00/seat (all ages).

All children requiring a seat will need to purchase a ticket. Only lap-sitting infants (ages 0-2) will be admitted without a ticket.

On show nights, the Drama Club will be serving a spaghetti dinner from 5-6:30. The cost will be $10/person. Admission to the show is a separate ticket, but a section of the general house seating will be reserved for those at dinner to guarantee their seats. If you would like to reserve a seat for dinner, please contact Mr. Lanphear at AJHS.

“The Wizard of Oz” is based on the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” by Frank Baum. The music and lyrics for the version of the show AJHS will perform were written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.

Baum, who lived from 1856 to 1919, supported women’s rights, and his wife, Maud, and mother-in-law, Matilda Gage, were leaders in the women’s rights movement and collaborated with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The referendum for women’s suffrage that Baum supported was defeated, but when he began writing children’s books, he made many of his main characters tenacious, self-reliant girls.American women gained the right to vote in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified, one year after Baum died.

For more information about AJHS’ Drama Department contact Paul Lanphear at planphea@goaj.org or call 480-982-1110 x 5317.

Photo above: The cast of the AJHS presentation of  “The Wizard of Oz” are seeking production funds for the January debut.

Fire in the Sky

By Tom Kollenborn

Around 1990, I began to hear stories about a meteor that impacted east of the First Water Trail Head. One witness told me he heard the explosion when the meteor hit the earth. He claimed to be near the impact zone. Also, he said he saw the flash from the impact. I trusted this man’s story, but he didn’t want to share the story publicly or reveal the exact location.

I heard about a meteoritic impact zone in the mountains at a certain location some two years later from another individual. He shared the location with me. My wife and I rode over to the alleged site.

It certainly appeared something had hit high up on the cliff and brought down rocks and debris. I climbed up to the base of the cliff, but didn’t recognize anything that might be meteoritic. I didn’t find any meteorites. I took several photographs and was convinced this was not a meteorite impact area.

I would like to share some stories with you that I have heard many times and from different sources. I am not putting much value in the tales; however, I believe some aspects of the stories are worth repeating.

High up on the wall of this cliff in the Superstitions you can see what might be an impact zone. On the slope below, there appears to be debris from an impact.

Several years ago, I was returning from a horseback trip into the Superstition Mountains. I had departed from First Water early that morning and rode east toward Garden Valley, Second Water and Boulder Canyon. I was doing some exploring around the old Indian Paint mine and taking photographs of what I found.

It was a beautiful day, and I just lost track of time. I packed up my camera, other equipment and started the ride out. I could see I would be riding after sunset and probably into darkness. I witnessed a celestial event while riding from the first parking lot to the second parking lot where my truck and horse trailer were parked. A very bright light streaked across the sky and appeared to impact somewhere in the northern portion of the Superstition Wilderness Area.

Over the years I have made several trips into the mountains and have never found any clues associated with the meteor I observed crossing the sky west to east low on the horizon on that dark night. However, I have heard many stories about a meteorite impacting high up on the canyon wall in La Barge Canyon about the same time.

I have remained skeptical about contemporary meteor impacts in the Superstition Wilderness Area. About two years ago, I ran into a man who claimed he had removed meteoritic material from the Superstition Wilderness Area. He claimed there were lots of small chrondrites (stony meteorites) in a canyon east of the First Water Parking lot. He went so far as to say he had even sold some of them. Because of the nature of his statements and his lack of credibility, I didn’t place much value in what he said. He did not wish to share his name or any personal information.

I continue to wonder if a meteor actually struck the Earth the night I was riding out of the mountains and if it was the one I saw. Often, it is stories like these that become legends.

As many of us know, there are many legends and tales about the Superstition Mountains. Meteorites are extremely valuable and demand a high price. There are several meteorite collectors in this country. I am not sure if it would be legal to remove meteoritic material from an impact site within the boundaries the Superstition Wilderness Area.

During the past eons of time, there have certainly been meteors that have impacted the wilderness area. Finding these meteorites would require a specially trained-eye. The only hint that would help a novice searcher would be flow-marks on the meteorite. I doubt texture would prove to be significant in a field where lots of volcanic debris can be found.

The search for meteorites in the Superstition Wilderness Area is probably fool’s play, but one never knows for sure. Another man once said, “Your chances of finding meteorites in the Superstition Wilderness Area is much better than finding gold.”

That’s probably a good point.

Photo above: A meteoroid is a chunk of space rock. If it burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere, it is a called a meteor; if a piece lands, it is a meteorite.

Editorial: Que Pasa?: Cause and Effect

Editor’s Note: These last few weeks have been disconcerting as political campaigns pulled out the stops to persuade and/or bully voters into selecting their candidate(s) and causes. Name calling, mudslinging, innuendo and fear mongering all seem to be acceptable tactics in politics. Thank goodness, it’s done… or is it?

Doubtless, we will continue to see more politics than collaboration from our elected leaders, but I wonder how many will even consider the ripples of their inflexible rhetoric. The political manipulations of those in power inevitably nurture the prejudices, hatred and distrust that separate us – and often become the excuse for extremists to act.

Witness the events of the past month in America:

  • October 24, 2018: Jeffersontown, Kentucky: white supremacist Gregory Bush failed to gain entry to the predominantly black First Baptist Church, so he shot two African-Americans at a Kroger store instead.
  • During the last week of October, 2018, Cesar Sayoc sent 14 pipe bombs to various liberal and media targets.
  • On Saturday, October 27, 2018: Robert Bowers opened fire in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, killing 11 people and wounding 6 – because he believes Jews are helping to transport members of the migrant caravans to the U.S.

While perusing the Que Pasa archives, we came across this post, which seems as timely now as when it was written nine years ago. When will we learn?

Que Pasa – June 22, 2009

Cause and Effect

I found it surprising that so many people participating in last week’s AJ News Poll do not believe right-wing leaders should share the blame for the recent tragedies perpetuated by their followers. I guess there are still a lot of people who don’t believe in the cause and effect “thing.”

Or maybe some people are just confusing ‘extremists’ with ‘conservatives.’ Conservatives believe in smaller government and fiscal responsibility. Conservatives also respect the Constitution and are committed to the orderly debate and civil discourse that is the framework of democracy.

However, extremists are a different animal, indelibly associated with concepts like coercive regime change, unilateralism and a nationalistic hegemony that would be the envy of Mussolini and Hitler.

When the Department of Homeland Security issued a report earlier this year warning of potential violence by “right-wing extremists,” the talking heads at Fox News and some of the internet bloggers were enraged. Then, as if on cue, some of those extremists started killing people.

Three political shootings by extremists is not an accident – more like a trend. Domestic terror spikes upward when the fringe media step up the intensity and ugliness of their loony rhetoric – which seems to happen when voters put the Democrats in charge.

Remember Oklahoma City? A small group of extremists killed 168 people. And that happened when the nation had a regular Democratic president, a political moderate, white guy from Arkansas. Now, we have a left-wing liberal, black president from Chicago who is a secret Muslim with no birth certificate and is coming for our guns! Holy Cow! Sean Hannity and Dick Cheney and Bill O’Reilly tell the nutties that our nation is literally in danger because a terrorist has stolen the White House. So what happens when that happens?

Well, what do you expect to happen? People like Jim Adkisson shoot up a Unitarian church in Tennessee, killing two people, because he “hates liberals and gays.”

Adkisson said he killed the two men because they were liberals “who are ruining the country,” court records show.

And people like Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion fanatic with ties to an extremist group, murder people like Dr. George Tiller (labeled “Tiller the baby killer” by Bill O’Reilly) at a Kansas church.

And now a White Supremacist shoots up the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., killing a black security guard. James Von Brunn is 89 years old, likes child porn and writes crazy things on the internet. I’ve read some of Mr. Von Brunn’s writings. Unfortunately, his crazy ramblings are not all that different from Glen Beck or many other talk show “entertainers.”

Just in case scientists someday show a connection between leaders and followers, I wonder if Beck, Rush, Malkin, Hume, O’Reilly, Ingraham, Savage – any of those “entertainers” – would consider dialing back their rhetoric just a bit?

Who knows, they may even begin to sound like the voice of reason and logic. And changing their schtick shouldn’t be too difficult for people who have no real convictions. Unless, of course, as far-fetched as it may sound to normal people, these highly paid talkers actually believe their own B.S.

AJ Open Mic Night!

Another AJ Open Mic Night hosted by the Rhino ReCreation Center will be held on Saturday, November 17 from 6-9 p.m. at the Horizon Health and Wellness Earth Heart Park!

If you are 14 or older, come on out and show off your musical talents on a stage. You will be able to perform two songs, and don’t worry, hook ups for your instrument to a sound system will be available. Also, you can bring your phone or other music storage device to be hooked up to the system. All we ask is that what you perform be family-friendly.

This Open Mic night will feature All New Hope, a local alt rock band. If you have a band and would like to perform, just contact us so that we can make sure we have the proper system hook ups and instruments ready to go. We do have a drum set that can be made available.

There is NO charge or fee for any performer or audience member. There will be food and drinks, including hot chocolate, available for purchase. This is an outdoor venue, so remember to bring your own chair or blanket, along with a coat. Please arrive around 5:30 p.m. to register your spot on the slate; it will be first-come, first-choose for your time slot.

This is a great opportunity for the community to come together and support our talented friends and family. If you have any questions, contact Jeff Struble at 480-694-5100. You may also check out our website, www.rhinorecreation.com.

We will be holding more AJ Open Mic Nights on December 7th and 15th.

Photo above: Hannah Ledesma at Open Mic Night last week

CCJH Drama Class to Debut Holiday Play by Gold Canyon Resident

Gold Canyon resident Jane Gerencher’s award-winning children’s book, Santa’s Sugar, has been adapted into a play and will have its debut performance by members of the Advanced Drama Class of Cactus Canyon Junior High under the direction of Lisa Schroeder on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction.

“Jane Gerencher attended one of our plays last year, and she offered to let us use her children’s story, Santa’s Sugar, and adapt it into a play for our students to perform, “said Schroeder. “It’s a lovely story and gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase an original story and create the costumes, sets, music and dance numbers for a heart-warming holiday production.”

As a book, Santa’s Sugar earned several industry awards for Gerencher, including the 2012 Mom’s Choice Award, 2013 National Indie Excellence Award, a 2013 International Book Award and more. Gerencher is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and the Apache Junction Writers Group.

“We have the honor of being the first school to produce this play and feel honored to have the opportunity to work directly with the author,” added Schroeder.

The story is about a little elf named Nugget who cannot find her place in Santa’s Workshop. Nugget feels she is not a true elf. Fortunately, Santa is in need of an elf to care for his beloved cat, Sugar. Santa gives the responsibility of taking care of Sugar to Nugget, but things do not go as planned. Santa’s Sugar has universal themes that will appeal to children as well as adults.

Immediately following the play, members of the Introductory Drama Class will present a holiday review of skits, songs and theatrical vignettes. The sets, costumes, play programs and even the promotional flyers were created by students in the Drama Club.

Tickets for the event are $5 for adults, $3 for students, and children 5 and under are free.

For more information call the high school at 480-474-3980.

For more information about AJUSD call 480-982-1110, or visit www.ajusd.org or www.facebook.com/ajusd43.

Photo above: Gold Canyon author Jane Gerencher’s award-winning book Santa’s Sugar  will be presented as a play on Dec. 6 at CCJH

Pinal County Board Report

Economic development agreements approved at Oct. 10 meeting

By Dana Trumbull

Scouts from Troop #758, San Tan Valley, attended the October 10 Pinal County Board of Supervisors meeting as a requirement to earn their citizenship merit badge. Over the course of the two-hour meeting, they were able to observe a fair sampling of the issues and procedures that come before our county government for oversight, development and approval.

From the two citizens who spoke passionately during the Call to the Public about voting and the state’s ESSA proposition, to the San Tan Valley resident appealing property code compliance fines; from the deceptively dry minutia of the purchasing division report and consent agenda to decisions clearing the way for construction of the Nikola Motors and Lucid Motors manufacturing facilities in Coolidge and Casa Grande, respectively, this was a typical non-eventful, yet highly impactful slice of the American pie – the cooperative governance of the details that keep us all moving in the same general direction toward democratically selected goals.

Economic Development

By far the biggest topics of the day were a resolution in support of Utah-based Nikola Motors, Inc.’s application for Foreign Trade Subzone (FTZ) status for the pending Coolidge facility and a proposal to incur long-term financing for a land purchase near Casa Grande as a part of a development agreement with Lucid Motors. Both items passed unanimously.

Nikola

Coolidge City Manager Rick Miller elaborated, “This [Nikola manufacturing plant] will be on about 430 acres. The project involves the construction of a one million square foot building, employing 1,800 people and representing an $800 million investment. Nikola is on a fast track to deliver a state of the art hydrogen-electric semi-truck to the world.

“The next steps following your resolution of support will be combining this package and sending it off to the FTZ Commission in Phoenix, then it goes on to the federal government for final approval there. This is an integral part of the reason they looked at Arizona; the FTZ designation is an incentive that interested them.”

According to www.phoenix.gov, “The FTZ program was established to encourage and expedite U.S. participation in international trade and is a mechanism for companies to manage their duty payments. Foreign-Trade Zones are considered outside the U.S. Customs territory, so goods received into FTZs are generally not subject to duties, tariffs or quotas until, and if, they leave the zone. Another benefit of FTZ status is that Arizona offers an approximate 74% reduction in real and personal property taxes for activated FTZs.

Lucid Motors

In a similar move intended to spur economic development and job growth in Pinal County, the BOS approved a proposal to incur a long term obligation for approximately $31 million for the acquisition of land, which will then be leased to Lucid Motors for the construction of their new manufacturing plant. The lease will include provisions for Lucid to purchase the land from the county at the end of year 4.

Excise Tax Revenue Obligations will be used to fund the land purchase. County Manager Greg Stanley assured supervisors that, although debt service payments are not known until bonds are secured, the lease payments over the course of the initial four years should cover the cost of debt service. “There is no intent to raise taxes on our residents in order to pay this back.”

The public hearing declaring the intent to incur debt occurred at the October 10 Board of Supervisors meeting, followed by the approval of the development agreement, lease and option to purchase at the October 31 meeting. Both were unanimous decisions.

City Discusses Need to Update 2006 Property Maintenance Codes

AJ City Council also approves N. Idaho Rd. improvements and home detention and monitoring program

By Bill Van Nimwegen

The Apache Junction City Council met last week in a work session on Monday, November 5 and a regular session on Tuesday, November 6.

Monday, November 5
On Monday night, Larry Kirch, Director of Development Services, and Dave Zellner, CBO, Building and Safety Manager, presented proposed changes to the city’s property maintenance code, which was last amended in 2006.

According to staff, code compliance is important to the community because: it improves the quality of life for residents; it is good for both businesses and neighborhood livability; it promotes stable property values; it promotes a healthy community; compliance reinforces city expenditures for infrastructure (e.g. streetscaping the “Trail”), and it improves the community image.

The city now has three full-time code compliance staff, and it was noted that violations are up 10-fold.

In the past, Apache Junction City Council has directed staff to amend the code to be at least as strict as neighboring cities in regard to garbage, inoperable vehicles, debris, trash accumulation and structural conditions. To that end, Kirch and Zellner are recommending changes that will reflect current state law and elevate the community.

Issues involving vehicles were split into several areas: major and minor vehicle repairs and major and minor vehicular body repairs. The goal will be to allow responsible citizens to work on their vehicles, while preventing the storage of wrecked, damaged or inoperable vehicles.

Another area covered was the accumulation of trash in some yards, alleys etc. Staff suggested that, in order to eliminate the unsightly and unhealthy problem, all garbage would need to be kept in approved receptacles. They would need to be sealed against insects, odors and leakage, as well as easily cleaned.

Additionally, the staff recommends the fines for violations be raised from $250 for the first offense to $350, and from $500 for the second offense to $600. The third offense within a 24 month period will become a criminal offense with a fine of $1,000.

The Council will have another work session on this issue before voting on the code changes line-by-line. They also decided, if passed, there would be a three to six month education outreach before the code goes into effect.

The Council also heard a presentation and held a discussion on proposed Ordinance No. 1466 authorizing the Apache Junction Municipal Court to implement a home detention and electronic monitoring program.

According to a staff memo, “home detention occurs when a defendant, instead of serving their sentence in jail, is sentenced to electronic home monitoring by the court.” Electronic home monitoring requires a defendant to wear an ankle device that transmits a signal detailing its location. Home Detention is voluntary for the defendant and provides an alternative to being held in the County Jail.

Presiding Magistrate James W. Hazel said that the city budgets more than $290,000 each year for jail costs relating to incarceration of the misdemeanants it prosecutes. In Fiscal Year 2017-2018, the city of Apache Junction paid $343,288.88 in jail fees to Pinal County.

The advantage of home detention to the court is reduced jail costs. The defendant benefits by being allowed to travel to and from work and other necessary appointments.

The cost of home detention is assessed to the defendant in addition to any fines and fees imposed. The item will be voted on at the November 20, 2018 meeting.

Also discussed on Monday and later approved unanimously as part of the Tuesday night consent agenda was a N. Idaho Rd. reconstruction.

The project was not identified in the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Street Maintenance Plan, but staff wanted to substitute this project for the Plan’s “Ironwood Overlay” and the “Spring 2019 Slurry Seal” projects that would then be moved to next fiscal year.

This change is in response to needing this portion of Idaho Road reconstructed before survey work can begin for a near future grant for further improvements along the corridor–which would include bike lanes. The segment of Idaho Road to be reconstructed is from Lost Dutchman Blvd. to McKellips Rd. for a total amount not to exceed  $566,916.09, including a 10% contingency.

The project would be funded with the city’s street sales tax and HURF monies.

Also discussed at the Monday work session and approved the next night at the Tuesday regular session was a contract for the preparation of the five year, state mandated update of the Development Fee Study: Land Use Assumptions, Infrastructure Improvements Plan and Development Fees, as well as an update to Volume II, Chapter 7, Development Fee Ordinance.

Five proposals were received, and staff recommended the award to TischlerBise for the base bid of $68,600.

Also on Monday, there was a discussion for on-call architectural, surveying and engineering consulting services for Public Works On-Call Services in 2018. The three areas covered by these services are General Civil Engineering, not to exceed $300,00; General Survey, not to exceed $100,000; and Geotechnical Services, not to exceed $100,000. These are three year contracts that will save city staff the time that was used in the past to prepare individual contracts.

Public Works Manager Shane Kiesow gave the Council an update of Pinal County Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan was prepared to guide planning to better protect people, property, community assets and land from the effects of hazards.

There were also presentations and discussions on bid responses received for public defender services. Both federal and state law require the appointment of legal counsel to those who cannot afford an attorney when charged with a crime that could result in jail time. The selected attorneys will be paid $2,225 per month and are required to represent up to 165 clients per fiscal year. Contracts will be in effect from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2020.

Tuesday, November 6
Mayor Jeff Serdy read a proclamation designating November 8th, 2018, as “Law Enforcement Records Personnel Appreciation Day” and presented it to AJPD Chief Thomas Kelly on behalf of the records department. The proclamation honors those who serve to link the community with law enforcement and make the community a safer place.

Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) board member Sharon Stinard introduced the council to CAAFA’s new Executive Director, Ray Villa.

There was also a presentation, discussion and update from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Leon Thomas, Phoenix District Manager; Edward Kender, Lower Sonoran Field Manager; and Darrel Monger, Lower Sonoran Desert Monument Manager, provided updates on their current work in our area, including recreation and public purpose projects.

City Council meetings are open to the public and held in chambers at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction. The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Complete agendas and supporting materials are available at https://apachejunction.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

Photo above: Dave Zellner, CBO, Building and Safety Manager, presented proposed changes to the city’s property maintenance code.

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