Dec. 4 City Council Update

At their meeting on Tuesday, December 4, the Apache Junction City Council approved 6-0 an ordinance amending Apache Junction City Code, Volume 1, Chapter 9, Health and Sanitation. The code amendments include stricter rules for garbage containment, inoperable vehicles, debris, trash accumulation and structural conditions. The amendments also increase the fines for violations and a third offense within a 24 month period will become a criminal offense.

Also approved 6-0, an ordinance amending the Apache Junction City Animal Control Fee Schedule. The amendment allows the city manager to convene a panel of city residents for a civil hearing in lieu of a citation for animal noise nuisance. The amendment also eliminates the class 3 kennel permit, allows alternative owner notification of animals impounded during the arrest of owner and provides for abandonment determination.

The amendment allows the city to recover animal care costs for animals found in motor vehicles when the owner is not present, eliminates the licensing and other fees for potbellied pigs, clarifies jurisdiction and quarantine of potbellied pig bites and adds clarifications and terminology to criminal filings and penalties.

The mayor and city council recognized individuals and organizations who have made donations to support city activities, programs and projects through the Friends of Apache Junction. In fiscal year 2018, donors gave $262,137.37 in gifts. Recognized on Tuesday were Safe Schools Youth Program and Horizon Health and Wellness for their support of the Apache Junction Police D.A.R.E. Program. For their support of the city’s Parks and Recreation department, Arizona Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association was recognized. Prim and Proper Pet Sitting and the Mountain Bridge Community, Henry and Mary Jo Duilus, Debbie Tuller, Jackie Oversen, Debbie Robertson and Gene and Edith Berry were thanked for their generous support of the city’s Paws and Claws Care Center.

Apache Junction Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Krista Anderson made a presentation to the city council and invited them to join the district in recognizing the importance of education to this community. She introduced a “Whatever It Takes” campaign to build support among the community and promote graduation and higher learning.

Vicky McLaughlin, president of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society, introduced the Superstition Mountain Museum’s newly hired director, Annie Vaugier. She echoed Dr. Anderson’s recognition of the importance of education in the community and pointed out the museum’s efforts. Vaugier said she was new to the area, but looked forward to establishing a good relationship with the city.

The council unanimously recommended a temporary extension of premises liquor license for Elks BPOE #2349 for the Paws 4 Life Annual Car Show on Saturday, January 19, 2019, and a special event liquor license for the Elks for their Annual Beer and Brats event and Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo Dance on February 21 and 22, 2019. The approvals will be forwarded to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.

After a presentation and discussion, the council unanimously gave direction to staff to establish a public art commission. Heather Patel listed different efforts the city has been involved with in the past and reminded the council of public art’s importance to the downtown revitalization plan. Establishing a commission as the authority in the community would be staff’s recommendation. It would be subject to open meeting laws and would defer to the city council as the final decision makers. There would be a consultant hired, using funds now available, and ordinances written for future funding.

Finally, there was a discussion and council direction to staff to fill an upcoming Planning and Zoning Commission vacancy. The council agreed to interview candidates on February 4 and vote on nominations on February 5.

The council will meet next in an Executive Session at 6:00 p.m. and a Work Session at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 17. There will be an Executive Session at 6:00 p.m. and Work Session at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 18. City council meetings are open to the public and held in chambers at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction. Complete agendas and supporting materials are available at https://apachejunction.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

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