Gila County adopts tentative budget

Courtesy photo

During their June 21 meeting, the Gila County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt a tentative budget for fiscal year 2022-23. That budget includes $124.42 million for fiscal year 2023 and maintains the county’s primary property tax rate at $4.19, at which it has been consistent since 2010. Also adopted were tentative 2022-23 budgets for the Gila County Library District, Flood Control District and Street Lighting Improvement Districts, with the supervisors convening as the boards of those districts. Truth in taxation hearings will be held at the board’s July 19 meeting, giving the public a chance to comment, followed by the supervisors’ vote on a final budget.

The board also approved the proposed Sheriff’s Office Detention Officer Pay Plan Steps Program, which aims to encourage recruiting and keeping detention officers,  and promote parity with other law enforcement officials, by setting up compensation guidelines for ranks from officer to lieutenant. Implementing the program will cost $166,306 in salaries and $26,764 in employee-related expenses, which will be funded by deleting four General Fund detention officer positions.

In other business, the board approved a federal hazard mitigation grant to buy out eight flood-prone properties in Roosevelt Estates. The purchase of the properties, on Ash and Mesquite Streets, was recommended by JE Fuller Hydrology & Geomorphology after an analysis of Campaign Creek sediment flow as well as hydrology before and after the 2019 Woodbury Fire – with a goal of allowing the creek’s channel to spread out in the area. The property owners, after permitting appraisals, agreed to sell their properties to the county for 90% of the appraised value; standing structures on the properties will be demolished and septic tanks filled in. The grant will provide 75% of the $2.08 million cost, approximately $1.6 million; the other 25% will come from a local match by Gila County ($343,456) and property owners ($176,760).

The board also appointed Joseph Heatherly to the Gila County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Board of Directors for the term expiring on Dec. 31, 2025. Heatherly was recommended by Board of Supervisors Chair Woody Cline and will replace the late William “Bill” Marshall, who passed away in December 2021, on the IDA board.

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