Miami Council discusses CDBG projects

Courtesy photo

The Miami Town Council began the new year with a spirited discussion on allocation of $194,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Four projects were proposed:

Installation of an elevator at the Bullion Plaza Museum for ADA compliance

Rehabilitation of the Keystone Stairs

Repair of asphalt public streets

Installation of solar panels at the wastewater treatment plant

During the Public Hearing, Ray Webb spoke in support of the Bullion Plaza elevator and Michael 23 felt that funding the Keystone Stairs project would benefit the town. Bullion Plaza Museum Director Tom Foster explained the need for an elevator and that the Museum had a project plan with a cost estimate of $300,000. In response to Council’s request on the museum’s income, Foster’s preliminary estimate for 2022 was $15,000, not counting  external local food and gas sales to mine meeting attendees and ghost hunters.

After the Public Hearing closed, the Council began discussion. Choices rapidly reduced to two – the elevator installation and street repairs. Although the solar panel project would result in a savings of several thousand dollars per month, it was ruled out because the Town was waiting for a report on the project. Lack of a plan for renovation removed the Keystone Stairs from further consideration.

During discussion, several Councilmembers noted the streets needed repair. Mayor Jose “Angel” Medina said the streets up the cuts were “dangerous.” Councilmember Michael Black called them “horrendous.” Councilmember Don Reiman pointed out that CDBG funds cannot be used for maintenance.

A representative from the Central Arizona Governments explained that any project funded with the grant must be completed within one year after beginning the project or the money would be lost to the Town.

Councilmember Black moved to table a decision for two weeks to allow more research into the options. In a roll-call vote, Council voted 4 to 3 in favor of the motion.

The second major item on the agenda was a public hearing and recommendation for approval of Series 006 (bar) and Series 007 (beer and wine) licenses for Miami Flats bar. Craig Miller of ALIC Enterprises LLC represented the owner. Miller explained that the bar owner had originally wanted a Series 006 license but none were available, so he had requested a Series 007 license. A Series 006 license did become available shortly after. It appears that a second bar is planned for after Miami Flats is operating.

The four speakers during the Public Discussion all supported the application.

Council voted unanimously to recommend approval by the State Liquor Board.

At 7:55 p.m., Council recessed into executive session “for discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, salary, promotion, demotion or discipline of Town Manager, Alexis Rivera.” All went well because at 8:50 p.m., a smiling Rivera emerged from the meeting.

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