January 27, 2021

Marshal Patterson reported that his department had been working on dog issues, a feral cat problem and a school issue.

The Planning & Development Committee reported it was reviewing the use permit process, prioritizing building the economy, and that it welcomes study of the area’s nature-based economy. 

The Council and Mayor approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Town and the Santa Cruz County Economic. About 60% of the needed money for this project is raised, with multiple organizational sponsors including The Nature Conservancy, Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (PARA), Tucson Audubon Society, and South32. 

Ordinance 21-01, was passed, amending the Code of Patagonia by adopting a new Article 16 relating to the regulation of recreational marijuana. Extensive discussion covered multiple issues. The draft ordinance was recommended for further study and added content, including further research by the Town’s Attorney.

At the request of the Tree and Park Committee, the Council and Mayor approved the writing of a letter of support for a Borderlands Restoration Network grant proposal to the National Environmental Education Foundation for extending irrigation lines in Doc Mock Park.

February 10, 2021

Call to the public opened with an explanation of a Rural Schools Grant being applied for by Zander Ault and his associate, Gabe Trenda.

Vice-Mayor Stabile reported on the meetings he and Town Manager Robinson have had with South32 and Clear Creek Associates in regard to a water discharge study from the Hermosa Project down Harshaw Creek. The study should be done by the end of April. 

Mayor Wood presented Marilyn Miller who has been volunteering to assist with COVID vaccinations. The next younger age group and categories of essential workers to receive shots in the next round of vaccinations had not yet been determined by SCC, Miller explained.

Manager Robinson reported that Peter Robbins has an interest in donating a historical caboose for possible use by the Town as a Visitors’ Center, to be placed in the Town’s park. The Southern Pacific caboose dates from 1940, has bay sides and the donation would include some track and ties.

There has been one interest in opening a medical marijuana dispensary in town, and the discussion of requirements and regulation of that type of business is continuing.

Manager Robinson reported that Planning and Development is working on mapping trails, economic development and temporary use permits. 

The Library Advisory Committee’s recommendations and policies were approved. Librarian Laura Wenzel was asked by Mayor Wood what people can access on library computers, particularly if users can access extremism or seditious groups. She explained that the library does not track users’ specific websites or groups visited, and does not use blocking software, but that if she happened to walk by a user and see something inappropriate, she’d step in.

Two new job descriptions were approved, one for Public Works Foreman, the other for Lead Worker.

Amendments were approved for the December 2020 Town Personnel Policy: clarifying on-call status and how vacation time will accrue and be capped.

Phase 2 of the agreement with Pacific Advanced Civil Engineering was approved, for $59,520, to complete the design of the refurbishing of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, allowing it to go for bid

February 24, 2021

Marshal Patterson reported that Animal Control Officer Hilliard was temporarily deployed with FEMA.

Melanie Lawson and Pat Risner from South32 provided a Hermosa Project update, discussing permit applications and public comment period for permits related to dewatering. The ongoing Prefeasability Assessment is delayed until June, and then there is estimated 12 more months to finalize a Feasibility Study. The tailings water treatment plant continues in operations 24/7and expects to finish upgrades mid-year. The company plans a public presentation at the County Fairgrounds, March 9, 4p.m. – 6p.m. It also seeks involvement with a Community Advisory Panel being formed.

The Council and Mayor approved extending the Intergovernmental Agreement with the high school and elementary school districts until the end of March to allow the Friends of Patagonia Pool to complete a pool assessment. A Study Session on the future of the pool is planned for March 17 at 6p.m.

The Council and Mayor approved three amendments to its Personnel Policy. Vacation hours were capped at 160, compensation practices for work on the weekends were clarified, and an employee new phone program was clarified.