May 11, 2022

Bob Ollerton reported on the participation of the Patagonia fire Dept. in the San Rafael Fire the previous week. He confirmed that the fire had been started by a wind-downed large cottonwood branch landing on a powerline.

Because of increasing fire danger, the mayor announced an Emergency Proclamation, effective immediately. The town will also be encouraging residents to clear combustibles on their property, and put ‘Firewise’ practices into effect about grass, deadwood, firewood piles, propane tanks, and the availability of a hose fifty or more feet in length. 

A liquor license was approved for the Patagonia Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department’s annual steak fry fundraiser on Saturday June 25, to be held in the town’s park. Asked about the menu, Ollerton said there would be the regular burgers but also an experimental offering, hemp tamales.

There was brief public hearing on the final budget for FY 2022-23, and it was adopted by the council and mayor. 

May 25, 2022

Manager Robinson explained he would be meeting soon with the contractor, Hunter Construction, about the ongoing downtown paving project. The expected completion day is around June 17. 

In response to the previous day’s evacuation order for the Elgin Bridge Fire, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) had opened a temporary shelter at the Patagonia Methodist Church’s parish hall, in coordination with the American Red Cross. No evacuees had appeared to use the service.

The town’s Fire Emergency Declaration went into effect May 21. It includes restrictions on outdoor open fires for any reason, as well as shooting. Residents are strongly encouraged to cut and trim grasses and otherwise remove fuels from around their homes. If grass and brush trimming is not done, the town has the authority to do it and charge an owner $50 per incident, applicable to both residents and absentee owners. Residents were encouraged to be extra-vigilant and be ready to protect their own and neighbors’ property.

For the Flood and Flow Committee, Chair Carolyn Shafer reported on the Committee’s three current projects. 1) working with the County to write scope of work for a Patagonia regional flood control project feasibility study. 2) Working with the County on requirements for the Flood Plain Use Permit that would be required for South32’s desired Cross Creek Connector road. 3) The committee’s acceptance of a no-cost offer from the U of A’s Water Resources Research Center for a one -two year project, a Drought Preparedness Plan for a Water resilient Community. 

The town contract with PVFRD was renewed for $55,000, with a one-time allotment of $10,000 for equipment accessories for the department’s new Fire Tender.

Council and Mayor approved the extension of the Queen of Cups Cafe’s previously approved premises/patio permit for the soon-to-open cafe they are building at 320 Smelter Av. An opening date has not yet been announced.