Skip to comments.County board lays out plan on efficiency, economy
Posted on 04/05/2018 5:58:10 AM PDT by SandRat
BISBEE Over the next three years, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors will be busy trying to reach the goals of the Strategic Plan they and county staff developed.
Supervisors Ann English, Pat Call and Peggy Judd have agreed to the ambitious agenda that reflects the determination to make the county government more efficient and effective, to improve the countys economic position, and to continue to maintain and improve infrastructure.
Over the past few months, the supervisors met with department heads and County Administrator Ed Gilligan to focus thoughts, determine feasibility and set timelines.
They met with Facilities Director Jay Howe and Fleet Manager Ruben Miranda on Tuesday to discuss the possible move of certain county offices to Sierra Vista.
The Board is also considering the addition of an annex to an existing building at the Colonia de Salud complex off Highway 90.
Also, a new 9,000-square-foot building is being researched for the complex.
The idea is to empty the offices located in the old high school in Old Bisbee. The Probation Department is one that ranks high on the list, Gilligan said. The Legal Defender and Public Defender offices could eventually be moved to that site.
Call asked where the money will come from.
Johnson told him that $800,000 was set aside for construction at the complex, and that a small portion of the one-half-cent sales tax money could be used to boost the budget line.
Gilligan also estimated the old high school buildings worth at about $1.2 million, and said funds from that sale could pay for additional construction costs.
According to Call and Judd, most of the countys population growth will occur from Sierra Vista north up Highway 90 to Benson, and then to the west along Interstate 10.
So having as many services as possible there would make it more convenient for people doing business with the county.
It will also save money on upkeep and utility costs, Johnson added.
English wanted to know why the Douglas building was not being discussed.
Thats tougher, Gilligan replied. You have a low population in Douglas, and it would be hard to transition there.
A longer-term goal is possibly to move two courtrooms, the judges and staff to Sierra Vista, with the intent of getting out of the county courthouse.
Parking is not the best there, and its an access problem, Gilligan said. Weve made some accommodations for people, but it could be better.
County-owned and operated animal shelter?
On another matter related to the strategic plan, there was some discussion on the money being spent using the animal shelters of Benson, Douglas, Huachuca City and Willcox. The county shares the cost of the Willcox shelter proportionately with the city since it owns the shelter.
County Deputy Attorney Britt Hanson compiled some information from the records of the shelters the county uses. The estimate on 2017 funds spent was $122,349 to house animals brought in by animal control officers.
Some of these shelters are raking us over the coals, Judd said, referring to some of the expenses.
It was rather difficult to determine just how many dogs and cats were housed over a year. Hanson said some shelters did not provide the numbers of animals that were placed at the facilities.
We need to work on this systemically, Gilligan said. Willcox is decent now, but there is no vet care on site.
In order to adopt more dogs and cats in a shorter period of time, Gilligan suggested moving some operations to the southern portion of the county to more populated sites.
English wants to see competent management at all sites the county uses.
We should do it in closer conjunction with the cities or do it ourselves, English said.
Gilligan agreed, and said he would assess the efficiency of the system in place.
Putting animal control under the county Health Department might be the best solution, Call suggested.
Once all the details are provided, the supervisors will decide what to do.
Wake up Bisbee. That is pol speak for, "Higher taxes, more spending, and even less done. Then next year we will ask for more."
What are “paragraphs” useful for?
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