A rough first quarter is presented at the City Council meetingBy Trisha Maldonado
Fiscal Year 2013 first quarter financial report was presented at City Council monthly meeting on Nov. 14, held at City Hall.
The first quarter general fund revenue was below the projected amount due to sales tax revenue being down three percent.
According to Luis Pedroza, Finance Director and City Treasurer, the city’s cash position is not growing at last year’s rate. So far this year, the City’s cash position increased 18 percent, while last year it increased 25 percent during the same time frame.
“The first quarter does not dictate the whole year but general fund revenues so far are not where they should be,” Pedroza said. “We must catch up and make up losses.”
The general fund is currently $2,995,242. Pedroza believes the general fund will be below $2.7 million by the end of FY2013.
Mayor Danny Ortega Jr. and council approved an agreement between the City of Douglas and Med-Trans Cooperation to provide air ambulance membership services.
On Oct. 18, the city staff met with Med-Trans Executives to discuss the possibility of entering into an agreement with the City of Douglas to set up an air ambulance subscription/membership service to Douglas citizens that are currently or future residential utility customers.
This subscription service provides added insurance and security to Douglas area utility customers. By subscribing to this program and paying a monthly $5 fee, $60 per year, the customer does not have to absorb the cost of air ambulance transportation. Such air transportation costs range from $15,000 to $20,000 per occurrence.
The $60 per year will cover the entire household, and it will cover customers with or without medical insurance.
The City and Med-Trans will send marketing and enrollment forms to all utility customers twice a year. Enrollment is voluntary.
Approved during council meeting was the first reading by title and number only and placed on second reading the establishment of an online utility payment fee of $2.50 per transaction for utility customers using the service. This has been a pilot program for over a year. City Manager Carlos De La Torre feels that the program should be transitioned into an ordinance.
The Mayor and City Council approved a leasing agreement between the City of Douglas and Aline Quinonez, doing business as A+ Tutoring a sole proprietorship at 919 E 3rd Street.
Mayor and City Council agreed to enter into a partnership with the State of Arizona Department of Homeland Security for a reimbursable grant fund allocation in the amount of $639,284 for personnel overtime and mileage and $17,150. The funds will be used for the purchase of equipment under Operation Stonegarden (OPSG).
OPSG funds are intended to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure the United States’ borders along routes of ingress from international borders to include travel corridors in States bordering Mexico and Canada, as well as states and territories with international water borders.
Mayor and City Council approved an amendment to a joint project agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).
During the course of the Paseo De La Amistad Transportation Enhancement project, there were unexpected project expenses incurred. All of the expenses were approved since they were critical to implementing a successful project. As a result, the project was over budget by $130,011.12 once it was completed. The City is not eligible for reimbursement of these additional costs.
In an effort to recover this budget overage, the City has worked closely with the ADOT to identify possible monies that the City could request to cover these costs.
ADOT identified $215,020 that can be applied toward this overage; with the condition the City will be responsible for the remaining balance of $12,257.
The Council authorized the submission of a grant application to ADOT for fiscal year 2012. Applications for fiscal year 2012 for section 5311 Rural Transportation Program funds to provide public transportation services via the Douglas Rides Transit Program are due Dec. 7.
The Finance Department recommendations for FY 2013 include applying for capital funds towards the construction of a transit operation center, two new buses, and a supervisor’s vehicle.
The administrative and operating budget request include a full time mechanic, one additional driver, and minor increases to support the additional driver.
ADOT reimburses 80 percent of administrative costs, 58 percent of operating costs, and either 80/20 or 93/7 percent of capital costs, depending on the number of applications they receive.
For budgeting purposes, the City will budget the reimbursement from ADOT capital funds to be 80/20 percent.
The total fiscal impact to the City will be approximately $24,138 in administrative match; $83,578 in operating match and $67,000 in capital match, a portion of which can be in in-kind, and which will be budgeted for FY 2013/2014.
The department will work towards increasing revenues and establishing partnerships in order to reduce the matching funds amount.
In other business, the Mayor and City Council tabled resolution No. 12-921, authorizing a Wellness Inter-government Agreement with Cochise County.
The last item to be approved on the agenda was the land sale bid process of vacant land located on the west side of Pan American Ave. on the extension of 6th Street between Pan American Ave. and Chiricahua Road.
On Aug. 13, the City received a letter from Copper Queen Community Hospital (CQCH) outlining their interest in purchasing the land adjacent to their Douglas Clinic located on 5th Street and Chiricahua Ave.
Under the land sale bid process, once qualified bids have been received by the city they will be submitted to the City Council and Mayor. The Council will consider the sale of the property by Ordinance, and award the bid and sale of this property in the near future.
A pre-bid conference and site inspection will be held on Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. at City Hall.
A request for proposal packet, which includes the offer to purchase form, conditions of sale, bid procedures and other relevant documents may be obtained from the City of Douglas City Clerk, Brenda Aguilar.
Bid closing date is Dec. 5 at 3 p.m.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 12, 6 p.m. at City Hall.