blues 3

Blues in Bisbee festival goers pack City Park at a past event in Bisbee.

BISBEE — Blues in Bisbee, sponsored by the Easterseals Blake Foundation, will be held on Sept. 18 in City Park with Brewery Avenue and Review Alley closed for the event.

During Tuesday’s Bisbee City Council meeting, Mayor Ken Budge and Councilmembers Lou Pawlik, Leslie Johns, Frank Davis, Joan Hansen, Joni Giacomino and Anna Cline approved the park right-of-way permit for the event and agreed it would be safer with the roads closed.

Annette Mather, events manager of the foundation, offered two options to the city, one to close down Brewery Avenue and the other to allow one-way traffic only up the Gulch on Review Avenue and use OK Street to come down from Old Bisbee.

One problem with allowing one-way traffic up Review Alley is that the street that runs behind the stage setup in the Gulch parking lot could back up with traffic.

Mather said she was renting the parking lot of the Central School Project on a first-come first-served basis, an area of 45 spaces.

Police Chief Albert Echave said the city shuts down Brewery Avenue for Independence Day and other events, but the department gets complaints from locals trying to access their homes.

OK Street will be limited to local traffic only and officers will be stationed on it to help the flow of traffic.

Residents have been experiencing garbage buildup after one of the city’s dump trucks caught fire and is unusable. The other suffered a mechanical breakdown.

To get a handle on the problem, Public Works Director Jesus Haro had to go to Deming, New Mexico, to rent a truck that would pick up the dumpsters. The problem with finding a truck was Bisbee’s dumpsters do not have pockets and rely on a different system to access the dumpsters.

“We are one of two cities in Arizona who utilize those type of dumpsters,” Haro said. “Most cities use dumpsters with forklift pockets. It was hard to find one locally to help us.”

If the insurance company declares the garbage truck damaged by fire to be a total loss, the city will need a new one, said Haro. If the city decided to get a truck the same as the damaged one, it would take until November to replace as it through a special order. There are two trucks readily available if the city switches to the ones that use the pockets.

To get ready for such a new truck, Haro asked the council to approve the purchase of 300 dumpster fork pockets at a cost of $18,000 to install on the city’s dumpsters, which they unanimously did, dependent on the insurance company’s decision to total the truck.

Budge said, “It’s a wise thing to have it ready to roll because we don’t want to be in the same position again.”

An agreement with Cochise County to provide court services for the Bisbee Precinct was approved unanimously by the council.

The city has not had a contract with the county since last year when some on the council wanted to see if the city could afford court services without the county when the last contract expired.

Since that time, the city has not paid for the precinct services, City Manager Theresa Coleman said.

“They couldn’t invoice us without an agreement,” she said.

The city will pay the county $24,760 for the services through June, the end of the fiscal year.

The county will provide prosecutors, defense lawyers, security staff, administration staff and all costs associated with Bisbee Justice Court Precinct No. 1 and Bisbee will pay $39,834 for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Decking along the adult pool at Higgins Park may get replaced this year.

Haro said it was not repairable and could cost $35,000 to $65,000 to replace. He asked for permission to put out a request for proposals to nail down a firm cost. If the pool remains closed, lifeguard wages of $21,600 could be used for the repair. If the cost is higher, the council will decide how to address the problem.

Giacomino said she thought it was a good move to restore the deck and made the motion to gather requests for qualifications, which passed unanimously.

With budget talks on the horizon, the mayor and City Council discussed requests from Public Works and the Police Department for new vehicles.

Haro and Echave requested the council consider allowing the purchase or lease of six new vehicles in the next fiscal year.

Haro wants two pickup trucks and Echave two pickup trucks and two patrol cars.