BISBEE — A collection of more than 1,000 mineral specimens originating from Bisbee mines will be returned home in the near future and put up for sale at the Bisbee Mine Tour gift shop.
Doug Graeme, Mine Tour manager, received unanimous approval from the mayor and council at Tuesday’s meeting to purchase the azurite, calcite, malachite, copper and a few unusual specimens for $40,000 from DeNatura in Gilbert.
“Bisbee minerals are hard to get,” Graeme told the council. “The collection comes in 100 boxes. They are medium grade and will sell around $40 a piece.”
Councilwoman Anna Cline said, “This is a great deal. I think it’s cool to bring back Bisbee minerals from where they came.”
On another mine tour matter requested by Graeme, the council approved contracting with FareHarbor B.V. to handle online mine tour ticket sales, which will cost about $9,100 annually.
According to Graeme, the 6 percent convenience fee will be paid by the customer. There is a credit card processing rate of 1.9 percent, about 30 cents per transaction.
The factors in favor of FareHarbor are no setup fees, subscription fees, technical support fees and no contract, added Graeme. Tour staff will have full support 24 hours a day and training. The company also tracks analytics and provides a daily schedule for the tours.
“It’s the best deal,” he said.
Companies that also bid on the contract were Etix Inc., Centaman Inc., Tixtreck, Palco4 Inc., Flybook Software LLC, and USeDirect.
A request by Bisbee Grand Hotel and Saloon owners for an extension and permanent premises permit was tabled because the information provided puzzled some council members.
The floor plans showed the extension to adjacent space on the first floor and the upstairs area that are now lodging quarters, according to information provided by Kevin Kramber.
Councilwoman Joan Hansen said, “I don’t understand what they’re doing. Are they getting rid of the hotel rooms?”
Mayor David Smith, Councilman Bill Higgins and Councilwomen Anna Cline and Leslie Johns were confused about the request that led to tabling of the matter until more information from Kramber was available.
The city is eyeing its third house for renovation in Warren at 300 Campbell St., which was a foreclosure and up for auction. A drive-by appraisal of $79,000 was suggested, but no one took the bid, said City Manager Theresa Coleman.
“The condition of the interior may have led to the no-bid auction,” she added.
She also recommended putting this property on the open market when work is completed and the value of the house increased. An offer was made by the city at 85 percent of the appraised price.
The mayor and five council members approved the resolution to acquire the house, but Cline voted against it.
The city’s first home in the Workforce Housing Program on Fort Huachuca Lane will be ready sometime in October, Coleman reported. The city has partnered with StepUp Bisbee/Naco to renovate homes in Bisbee that will be targeted toward working singles and families, particularly emergency personnel like firefighters and police officers.