BISBEE — A county employee fatality at the Douglas work yard on April 6 resulted in an Arizona Department of Occupational Safety and Health inspection and a $2,500 penalty to the county, though it was decided the money would better be spent toward internal safety training.

ADOSH performed an inspection in August of the work yard and noted “that procedures were not developed, documented and utilized when employees were engaged in activities related to inspecting and cleaning the dump door of the Manac brand Semi Trailer,” stated Julie Morales, director of risk and management, during Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

She told Supervisors Tom Borer, Ann English and Peggy Judd other citations related to training on procedures did not carry an assessed penalty.

“Following the issuing of the citations, staff engaged ADOSH in an informal settlement discussion regarding the steps the county has taken since the incident related to procedures, training and documentation. Instead of paying the penalty to ADOSH, staff proposed the county dedicate the penalty amount plus an additional funding match to internal safety training, which was accepted,” she said.

Grants approvedThe supervisors also approved three grants from the State Homeland Security program totaling $52,600 as recommended by Gabe Lavine, director of emergency management.

The first Homeland Security grant program provides funding to address gaps in local preparedness and response to terrorism related events, he said.

“This specific project will provide ballistic vests and medical equipment to fire, emergency medical services, and law enforcement personnel responsible for initial response to violent incidents around the county. This grant does not require a cost match. All equipment will be distributed to local first response agencies for use and upkeep,” he said.

The second grant of $17,600 will provide funding to address gaps in local preparedness and response to terrorism related events, he continued. “This specific project will provide redundant battery backups and remote access dispatching and command post capability for countywide 911 centers and command posts.”

The third grant for $11,500 will provide drone surveillance equipment used to identify drone threats at special events and large incidents, he said. Attacks and encroachment on public safety special use airspace by unmanned aircraft systems is an emerging and developing threat.

“This equipment will allow local responders to identify these threats and take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the public and public safety aviation resources. All equipment will be available for use by any law enforcement or fire and emergency medical services agencies in the county,” he stated.

Consolidated court agreement

County budget manager Daniel Duchon requested the supervisors approve the new court consolidation agreement between the county and Sierra Vista that will run through Dec. 31 at a cost of $80,500 for the six-month period that started July 1.

“In prior work-sessions, the supervisors had also advised they desire a new funding model for consolidated court agreement charges to the municipalities,” he said. “County administration and Sierra Vista city administration are confident a new funding model and agreement will be presented to the Supervisors this fall, to be effective Jan. 1, 2021, if approved by both governing bodies.”

Distribution of court revenuesRita Shipley, county court administrator, said in 1999 the Arizona Legislature enacted A.R.S. §41-2421, a law enhancing collections in the courts and setting the allocation of those revenues, referred to as the Fill the Gap initiative, to criminal justice entities. A base year of revenue thresholds was established as Fiscal Year 1997-98.

For 2019-20, the 5 percent set aside funds totaling $362,565, which the supervisors approved to be transferred. The court will receive $208,003; the county attorney $78,350; and $74,434 to indigent Ddefense. The remaining $1,776 goes to the state.

Correction of tax rateThe supervisors also approved a tax rate revision from 1.8954 to 1.8371 for the unorganized County Education District as requested by Duchon.

He explained the higher rate was set by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in error. The Arizona Department of Revenue suggested the supervisors “go through the motions and vote on this revised rate.”