BISBEE — A step forward has been taken by the county Board of Supervisors to work with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in developing a facility for stray and abandoned animals in Bisbee.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Supervisors Ann English, Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby approved a resolution to move forward on an agreement with HSSA to provide shelter services.
There was no discussion as it was an item on the consent agenda, but documentation provided by Associate County Administrator Sharon Gilman indicated the city of Bisbee “is interested in releasing the current license to the main building on the Tovreaville Road property within the current calendar year.”
The city’s former City Hall burned in 2017 and the city leased the county’s former juvenile detention buildings on Tovreaville Road. The city hall has been moved to a new location in Lowell and no longer needs the county space.
The HSSA could revamp the detention center into a centralized county animal shelter.
The resolution confirms the supervisors’ commitment to further discussions with HSSA, such as a transport agreement for the animals and remodeling the property as a shelter.
Amendments to the county zoning regulations for Accessory Living Quarters were approved. An ALQ is an attached or detached residential dwelling structure that provides independent living facilities for one or more persons on the same parcel of the primary home.
County Planner II Christine McLachlan said the changes will provide better organization, make development standards more specific and prohibit secondary ALQs from having a separate address and mailbox.
The amendment also refines the permitting process which allows planning staff to approve applications for ALQs if they comply with zoning regulations.
A CCSO request to fund a $105,000 software plan annually for monitoring the remote surveillance cameras that take photos of movement along the border used by the county’s Southeastern Arizona Border Region Enforcement team to monitor illegal activity was approved by English and Judd, but not Crosby.
CCSO Chief of Staff Mark Napier said the cameras take hundreds of photos of movements, but many are just of wildlife passing on the border. The software eliminates the wildlife photos and allows the deputies monitoring the cameras to focus on the areas actually used for drug or human smuggling.
“Depending on activity levels and other factors, the cameras can generate hundreds of images per hour,” said Napier. “As we continue adding cameras to our surveillance system the number of images is expected to double. Five deputies are responsible for viewing the thousands of images received.”
There are 600 cameras set along the border sending photos to CCSO deputies and less than half contain images of smuggling activity, Napier said.
“To be effective, the actionable images need to be identified within minutes of receipt,” he stated. “The system has grown in scale to the point it is impossible for the current staffing to sort through the images in a timely fashion and respond to the field. Cogniac’s (company with the recognition application) software solution takes our pictures, processes them and, if a person is present, sends an alert via email. The whole process takes a few seconds and the accuracy rate is over 90 percent and improving.”
Crosby moved the agenda item to be tabled for two weeks so the board could hear the CCSO’s plan for smuggling prevention in a work session, but it failed due to the lack of a second. English and Judd approved the expenditure.
The supervisors also approved an interfund transfer of $116,000 from the IT department’s replacement fund to the Southeastern Arizona Communication fund for the county’s share of the Motorola radio system.
The total cost of $749,338 was split as follows: $158,000 Office of Emergency Services grant, $410,651 SEACOM fund balance, $64,867 Sierra Vista and $115,319 Cochise County.
County Treasurer Catherine Traywick got the go-ahead to remove 36 mobile homes across the county from the tax rolls as what is owed in taxes far exceeds the value of the abandoned and burned out homes.
“It’s astounding the number of things that can walk off a property,” she said, in reference to a few mobile homes which could not be found.
Traywick said her department now has a designated deputy to help with the process of researching the properties. She has a list of 1,800 more searches still to be done.