SIERRA VISTA — The Sierra Vista City Council on Thursday discussed possible projects for their community development block grant annual action plan and updates to an existing Arizona Department of Transportation intergovernmental agreement.
The meeting began with a proclamation declaring March 11 through 17 as the 107th year of Girl Scouts in the United States by the mayor.
“Girl scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential with increasing understanding, skill and respect and provides a sound foundation for decision making,” Mayor Rick Mueller said.
Local troops Brownie 419, Junior 104 and Cadette Senior 1224 led the Pledge of Allegiance after receiving the proclamation.
Council members Sarah Pacheco, William Benning and Kristine Wolfe thanked the Girl Scouts for being there.
“It's always great seeing young people doing great things,” Benning said.
The council also went over funding applications for the CDBG annual action plan that will be submitted to Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
This annual grant funding from HUD is meant for projects that “develop viable communities, principally for low- to moderate-income persons.”
The city must prepare an Annual Action Plan to HUD detailing how they will use the grant funds.
“We are working on a funding estimate, as the federal government has not yet completed the appropriation process,” Matt McLachlan, Director of Community Development, explained. “For planning processes, we are using last year’s grant amount of $260,000 for the basis of developing the plan.”
The number will be adjusted when the actual amount is provided.
The city staff recommends that the bulk of funding go to improvement projects at Soldier Creek Park (estimated $175,000), James Landwehr Plaza improvements (estimated $25,000) and ADA ramps/sidewalk installation (estimated $40,000).
One outside agency applied for CDBG funding this year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Southeastern Arizona (NAMI).
Executive Director Kelly Norris explained to the council that they are seeking $5,000 for a youth therapeutic art program for young people who are experiencing mental health issues.
“It would be a one-year project and it would be different youth therapy groups every month,” she said. “We would move the days and times between day, evening and weekends to give more youth in the community the chance to attend.
“In the group therapeutic art activities, youth would have access to resources and help and support for mental health education, suicide prevention and bullying support.”
The program, if funded, would be available to any youth in the community.
NAMI’s mission is to provide “advocacy, education and support to all those affected by mental illnesses,” according to its website.
This item was tabled to allow for absent council members Gwen Calhoun, Carolyn Umphrey and Rachel Gray to participate. They are on their way back from the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C.
The item will return to council at its next meeting on March 28.
The council also approved an administrative update to an existing IGA with ADOT for a Master Traffic Signal and Highway Maintenance Agreement.
“The existing agreement allows us to maintain and perform emergency maintenance on ADOT facilities due to their extended response time,” Sharon Flissar, Director of Public Works, said. “Their nearest traffic signal shop is located in Tucson, so if this agreement were not in place, we would have to wait for them to get to our location.”
The city was switched from ADOT’s Safford district to its South Central district, and the city has included a couple additional streetlights recently installed along State Route 92.