Thu, April 02

Clarkdale considering early retirement incentive
Council meets in regular session Tuesday evening

When the Clarkdale Town Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, it will consider offering employees an early retirement incentive program. Council members will also consider Proposition 202 gaming revenues and raising sewer fees.

Due to a projected budget deficit next year of $600,000, Town Manager Gayle Mabery is seeking council's approval to establish a voluntary early retirement incentive through June 30. Such programs are typically used when organizations need to reduce staff.

With the proposed program, anyone opting for the incentive would sign a release of claims to protect the town from future litigation.

Two scenarios are being offered for the council to consider. In both, the town's financial exposure will be limited to total funding of $35,000 and capped for individuals at $10,000.

Another item on the agenda deals with the distribution of $14,542 from the Yavapai-Apache Nation. The money comes from Proposition 202 Gaming Revenues as distributed by the Nation.

The Clarkdale council balked at the Nation's request to act as a pass-through agency to send the money on to Clarkdale-Jerome School as seed money for a Native American Club.

The recommendation the council will consider is to follow the town's normal budgeting procedures with the donation and determine its use during the annual budget cycle.

Proposition 202 requires that the funds be given to "cities, towns, or counties for government services that benefit the general public, including public safety, mitigation of the impacts of gaming, or promotion of commerce and economic development."

During discussion of the donation at a recent council meeting, members said the Nation wasn't really donating any money to Clarkdale. It was also mentioned that the strings attached to the donation by the Nation circumvented the intent of the law.

Also on the council's agenda is consideration of Notice of Intent to Set Sewer Fee Rate, which would be an increase in sewer fees. The current residential rate, including base rate, line replacement and sludge disposal is $20.47. The recommended total rate would increase to $28.

Commercial rates also would be increased to $28 per month but would include a usage fee of $2.25 per 1,000 gallons of water in excess of 5,000 gallons per month. That would be an increase from the current $1.90 per 1,000 gallons.

The council meets in the Men's Lounge of the Clark Memorial Clubhouse at 19 N. Ninth St.

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