PINE/STRAWBERRY FUEL REDUCTION, INC.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2018
CALL TO ORDER:
President Mike Brandt called the meeting to order at 6:03 P.M. The meeting was held at the Pine Senior Center Dining Room. Janet Brandt led the Pledge of Allegiance
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mike Brandt (President), Melvin Palmer (Vice-President), Brenda Darling (Secretary), Nancy Hubbs (Treasurer), Janet Brandt, Katie Calderon, Ron Calderon
MEMBERS ABSENT: None
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES:
Ron Calderon moved to approve the minutes of the April 25, 2018 PS Fuel Reduction Board Meeting and the Executive BOD Meeting Minutes of May 15, 2018 as presented. Brenda Darling seconded.
ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA FOR DISCUSSION – COMMUNITY QUESTIONS/SUGGESTIONS
There is a need for volunteers at the Beer Garden of the Mudder in Payson this Friday June 1st from 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm and on Saturday June 2nd from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. PSFR will receive 25% of the proceeds for this event.
Community members would like to see more signage about the fire restrictions and forest closure up and down the highway. Maybe we could get magnets for our vehicles as well. This item was discussed further under the Fire Restriction Signage Agenda item.
Community members would like for PSFR to get the word out about the Gila County Clean and Lean Ordinance and Enforcement process for help with getting property owners to clean up their properties. Gila County Ordinance 08-02, which addresses serious fire hazards, has been placed in the documents section of Nextdoor.com along with the complaint form and Rules of Procedure. Also the link where this information can be found is: http://www.gilacountyaz.gov/documents/code_enforcement.php. Some neighbors have had success utilizing this process. Specifically when working with Jade Kauffman at the County. Her # is 928-474-7112.
Some community members were told by their Insurance Co. that if we wanted to be a firewise community we needed to band together and do it ourselves. To become an official firewise community you need to organize by subdivision. As an organized subdivision you would go through the State to become a firewise community. Mike Brandt offered assistance with how to start that process to anyone who wishes take that on. Strawberry Hollow, Portals I, II and IV currently are firewise communities.
Q- When will we here about the Fire on the Rim Bike Race? Ground work has begun and meetings will be scheduled soon.
Q- When will the Community Siren be repaired? The Siren is under the purview of the PS Fire Department. The Fire Department originally had control of the siren and it was in need of constant repair. The Siren Company is no longer in business. The last time they had someone look at it, it cost $3,000 for them to just look at it. In order to get a functioning siren it would need to be completely replaced. It was suggested that this be brought up at the next PS Fire Department Board meeting and with the County. The PSFD and County Sheriff are about action and the PSFR is about prevention. Because this is more of an evacuation issue it may need to be discussed with the Gila County Sheriff. Mike will discuss the siren issue with the Fire Chief and see if they can get the County involved.
Q- Why isn’t the PSFD Represented at this meeting? Are they supportive of the PSFR or do they see the PSFR as a waste of time? They are usually present and are 100% supportive of the PSFR.
Several questions were asked about the food bank donations and those in attendance were reminded that the mission of the PSFR, as a 501c3 is about fuel reduction and not in any way related to the food bank. As a 501c3, we are not able to take money given to the PSFR for fuel reduction and use it for other purposes, like the food bank, as this would be a violation and would jeopardize our 501c3 status.
The new PSFR Secretary is Brenda Darling.
Beginning balance was $42,047.62
Deposits of $1,891.42
Expenses of $7,674.28
Ending balance of 36,264.76
Fire On The Rim:
Beginning balance of $59,137.03
Deposits of $5,141.94
Expenses of $5,077.13
Ending balance of $59,201.84.
Some Pine Trail Run monies had to be transferred from the Fuel Reduction account to the Fire on the Rim account for two reasons. First of all the Trail Run was originally under the Fuel Reduction project but when the decision was made to move it to the Fire on the Rim project, those funds needed to be moved. Secondly, the Paypal account was only set up for the Fuel Reduction account so those monies raised for the Trail Run also had to be transferred. We are currently working on getting a second account set up through Paypal to address this issue. Copies of the Treasurers Report were requested (to better follow the Treasurers Report). Because of the fluidity of the numbers due to various billing cycles and the reconciliation process it was determined that this was not feasible. Mike suggested that for future meetings we get a projector and screen to display the numbers for the community to see and follow along. Also the information provided at the meetings are documented in the minutes.
Ron Calderon moved to accept Treasurer’s Report as presented. Katie Calderon seconded.
Firewise Day (Katie):
This was the 3rd Annual event. Thank you to all who volunteered. Duane Ridl fed 500 people with his donated pulled pork sandwiches. One of the winners of the landscaping raffle is a very elderly woman who really needs the help. The firewise day event is about education, not fundraising.
Expenses: (raffle prizes, banner, porta potties, mailers, bird people etc.)
Pine Trail Run (Scott):
We had 113 people register and 100 people participate in the run. A survey was conducted with 29 responses. The overall response on the race was positive. We also received several recommendations for improvements. Much was learned which will inform next year’s planning process. A raffle was recommended for next year. The survey also asked for a slogan with the winner to receive a free entrance fee next year. The winning slogan was “breeze through the trees”. Camp Lo Mia gave approval to use there Camp again next year. There are extra shirts, visors and towels available for sale. One obstacle discovered is that you cannot sell anything on Forest Service property so we will need to address how to offer the purchase of shirts, raffle tickets, additional breakfast burritos, or other food items, at the end of the race next year. Amount made on the race is not yet known as we are waiting to receive some invoices and still need to reconcile donations against expenses.
We anticipate making a little over $2,000.
Yard Sale at the Barn (Janet):
This was a three day estate sale that made $2,866.94 for Fire on the Rim. There are still a few items available that will be placed on consignment at Timeless Antiques and on Craig’s List.
Pine Brush Pit (Mike):
The Pine Brush Pit is closed due to the Forest Closure. We are looking for community input to see if you want the PSFR to work with the PSFD to pursue writing a letter of necessity to the Board of Supervisors. PSFD staff and water truck would need to be made available in order for the Board of Supervisors to grant us an exception. The Blattner Pit and the regular landfill are nearly full at this time. There was a suggestion of considering purchasing a water truck which would require maintenance and need to be staffed at an additional cost; The issue remains that firefighting capabilities need to be made available. Mike will follow up with the PSFD to see if they are willing and able to provide the necessary resources before pursuing a letter of necessity. If the PSFD is in agreement, the PSFR will pursue writing the letter which does not guarantee that we will receive approval.
The Buckhead Mesa Landfill (across from the Tonto Natural Bridge entrance on HWY 87) has designated the second Saturday of every month as Dollar Day ($1) per load for all waste. Hours are 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Since the Pine Brush Pit is closed due to the forest closure, this is a great opportunity to get rid of your brush.
Cost/Viability of Re-establishing Brush Pick-Up using contracted Landscapers (Mike):
The history of the Brush pick up program was reviewed. PSFR is no longer eligible for grants because after 7 years, the government considers us in maintenance status. The following two years the PSFR conducted a series of fundraising activities. The first year we were able to raise $54,000, the second year we raised $39,000. The first year it cost $45,459 to remove 1000 tons of material, the second year approximately 500 tons were removed and the truck engine failed and we were responsible for replacing the engine because our agreement with the PSFD for use of the truck for $1 included being responsible for maintenance of the equipment . The total cost for the second year was $55,000. We were short $16,443 that year. The following year the PSFR tried to continue the brush pick up program and determined that $80,000 would be needed (with the addition of dump fees added by the County). However, only $30,000 was raised that year. As the donations went down and the cost for the brush pick up increased, we were unable to continue the program. PSFR then used the money raised to enlarge the Pine Brush Pit and improve the road leading to the brush pit.
Portals I, II and III currently using contracted landscape services for brush pick up were used as a guide to estimate current cost of reinstating a brush pick up program. The contractors working with the portals are removing approximately 6 tons per day, for a total of approximately 50 tons over 70 hours. Since it has been 3 years since we had brush pickup we estimate we would have 1,000 tons of brush at 6 tons per day it would take 167 days. At the high end it would be $1,500 per day, plus dump fees, for an approximate cost of $276,000 and at the low end of $1,000 per day, plus dump fees, it would cost approximately $184,000. Mike is willing to pursue getting more concrete, possibly flat rate bids, if the community is interested. At the current cost, we do not see being able to make this work through donations alone.
We currently have no reliable source of income to re-establish a brush pickup program. The best way to insure a reliable source of income is to get this put on the ballot for Pine Strawberry to become a special district and the funding would come from our property tax dollars. The community would elect a board who would take control of this process and how the funds are used. We are willing to investigate this option if the community is interested. It takes a lot of effort and money to get something like this on the ballot, but if there is great opposition to it, it would not be worth the effort. It is an easier even way to manage the brush pickup cost but it still cost money and many will likely be opposed as most people are opposed to having their property taxes raised. The group in attendance concurred that it would not be worth the effort to pursue getting this on the ballot given community resistance to raising property taxes.
A recommendation was made to consider a structured program whereby PSFR could become a preferred customer/administrator who could get a reduced rate for participating PSFR members/donors from specific contractors willing to participate. It was believed that this could greatly reduce the amount of money PSFR would need to raise by covering only a portion/percentage of the cost for participating members/donors only. There was a lot of interest in this idea and further research needs to be done to assess how PSFR could go about getting a contractor(s) interested in such a program and how community members could become involved. Mike suggested bringing a landscape contractor to the next meeting to hear more from the community and give the community an opportunity to ask questions of the contractor. It was suggested that this be done in a special meeting focused only on the brush pick up issue. Past recommendation pros and cons were also discussed.
Fire Restriction Signage (Brenda):
Community members had asked for more Fire Restriction Signage throughout the community so a Tonto National Forest Stage II Fire Restriction Sign on 11×17 card stock was shown to those in attendance. The signs could be placed on telephone poles throughout the communities of Pine and Strawberry and we could ask local businesses to display them as well. The cost is 95 cents per poster. Smaller sizes could also be printed for businesses. A recommendation was made for 100 posters to be printed in 11×17 and 8 1/5 x11. Janet Brandt moved to approve the purchase of posters not to exceed $200. Nancy Hubbs seconded.
There was a request for additional ADOT signage regarding Fire Restrictions. Mike will check with the county to see if we can rent two signs one at the South end of Pine (facing northbound) and one at the North end of Strawberry (facing southbound).
There was a request for magnetic signs regarding Fire Restrictions. They have been produced by the County (cost estimated at $40 each) and are not readily available to the public.
Letter to all property owners regarding the fire risk/danger and their responsibility/duty/obligation to firewise their lots:
PSFR will do a mass mailing to all property owners to address fire risk/dangers, possibly include information on fines, liability and a request for donations. The cost for this type of mailing is approximately $1,500. We will need to get a draft letter that can then be reviewed and approved. Will discuss further in an executive session to determine what points to include in the letter and what the requested donations will be used for.
SET DATE, TIME, PLACE OF NEXT P/SFR, INC. MEETING:
Wednesday June 27, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the Pine Senior Dining Room
Meetings are set for the last Wednesday of each month.
Nancy Hubbs moved to adjourn. Katie Calderon seconded.
Meeting adjourned at 7:55 P.M.
Respectfully submitted by Brenda Darling, P/SFR Secretary
Download 2018 May 30 Meeting Notes (PDF)