Board of Directors Meeting January 16, 2019

PINE/STRAWBERRY FUEL REDUCTION, INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES
Wednesday January 16, 2019

CALL TO ORDER:

President Mike Brandt called the meeting to order at 6:00 P.M. The meeting was held at the Pine Senior Center Dining Room

Mike Brandt lead the Pledge of Allegiance 

MEMBERS PRESENT:       Mike Brandt (President), Melvin Palmer (Vice-President), Brenda Darling (Secretary), Nancy Hubbs (Treasurer), Janet Brandt, Joan Backman

APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES: 

Mel moved to approve the minutes of the October 29, 2018 meeting as presented. Janet seconded.

Motion Passed.

ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA FOR DISCUSSION – COMMUNITY QUESTIONS/SUGGESTIONS

Siren

A concern was raised regarding timely evacuation notice in the case of a wildfire like the one that hit Paradise CA. A question regarding weather the siren could be resurrection was asked. Chief Morris provided some rationale as to why the siren is considered no longer viable. If a siren goes off, what does it mean? What action should a person take? In other words, it provides you with no direction such as evacuate, take shelter etc. Back when the siren was put into place you were to tune into KMOG radio for direction. Currently KMOG is only staffed during the daytime; everything else is programed after hours so there is no one on staff to provide real-time directions. Instead people are being directed to sign up for www.readygila.com. This way you can be notified directly by text, telephone and/or email from the County with exactly what’s going on and what to do.

Is there a backup system in place in case our communication system goes out? Are there enough manpower resources available to alert everyone?

The Gila County Sheriff would be driving through the neighborhoods with their sirens and bull horns telling you to evacuate. Chief Morris expanded on this explaining that following previous years fires, the county pulled together all the agencies on an evacuation plan. Over a year was spent on developing a Master Plan to specifically address how to conduct evacuations. This is all planned out even down to zones. The County Sheriff would take the lead. CERT which has about 30 members would be deployed along with Tonto Search and Rescue, the Sheriff’s Posse, the Fire Dept etc.

Reminder: The reason the Paradise Fire happened was because of all the available fuel. That’s why this group is so important. As a community and in partnership with the Forest Service we have to proactively address removing the fuel to keep our community safe. If we could get the fuel around us burned every 3-5 years we wouldn’t have a problem. Man is the No. 1 principal Firestarter. Your neighbors and visitors are who you should fear more than the forest. The fuel break does more to protect the forest from the community rather than the community from the forest. The Fire on the Rim Bike race is used every year as a training ground for organizing evacuations by CERT, the PSFD, and Sheriff’s Posse.

See excerpts from previous meetings below for more details. Mike will talk to Gila County to see if he can get them to come to a future meeting to hear the communities concerns. Chief Morris will also check with the Newspaper about getting the word out more broadly regarding readygila.com and the Master Plan. 

June 2018: The community’s request to reinstate the use of the siren was raised with the County and they said that they will not be resurrecting the siren. They are directing the public to go to www.ReadyGila.com and sign up for Everbridge so that you can be notified via telephone, text, and/or email. Advisories can be sent out via Everbridge very quickly. When you get a message on your phone from the Everbridge alert system the caller ID will show up as a series of ones (1111).

May 2018: 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.

There used to be someone who would come around and thin out your property and take your trees, is he still around? Unfortunately he passed away a few years ago. Chief Morris added that the PSFD has a list of about five companies that will do this type of work. Stop by the PSFD headquarters behind the fire station for the information and you can call and check on prices.

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Fuel Reduction

  • Beginning Balance:                $39,025.28 (from statement)
  • Deposit:                                   $1,890.00 (AMEX, transfer from PayPal, donation)
  • Expenses:                                $1,887.00 (phone bills, brush pit push, business community)
  • Ending Balance:                     $39,028.28

 

Fire on the Rim

  • Beginning Balance:                $96,609.00 (from statement)
  • Deposit:                                   $2,979.40 (fraud reimbursement, trail run, donations)
  • Expenses:                                $82,168.23 (EJ deposit, Alan Levine – maintains website)
  • Ending Balance:                     $17,420.17

Edward Jones

  • Total Portfolio Value:              $153,073.56 (from December 31, 2018 statement)

Mel moved to accept Treasurer’s Report as presented. Joan seconded.

Motion Passed.

BILLS/CORRESPONDENCE:

A business community member is making an on-going donation to the FOTR account, in December we received $1,000. Donation

5o Sherwin Williams shares were sold and the money is in the EJ account.

You can register now for the Trail run scheduled for May 4th. We also have received mail in donations so the word is getting out regarding donations.

PSFR had 5 fraudulent charges to our account totaling $428.50 on our October statement, this was caught early, and the charges were removed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Brush Pit – Don Ennon – The Brush Pit is currently still closed, we hope to be able to open up again possibly the last Sunday in March. We will put out a PSA on KMOG and get something in the paper when a firm date is known. We are also still waiting for the stash piles to be burned.

Firewise Day – Katie Calderon – Firewise day will be May 18th this year at the Ramada in town. The first Chair meeting will be held January 24th. This is where we start putting all our ideas together, identify all the agencies to include etc. Speakers are already lined up Patrick from the U of A will talk about the Bark Beatle; another speaker will be talking about the Paradise Fire; Vendors are already lined up. If anyone would like to volunteer let us know, we can always use volunteers. We have some funding to hold a lottery for property clearing so we won’t be going through the food bank anymore. We will also have other raffle items.

Pine Trail Run – Mike Brandt. Scott Kehl isn’t here but there will be a 5K in addition to the 10K.

Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race – Mike Brandt – Looking for some sponsorship currently.

OLD BUSINESS:

Trails in the Fuel Break. We have opened up a new trail, Trail 28, the Pineview Trail. It has some of the best views of Pine.

We have been working with the trails construction group that the Forest Service has initiated on the Master Plan. PSFR had approved to donate $2,500 towards continuing this effort but at this time they are not sure how they can collect the donations because they have to get paid through a municipality or through the Forest Service so at this time we are getting our work for free. The donation is being held until they can determine how to accept the funds. They are making some progress on coordinating and connecting the trail systems and the communities of Pine and Strawberry will benefit from this.

Strawberry Trailhead Access remains as it is because ADOT will not add a safety turn off and the new property owners do not want to make any changes. At this time there is nothing we can do to make this trailhead more accessible.

NEW BUSINESS:

Fossil Creek – Gary Morris. The scheduled public comment meetings have been canceled due to the Government shutdown. Chief Morris provided statistics on the number of rescues and fatalities in the fossil creek area and outlined the current alternatives being proposed for the area.as part of the Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP).

Chief Morris stressed how in the past, the rescue time was 1.5 hours utilizing 4-6 rescuers and today that time has increased to 5-7 hours utilizing 12 + rescuers primarily because the roads are impassable and have been closed due to a lack of maintenance. Due to the time and number of resources needed on rescues today, this takes resources away from the communities of Pine and Strawberry. He also raised the concern that there are CenturyLink lines that parallel the roads and are exposed due to the roads being washed out which affect the survivability of our current communication systems. When the CenturyLink lines have needed repair in the past, the Forest Service required them to obtain a permit. Additionally he raised the concern that we have lost access for firefighting placing our communities at risk of a devastating wildfire.

Mike Brandt suggested that we consider keeping the “Upper Springs Trail” as a trail that is “Emergency Quad” qualified. He also suggest that we make this a new sustainable GPS trail (new tread) because the current road/trail isn’t working; there are too many steep grade areas. He suggests that we make it more sustainable by smoothing it out and lowering the grades, put Gazebos out for shade etc. This would be very helpful to the town of Strawberry by bringing more people and dollars into the area.

Chief Morris is looking for public support to open the three roads wide enough for a side by side to enable timely emergency response services in order to save more lives and keep resources available to the communities of Pine and Strawberry. Chief Morris provided a handout with more information along with a list of questions to consider and encouraged all to submit a response.

A 125-day comment period is occurring from Dec. 1, 2018, to April 4, 2019.

To Submit Comments: Please submit comments in writing through one of several methods:

  • Email: to comments-southwestern-coconino-redrock@fs.fed.us (include “Fossil Creek CRMP” in the subject line)
  • Mail: to Coconino National Forest, Attention: Fossil Creek CRMP, P.O. Box 20429, Sedona, AZ 86341
  • Fax: to (928) 203-7539
  • In person: to Red Rock Ranger District Office, 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ 86351.

Comments should clearly articulate your concerns and contentions and provide the Forest Service with information that will be helpful in making a decision on the Fossil Creek CRMP. Be as specific as possible and support your statements with facts and references. Consider whether your comments are solution-oriented. Do more than just provide an opinion or a vote. Remember that comments are not counted as votes where the alternative that is most referenced is the selected alternative. Also, remember that identical comments submitted (as a form letter, for example) will be treated as one comment.

SET DATE, TIME, PLACE OF NEXT P/SFR, INC. MEETING:

Wednesday February 27th 6:00 PM in the Pine Senior Dining Room

Meetings are set for the last Wednesday of each month.

ADJOURNMENT:

Nancy moved to adjourn. Janet seconded.

Motion Passed.

Meeting adjourned at 7:36 PM

Respectfully submitted by Brenda Darling, P/SFR Secretary

Download 2019 January 16 Meeting Notes (PDF)

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