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President Mike Brandt called the meeting to order at 6:00 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, Joan Backman




Janet moved to approve the revised minutes of the January 16, 2019 meeting as presented. Mel seconded.

Motion Passed.



Proposed Fire Related Prevention Events – Sara Gerlach:

  • On June 1st the National Weather Service will be doing a Sky Warn class from 6-8 pm in the FD Training room on how to be a spotter. There is a limit of 25 people in the FD Training room. If more than 25 people are interested Mel will help to obtain the Cultural Hall for the training.
  • Fire Restriction Signage – Upcoming fire season likely to be dangerous due to heavy undergrowth. This community is always under fire restrictions in the summer months. We are asking the BOD to support purchasing Fire Restriction Signs to be placed within the communities of Pine and Strawberry. We would like to emphasize the fact that the fire restrictions apply to private as well as public land. Cost estimates were provided for plastic, steel, and wood sign boards. The Fire restriction sign is 20×30 and would be placed on both sides of a sandwich board. The request is for PSFR to fund 25 wooden sandwich boards containing 50 signs (one on each side). Cost estimate was provided at just under $1,000. Home Depot has committed to donate $400 worth of materials, leaving approximately $550 to be funded by PSFR. The Sandwich boards can be used for additional events/activities.
  • Chipper Day – Propose a day in April where we encourage community to do spring cleanup. We would need to partner with Payson Concreate or someone else and we would need two dump trucks and a location like maybe the Barn. Proposed opening the brush pit to dump the woodchips. If we can’t use the brush pit for some reason than propose asking the county to do it free for us. A few rental locations were contacted and for a 12” chipper for one day the cost would be $ 430. For a 6” the cost is $216. OSHA only requires goggles and gloves. Some issues were raised regarding this proposal such as the fact that you cannot take chips to the brush pit because they will not burn. The dump might take them at a cost. Chippers do not take leaves, needles, or small branches that have been bagged by residents. People would have to load up their trucks or trailers already in order to bring them to a chipper location, so why not just drive the load to the brush pit? The convenience comes from not having to load up trucks and trailers. Also, fresh green wood is toxic and cannot be placed around your plants.


Siren Update – Felicia French – Many community members are dedicated to reinstating the community siren. A Siren Committee was formed which includes the PSFD and they have been meeting every two weeks at the PSFD. The basic premise as to why the siren has not been replaced is because it was too expensive. The company that was used in the past told this committee that they were never contacted regarding replacing the siren or to see if there was any warranty. Contact was made to three companies but only one was reached. American Signal is the company that was reached and they have a product called outdoor emergency sirens. They are used for all types of emergencies, not just fires. The cost estimate came back at $118,225 for 4 sirens. These sirens are much improved from the ones used 20 years ago. This siren includes a public announcement system so that directional communication can accompany the siren alarm. The system can also be preprogrammed with specific messages. This would be part of a layered or redundant system because we still have Everbridge (assuming we have power and cell service). This company has already looked at GPS positioning and terrain and have determined that we would only need 4 because the new sirens reach twice the distance of the previous ones. This particular siren also has a solar powered battery backup system. Each ones runs independently so if one goes down, the others will still work. No company has a maintenance plan and that is something that the committee is still working on. Funding is obviously a concern so the committee is looking at the possibility of a grant, fund raisers, raffles, a progressive tax through the county (as a last resort) etc. The Siren Committee is not asking the PSFR BOD for money, what the Siren Committee is asking for is sponsorship support of the PSFR as a 501c3 so we can raise and collect money. A draft fundraising letter was provided to the PSFR Board by the Siren Committee. When asked if the Siren Committee had contacted Gila County Emergency Management about this proposal, the response was that they had contacted the County but not been able to speak directly with Tommie Martin yet due to a family emergency.


Mike Brandt provided some background information about the community’s past experience with the siren and the fact that the County had refused to take responsibility for it so the burden fell to the PSFD. He also offered that for every $1 spent on a reactionary device, you can do $7 in prevention and he added the concern that the siren may make people more complacent, giving them a false sense of security; making them less likely to be proactive in clearing their lots.


Mike Brandt also reminded the group that if sufficient fuel reduction efforts took place on a regular basis we wouldn’t have as great a risk for a catastrophic wildfire in our communities. Our greatest risk comes from our neighbors, not a fire from the forest.


Mike Brandt stressed that Gila County needed to be involved because they are responsible for Emergency Management and that if the County supported the siren that PSFR would provide sponsorship support as requested. Gila County is an important partner to PSFR and we cannot support this initiative without the County’s support.


The Siren Committee was asked to obtain firm commitment from Gila County and to come back to PSFR with Gila County and PSFD backing and commitment. Once Gila County and PSFD fully back and are in support of moving forward with resurrecting a siren for the communities of Pine and Strawberry then PSFR will work with the Siren Committee on sponsorship support including a letter of support to be mailed to all property owners and assist with raising and collecting the necessary funds through the 501c3. However, because Gila County is critical to the success of this effort, if they are not willing to support the siren then PSFR will be unable to support this effort as well.


Firewise Day Request for funding for lot clearing – Ron Calderon

Ron Calderon requested that PSFR provide $5,000 donation to clear 14 properties as part of the Firewise Day event raffle. Mike Brandt informed the group that we are unable to take money donated for the community fuel reduction efforts and apply it to a private individual’s property under the 501c3 rules. You could however conduct a fundraiser specifically for that reason to be used for private property clearing, and then people are aware that the money they are donating will be going specifically to that cause. You could also work with the PSFD to collect names of individuals who are willing to be submitted into the Grant process that the PSFD already did.


Two $500 donations have already been made specifically for property clearings prior to the PSFR Board approval for that effort. If the donated money comes with a specific note stating the reason for the donation, then PSFR can be the holder of the money for that specific purpose. This would then allow for a tax deduction to the individual who donated the money for the property clearing. More discussion/clarity is needed to ensure all of this is handled appropriately moving forward.


Other funding issues for routine Firewise day activities will be paid for by invoice as has been done in past years. At this time it is estimated that approximately $2,000 will be incurred for these routine expenses.


Ron Calderon also asked when the PSFR website would be updated and asked if it would be kept updated on a monthly basis. PSFR is looking for website assistance and will work on getting the website up to date and keeping it up to date.



Fuel Reduction

Beginning Balance: $39,028.28 (from statement)

Deposit: $80.00 (AMEX)

Expenses: $23.87 (phone bill)

Ending Balance: $39,084.41


Fire on the Rim

Beginning Balance: $16,986.76 (from statement)

Deposit: $920.00 (grant reimbursement, trail run)

Expenses: $250.00 (forest service trail run permit)

Ending Balance: $17,656.76


Edward Jones

Total Portfolio Value: $156,443.68 (from January 25, 2019 statement)


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

Motion Passed.



Fraudulent charges on the PSFR credit card were identified in October and all of them have been reconciled with the credit card company.

All our tax information was submitted and should be ready to file in the next three weeks.

2019 Pine Strawberry Events Maps are now available.



Firewise Day Event May 18, 2019 – Katie Calderon

Next meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at the PSFD training room at 4:30 pm. Mel will purchase the raffle items for the event and provide receipts to Nancy. The advertisement schedule is being planned. Barbara will be in charge of the Fuel Reduction booth. The Banner will be fixed and Joan Backman will be our signage person. Several vendors and agency speakers are lined up. We will need garbage cans, bags and dog bowls and the speaker equipment from the barn. The Firewise day committee was asked to invite all board members to all future Firewise day meetings.


Pine Trail Run May 4, 2019– Janet Brandt for Scott Kehl

There are 63 signed up so far for the 8.6 mile race. Permit information has been turned in and accepted. There are only 7 people signed up for the 5K, all are encouraged to sign up for this event.



Trails in the Fuel Break Project Update – Mike Brandt

It has been too wet to work on the trails but so far reports are that the trails are in pretty good shape.


Fossil Creek Update – Mike Brandt

There was a meeting held recently. The PSFD and Tonto Search and Rescue are supporting opening up the 708 or “Upper Springs Trail’ road to emergency vehicles, PSFR also supports this position. PSFR would also like to be involved in developing the trail section to enable us to get a foothold on the area. This would allow us to gain some influence in the area to raise money and make ongoing improvements. Mike will work with the Forest Service to see if we can gain some support to develop the upper springs trail to Fossil Creek. Community members are encouraged to respond with their comments by the April 4, 2019 deadline. A list of key points will be sent out to all PSFR contacts.



Janet motioned to approve up to $2,000 on Firewise day expenses. Mel seconded. Discussion ensued regarding weather or not the expenses for this event needed to be pre-approved given that each expense is pre-approved by the PSFR Board. Concern was raised that by capping the expenses we could be limiting the reach of the event. Janet Amended her motion to approve all necessary expenses brought to the PSFR Board for the Firewise day event. Nancy seconded.

Motion Passed



Wednesday March 27, 2019 at 6:00 pm in the Pine Senior Dining Room



Janet moved to adjourn. Nancy seconded.

Motion Passed.

Meeting adjourned at 7:39 P.M.


Respectfully submitted by Brenda Darling, P/SFR Secretary

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