The meeting began with a public hearing to receive comments regarding a Series 12 Restaurant License for Your Behind BBQ Birds & Bones, located at 270 N. Main Street. The Town Clerk’s Office posted the Notice of Public Hearing on February 28, 2023, at the address above in accordance with statutory requirements and did not receive any comments. During the public hearing, Council member Cordes asked Justin Coffini, agent for Your Behind BBQ, when they will be opening, and Mr. Coffini stated June 1st, 2023. This item was unanimously approved by Council.
Alison Feliz, Interim Community Services Director, recommended the approval of a $1,000 Downtown Events Assistance Award to the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce for the Memories on Main Car Show which was held in mid-February. The Downtown Events Assistance Program is intended to support organizations holding events in downtown Florence and incentivize new community celebrations. Organizations can receive $500-$3,000 depending on the type of organization and size of the event. This item was unanimously approved by Council.
Community & Economic Development Director, Harvey Krauss, recommended the approval of a Professional Services Agreement between the town and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to manage the Florence Visitors Center and McFarland State Historic Park through December 31, 2023. The Chamber has managed operations at McFarland State Park since 2013. They also operate the Town’s visitors center and gift shop while the town maintains the building and pays utility costs. In discussing this item, Councilmember Cordes stated that she would like to see more information regarding the facility’s operating costs and the state’s historic exhibits included in the Chamber’s quarterly and annual performance reports. Councilmember Cordes asked Mr. Krauss to assist the Chamber in gathering this information and Chamber Director, Roger Biede, stated they would do their best to provide the additional information requested. The cost for these services is not to exceed $55,000 annually and the Council unanimously approved this item.
Public Works Director, Chris Salas, recommended the approval of Amendment No. Four to an Intergovernmental Agreement between the town and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) for the proposed construction of a roundabout at SR 287 and SR 79B. Construction of these improvements was scheduled to begin in the summer of 2022 but was delayed due to unforeseen price increases. With the approval of this amendment, ADOT will proceed with the design of this project and begin the process of selecting a contractor to construct the planned improvements.
Finally, Interim Fire Chief, Jim Walter, recommended formally changing the name of the Florence Fire Department to The Florence Fire & Medical Department to reflect the range of services the department provides as well as the majority of calls they receive. Currently, 85% of the departments’ emergency calls are medical in nature. This change was unanimously approved by Council.