FYI – Douglas Dispatch

SPARK makes health presentaiton at City Council Meeting

By Trisha Maldonado

Douglas Dispatch
Published/Last Modified on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 2:48 PM MDT

The Douglas City Council meeting on Oct. 10, held at city hall started off with a presentation by Cochise County Health Policy Manager, Iris Alvarado.  Alvarado explained to the Mayor and Council how implementing the Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) program in the Douglas Unified School District would not only help lower obesity in children but it would also help improve behavior and test scores.

The SPARK program is aimed in promoting physical activity in young people in school and recreational settings. Classes are designed to promote high levels of physical activity for all children. The program helps improve their health related fitness, movement skills and enjoy and encourage positive socialization. 
Alvarado informed the council and mayor that Douglas Unified School District Superintendent Shelia Rogers had already approved the SPARK program in two of DUSD schools, Sara Marley and Stevenson Elementary.

She asked that council and mayor if it would be possible for them to fund any additional inventory they would need to supply these two schools.  City Manager Carlos De La Torres said that he would have staff from the recreation center attend the training held Oct. 15 and 17 at Stevenson Elementary.  Alvarado will address the council and mayor with their needs once inventory has been taken at both Stevenson and Sara Marley. 
Other items discussed and approved at the council meeting were: Patrick Scherden newly appointed to the Board of Adjustments, reappointed to the board were: Kitty Deiss, Leandro Sierra, Joe Moran, Dale Kleck and Eduardo Diaz.

Eva Escalante, Lawana Diffie, Jennings Johnson were appointed to the Municipal Property Corporation; reappointed to the Personnel Appeals Board were Adalberto Araiza, Rudy Sierra and Lawnana Diffie.  Carol Melis resigned from the Douglas House Corporation I and II.  Approved was the entering into a depository agreement with Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase. Currently the Public Housing Authority has two deposit accounts; this housekeeping item is to formally enter into a depository agreement with these two financial institutions.  The mayor and council approved the City of Douglas participating in the Arizona Department of Revenue Debt Setoff Program.

The AZDOR allows state agencies to submit claims of debt to the AZDOR that must be greater than $50 and must contain the name and social security number/ federal identification number of the debtor. AZDOR in turn can intercept the debtors State income tax refund and use it to pay off any debt owed to the city.  There will be a $9 fee per collected debtor account. The fee may be of minor fiscal impact to the city. Future ordinance can be considered to pass the fee on to the debtor. The city must also abide by certain procedures required by the bill. A notification to the debtor must be sent when AZDOR has found a match in the system and let the debtor know that the city intends to intercept their tax refund. The debtor will have 30 days to submit a protest to the City of Douglas.

The city intends to send their bad debt for utilities, sales/use taxes, business licenses, housing rental payments and other accounts receivable.  Currently the city has $70,000 in bad debt for utilities, housing rental payments and other accounts receivables, and $250,000 in sales/use taxes and business licenses. 
Resolutions No. 12-912, in support of the federal funding for the Douglas Port of Entry expansion project, to reduce wait times and the negative economic impacts that wait times has on both countries was also approved.  The adoption of the resolution will allow the city to begin the outreach process at the federal level regarding the POE project.  The City will work closely with our Federal Congressional delegation and all the applicable Federal Agencies in an effort to garnish not only political but financial support for the POE project.

Agreed by mayor and council to continue the relationship with, Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to continue the Dial-A-Ride program using the city’s bus transit system.  This service provides the convenience of door-to-door transportation to elderly and disabled persons who reside within the service area and may not have the ability to get to the fixed route bus stops.

SEAGO AAA will provide approximately $49,553 towards the matching funds for the Transit Program. 
With the city taking over the bus transit program they have acquired Catholic Community Services (CCS) supplies and equipment. Mayor and council approved the transferring of inventory equipment from CCS.

Approved was the amending of the transit intergovernmental agreement with Cochise College. The city plans to continue operating the student transit service as part of the transit program. Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) grant funds are available for the continuation of this service.  Cochise College will provide the match for this portion of the transit service. They will also pay for a discount rate for student fares.

The city will continue to provide the fuel, buses, maintenance costs and drive salaries. Students will ride at no cost.  The next city council meeting will be Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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