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Three appointed to Williams commissions
City council fills seats on P and Z, Historic commissions

Carol McElwain and Buck Williams were both appointed to Williams commissions Feb.28.

Carol McElwain and Buck Williams were both appointed to Williams commissions Feb.28.

Members of Williams City Council filled three seats on two separate commissions during an unusually quick regular council meeting Feb. 28.

Local Williams resident Buck Williams was appointed to the Planning and Zoning (P and Z) Commission. Two individuals applied for the vacant seat on the commission, according to interim city clerk Harry Holmes, who said that Williams area resident Josh Smiley also applied for the vacant seat. Two applicants were also appointed to the Williams Historic Preservation Commission during the Feb. 28 council meeting. Area residents Terri Beeson and Carol McElwain were both appointed to the commission to fill one vacant seat and one soon to be vacant position. Beeson and Smiley were not present for the meeting.

"We have one current (historic commission) vacancy and one current member who wishes to step down, but agreed to remain until his seat is filled," Holmes told council members during the meeting.

While Smiley was not immediately chosen for the P and Z position, council members agreed to return to his application should a second seat on the commission become available in the immediate future. Oscar Frederickson vacated the current seat and a second seat may also be vacated in the coming weeks, city personnel said. Williams Historic Preservation Commission Chairperson Yvette Hudson was also present for the Feb. 28 meeting and welcomed McElwain to the group.

Other council matters

Council members also gave the go-ahead for city officials to begin the application process for Greater Arizona Development Authority (GADA) funds related to the planned Arizona State Railroad Museum. The museum, which will offer interactive exhibits, has acquired a number of fascinating displays in recent years, including a light rail vehicle mockup, switch engines and other large donations unique to Arizona's rich railroad history. Williams City Manager Dennis Wells explained how the GADA process would work to council members during the Feb. 28 meeting.

"This concerns our railroad museum project and this opportunity would allow, if GADA approves funding, to be in the form of a 50/50 match, Williams providing half of the money that GADA's providing," Wells said. "These monies could be used for technical assistance, but also for looking into fundraising for the project."

Railroad museum founder and CEO Al Richmond said the GADA funds could be used to help hire a fundraising professional.

"We're asking for $50,000 for a development professional. The city is matching for $25,000 the museum is throwing in $5,000 in cash and $5,000 in kind, so we're actually getting a $35,000 match. To be pretty blunt about it, I doubt if we'll get the $50,000 just because of the situation with the state at the moment," Richmond said. "The development professional is someone that we need desperately to go out and actually start beating the bushes for additional funds."

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