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Tue, May 11

The rundown: City council approves rezoning, rejects ethics policy

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Williams City Council approved a rezoning request for a mobile meat processing business at its April 25 meeting.

Arizona Mobile Meat Processing currently operates in Garland Prairie and recently purchased property at 355 Ellen Way.

The Ellen Way property is currently zoned as central business district which would allow the business to continue as is, but the owner, Jake Giles, is interested in adding a butcher shop and an animal dispatch operation.

According to Williams Chief Building Inspector Tim Pettit, Giles future plans would require industrial zoning per the Williams City Code.

The Williams Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the city council rezone the property.

In Giles presentation to the planning and zoning commission, he stated his desire is to purchase local beef that would be available to the public as steaks, hamburger, sausage and more.

He said his business currently cannot sell product, but hopes the rezoning will allow him to have local cattle delivered to his business for processing with the meat being sold on site. All byproduct would be shipped to a Phoenix facility.

Giles said he hopes to move the business to the new location next year.

Other operations on Ellen Way include the Williams waste water treatment plant, the Grand Canyon Railway shop, a cell phone tower and city property leased to SAVE-Meant-to-Rescue for a future animal shelter.

Public hearing notices were published and notices were mailed to nearby property owners in March. City staff said no responses were received for the rezoning request.

Ethics policy rejected

The city council discussed whether to approve an 11-page code of ethics policy for elected officials.

According to Councilman Don Dent, the policy was created and entered on the agenda by city staff without any consultation with council members.

“I have been here 20 plus years and I’ve never seen an ethics violation that would fall under this document,” Dent said. “So I think it could be a solution looking for a problem with us.”

Dent appeared frustrated that the ethics policy was not brought up previously at a recent council and staff work session.

“The staff was apparently working on it then, but didn’t feel like that was a good time to bring it to the council,” he said.

Dent said he researched nearby communities such as Prescott, Kingman and Cottonwood and found that Camp Verde was the only community with an ethics policy.

“There are 16 sections and it's 36 pages long,” Dent said. “It even directs councilmembers on how they are supposed to speak to the public away from the council.”

Dent said the Williams City Council has directed staff to work on a policies and procedures directive, but did not feel that an ethics code was necessary.

“I don’t think this is a priority of the council,” he said. “If there were pieces of this that some members of council thought was appropriate then we could discuss that when the policies and procedures are brought to us.”

No motions were made on the policy.

Grand Canyon Boulevard update

Chief Building Inspector Tim Pettit said work continues on Grand Canyon Boulevard upgrades. The project is supposed to take 60-90 days for completion, but has been slowed by necessary work by Unisource.

Pettit said the section of road between Franklin and Edison should be paved and opened for traffic by June 9. The entire road to the I-40 underpass should be complete around July 20.

Other council news

The council selected Stantec to continue as the H.A. Clark Memorial Airport consultant. The city received four responses to a request for qualifications which included Kimley Horn, Armstrong, C & S Consultants and Stantec. City staff recommended staying with Stantec based on the highest overall rating set by the RFQ.

Mayor John Moore said he hopes the city can financially help the Williams High School softball team as they compete in the 1A State championships this week in Phoenix.

“I may ask the council for money to help the girls stay overnight if they need it,” he said.

City Clerk Pam Galvan said the city has received 91 applicants for the city manager position. The council will begin looking at the applications April 30.

Pettit said the trash enclosure on city property near Grand Canyon Boulevard and Railroad Avenue is complete. He said businesses who use the property have been given cards and an explanation of how the facility will operate.

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