SAFFORD – Before turning its attention to quarterly reports and resolutions Monday night, the Safford City Council met new Frye Fire Incident Management Team commander Greg Poncin.
In an opening prayer, Councilman Gene Seale asked blessings for firefighters on the Frye fire line and other lines. Poncin then stepped forward to brief Council members on his newly arrived team’s plans.
Poncin heads a Type 1 Incident Management Team, the highest of three team levels, that took charge of firefighting efforts Sunday evening.
Safford Mayor Jason Kouts welcomed the new team’s arrival. “I believe we’re headed in a direction that we should have been headed in a while back,” said Kouts. “I believe we’re going to move forward.”
“Where we can go direct safely, we will,” said Poncin. He emphasized, however, that structures and land would be balanced with crew safety. “We will lose more acreage,” he told the Council, “because in some of these areas it’s not prudent to put firefighters on the ground. We don’t want them injured or killed.”
The Council also approved a new tax levy for fiscal year 2017-2018, setting it at $.52 for each $100 of the assessed valuation of taxable property. City Finance Officer Alma Flores estimated it would produce approximately $240,000 in revenue. There was no public comment on the measure.
With Council approval, the Boys and Girls Club of the Gila Valley received a 10-year extension of its lease with the city and Safford Police Officer Luke Arbizo was given a second two-year term…
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