Town opts to purchase playground equipment over burying utility lines

By Curtis Riggs | June 11, 2008

CAREFREE – Town Council approved the removal of a $50,000 budget line item to bury power lines and allocated $40,000 for the purchase of playground equipment at last week’s council meeting.

Councilman Bob Coady, an ardent opponent of burying utility lines because he feels it only benefits certain neighborhoods, pushed for the elimination of the $50,000 line item. The $50,000 was placed in the Town’s contingency fund.
“With the economy the way it is most of the Town Council felt that a line item to bury power poles is just not in the best interest of the town,” Coady said about the fiscal year 2008-09 budget.

The council is set to approve its preliminary $7.22-million budget on July 8 and will hold a hearing on the final budget at its Aug. 12 meeting.

Councilman Glenn Miller was successful in securing $40,000 for playground equipment for the Carefree Town Center. Council approved a budget line item for that amount last week.

A 14 percent increase in Town employee health insurance was factored into the budget. Initially, the health-insurance increase was thought to be 12 percent.
Assistant Town Clerk, and accountant, Jim Keen told the council April sales-tax collections were 9.2 percent higher than a year ago. Sales-tax revenue is up 8.75 percent for the fiscal year, according to Keen.

“We are happy to see that businesses are not struggling like they were,” he said
Council approved $96,434 in donations to ten area non-profit organizations. This includes $34,000 to the Desert Foothills Library, $20,000 to the Foothills Community Foundation and $15,000 to the Cave Creek Museum. A $3,334 contribution to the new Desert Foothills YMCA was made from its request for $50,000.

The council chose to ignore the $15,000 request from the Frank Wright American Legion Post 34 in Cave Creek. However, it did approve a $5,000 contribution to Habitat For Humanity even though there are no Habitat For Humanity homes in Carefree.