Original granite structure wins Main St. vote

The original granite design will go back up at the Welcome to Yuma clock structure on S. Main St. near Highway 34.
It was first installed in August 2017 as part of the Main Street Project. It was knocked over in October 2022 by a utility truck backing out of a driveway.

It has taken a year now to get a new one installed. The Kenny Mitchell family had donated funds toward the clock. Family members recently visited with the Yuma City Council about instead installing a metal red “Y” with the clock in the middle of the arms of the “Y” stating it could be done more quickly than waiting for the granite.
The city council later passed a motion to put it to a vote of the people to choose either the granite design or the red “Y.”
Voting ended October 9, and the result was announced at last week’s regular council meeting — 219 votes for the original granite design and 172 for the metal design.
Council Dan Baucke, who will order the granite and then do the design and wording through his business Baucke Monuments, said it probably will not be installed until next spring. He said he could have had it ordered earlier, but then came the discussion with the family, so he stopped the process.
A motion was made to go with the people’s choice of the granite design. Added to the motion was the wording that the completion date will be in late spring or early summer. It passed on a 5-0 vote, as Baucke abstained and Mayor Pro-Tem Marc Shay was absent.
Everyone else was in attendance, Mayor Ron Swehla, and council members Jerome Benish, Marylu Smith-Dischner, Tim McClung and Terri Frame.

Fair trash fees
Yuma County Commissioner Adam Gates had visited the previous council meeting, asking why the county was charged for trash pick ups during the Yuma County Fair, adding that had never occurred in the past.
Consideration of the trash fees was an action item before the council last week. The charge was $2,697.50. City Manager Scott Moore said he does not have the authority to waive utility fees, that it is up to the council. Waiving the fees can be for only the 2023 fair, as future councils will have to make their own decision.
Baucke asked why it was done this year, when it has never been done in the past.
Moore said he figured out it was not up to him to give away utilities, and in light of the city’s tight budget he thought it would be better to bill for the service. He added he was not trying to stick it to the county.
Moore also explained he can decide to spend money to provide ambulance service to the fair and the schools. When asked, he said the ambulance cost to the fair this year was $1,000, and it is just for after hours.
A motion to waive the trash fees for the 2023 fair passed on a 5-1 vote, with Swehla casting the dissenting vote.

More meeting
• Renewing the liquor license for Yuma Colorado Hotel LLC (Cobblestone Inn & Suites) was tabled after it was noted that Arnella Corliss, who passed away earlier this year, still was listed as a 10-percent owner. It was asked if it is required to have 100 percent of the owners listed on the application, so it was tabled until that could be settled.
• The council voted 4-2, with Baucke and Benish voting against, to spend $11,500 with Magellan Strategies to conduct a survey of residents in regards to a potential ballot question in 2024.
• Moore told the council he anticipates the N. Main St. water project will be completed at the end of October. He was asked if the crews will do a better job of repaving the impacted area than what was done recently on W. Second Ave. Moore replied in the affirmative, and said the W. Second job was being redone.
Moore told the council the city is on schedule to begin delivering water from the wastewater treatment plant to nearby Yuma Ethanol. He also reported replacing alley pans continues. The project will move to the north end after the south side is completed.
• An executive session was held at the end of the meeting conduct job evaulations of the city manager, city clerk/treasurer and chief of police.