VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 38   |  SEPTEMBER 21 – 27, 2011


Carefree approves free public WiFi in town center

‘Water revenues are down and that’s why rates need to go up’

brian malthanerBrian Malthaner, owner of Key360 Media, presented council with an overview of the Carefree links on its website, including a high definition video tour, gallery component with slideshow rotation, three 360-degree virtual tours and an audio tour podcast to market Carefree.  Photo by Linda Bentley

CAREFREE – Prior to the Sept. 13 council meeting, council members met as the board of directors of the Carefree Water Company and listened to representatives from Maricopa County Environmental Services explain its proposed increase in fees for water testing.

There was a general impression the town did not find the increases were justified and board members indicated such increases would be difficult to absorb by a town the size of Carefree.

stan francomCarefree Water Company Manager Stan Francom (l) told the board water bills were down an average of $20 per customer over last year, which he attributed to its customers’ diligent conservation efforts.

He stated, “Water revenues are down and that’s why rates need to go up.”

The council meeting began with an update from the Carefree Business Group, which calls itself the Carefree Business Association (CBA).

Holly Pagliaro told council CBA had signed contracts with all the media outlined in its plan, Kim Prince of Proven Media released 15 articles to 60 news outlets and their graphic artist created a new ad “based on the Aspen campaign.”

Brian Malthaner, president of Key360 Media, presented council with what Pagliaro called a “dog and pony show” about CBA’s new website.

Malthaner stated the objective was to have increased visitors to the town and, as a result, increased tax revenue.

He said there would be 31 million visitors to Arizona this year, spending $18 billion and Carefree is competing for a share.

Councilman Glenn Miller asked if the video will be updated now that the gardens are done.
Mathaner said it hadn’t been discussed but was a possibility. Pagliaro stated there were a few other changes that needed to be made to the video as well.

The Key360 website boasts a Carefree gallery component, slide show, three 360-degree virtual tours and an audio tour podcast.

And, according to Malthaner, everything is formatted for mobile devices.

He then did a presentation of the visitcarefree.com website, which Malthaner said was a Wordpress website for CBA.

When Councilman Mike Farrar asked who owned the domain name and website, Pagliaro responded, “The town.”

However, according to GoDaddy.com, with whom the domain name was registered, it states it is registered to Carefree Business Association and the administrative and technical contacts are Hollis Bergman, a name Pagliaro uses when before council.

She registered the LLC for the Carefree Business Group, however, under the name Holly Pagliaro, using PO Box 10122, Carefree, which is a non-existent box number in Carefree.

Additionally, when Pagliaro and Jo Gemmill attempted to register Carefree Business Association, LLC with the Arizona Corporation Commission, they were informed “association” was not a valid corporate identifier for an LLC and they ended up registering as Carefree Business Group, LLC instead.

Even though she incorporated Carefree Business Group, LLC using the name Holly Pagliaro, she signed contracts with the town as Holly Bergman on behalf of Carefree Business Association, rather than Group to spend more than $70,000 of taxpayer money on marketing.

Malthaner told council the visitcarefree.com website is a destination marketing portal for Carefree and would contain a business directory for CBA members, even though Pagliaro previously told council CBA does not have any members.

And, while Pagliaro stated the website was up and running as of that day, Sept. 13, as of Sept. 20 the website stated: “New Website Coming Soon,” and at the bottom of the web page: “all rights reserved by the CBA.”

Moving on to the regular agenda, council unanimously recommended approval for a special event liquor license for Parktoberfest for the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, which will also be holding a Paws for Parkinson Dog Walk from 4-5 p.m. that day.

Council amended the recommendation for approval to allow the Parktoberfest event to go from 5 until 9 p.m. rather than until 8 p.m. as originally requested.

Council unanimously approved a contract with Let There Be Light to install LED lighting on the sundial.

Farrar asked owner, Bryan Gold, if he would be amenable to reducing the price in exchange for a plaque recognizing his company for providing the lighting. Gold agreed and council passed the agenda item at a price not to exceed $5,868.23, with the amount of the reduction to be negotiated afterward.

Town Accountant Jim Keen explained auditor changes to the June and July financial statements so they included a $31,000 franchise fee received from APS, resulting in an increase in revenue, and notations showing the payoff of the Sundial building and fire truck.
Vice Mayor Melissa Price asked about the format of the financial reports, which Mayor David Schwan explained was the result of various requests by former council members.

Price asked if the report could be simplified and agreed to meet with Keen to discuss the format of the report.

Council also voted unanimously to approve spending $4,710.81 to install and provide free public WiFi access as a public amenity in the town center.

Cox offered broadband internet access to the town with a five-year agreement for $135 per month. The contract also included installation of WiFi hardware and annual usage monitoring by hotZona, LLC.

The funding for providing the service will come from Public Works and Marketing budget line item transfers.

Town Administrator Gary Neiss told council, since approving the purchase of hardware to install banners on 15 pedestrian lights within the town center last month at a cost of $2,310, including installation, and the purchase of 30 banners at a total cost of $1,290, he learned the cost for the banners was based on the town purchasing 75 banners.

He said the town subsequently decided to increase the size of the banners and reduce the number which resulted in the cost for 30 banners to be $2,640 plus tax.

Neiss said the Public Works Department could install the hardware, saving the town $695, so the net increase to the town would be approximately $700.

Additionally, Signs by Tomorrow agreed to provide the town 10 additional banners free of charge if they placed their order by Sept. 30.

Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase as presented by Neiss and to place the order in time to receive the 10 free banners.