Carefree enjoying its new council chambers

CAREFREE – On Tuesday, Dec. 5, council held its first meeting in the town’s new council chambers at 33 Easy Street. Although there are some finishing touches that need to be completed, council members and residents alike were delighted with the appearance, fabulous view of Black Mountain and the new “smart” building features incorporated into the facility.

Town Administrator Gary Neiss thanked Toby Payne and Wes Sullivan from Technically Integrated for their work on the audio and video equipment.

Mayor Les Peterson announced council was not going to appoint a replacement for former Councilman Jim Van Allen, who passed away in October, until the January meeting.

The mayor bumped up agenda item number nine, a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute an intergovernmental agreement between Maricopa County, the town of Carefree and the town of Carefree, Arizona Utilities Community Facilities District for the use of the town’s water tank site, also known as the Silver Saddle Site, for wireless communications services, to the beginning of the agenda to accommodate all the people present for that item.

Town Engineer Greg Crossman explained the the Silver Saddle Site is situated at the top of a hill and currently has emergency communications equipment at the site.

Crossman said the additions to the site would be relatively minor and would include a 25-foot faux saguaro to mask the antennas.

Peterson said neighbors have been notified about the project and no one had responded.

Council voted unanimously to approve the resolution.

Council also voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda.

Councilman Michael Krahe thanked Neiss for overseeing the 33 Easy Street remodeling project that produced the town’s new council chambers, which the town owns.

Neiss said having a permanent home for council has been 33 years in the making but he sees the finish line on the remaining items that need to be completed and stated it should all be completed by January.

Peterson stated when the Christmas Festival began three years ago it drew 1,000.

He said it has now grown to a 23-day-long event with approximately 3,000 people attending the lighting of the Christmas Tree.

Peterson said he was looking forward to the Dec. 9 parade, which had been moved to a daytime event for safety purposes and had 40 entries and about 500 participants.

John Crane said Sanderson Lincoln, which has been a great partner to the town, donated $3,500 to the Veteran’s Heritage Project this year.

Council was then shown a slide show prepared by Herb Hitchon of the Foothills Trolley service that began last weekend.