Take a look here at the First Amendment to the Estrella Development and Fire Services Agreement.
In June 2016, we were tipped that the City's agreement with local developers had lapsed. Our sources told us the agreement was "allowed to expire" and that funding for a second fire station was not in place.
At the June 27, 2016 meeting, City Manager Brian Dalke publicly stated he spoke with a Newland representative just that week. His specific words were...
And talking to Bill Olsen this week, there has been an understanding that the bones of an agreement are in place. It can be argued some of those elements may or may not apply. The fact of the matter is one of the partners - if you will - back to the earlier agreement is no longer there. So CantaMia for example - is AV Homes - will be part of any discussions.” ~GOODYEAR CITY MANAGER BRIAN DALKE, JUNE 27, 2016
Let's emphasize "WILL BE PART OF ANY DISCUSSIONS." Future tense.
Whether talks had been in the works for years prior or not... It appears from public commentary that the real push to update the agreement was prompted last summer.
The amended resolution dated January 24, 2017 now shown in a snapshot states:
In March 2016, Goodyear City Council participated in a work session to discuss the FY17-26 Capital Improvement Program. About half way through the meeting, the presentation turned to "General Funded Programs - Projects Requests." City staff initially recommends fire stations be listed on deferral for future impact fees.
We added fire stations to your list simply because of your recent conversations just to put it up here and let you know it’s on our radar… but that we know the study is pending and we’ll wait for that project. ~Lauri Wingenroth, Budget and Research Manager
This document - Goodyear's Capital Improvement Plan for FY16-25 - shows funding for a Fire Station at Harrison and Citrus for FY22 and a Fire Station in Estrella in FY22. An additional Fire apparatus wasn't in the plans till FY23.
FY16 and FY17 funding totaling $66,366,257 was slated for:
We have NEVER stated the City had "no priorities for" nor "didn't care" for fire service as we've been accused throughout various social media threads. I'm personally aware that our City Council and Mayor support public safety as shown by their previous actions over the years. This has been a process in the works since December 2015, (and most likely sooner than that), and these things do take time to work out. The fact is, the priorities for the Estrella station were moved up after 2016 Council meetings and the fire station study this past year. I'm not sure why this is being made out to be a bad thing by social media followers as it's really good news for Estrella and Goodyear residents. Many of us - and myself included - are thrilled about Council's decision to listen to the people to make this happen. Their ability to collaborate with other leaders and the developer to move up the construction timeline is a win for everyone.
2017 AND BEYOND
It should be noted again that Goodyear has several fire station needs and projects in the near future.
In December 2016, we also read over the entire tax payer funded, 210 page fire station study to see all needs for fire service in Goodyear. It also recommended "building a new fire station in west Goodyear and having it operational by the year 2022. The optimal location is at Citrus and Yuma. An additional engine company would be expected to operate from there. This station would have a workload similarly modeled to other stations in the city." Operational by 2022 means funding for this station needs to be moved up, as well.
Tomorrow night, as it turns out, Goodyear City Council will hold a Special Meeting with the City Attorney and City Manager "to provide instruction/direction to City Attorney and City Manager
regarding City's position in connection with contractual negotiations associated with
West Goodyear development agreements." This meeting is private and we can't be 100% sure this is related to fire service. But, we're hoping to find out more regarding a west Goodyear fire station this spring. We'll keep you posted.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2017
5:30PM Special Meeting
6PM Regular Meeting
Location: 14455 W. Van Buren Street, Suite B-101, Goodyear, Arizona 85338
Meeting agendas and to Watch Online Here
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Barber is a Goodyear resident resident of almost 20 years and a retired broadcast news journalist. Involved in various nonprofit and city organizations since 2008, Barber has a unique view of what's happening in the West Valley of Arizona.