Maricopa County board hosts formal meeting Jan. 29

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Plans for new luxury homes in a rural area, adjustments to a program to aid those trying to avoid homelessness and the retirement of a heroic dog are among issues county leaders will consider today.

With a docket comprised of nearly 60 action items, as well as numerous addenda, the panel’s formal meeting will be hosted 9:30 a.m. today in the Supervisors’ Auditorium, 205 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix.

Recently appointed board chairman Clint Hickman, who represents District 4, will preside over the board’s second formal meeting of 2020. He said public participation in government is crucial to ensure transparency and accountability.

“My colleagues and I realize coming to downtown Phoenix in the middle of the work week isn’t practical for most people. That’s why I’d encourage residents to watch our board meetings online, either live or at their convenience,” Mr. Hickman told Daily Independent earlier this month. “Getting more people involved in local government is one way we can make 2020 a year of record participation in our democracy.”

The board’s proceedings will be streamed live at the board’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/maricopacountyaz. Videos are typically archived at the site up to five days after each meeting.

Verde River homes

The supervisors will look at three separate-but-related final plat requests for later-phase development of a master planned luxury golf community north and east of Scottsdale and Fountain Hills on count land near the Verde River.

The applications for Verde River Phase 6 Unit 6C, Phase 4 Unit B and Phase 6 Unit 6B seek approval for 84 lots, 52 lots and 10 lots on 19.9 acres, 8.5 acres and 5.5 acres respectively, comprising a total of 146 lots on 33.9 acres.

The homes will be dispersed around one of two existing golf courses on the currently undeveloped desert landscape.

The subdivisions, if approved, will be built by Scottsdale-based Tegavah Construction, an affiliate of Shea Homes, which developed previous phases of the Trilogy at Verde River community.

The site initially encompassed 710 acres with an additional 695 acres acquired later in the rural county island area. A May 2018 report from the developer estimated the community, originally called Vista Verde, could eventually include 1,385 home lots.

Housing assistance

The supervisors will decide on an amendment to an agreement between the Arizona Department of Housing and the county for a program administered by its Human Services Department.

Bolstering the eviction prevention services program, the budget adjustment would transfer money from administration and support services to add $30,000 to the annual funding for the prevention assistance line.

Without increasing the program’s overall annual budget, the move will increase service capacity to 232 households, an increase of 20 households served each year.

In administering the state program, the county targets victims of domestic violence, military veterans and their families, families and children, single women without children, and single adults and youth on their own.

To qualify for assistance, applicants must meet rigorous eligibility requirements, including low income, to receive the once-per-year help with rent. The county also administers similar programs to provide utility assistance for those on the margins of homelessness.

Those seeking assistance can learn more at 211Arizona.org or dial 2-1-1 to get information about utility and rental assistance, as well as emergency shelters, food box locations, eviction prevention programs, substance abuse treatment facilities, and other community-based programs.

Residents of Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown and Waddell can call the city of Peoria’s CAP office at 623-979-3911.

Those needing help in Surprise and El Mirage can call the Surprise CAP office at 623-222-4673.

K-9 retirement

The board will also vote on a measure to allow Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Detective J. Minka to adopt his Special Investigations Division service dog, Bach.

K-9 Bach, #K141, the police pooch is unfortunately slated for early retirement due to a serious tendon injury, from which the animal has been unable to recover, leading to difficulty with his interactions with other people than his handler.

During his tenure since 2016, the 5.5-year-old Bach assisted with the seizure of $279,940 in currency, 8.3 pounds of heroin, 1760 pounds of marijuana, 149.8 pounds of methamphetamine and 34.6 pounds of cocaine, according to the meeting agenda report.

To transfer ownership of the animal to his handler will require a unanimous approval from the board.

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