Medicare open enrollment

The 2020 Open Enrollment Period began on Nov. 1 and will end Dec. 15.

Yes it is all pretty confusing. Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap, Medicare Supplementals – where can you go to get straight answers?

This is a fast overview:

Part A provides inpatient/hospital coverage.

Part B provides outpatient/medical coverage.Continue reading

Micro-loans in Greenlee

More local businesses than ever can now participate in a micro-loan program from Local First Arizona Foundation and the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation thanks to additional grant funding of $50,000 from the Greenlee County Community Investment Fund as well as an added $30,000 from the Graham County Community Investment Fund.

In addition, the City of Safford has contributed $100,000 to help support businesses in Safford. City Manager, Horatio Skeete, said the program so far has demonstrated “remarkable returns for economic development in our community.” Citing that the program has loaned out $95,000 and can track 5 new jobs created so far, with more potentially to come.

This additional funding will enable more local businesses in Southeastern Arizona to seek much-needed loans in smaller amounts and at reasonable interest rates.

“Added grant dollars from Community Investment Funds, in both Graham and Greenlee Counties, directly relate to a priority need that community members have been vocal about for some time: economic diversification,” said Tracy Bame, Director-Social Responsibility and Community Development and President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation.

“Expanding the Micro-loan program provides immediate resources to support growth of existing enterprises as well as the enhanced skills and opportunities individuals need to reach their full potential and play a progressively active role in the prosperity of their own communities.”Continue reading

Learning about road improvement districts

By Phil Ronnerud

Road Districts come in several flavors. One district is strictly for maintenance, another is for improving roads; sometimes a County needs to annex a road into their system.
All districts are created by residents to improve the infrastructure and all are locally funded through a portion of their property tax.

Improved roads increase property value, decrease dust, control drainage and resulting erosion. The cost is a burden to property owners and traffic speeds will increase as roads are improved.
Prior to Statehood the same questions about roads were debated as they are today. Who should pay for roads, the maintenance, and how to equitably distribute limited funds? The needs continue to be far greater than the money available.

Voters approve HURF

To illustrate the interest in roads, Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) were placed in Arizona’s constitution by the voters! The use of these funds has been discussed and cussed ever since.Continue reading

Morenci Lions Club makes a difference

By Tom Powers

Good things you may not know until you read this article:

The Morenci Lions Club is a cross section of community minded citizens that seek to make our community a better place to live, work, and raise families. Often folks will find themselves in less fortunate situations. The Lions want of help those in need. The major focus of this group is to provide eyeglass assistance, a Christmas program for those in need and scholarships for graduating students. We also help organizations like the Mt. Graham Safehouse with their fund raising efforts.

The Morenci Lions Club will participate in the Clifton Festival of Lights with a fund raising booth on Dec 1st . They will be serving both hamburgers and corn on the cob. Any funds raised go to offset costs for the Christmas Assistance Program.Continue reading

Learn this phrase: Opportunity Zone

By Ákos Kovach

If there is anything we can all agree on is IRS codes, rules, programs and definitions make our heads spin like the girl in the Exorcist. But those of us who dig deeper than headlines and sound bites know that all good things require facts – generally found through research and by asking lots of questions.

For several months (over a year in fact) the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) has lead the charge here in Arizona and in Greenlee County specifically, to motivate us in securing not one but two Opportunity Zones in Greenlee County.

First, a thank you to Keith Watkins Senior Vice President of Economic and Rural Development at the ACA. Keith gave me a reminder call last year to inquire about the Greenlee County application for Opportunity Zone status. Without Keith’s outreach I might have missed the deadline to get our application finalized before the deadline.Continue reading

Hotter and drier future

By Philip Ronnerud

No, I do not believe that the world is on the verge of heating up till all is left are deserts dry and barren devoid of life.

Wait a minute now, I have lived most of my life in a desert. It get hot in the summer, cool (as compared to Minnesota’s cold) in the winter, and dry except during the monsoons or when a hurricane blows in off the Gulf of California, yet it teams with life.

Yes, I do believe that temperatures trends swing through the centuries – just like people which change. The science has found that dry periods and the wet periods happen. Generally, we have surmised that temperatures have changed also. Even in a short 100-years of stream flow record fluctuations and trends are easy to discern.Continue reading

Meghan Wagley gets top honor

By Dee Porter

Meghan Wagley of Chaparral Mini Mart & Motel in Duncan has been named the top woman in business in Greenlee County.

She received the honor during the Gila Valley Small Business Woman of the Year awards ceremony at Eastern Arizona College Oct. 25.

Meghan WagleyJenny Howard is the 2018 winner for Graham County. She is the owner of Ginaveve’s Market Place in Safford.

On Thursday, October 25, 2018, the Gila Valley Small Business Woman of the Year Awards were presented at Eastern Arizona College in the Gherald Hoopes Jr. Activities Center. There were 100 people in attendance. Excellent refreshments were enjoyed as the evening started off with Charmaine Chidester welcoming the nominees and all of the guests, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the invocation.Continue reading

Thankful for County workers

By Kay Gale
Greenlee County Administrator

In this time of thanksgiving, I want to express my thanks to a group of people that sometimes are the unsung heroes.

I’m talking about the employees that keep our historic courthouse beautiful. They take so much pride in making sure this 107-year-old building is here for another 100 years.

Greenlee County CourthouseI’m talking about the IT staff that responds to our demand that there is something wrong with the computers, the life blood of our daily existence.

I’m talking about the clerical staff in every office that make sure everything is running smoothly behind the scenes.

I’m talking about the dispatcher who takes that call in the middle of the night and makes sure a deputy gets safely to an emergency call.

I’m talking about that road crew worker that responds during the rain storms to make sure that our roads are safe.

I think you can see the pattern here. I’m thankful for the county employee.

I’m thankful to be a part of this great county and this “family.” We have so much to be thankful for in this great country, state and county.

During this season of thanksgiving, my hope is that each of us takes the time to recognize the everyday work that makes our lives in America the place that people around the world want for themselves.

Do we want the Clifton Hill Climb?

By Ákos Kovach

Here is the thing – do we as a community want to bring back the Clifton Hill Climb permanently? The time to answer that question is right now.

Organizing, and paying for the upfront costs, of this event are significant. It is imperative that real support from both the public and private sectors stand up and be counted. The serious parties currently involved in the effort to bring the Clifton Hill Climb back need to know that we as a community can and will support the event – show up, attract vendors, invite family and friends, make suggestions on ways to make this as big and successful as possible.

Clifton Hill ClimbAmong the ideas that have been brought forward – turn the Ward Canyon ballfields into the vendor area and staging for a paddock area. Another aspect of the planning revolves around televising the races. The parade would remain as a highly public and visible event, as well as the Drivers Appreciation and Awards Dinner.

There is an impressive core group, mostly drivers and former drivers, many of wh0m reside outside Greenlee County, who want to bring this family-friendly event back to our race fans. It has been discussed that we honor Mayor Felix Callicotte in some special way, as well as Esther Tavison.

Please reply to economicdevelopment@co.greenlee.az.us .