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BISBEE WIRE #19 11/18/19

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

editor: fred miller      November 18, 2019         #19


The issue of Short Term Rentals (air b&b, VRBO etc.)  continues in Bisbee. The city is taking the first steps in dealing with the proliferation of these transient rentals. I have a short explanation of the new law that went into effect October 1, 2019. However here has been little publicity about the requirements such as having a responsible contact person for a property on file or mandatory listing of a tax number of a listing site.

How bout a bit of backpatting... Mike Anderson of the Friends of the Warren Ballpark sent some info about the historic park to a writer for Arizona Highways mag. He wrote a story about the Warren ballpark and vintage baseball, it was featured in an AH article last year. The author won a gold award for the story. All the individual PR efforts that people from Bisbee so often pays off with good pub for our little city. You can access the article here:

Bisbee after 5  continues to bring people in. The efforts of the past several years, primarily of Kathy Sowden of finders/Keepers antiques with others helping, have built local arts while attracting vistiors to a well attended monthly event every second Saturday. It was so good last month that I got all excited and misspelled Sloan B's new gallery, Artemizia at 24 Main.  Artists/galleries often choose '5' night to feature new work. Bisbee has lots of galleries, 17 I think at last count, as well as other display venues such as Bisbee Books and Music. Cafe Roka has a new show on the walls by the  popular art car and colorfully dressed artist, Gretchen Baer. (she also does a weekly gig in Naco Sonora making art and music with a ton of kinds over the line. She could always used donations; 

Last week the canyons were alive with the sound of music as Sidepony Express brought more than 100 bands to Old Bisbee for a three day fest of sound. The festival is run on a shoestring mostly out of her own pocket by Anamieke-who plays in a couple bands herself-and her partner. And although there are sponsors (Copper City Inn is one) it seems that she should initiate a better funding model. It brings so many peeps into town that a substantial grant would help as would more individual businesses stepping up and forking over some cash. You can do so at the above email. It would also help for Animeke to hire a fundraiser to specifically organize the outreach efforts.

It is a 20 item! agenda for the council-bring our sleeping bag, see details below.

And finally, back issues of the Wire are posted on I also put some of the historical data for sales tax, building permits, and housing sales up.  Please direct people interested in subscribing (our unsubscribing) to that site or to me at My email list is up to 475 addresses, with an open rate  of about 65%. If somebody whines to you about the Wire tell them to get over it or unsubscribe.   

This went out quite hastily so I absolve myself for typos and any other related mistakes. Sometimes I don't have the resources or time to check sources. The internet is a wonderful library, but sometimes sites do not have date for their information. For instance a couple issues back I listed a business for sale but the real estate listing I used was five years old (who knew?) and the business owner sent me a tart reminder he was still there and not selling and to check before listing. I offered to grovel in print, but he said no and cancelled his sub.



Background here: Of Interest: Item 6... which is an amendment to the Jacobs Co.  agreement about operating the wastewater treatment plant. The amendment states that Jacobs will not be a charging a multiplier they could charge under the contract thereby saving the City $13k a year and $50k over the next 4 years. Item 10... creating an upgraded position from Fire Inspector to Fire Marshall. there is no mention of where the money to pay the position will come from other than a vague reference that the position has potential to generate income because a new fee schedule is being considered. Those fees will likely come from businesses that are charged by the City for fire inspections. Item amendment to regulate lighting so as to foster a 'dark sky' community. Item 17...amending the nuisance code Item 18...amending and adding to the city code for transient lodging  and short term rentals). This basically adopts  State regulations regarding online booking companies such as airb&b. I did have one quibble with the amendment because it states that the owner of a short term rental (SRT) must have a business license. However in a legal opinion two years ago the state AG ruled that Sedona could not charge a business license to the owners of STR's because it was a violation of state law. The city attorney is researching this particular clause. Item 19...The animal shelter is seeking more money in anticipation of caring for an additional 50 cats on Brophy that will be trapped. The feral cat situation on Brophy has been an ongoing irritant for years to most who live in the neighborhood.

AGENDA INVOCATION:                    PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE MAYOR’S PROCLAMATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS: ·         Recognition of the Bisbee Fire Department response to the fire on O’Hara CALL TO THE PUBLIC THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED, CONSIDERED AND/OR DECIDED UPON AT THIS MEETING: GENERAL BUSINESS: 1.        ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:  Subject to availability of funds 2.        Approval of the Consent Agenda A.     Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on October 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm. B.      Approval of the Appointment of Shawn DeCraemer to the Design Review Board. C.      Approval of the Resignation of Phillip Martinez from the Police and Fire Advisory Committee Ward I seat. D.     Approval of the Appointment of Craig Emanuel to the Police and Fire Advisory Committee Ward I seat. E.      Approval of a Park, Facility, and Right-of-Way Use permit for Native Content for filming of Interior and Exterior of the St. Elmo Saloon and for ten (10) parking spaces in front of St. Elmo’s Saloon Thursday, November 21, 2019 from 3:00pm to 10:00pm.

OLD BUSINESS 3.        Public Auction of Designated City Surplus Property located at 8 Douglas Road with a minimum bid price of $30,000. David M. Smith, Mayor 4.        Public Auction of Designated City Surplus Property located adjacent to Parcel 101-12-082A between Van Dyke Street and Black Knob View with a minimum bid price of $9,000. David M. Smith, Mayor   

NEW BUSINESS 5.        Presentation on the upcoming 2020 Census by Dan Dever, Senior Partnership Specialist.  David M. Smith, Mayor 6.        Discussion and Possible Approval of Amendment No. 1 to the Jacobs Agreement for Operations Maintenance, and Management Services for the City of Bisbee San Jose Wastewater Treatment Plant. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 7.        Discussion and Possible Approval to enter into a Service Agreement with Sparklight Business for upgraded internet at the Copper Queen Library. Jason Macoviak, Library Manager 8.        Discussion and Possible Approval of ADOA-GAO OpenBooks Service Agreement. Keri Bagley, Finance Director 9.         Discussion and Possible Approval of a Right of Way across a certain City Property located adjacent to 501 Adams Avenue, Parcel 103-59-009. Joe Ward, Staff Liaison to Planning and Zoning Commission 10.    Discussion and Possible Approval of an Updated Job Description for Fire Marshal. Joelle Landers, Personnel Director 11.    Discussion and Possible Approval of the Second Amendment to the Contract for Services with the City of Douglas to extend the Transit Service for the Bisbee Bus Transit Program for one year beginning October 1, 2019 and ending September 30, 2020. Jesus Haro, Public Works Director 12.    Discussion and Possible Approval to waive the requirement to connect the property located at 10 Cochise Lane to the City of Bisbee public sanitary sewer system. Jesus Haro, Public Works Director 13.    Discussion and Possible Approval to waive the requirement to connect the property located at 7A Old Douglas Road to the City of Bisbee public sanitary sewer system. Jesus Haro, Public Works Director 14.    Discussion and Possible Approval to purchase roofing material from ABC Supply Co Inc. to repair the roof to City Hall.                 Jesus Haro, Public Works Director 15.    Discussion and Possible Approval to enter into a service agreement with Cintas Corporation to provide uniform rental, facility services products rentals, and laundry service. Jesus Haro, Public Works Director 16.    Discussion and Possible Approval of a Notice of Intent to Adopt Ordinance O-19-06; Amending the City Code, Article 7, Light Pollution and Providing for Repeal and Severability. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 17.    Discussion and Possible Approval of a Notice of Intent to Adopt Ordinance O-19-07; Amending the City Code, Section 10.1.8, Nuisance. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 18.    Discussion and Possible Approval of a Notice of Intent to Adopt Ordinance O-19-08; Amending the City Code, Chapter 8, Business Regulations and Adding Regulations Related to Vacation Rentals. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 19.    Discussion and Possible Approval of a request submitted by the Friends of Bisbee Animal Shelter for additional funds in the amount of $10,464 to cover the cost of additional cats. Theresa Coleman, City Manager 20.    City Manager's Report:

COUNCIL COMMENTS OR FUTURE AGENDA ITEM SUGGESTIONS: ( ·         Councilmember Giacomino would like to announce the upcoming Cake Auction. ·         Councilmember Hansen would like to comment on Wreaths Across Americ



STRs are a rapidly growing part of the lodging economy in Bisbee. A new law that went into effect October 1, goes part way to add regulations for the virtually unregulated sector. Below is a summary. As noted above in the comments on the city agenda, there is some confusion about whether a business license is necessary for a STR. I'm trying to get confirmation from the AG's office about a decision he rendered that Sedona could not require a business license. However I'm getting a runaround. The city attorney is also researching. Meanwhile, if you are operating a STR/transient or overnight lodging, please be aware you have to have a TPT license and that TPT number has to be on your listing.

I spoke with Ms. Audrey McGhee at the Arizona Dept. of Revenue about the new legislation that went into effect October 1. She confirmed that a TPT (tax number) is required for all listing and that an onsite rep is required to register with the city. She mentioned a few  other regs that went into effect, listed below).

The department is suggesting that lodging owners put the number in a description of their property. I've done a  cursory view of a few Bisbee properties on airb&b that indicated there is widespread non-compliance.

In response to a question she said that  3rd party online online lodging marketing businesses operating in Arizona [including Airbnb, Home Away and VRBO)] have to collect taxes for the rental. That money is then aggregated and sent to the State with the zip code of the origin of the money; but no individual rental owners names are included. The State then sends on the dough to the city of origin (zip codes). The 3rd parties businesses do not have to provide the name of the rental owner. However ADOR can audit the 3rd party. And the TPT number ensures they can find out who the owner is. Ms. McGhee said they work closely with the 3rd party operators to ensure compliance.

The legislation says among other things that any person offering short term lodging on a third party online SRT lodging site (air b&b, VRBO, Home Away, etc) is required to conform to these stipulations:

1. Cannot operate at STR without a TPT license 2. Requires a TPT license number to be listed on every listing for the STR. 3. STR must provide the name of a contact person for the property to the municipality. 4. Location cannot be used for an event (wedding, party, restaurant, banquet) that would otherwise require a license. 5. Penalties for an owner to not comply with regs 1sr $200 and $1000 for 2nd. 6. Additional penalties for not paying fines. 7. Allows disclosure of TPT (Transaction Privilege Tax) info for legitimate business purposes to appropriate persons (not the public nor elected officials becauseTPT is proprietary information) if the appropriate regs are not followed.


(Please note that tax sales reporting always is two months behind when posted. For instance data released in September is for July spending. That is because businesses report sales information to ADOR by the 23rd of the following month that sales take place, and then it is tabulated and a report released the month after the reporting month. Historical data on monthly home sales, building permits, and taxes is posted on Although generally up to date, it does depend on when I can get to posting the tables.)

For sales in Retail, restaurant/bar, hotels, and bed tax reported by ADOR in September for July spending the data revealed the kind of lackluster summer that most anecdotal info had reported. As expected the Bed tax was $4,000 less this month than last year at this time because the tax was still 3.5%, that didn't change to 2.5% until March of this year. But restaurant/bar sales were up about $3k ($27,642/$24,916) and retail was about the same as last year at $73k. The first quarter for sales were: Bed tax; $25,155/19 and $27,893/18 (The August figures seem hinky. The 2019 August reported bed tax at 2.5% was $10,230, in 2018 when it was a 3.5% tax was a meager $6,201. (The first six months of FY2020-last year I believe that ADOR was mistakenly entering hotel and bed tax. The data just doesn't jibe. Can't prove it though.) First quarter fiscal year 2020 comparisons: Restaurant/Bar: $93,071/19 and $90,028/18 Retail: $236,322/19 and $207,063/18

The Housing market continues apace with 12 sales in September totaling $1,857,000 with the average sale $154k and the median sale $125k with an average of 193 days on the market. That compares to last year's 11 sales at $1,414,000 with an average sale of $128k and a medial sale of $142k and 140 days on market. In October there were 13 sales totaling $2,081,800 with the average sale price $160k and the median $129 on the market for an average of 112 days. However in October/18 there were 18 sales totaling $2,528,300 with the average sale price $140k and the median $139k and 157 days on the market. The first quarter of FY comparisons: Sales....$4,410,616/32 sold/2019 and $4,741,900/38 sold/2018

Building Permits soared in October (33 permits for $416,846) with the bulk of the spending for several large residential remodels and only $66k for commercial work. In September, 29 permits were issued for a total of $377,763 and although commercial permits accounted for $109,378 of that total, one permit to the county was for an $88k spend. There has been significant activity this year compared to 2018. Last year there were 21 and 22 permits issued for Sept. and Oct respectively. A dollar comparison would be skewed by the huge one million dollar spend by Chirichua on the clinic remodel in Warren. If that is set aside the total for September would be $223,051 and October $292k. For the first quarter of FY2020, there were 19 more permits than the prior year period. The spend for all 76 permits was $948,469. In the first quarter of FY2019, spending for all 57 permits was $2,726,152. However removing the big sum of $2,166,569 in August for the clinic the total was about $197,188. Speculating about 2018/2019 first quarter differences in the number of permits and dollar spends is always interesting but often inaccurate. But wtf, here I go... Commercial spending, with the exception of a few large projects, has been minimal the past year. However spending for residential building permits is up, even though there were fewer houses sold.  The Liar-in-chief is responsible for some increases because tariffs on goods, particularly 450 Chinese products used by remodels increased by 15% in June, from 10% to 25%. That raised some prices to consumers by as much as 7-10%. In general, labor costs have risen because of a shortage of construction workers. In Bisbee one major contractor left town earlier this year and that likely has had an impact on the market if there is a demand is more than supply. And there has always been some fluctuation in available workers. There also might be more disposable money coming into town from new buyers and a willingness to spend more freely for amenities in addition to needed repairs. And those of us who have been here for some years have continued to repair and upgrade properties. The City has upgraded building codes to seek uniformity with standard practices and it seems, from some anecdotal accounts, adherence to the codes has been more costly or at least more time consuming which means more costly. And finally, this is an old town with old buildings that have old electrical, old plumbing, old wood, old heating, old sewers, old gas lines, old paint, old roofs, old siding...and when new owners remodel they often run into unforeseen problems that cause costs to increase simply to deal with bringing the structure up to code.

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION Copper Queen Community Hospital Foundation Jessica Ogiba 101 Cole Ave.

Queen Mine View LLC Elissa Strati 120 Naco Rd

The Empress LLC Elissa Strati 120 Naco Rd

Bisbee Community Outreach (non-profit) Joelle DeMunno 202 Bisbee Rd/18 Wolverine

Lincoln Arts Building, LLC Tate Rich 536 Tombstone Canyon

Cochise Constructions,LLC Tate Rich 536 Tombstone Canyon

Subway Suites, LLC Tate Rich 536 Tombstone Canyon

Bisbee Homes,LLC Tate Rich 536 Tombstone Canyon

MG Patience CPA, LLC Shirley Alexander 1326 W. Highway 92 #12

Amended Solstead Green Works LLC Samantha Goerlich 26 Art Av.

Name Change Bisbee Lotus Sangha  http:// ( Cochise Zen Center

++++++++ Copper City Inn-an excellent place to stash your visitors and guests for a few days to gettum out from underfoot-is smack between two lovely newish food places. Nam Sen Nam Sen Teahouse, 105 Main, (upcanyon next to Copper City Inn in the former Anna's) is open featuring loose leaf teas, and a limited menu of sushi and toasts w/toppings. The grub is vegetarian and vegan (hmmm, grub doesn't quite have that ring does it?) They also serve the wonderfulness of Jacqui's baked goodies. Stop by and get a cuppa and a bite. The young couple that own it have created a pleasing quiet space that creates a feeling of calm. (They also have a drop-in and appointment massage service utilizing a variety of techniques.)

++++++ Yum Soon ...and speaking of Jacqui, her patisserie/91 Tombstone Canyon (downcanyon next to Copper City Inn in a former bail bondsman office) will hopefully be open before Xmas. She is doing extensive back of the house work, adding big and small appliances that will create a professional kitchen. Stay tuned for her opening...

++++++ More Eats... St. Johns Church is hosting their annual Community Thanksgiving dinner, Thursday November 28. The Bisbee community is invited to the annual St. John’s Thanksgiving dinner on November 28 from 11-00-2:00. The traditional dinner features turkey, ham, vegetables, potatoes, and all the trimmings, in addition to pumpkin pie and array of other desserts. As always, they also rely on community people to help out with food and time donations. They can specifically use: cooked turkeys and ham, vegetable dishes, vegetarian dishes, stuffing, pies or other desserts. Please drop off all food donations to the Church Annex at 19 Sowles Av, about 9:00 on 11/28. +++++They particularly need people to help on the clean up crew beginning at 1:30. Please call Evelyn Schock with details of your contribution and/or to volunteer; 520 456-6176.++++

Help need in fixin the Eats... Goar Park Lunches could use some helping hand. Volunteers needed for the following shifts: Mondays, 10:30-12 prepare 24 brown bag lunches at Masons, deliver to Goar Park. Tuesdays 9:30-2:00 help prepare a hot meal at the Masons Hall. Wednesdays- 9:30-2:00 help prepare a hot meal at the Masons Hall Friday's- 9:30-2:00 help prepare a hot meal at the Masons hall Go here for info and to put your idle hands to work:


Local folks may have health problems related to spraying

This  article details aerial spraying of the herbicides Sendero & Remedy ordered by Howard Buffet and other ranchers on and near the border in Cochise County, ostensibly to kill mesquite in order to promote grassland forage for cattle. But surprise! it also clears all vegetation along the border so immigrants can be more readily observed. This closely mimics the reason why Agent Orange was sprayed in Vietnam-defoliation reveals people. Several of the ranches that had spraying have been vocal opponents of immigration.

Long time local business owners of the Gold Shop, Nancy and Randall Pipkorn, have both suffered health problems after drift from the 2017 spraying killed vegetation and contaminated their property. (It is very difficult to prove conclusively that adverse health effects are the result of herbicide/pesticide spraying. Even though anecdotal information indicates contamination and health problems post exposure, the science is often not clear. And chemical companies, crop dusters, and users often use extreme legal measures to counter claims of contamination and illness.)

Hoffman vineyards have dying grape plants and suffered health problems after being hit by direct spraying from a nearby ranch in 2017.

The detailed article examines the interrelationship between Howard Buffet and his foundations, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, crop duster-Tri-rotor, AZ dept. of Ag, Dow Chemical, and several ranchers including John Ladd. It illustrates the problems of herbicide spraying from planes, the way manufacturers enlist local users t

(Sendero and Remedy had been manufactured by DowAgroScience. However in June of this year a new standalone company was created, Corteva Agriscience, from the Dupont and Dow merger a few years ago and that company now makes and distributes the products of the former companies. This corporate name shifting is because Dow is now a toxic name due to its' Round-Up herbicide named a causative agent in a number of health-related lawsuits resulting in huge damages awarded to plaintiffs. The label of Sendero (sp. for 'path') expressly states damage will occur to several types of food crops and all broadleaf vegetation from spray drift or direct application.)

What to do if your or your property are sprayed:

document time, date, place, condition of property and persons before spray and after spray. Keep accurate notes of anything happening regarding the spraying take pics and video during and after, if possible particularly of spraying in the act whether it be hand, applicator, or plane. note your physical condition before spray and after if you are feeling adverse effects. Take pics of yourself and document everything with time of symptoms and ongoing description. find out who was doing the spaying, whose property was being sprayed, find out what was sprayed if possible. Research effects If necessary secure legal representation as soon as possible don't sign anything unless your attorney says so contact local media to inform them of what happened

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