Flagstaff City Council met to discuss approval of a grant requested by Flagstaff Police Department (FPD) and reimbursement for installation of a pipeline. The meeting concluded with further discussion on the city’s e-bike debate.

Councilmember Austin Aslan opened the Oct. 1 meeting because Mayor Evans was set to arrive later. Multi-Modal Planner Martin Ince led this e-bike discussion and provided results from polls on Class 1 and 2 e-bikes on Flagstaff trails.

“These e-bikes get more people on bikes and less vehicles on the road,” Ince said. “This could help the city reach its climate goals.”

According to the poll information, committee members provided reasons for voting in favor of the e-bikes. Proponents agreed that e-bikes should be treated the same as pedal bicycles. Council also concluded that e-bikes provide a more accessible transportation option for those with mobility limitations.

Resident Jim Gibson followed Ince’s presentation. Gibson spoke in favor of the e-bikes and explained how they have helped his wife increase her bicycling mobility.

“First of all, my experience here has been overwhelmingly positive,” Gibson said. “My wife has been unable to ride as it was too hard for her to commute. Since we’ve gotten the e-bikes, we’ve been commuting almost daily.”

Councilmember Jim McCarthy spoke in response to residents in favor of the e-bikes. He said it may be best for the council to stick with their original compromise of regulating e-bike use on Flagstaff trails.

“We could have another two hours of discussion about this like in July, but I would suggest we stay with the compromise we initially came up with,” McCarthy said.

Mayor Coral Evans concluded the majority of council members agreed to stay with the initial compromise on e-bikes in Flagstaff.

FPD requested approval of the 2019 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. The department's support service manager Jennifer Brown spoke on behalf of the department.

Councilmember Jamie Whelan asked for clarification on what exactly the grant would be used for.

“I understand that the grant will be used for community policing,” Whelan said. “How do we know that the money won’t be used for something else later on?"

Brown clarified the specifics of the grant and what exactly it will be used for.

“We specify in the contract that it will used specifically for community policing,” Brown said.

Council then considered approval of reimbursement to Vintage Partners and Woody Mountain LLC for a new public sewer line. Whelan asked for clarification on this request.

“The funding remains whole but we’re taking that funding and we’re using it now?” Whelan said. “Several times we’ve gotten into projects that were budgeted another time so we didn’t have funding for it.”

Water Services Divisions Engineering Manager Ryan Roberts responded addressing Whelan’s concerns. He did not anticipate any budget issues.

“We did our due diligence in vetting this project,” Roberts said. “We couldn’t have predicted this issue.”

After some clarification, the city council approved the reimbursement.

Councilmembers considered adoption of resolution 2019-45. This resolution would approve an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Arizona Department of Economic Security and the city to provide up to $150,000 in city funding to developmental disability service providers of the city.

After these granted approvals and further review of e-bikes on Flagstaff trails and roads, the council addressed resident concerns.

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