SAFFORD — The old Graham County Jail and Sheriff’s Office will soon start coming down to make way for a new Safford Police station.
At its Sept. 9 meeting, the Safford City Council voted to award Breinholt Contracting Company, a Glendale firm, the demolition contract on the former jail, which the city acquired from the county in May 2019. The council also authorized City Manager Horatio Skeete to execute an agreement with Breinholt, which submitted a $200,503 bid.
The contract also included asbestos abatement at the old jail, which will precede the building’s demolition. The firm’s bid included $119,032 to demolish the structure, $70,274 for the abatement and $11,197 in sales tax for leased equipment. The abatement work was expected to start as soon as this month. No time frame was given for that phase, but the demolition was expected to take approximately three weeks.
The council also took another step in boosting local businesses. In its August meeting, the council approved providing $100,000 in city funds to the Graham County Micro Loan Program for the use of businesses in the city. Those funds will be managed by the Local First Arizona Foundation, with whom the council approved a memorandum of understanding Sept. 9. The maximum loan amount will be $25,000, though that amount could be exceeded with the city’s written approval.
In other business, the council moved to fill a seat on the Safford Planning & Zoning Commission, appointing Ed Ragland to take the place of Chairman Gene Fowler, who submitted his resignation May 31 after 18 years on the commission. Fowler, first appointed to the commission in 2001, said he would continue serving until a replacement was found. Ragland was one of four finalists for the seat, out of seven applicants, and the council unanimously approved his appointment.