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 BUCKEYE CONSIDERS NEW WATER FEES, PAGE 3 — the newspaper of Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield Park & Tolleson, AZ (623) 535-8439


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Goodyear City Council divided over employee benefits

by Sara Bisker staff writer

A slightly greener economic year in Goodyear has some councilors proposing a raise for employ- ees.

View photo by Ray Thomas BREAK OUT THE

GOLD SHOVELS New fire stations are popping up all over Buckeye

— Pages 4 and 5.

HUNDREDS OF DEAD FISH drift to the shoreline of one of the lakes in Avondale’s Garden Lakes community Tuesday. The smell of rotting fish permeated the neighborhood to the alarm of many residents. As of Wednesday, about two-thirds of the dead fish had been removed, according the community management company.

Smelly situation Thousands of fi sh die in Garden Lakes

by Emily McCann staff writer

— Pages 10 and 11.


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Lakes community in Avondale, and it has residents holding their noses. Thousands of dead fish were found floating in the community’s south lake this week and officials say it’s because of golden alga. Garden Lakes is located between Avon- dale Boulevard and 107th Avenue and Indian School and Thomas roads. Resident Carol Gale, who lives on the lake,

first noticed them two weeks ago and said the small fish started dying first. By Tuesday, the fish floating to the top were at least a foot long, she said.

oversees Garden Lakes, directed all questions to Aquatic Consulting and Testing, the com- pany that manages the water quality. Crews have been in clean-up mode this week after failed attempts Sunday to neutral- ize the water with chemical applications, Vice President Rick Amalfi said.

“Obviously it was not nearly as success- ful as we had hoped, and Monday we started having fish mortality,” he said. As of Wednesday, about two-thirds of the

dead fish had been cleaned up, Amalfi said. Since the lake is fed by canals, it gets a large number of common carp, but also has sunfish, bass and catfish.

“Our biggest thing right now just for public appeal, is to get dead fish off the lake and get rid of the odors,” he said.

two years since 2005 and is blamed on golden alga, a tiny, one-celled aquatic organism the

The same situation has cropped up every

“There were huge ones just stacked up on each other,” she said. “A guy came around on a little boat and was trying to net them up, but, man, there’s still many.” Vision Community Management, which

View photo by Ray Thomas

DOMINIQUE, 12, LEFT, and Mariah Morales, 8, of Avondale brave the smell to look at the hundreds of dead fish floating on the surface of the lake.

size of a human blood cell. It is a rapidly growing and resilient algae species that out-competes other algae for nutrients and thrives in a wide variety of envi- ronmental conditions, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s website reports. “It’s very, very difficult to stop,” Amalfi said. “We’ve lived with it here for several months and have really minimized the loss of fish, but Mother Nature beat us this week- end.”

A single drop of lake water can contain more than 2,000 cells of golden alga, which releases unique toxins that cause fish gills to bleed internally and lose the ability to exchange water and absorb oxygen, according to Game and Fish. “It’s a very, very sad situation and it just

(See Fish on Page 2) Something fishy is going on in the Garden

Employees have seen multiple cutbacks includ- ing frozen salaries, reduced travel allowances and increased healthcare costs in the last three years. The tentatively approved budget, which will go to the council for final approval later this month, includes compensation adjustment plans for the fire and police departments, City Manager John Fischbach said.

The phased-in program will put employees more in line with neighboring cities, he said. The estimated cost to the city to boost compensa- tion for the fire employees is $69,500 and for the police department it is $166,000, he said. Those figures are only for the first year of the program. Also included in the budget is a plan to grant two additional holidays to all employees in lieu of a merit increase. The estimated cost of the merit increase is $94,500, Fischbach said. The holidays would be effective near

(See Benefits on Page 2)

2 local children recovering after pool incidents

View report Two young children were expected to recover after unrelated swimming pool accidents in Goodyear and Avondale. In the latest incident, a 6-year-old girl was rescued Wednesday after being under the water for less than a minute.

The submersion occurred about 12:45 p.m. at the Southwest Valley Family YMCA, 2919 N. Litchfield Road, said Tanja Tanner, a spokes- woman for the Goodyear Fire Department. The girl, whose name was not released, was conscious and breathing when YMCA workers pulled her from a play pool at the facility, Tanner said.

As a precaution, she was transported to Phoe- nix Children’s Hospital for treatment, she said. It was undetermined how she slipped under the water.

taken to a Glendale hospital after being removed from a hot tub at an Avondale apartment com- plex.

The incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. Sunday while she was playing in a hot tub at a complex near 120th Avenue and Van Buren Street, said Art Snapp, a division chief and spokesman for Avondale Fire-Rescue. Firefighters believe she was briefly under the

water before an adult pulled her out, Snapp said. She was breathing and conscious when firefight- ers arrived.

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center for treat- ment, Snapp said Tuesday.

 READ IT FIRST ON WESTVALLEYVIEW.COM As a medial precaution, she was taken to In an earlier submersion, a 3-year-old girl was

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