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9/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
Rain damages Golden Valley roads, leaving some residents on their own
BUTCH MERIWETHER/Courtesy
A Golden Valley resident hooks a chain to a hook up to a Dodge pickup that got stuck when the driver attempted to drive through a flooded area of Estrella Road. It is estimated that more than 30 vehicles got stuck attempting to cross various flooded roads during a recent storm that hit Golden Valley.
BUTCH MERIWETHER/Courtesy
A Golden Valley resident hooks a chain to a hook up to a Dodge pickup that got stuck when the driver attempted to drive through a flooded area of Estrella Road. It is estimated that more than 30 vehicles got stuck attempting to cross various flooded roads during a recent storm that hit Golden Valley.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - Golden Valley resident Darlene Moore's house stayed high and dry during Friday's monsoon storms, but the road to her house is another matter.

Storm runoff flooded washes to the north and south of her home on Carrizo Road, carving deep grooves and holes that would make it difficult for even a four-wheel-drive vehicle to make it through, Moore said.

"People can't get out to get their mail. If someone comes through here at night, they're going to be in trouble," she said. "I've never seen the roads this bad in all the years I've been here."

Moore moved to Golden Valley in 2007. She said she currently has to cut across a field get to the next road over so that she can get to the store or the doctor's. She also takes care of her husband and her mother.

"The county doesn't maintain these roads and they won't let us hire someone to take care of them either," she said. "What happens if someone has to call 911? How are emergency vehicles supposed to get through that?"

Golden Valley Assistant Fire Chief Ted Martin said damage to the roads did cause some delays in responding to emergencies.

"We had to take some detours but that didn't stop us from responding," he said.

The fire district also pulled out four people out of washes on Friday after they got stuck because of the rushing water, Martin said.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue High Water Team and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter were also in the area on the lookout for stranded motorists.

Mohave County Public Works Director Steve Latoski said the county does maintain two sections of Carrizo Road between Simon Drive and Zuni Drive and from Aqua Fria Drive north.

Moore pointed out that both of those sections are north of Highway 68. Her section of Carrizo Road is in the south end of the valley near Shinarump Drive.

Latsoki said property owners can petition the county to bring their road into the county's tertiary road maintenance program, but first the road must be brought up to county standards. Those standards include a dedicated public road right of way that is at least 30 feet wide with a 24-foot travel lane and two-foot wide shoulders on either side.

Moore said she and her neighbors did petition the county about three years ago to have the road accepted into the program, but were told that the road surface needed to be sloped so that water would run down the shoulders instead of in the middle of the road.

Another option, Latoski said, is to hire someone to grade the road.

A county ordinance allows property owners to hire someone to grade their road or grade it themselves if they wish, he said.

"There's a lot of people in Golden Valley who hire someone to grade their road," Latoski said.

Moore said she asked about hiring someone to grade the road three years ago and was told that she couldn't hire someone and if she did she would be fined. However, since they are the property owners, they can grade it themselves.

"When I asked how they expected me to do that, their comment to me was, 'We don't make people live out there," Moore said. "My comment to them should have been, 'Well, you have no problem taking my taxes.'"

Her husband currently tries to keep the road clear with a small tractor they own.

"But he can't fix this," she said. "Don't my taxes pay for this?"

County property taxes do not go toward road maintenance, Latoski said. The county uses Highway User Revenue Funds from the state to fix more than 2,000 miles of county roads.

Moore pointed out that Highway User Revenue Funds are collected from the state gas, diesel and license taxes, which she pays in order to license and drive her vehicle on county roads.



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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: Yep,,, MR.C.

There are always ways around stupidity, this is especially true when dealing with county or state regulators. Of which Mohave County seems to have plenty of.

Then, noting in this world is perfect that is one reason they say let the buyer beware "Always".


Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: Highway Use Taxes

@ Stokes. The point is yes it is these are the choices of those in GV but the DPW redirects (with the help of BOS) the money to other pet projects and not road maintenance.

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: Old Public Works Building

The old Public Works building sits empty while the Public Works new $ 6,000,000 building (partially paid for with Highway Funds) is enjoyed by those who are supposed to serve the public. $ 6,000,000 would pave many miles of dirt roads. For DPW, out of sight out of mind. Anson must have one of those new offices.

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: New Social Program

@ Uncle Anson. Yes many of the residents of Golden Valley know of the issues of living there. But when the Dept. of Public Works requests and gets granted by the BOS
$ 6,000,000.00 for a new building funded in most part from the Highway Fund there is a problem with the way the BOS and the Dept. of Public Works spends money. Are you a friend of BOS


Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: D Moore

Well if I had purchased my property knowing I crossed a wash, I would have thought twice about the purchase. The seller made sure to cover up all evidence of this just to make a sale. Being in a water haul area has no bearing on anything anyway! I have noticed a lot of people commenting on all topics must live in a perfect world as all I read is cynical comments from some who have to create arguements.

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

@Highway Use Taxes

And you arrived at your supposition how exactly? Because they drive further and use more gas? Their choice, correct? Because they drive big 4WD vehicles? Their choice, correct?

If they drive more and further on county and state roads than "city folk" then shouldn't they pay more for the maintenance of those roads?

So...any other "facts"?


Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: Highway Use Taxes

The average driver in Golden Valley pays more in Highway User Revenue Fund taxes than the average person in the three major towns in Mohave County to work and shop in those towns than the people that live in those towns.

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: Highway User Revenue Funds

Doesn't everyone know that Highway User Revenue Funds are for Mohave County Public Works Director Steve Latoski's new office. He doesn't work in Golden Valley and therefore it is not his problem.

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: Fed up

A question for Mr. Latoski (or anyone who has correct information)... If a road is a "county road", but is not maintained, do the landowners on that road have permission to maintain those roads? If an accident takes place on a "county, un-maintained road", who is liable? And is anyone? There seems to be a lot of "they said", "he said" information floating around out there.

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

Let's see...I knowingly moved into a desert environment. I knowingly crossed a running wash. I knowingly purchased property on an unimproved road. I knowingly purchased property with no water or no water service. I knew that there were Monsoons and I could see the evidence of them in washes and eroded areas. I could tell that my property was built lower that the road. Is compensation for stupidity or buyer's remorse a new social program that is coming into vogue or is simply the consequences I pay for my own bad decisions? Time will tell. Have a nice day.



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