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Quiet zone still on Kingman's wish list

City Councilman Mark Wimpee

Lots of topics touched on during town hall

The so-called quiet zone, roads and sewer and cleaning up the downtown corridor were just a few topics discussed Thursday night at a town hall-style meeting hosted by City Councilman Mark Wimpee.

The quiet zone, which would buffer the noise created by trains passing through the downtown area, is a "big topic," said Wimpee. "It's on our so-called wish list."

Wimpee said the Council entertained different options on how to best address the issue, but the least expensive one would cost taxpayers more than $350,000.

The high costs associated with the project, he said, are due to the need to follow railroad specifications, change crossings and install concrete dividers.

The city would bear all costs unless local businesses chipped in to help fund the project, he said, something some have said they would be willing to do.

In other news:

• Additional taxes will not be part of the budgeting process in February. At least, the subject has not been discussed so far, said Wimpee.

According to Councilman Richard Anderson, next month's budget meetings will focus on capital programs and setting funding priorities for road maintenance and sewer expansion.

"We have to learn how to better plan for the future on road maintenance and completing sewer lines," said Anderson, who considers enhancing the city's infrastructure a key component to Kingman's long-term viability.

"With two new sewer plants and no new customers, our costs are high and they'll stay that way if we don't get new (users)."

Anderson said there are grants available that could help fund expansion as well as assist homeowners who can't afford to hook into the system.

The budget process begins with the first meeting in February.

• The Council might expand a program that uses prisoners to remove litter and weeds from city streets. Wimpee said the city's cost would be limited to paying a portion of the wages earned by the officer in charge of inmates and about 50 cents an hour to pay for inmate labor.

• In another clean-up issue, the city might compel absentee owners of dilapidated downtown buildings to repair the structures. If not, the city could clean up the sites and charge the owner. Buildings deemed unsafe or beyond repair could be demolished with the owner liable for costs.

• Wimpee's next town hall gathering is scheduled for April 25.


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