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7:34 AM Wed, Dec. 12th

Council orders recount in race between Baker, Johnston

The race for a Kingman City Council seat will require a recount, the first in the memory of City Clerk Charlene Ware.

Homer Johnston received 829 votes and Jim baker 831 for the third open council seat.

Margins of l0 or fewer votes require an automatic recount in county and state elections.

The law is vague about city elections, and other cities have sometimes asked for a recount and sometimes accepted the close election results.

The contested council seat will go to the Mohave County Superior Court by city request.

Ware has been working with Mohave County staff and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns to determine the proper procedures.

"This all a new experience for all of us," she said.

City Attorney Charlotte Wells said the courts handle such election decisions as quickly as possible.

She said a decision would be made before the winner takes the oath of office in June.

"I advised the council that a recount would be prudent and advisable," Wells said.

The remainder of the election canvass was routine.

The election of mayor Les Byram to a fourth two-year term and the election of Phil Moon and Ray Lyons to the other two open council seats were made official by council resolution.

A $3.7 million bid for East Golden Gate area improvements near Louise and Eastern avenues and a $508,992 bid for drilling a new city well were accepted.

Desert Construction of Kingman submitted the winning bid for the East Golden Gate Improvement District for sewer, water, sidewalk and street improvement.

Bond sales will finance the project.

Construction will begin in the summer and will take 10 months to complete, according to City Engineer Pete Johnson.

The area is east of the railroad including Louise Avenue along Eastern Avenue to Southern Avenue.

Residents requested improvements and attended a series of hearings before the project went to bid.

Final costs to property owners will be determined upon completion of the work.

Each property owner has been given an estimated cost.

The city will contribute $515,710, according to city estimates.

The $508,992 cost of the additional city well and associated costs will be funded from the Colorado River Water Fund.

That money comes from the sale of Kingman Colorado River water rights to other cities and water districts in Mohave County.

City Manager Roger Swenson distributed a report listing possible capital items for the next five years.

The council will meet Friday to review the staff proposals.

Swenson told the council about a proposal for the city to participate in funding street improvements at the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park.

Kingman 2005 Economic Developer Tom Carter reviewed the need for roadwork and proposed a joint effort with the city, county and the Airport Authority contributing $250,000 each.

The city owns the airport and industrial park except parcels that have been sold for plants.

Carter said the 70 plants employ 2,000 people at the industrial park with an annual payroll of $43 million.

"What are we going to do about the roads" is the question most asked Carter, he said.

The council could discuss the proposal during the Friday capital item budget session.

Bill Shilling, Kingman grants administrator, gave the council a review of Community Development Block Grant applications and said he would bring funding recommendations to the April 1 meeting.

Applications to the state are due May 24.

The council approved putting the city liability insurance program out for proposals.

AJS, a Kingman agency, currently supplies the policy that expires June 30.

Retired Human Resources and Risk Management Director Royce Williams agreed to work with the city on the liability insurance issues.