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6:43 AM Tue, Nov. 20th

County supervisors move budget on to final adoption

KINGMAN ­ The Mohave County Board of Supervisors gave their tentative approval to the balanced 2005-06 budget Monday, setting the stage for final approval when the supervisors meet again on Aug. 15.

The budget was pre-approved by the board by a 2-1 vote.

District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson cast the dissenting vote. He said that the supervisors have been trying to get a handle on the employee compensation, and noted county employees had received a 5.5 percent raise.

After that raise, money was budgeted to do a study on employee pay scale, and it was agreed that there was not supposed to be another pay raise until the study was completed, Johnson said. Another 3 percent raise was allocated in this proposed budget.

Johnson said he was hoping to get an answer to employee complaints of not getting adequate compensation for their work. Johnson said that he wants to be able to look at basing pay raises on a merit system, rewarding those who do their jobs consistently well.

Johnson also said that he felt that the budget was complete without an additional attorney and staff member. As such, he said that he no longer felt that the budget was one that he was comfortable in approving.

The board also voted Monday to approve a $100,000 contribution toward the required local match of $167,000 for the $1 million grant by ADOT Aeronautics for the rebuilding of Mohave Airport Drive at the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park. The money is to come from the county's Highway User Revenue Funds.

The board voted 2-1 once again, with Buster Johnson voting no.

The idea behind putting up the money, as Mohave County Public Works Director Michael Hendrix said, was that the county would be spending $100,000 to get $1 million in grant money. The county comes out ahead, he said, with the county soon taking over maintenance of those roads.

Johnson was against this item because the county does not have the current responsibility for this land, he said. He said that Kingman Airport and surrounding land was given to the city. After that, they sold land that had been given to them without using that money to maintain the land they still owned. It was their responsibility to keep up maintenance, Johnson said. Now the county wants to bail them out.

"The county is going to take over the maintenance of the land, however, the roads have to meet certain criteria to be taken into the county's maintenance system. The county doesn't pay to fix up roads. I don't believe this puts everyone on a level field," Johnson said.

The Planning and Zoning Committee's fee changes also came up for approval, gaining a unanimous vote for amending Section 8, Fees, of the "Mohave County Land Division Regulations" and creating a automation fee within section 8 and within section 6 of Mohave County Ordinance No. 98-05. These fees were proposed as an effort to assist the booming growth of Mohave County to pay for itself instead of making current residents pay for it.

Starting off the Board of Supervisors meeting was the presentation of awards from the Coalition for Youth Program (COYOTE). COYOTE handed out awards to outstanding contributors to the 2005 COYOTE Youth Summer Program to Mohave Community Federal Credit Union, Mohave County Library District, Rhodes Homes Arizona and Mohave County Parks.

COYOTE also presented awards to youth who received certificates for outstanding performance during the COYOTE Youth Summer Program. Awards were presented to Ana Acosta, Berenice Carranza, Angela Castro, Andrea Crone, Michelle Gardner, Benjamin Pyle, Brenda Santos and Hector Valenzuela.

The next meeting of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors will be at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 15 at 809 E. Beale St.