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9:33 AM Fri, Oct. 19th

City begins work on future agenda

Council reviews 80+ possible projects

KINGMAN - For the first time since 1994, the city of Kingman is looking to take advantage of its bond capacity, which this year allows for long-term investments of up to $40 million.

City staff and Council members met Thursday morning for the start of this year's budget session to be briefed on and discuss a 111-page report reviewing more than 80 possible projects in which the city could invest in between 2008 and 2012.

Each department reviewed the long-term capital improvement plan possibilities, answered questions and updated Council and fellow staff members where the city needs new facilities and streets. When departments will need maintenance, replacement or additions in future years was also reviewed.

This year's capital improvement packet contained a total of $283.6 million worth of potential improvements in eight categories - streets, buildings, sewer, water, flood control, parks & recreation, sanitation and public safety.

Last year, when the city proposed its CIP report draft which totaled $238 million in proposed projects, it quickly got to work on items such as the Airway underpass, the Bank Street project, which is nearly complete, the Pawnee Park project and park lighting.

It's impossible to fund everything, but with an extended cap on its bonding capacity, up from $10 million last year to $40 million this year, room for growth is expected to be filled. But other avenues of funding are also available, such as investment fees, which are new this year, loans, bonds that do not require voter approval, and user fees for service-based projects.

Because of the number of complaints the city receives mainly target streets and traffic, the streets section was the thickest and took up a quarter of the 80-plus projects presented Thursday.

Council will decide which projects to prioritize and fund after it receives reports from each department outlining which ones are most needed.

These reports are expected around the first week of February.

Proposed projects

As recommended in the 2005 Kingman Area Transportation Study, the city engineering department has requested Stockton Hill Road be widened to six lanes from Detroit to Northern avenues starting next year. This is a $6 million project the first year and $16.7 million through 2012.

As a quick fix to the Diamond Street traffic debacle that has developed since the Airway underpass opened in September, the street department has proposed making Yavapai and Diamond streets each one-way. The construction costs are estimated at $70,000.

Several projects have been proposed to take traffic off of Stockton Hill Road, including a follow-through with the scope of Kingman Crossing and the North Glen Road construction.

From the police and fire departments, a 911 communication center expected to cost $7.35 million over the next two years was requested.

Kingman's police and fire chiefs spoke about the necessity for this facility, citing Wednesday night's tire fire at the Kingman Auto Recycling Center on the 3800 block of East Andy Devine as an example of the possible perils the current facility could face. Kingman Police Chief Robert DeVries said had the smoke been hazardous, it would have crippled the current communication facility. A new facility would be built "out of harm's way," DeVries said. He suggested the Hualapai Mountain foothills.

Several new or renovated fire stations were proposed, as were the usual upgrades and scheduled maintenance projects for sewer, water and public safety departments.

Parks & Recreation Director Darel Fruhwirth outlined several sites to possibly acquire for parks starting at $250,000 in 2008 up to $700,000 by 2012.

On the larger end of the proposed expenditures is the Hilltop Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion project, totaling $30 million in 2008. As pointed out by City Manager Paul Beecher Thursday, the plant is needed to keep up with a growing city, but equally important is the fact that the current plant is not in compliance with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Growth standards.

Staff and Council expect to meet again in February to discuss the city's priorities. Public participation is encouraged. As the meeting time approaches, the time and exact date will be reported.