Dear Mr. Nugent: I want you to know that I believe you have provided some excellent projects in Kingman and I have a great deal of respect for your business acumen. That said, I have to wonder if you actually read my article in the March 23 Miner? You added statements, you deleted statements - I am very confused. I mean, if you had actually responded to what I wrote, it would have been fine - but let's analyze the differences.
I never said anything about negotiations being made to sell any land to the city of Kingman - the city keeps telling us it doesn't have any money! I believe what I said was that the city was given a presentation by you to sell its 168 acres so the city would be able to afford to build the infrastructure that we all agree are desperately needed around the city.
You said I made a "false statement" with regard to the Rattlesnake Wash interchange being a done deal - that was not a false statement. Actually, the voters in the city of Kingman decided in 2004 on General Plan 2020 to build the Rattlesnake Wash interchange. The voters have not voted on the Kingman Crossing interchange - that has been done by "amendments to the General Plan," done by the City Council - again, not approved by the voters.
I do agree with you that the landowners surrounding Rattlesnake Wash have not agreed to participate in the cost of construction, however, that is not a criteria to build the interchange. The state of Arizona will pay 70 percent and the city will be responsible for 30 percent of the cost. I believe that these big (local) landowners will find it in their best interest to help fund the interchange because they will certainly benefit from it being built. I also believe that city officials, and it appears the Airport Authority, seem to have been spending more time on the proposed Kingman Crossing interchange (and missing critical report dates) than they have on the one that the voters actually approved!
With regard to the homes that were built on Diamond, there were many "paper subdivisions" created all over Mohave County in the early and mid 1900s. Many of these lots were sold by "snake oil salesmen" to unsophisticated buyers throughout the U.S. and overseas. I stand by my statement about the shameless situation with Diamond Street. The city always has the opportunity to refuse building permits, and for the good of the majority of citizens of Kingman, should have taken this street by eminent domain to create a dedicated on-ramp/off-ramp to and from Airway.
Unfortunately, Kingman has never seemed to be real concerned about the "little people" - that is why RAID was organized.
You speak about access connecting the Airway underpass with the rest of the city. Do you think it relieves traffic anywhere? You will have semi-trucks driving from Santa Rosa Avenue (the connector off I-40 at the proposed Kingman Crossing) to Airway 24/7, and to the airport and to Stockton Hill Road and to Route 66, thus disrupting the lives of the residents east of 66. I mean, if the city had just done a better job of planning traffic control on Stockton Hill Road, perhaps they should have dedicated a right turn lane on Stockton going north at the Airway intersection where the Smith's gas station was built. There are many other examples of how traffic on Stockton can be controlled if the city would make some obvious changes. But, I digress.
Hopefully, you were the only reader of my column who thought I meant all 168 acres of the city's property was a borrow pit. I drove all over that area and there are a lot of big valleys created when the borrow pit was in operation, but, I apologize if readers interpreted my statement like you did. I said there were flaws in the city's property. But, come on, get real, you know darn well that I didn't mean that. I also did not say that I was given the information by the developers (landowners) who own land at Rattlesnake Wash; my information was given to me by an anonymous source whom I assumed was a developer. Please don't add words to my statements to make them fit your article.
With regard to your "true fact" that you weren't the only owner of the 200 acres on the north side of I-40. I want to apologize to the Grounds, the Shorts, the Uptons and the Bowers. Every statement I have read or heard from Gary Jeppson, development services director, and Mayor Byram always stated that "Nugent sold his property for $12 million." I never realized that there were other investors involved. If no other owners were mentioned, I guess that makes you the biggest fish in the pond.
You speak of the landowners who paid 65 percent of the $6 million Airway underpass project. I really don't see how all residents whose homes surround Airway "accepted the increase in value to their properties due to the superior access provided by the underpass."
Actually, in the past two years, every homeowner in Kingman has seen drastic reductions in their property values - thanks in part to the fact that there are 1,500 houses for sale!
Why? Because contractors got greedy and raised the prices of the land, then built houses on every little lot they owned all over the city, and the fact that the City Council keeps approving subdivision after subdivision with absolutely no thought that they may be hurting the property values of the current residents of the city!
And lastly, perhaps the planning for the Airway underpass was discussed under Byram's previous term of leadership, however, he has never veered from his determination to not close the Louise crossing! He assured all citizens that negotiations with the railroad for an Airway underpass would never include the closing of Louise, and during his term of office it didn't happen. Monica Gates and her Council majority made that happen. I know you know that - but evidently you think you can gloss over this fact and nobody will disagree.
Oh, and one more thing, Mr. Nugent, I have heard from many people that you don't actually live in Kingman - that New Mexico is your home state - and you just do business in Kingman. Is that true? I ask because the Elections Office for Mohave County shows you are not a registered voter in the city of Kingman.
Perhaps you should let the voters who own homes and businesses in Kingman help determine the direction of the city.
I reiterate - it is all about the money - not enriching the lives for the people who will be forced to pay higher taxes on their little part of the American dream. What I see at Kingman Crossing will not enrich the lives of all the homeowners who will have to take Airway to 66.
If anyone has any questions or would like to take a "road trip" over to both Kingman Crossing and Rattlesnake Wash, please respond to me at email@example.com.
We need interested people who are looking for a way to become more aggressive in saving our nice little town from the developers at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Southern California, and, possibly, New Mexico.
Even the local developers and contractors who are residents of Kingman are being pushed out of the picture! These people came here for a better life, raised their children and have contributed to the nice friendly town that made us want to move here. That doesn't seem fair - they are the ones who created the town that we "newcomers" have come to love.