Transportation, water on Tri-City agenda

KINGMAN - The Tri-City Council returns to Kingman for its first meeting of 2010, which takes place at 10 a.m. today at Hualapai Mountain Medical Center, 3801 Santa Rosa Ave.

Today's meeting will feature a number of special guests, including Gov. Jan Brewer's policy advisor, Page Gonzales; the director of the Governor's Northern Arizona office, JoAnne Keene; District 6 Transportation Board Representative Bill Feldmeier, and Mohave County's legislative representatives.

The meeting will feature several updates and presentations by staff and associates from Bullhead City, Lake Havasu City and Kingman.

The executive director of Lake Havasu's Hospitality Association, Greg Tryon, will give a presentation highlighting some of the successes Lake Havasu has had in drawing tourist dollars despite recessionary pressures on consumer spending. He will also propose a plan for the three cities to work together to make the most of each city's individual tourism potential.

Jennifer Love of the Parsons Brinckerhoff consulting firm will provide the council with an update on the development of a tri-city regional connector study. For much of the past year, Love's firm has been working on a plan to connect the three cities with bus routes, including identifying popular stopoff points, as well as anticipated ridership and reasonable fares.

Kevin Adam, the rural transportation liaison for the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, will provide the council with an update on any transportation measures going through the Arizona Legislature that are likely to affect the area. Whatever the news, it's not likely to be good - raids on state-shared revenues have already reduced cities' road pavement funds substantially over the last two years, and with a $1.5 billion state budget deficit yet to be filled, the potential for further cuts looms large.

Likewise, the Arizona Department of Transportation's Kingman District engineer, Mike Kondelis, will provide reports on ongoing and recently completed highway projects within the county. Kondelis will also give further details on various upcoming U.S. 93/I-40 projects currently in the design phase.

As always, water will play an important role in the meeting as well, with Lake Havasu Mayor Mark Nexsen expected to give an update on recent efforts undertaken by the Colorado River Regional Sewer Coalition to protect and enhance the quality of Mohave County's stretch of the waterway.