Kingman can't find a way to cut costs for Moose Lodge

A fire that started near an electrical outlet spread into the attic of Kingman Moose Lodge 1704 shortly after 10 p.m. Monday. Nobody was injured in the fire, the cause of which does not appear suspicious. (Courtesy)

A fire that started near an electrical outlet spread into the attic of Kingman Moose Lodge 1704 shortly after 10 p.m. Monday. Nobody was injured in the fire, the cause of which does not appear suspicious. (Courtesy)

KINGMAN - Nobody from Kingman's Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge No. 1704 was in attendance at the March 1 City Council meeting. Had they been, they would have seen their local government bend over backward to keep the lodge from paying it $6,000.

The lodge in eastern Kingman was damaged in a fire last year and has recently undergone extensive renovations. The request, made on behalf of the lodge by KC Orr Builders, included the abandonment of a portion of Monroe Street between Marlene and Karen avenues. The abandonment, or vacation as it is also known, includes two sections, one slightly more than 2,100 square feet and another just over 8,000 square feet.

The lodge needed the extra space to construct a parking lot, landscaping, a retention area, and street improvements associated with the renovation following the fire. City staff recommended approval with the provision the lodge pay the $6,000, which it apparently sought a waiver for.

Councilman Mark Abram and other members of the Council questioned the veracity of the appraisal that was used to put a $6,000 price tag on the property it was being asked to abandon, noting the sections were unbuildable.

And while the Council struggled to find a way to grant the waiver, there were too many concerns, such as setting a bad precedent in essentially giving away land, even land the recipient will significantly improve. That was the concern of Councilwoman Jen Miles.

Abram was concerned about the city violating state laws regarding gifting. Such debts cannot be made in payments because local governments are prohibited from offering credit.

"We need to be reasonable," said Councilman Larry Carver. "My question is, is it pretty much useless property?"

There was even an option B, which waived the $6,000 in lieu of sidewalks, which would likely cost the lodge far more than the cost of the abandonment.

Abram made a motion that failed 1-6 that called for approving the land for sidewalks option.

Councilman Stuart Yocum suggested postponing any action until Moose Lodge representatives can be in attendance.

"There's no one here for them to indicate what they may be willing to do," he said.

The Council voted 7-0 to table the item.

In other Council news:

• Recently promoted members of the Dispatch Center participated in a pinning ceremony. Calling them "the voice behind the radio," Kingman Fire Chief said the dispatchers are on track to field 50,000 911 calls this year for the Kingman police and fire departments, and the Northern Arizona Consolidated and Golden Valley fire districts, and the Pinion Pine and Pine Lake fire departments in the Hualapai Mountains.

"It's a thankless job they do a lot of the time," said Rhoades. "The service delivery they do under these conditions is fantastic."

Pinned were Deann MacLeod, promoted to communications administrator in October, and crew leaders Amy Kennedy, Marjorie Stone and Jennifer Terry, who were promoted in November; and Stacy Nelson, who became a crew leader in 2012.

• Agreed by consent to purchase materials for a steel frame that would support the rebuilt Miner's Monument at the west end of the Kingman Train Depot.

The Council's Historic Preservation Commission is working with community groups on plans to rebuild the monument, using minerals taken from area mines. The majority of materials and labor have been donated to the project.

• Also by consent, the Council approved identical applications from two downtown businesses, Redneck's Southern Pit BBQ and House of Hops, both which requested an extension of premises-patio permit for their respective liquor licenses.