Council paving way for broader project

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KINGMAN – When the City Council denied the nearly $1.2 million modification to the contract with AECOM for the design of the Kingman Crossing Project at Tuesday’s meeting by a unanimous 7-0 vote, the council spoke to the pressing need for the Rancho Santa Fe Parkway project to be included in the discussion.

Kingman resident Doug Dickmeyer was specific when he addressed the council and asked them to vote down the modification. He said council doesn’t know what it wants to do at this time regarding who will design the project or projects, who will build them, or how they were going to be funded. From there, the logical conclusion could be made to not spend $1.2 million if the next step wasn’t known.

Getting to that next step is now the goal of the council. Arizona Department of Transportation District Engineer Alvin Stump attended Tuesday’s meeting. He said ADOT wants the project to use the Construction Manager At Risk delivery method with ADOT as the manager. ADOT has to have a seat at the table as it has the right-of-way and will maintain the interchanges upon completion.

Stump said the CMAR method offers a better chance of coming in under budget, and the real value of the method is the customer service aspect with the designers and contractors being known to each other early in the process to allow for innovations during the build.

Discussion among the council centered on utilizing CMAR, and the 7-0 council vote may indicate this is the direction the council wants to go.

“We can have one project with two phases out of the ground as close to concurrently as possible,” said Councilman Travis Lingenfelter. “The City of Kingman can be in a position to do one project and get both phases out of the ground.”

Vice Mayor Jen Miles said she agreed with Lingenfelter.

“This has been a moving target,” Miles said. “It’s clear to me that ADOT wants one contract for the two interchanges.”

Council has formed two subcommittees to work on the current ideas, a Kingman Crossing subcommittee and a Rancho Santa Fe Parkway subcommittee. These two groups are expected to have their findings ready by the end of the month in time for the Sept. 5 council meeting.

In the meantime, council will have an opportunity to answer one of Dickmeyer’s questions: How are the two traffic interchanges going to be funded?

Lingenfelter believes he has the solution to fund each interchange project. The council will be voting at its next meeting to increase the Transaction Privilege Tax, and the council has a number of options at its disposal.

They can vote to let a temporary increase to 2.5 percent expire, make the 2.5 percent permanent, or increase it a quarter-percent up to 1 percent. Lingenfelter proposes increasing the city’s sales tax to 3.5 percent.

By doing that, 0.5 percent would go to the maintaining of roads by raising nearly $3 million a year. The other 0.5 percent would be used to service the financing necessary for the traffic interchange projects over a 25-year period. The city will need about $50 million to complete the projects, according to Lingenfelter.

Another option the council can consider is the offer by Kingman Regional Medical Center to fund the Kingman Crossing interchange after buying the city’s property on the south side of Interstate 40 and getting a share of future sales tax dollars.