Sales tax debate includes both I-40 projects

Financing, scope of projects are battlegrounds for Kingman’s future

Monica Gates and Travis Lingenfelter

Monica Gates and Travis Lingenfelter

KINGMAN – How the Kingman City Council votes on the different options it has available on handling the city’s sales tax rate is tied to what approach is taken regarding the Kingman Crossing and Rancho Santa Fe Parkway projects.

A public hearing is on the council’s agenda regarding the transaction privilege tax, or sales tax. The current rate through Dec. 31 is at 2.5 percent. Ordinance 1799 of a 0.5 percent increase sunsets at the end of the year, but road maintenance has been identified as problem. City staff recommends that a new ordinance be drafted to remove the sunset date and keep 0.5 percent with the funds dedicated to pavement preservation.

There are other options on table, including increasing the rate to 3.5 percent.

Councilman Travis Lingenfelter is on board with this proposal. He wants that 0.5 percent for pavement preservation, and he wants to see the city use the additional 1 percent to finance the two Interstate 40 projects at Kingman Crossing and Rancho Santa Fe Parkway.

“The approach with one project, two concurrent phases, where the city maintains control is far less risky,” Lingenfelter said. “The citizens will get a comprehensive scope and realize cost and time efficiencies with design, construction, financing, and administration.”

Kingman Regional Medical Center has offered to partner with the city on the Kingman Crossing project. KRMC is willing to fund the interchange in exchange for the land Kingman voters approved in November to be sold, a possible eight-year excise tax holiday, and a sharing agreement of city sales tax dollars.

Mayor Monica Gates is fervently behind this approach, saying the taxpayers shouldn’t have to shoulder the risks of development.

“The voters said to sell the property,” the mayor said. “The City of Kingman should not be in the retail, development, or building interchanges businesses. I’m just concerned about putting the construction costs of two interchanges on the backs of taxpayers.”

Lingenfelter has requested Resolution 5096 be reconsidered in another agenda item. This resolution authorized “the city manager (John Dougherty) and city attorney (Carl Cooper) to develop alternatives and strategies for the city’s Kingman Crossing Real Property.”

This resolution gave authority to the KRMC offer, working on the possible sale of the property, getting assistance on the project up to $25,000, and forming the Kingman Crossing Subcommittee spearheaded by Mayor Gates that includes Dougherty, Cooper, Councilwoman Vickie Kress, and Councilman David Wayt.

Also on the meeting agenda, council will consider taking action on the Space Needs Analysis it received from Corgan Architects. Council can choose to remodel the existing city complex, acquire the Palo Christi campus, build a new complex, or not make a decision and leave city operations as is.

Council will also hear from staff regarding the city’s water policy as it pertains to the Hilltop Treatment Plant. The plant’s upgrade has given it a larger capacity, but there will come a time when it reaches nearly 80 percent of capacity and will need to be expanded. City staff is recommending to start the planning and designing for research.

Council is also scheduled to go into executive session to review and discuss Dougherty’s annual performance appraisal.

Kingman City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mohave County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.