Plenty of interchanges work for Council Tuesday

City of Kingman office complex

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City of Kingman office complex

KINGMAN – City Council is poised to work on the continuing controversial interchange projects during its regular meeting 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Mohave County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.

Council approved a raise of the Transaction Privilege Tax, or sales tax, at its last meeting that is scheduled to add more than $3 million dollars toward pavement preservation and another estimated $3 million to begin funding a two-phase interchange project on Interstate 40 – Kingman Crossing and Rancho Santa Fe Parkway.

Two subcommittees were formed at a previous meeting, and those two groups are scheduled to report to council their findings as to how to proceed.

The Kingman Crossing Subcommittee is expected to bring recommendations that need to be met in order to move forward with a Request for Proposal to advertise the sale of land on the south side of I-40, which voters approved to sell in the November elections. Some of these recommendations include incentives the city would be willing to consider in the development of Kingman Crossing, receiving a presentation from Kingman Regional Medical Center to better understand its development plan and partnership ideas, and meet with Arizona Department of Transportation to understand its positions on the development of the interchange.

Council is expected to hear KRMC’s presentation at Tuesday’s meeting. KRMC wants to make a proposal for the land that city has been approved to sell. It’s noted on the agenda there won’t be a decision made by council, but council could be giving staff direction on how to proceed.

The Rancho Santa Fe Parkway Subcommittee is expected to present an “Economic Impact Report of the Kingman East Interchanges” projects, and an “I-11 East Kingman Interchange Report.” I-11 is a new interstate under construction from Arizona to Canada. The presentations will include economic, direct and indirect impacts to Kingman.

The sales tax increase has much of Kingman’s business community up in arms. They’re concerned that increasing the city’s rate to 3.5 percent from 2.5 percent, for a grand total of 9.35 percent, will cause shoppers to leave Kingman and look for cheaper tax rates in other areas, especially “big-ticket” items such as houses and automobiles.

Cody and Martin Swanty, Kingman car dealership owners, along with Doug Angle of Angle Homes, are collecting signatures to place a referendum on a ballot regarding the tax increase. The source of contention is whether council had the authority for such a large increase without the voters having a say.

The city has stated that “TPT changes are not subject to referendum,” wrote City Clerk Sidney Muhle on behalf of City Attorney Carl Cooper in an email last week. The city cites the Arizona Supreme Court decision in Wade vs. Greenlee County, 173 Ariz. 462.

Council has several other items on the agenda, including accepting $10,000 from Kingman Tennis Club toward a $21,000 quote to recondition and resurface the courts at Centennial Park, discussion on the Arts in Public Places committee for clarification on what it is doing, and a performance appraisal for City Manager John Dougherty.