KINGMAN – Everyone needs to play nice. At least that’s what the Rancho Santa Fe Parkway subcommittee looking into the development of a Rattlesnake Wash interchange thinks about the possibility of the city adding two interchanges on Interstate 40.
Steve Latoski, director of Mohave County Public Works; Bob Riley, Rancho Santa Fe subcommittee member and director of economic development for Kingman Airport Authority; and former Mohave County Finance Director John Timko all presented their case at Tuesday’s City Council meeting for the Rattlesnake Wash interchange after Kingman Regional Medical Center CEO Brian Turney presented the hospital’s position in regards to Kingman Crossing, as reported in Thursday’s Daily Miner.
Timko liked Turney’s proposal, but stressed that the two are not mutually exclusive and both projects can be done. Turney was worried about waiting too long before going ahead with the Kingman Crossing project, to which Timko agreed.
“I think if we came together in a joint workshop and talked about those concerns, I don’t think timing would be a problem,” he said. “There’s plenty of work to get done to get both of these projects moving.”
Latoski pointed out that current truck routing to the airport and KRMC’s Hualapai Campus being a safety hub for highway users and city residents could be “difference makers” in the Rattlesnake Wash development.
Two interchanges would reduce Kingman Airport truck traffic exposure to intersections on Andy Devine Avenue, which Latoski said is already reaching constrained levels. New interchanges could take hundreds of thousands of vehicles off that thoroughfare.
“These interchange projects and combining them into a singular project really speaks to enhancing mobility,” Latoski said.
Riley researched the development and economic impact of the proposed two-interchange construction as if they were constructed simultaneously. The city has 6,300 acres of impact area to work with. He determined an economic impact over the next 30 years that projects 19,500 new residents, 62,000 new jobs and a $1.1 billion economic output which would collect taxes and fees of more than $210 million for the state of Arizona, $50 million for Mohave County, $103 million for the school district and $94 million for the City of Kingman.
“We predict the largest economic impact would occur two years after the interchanges were built,” Riley said.
Timko said Kingman Crossing will bring in retail development, but Rancho Santa Fe Parkway will bring in much needed jobs development. KRMC would meet their funding curve when the construction jobs that provide commercial insurance arrive.
“I think if we see the two as mutually supportive instead of mutually exclusive, we can sit down and work out a way to get both done,” Timko said.
He didn’t have a problem with Kingman Crossing starting first since Rattlesnake Wash would have to wait for ADOT’s funding plan.
“As long as we work out the timing differences, I don’t see the two as competing, but as supporting each other,” Timko said.
He’s kept up on the groveling over the increased sales tax for local infrastructure improvements. He was astonished that the same people who think a half-cent sales tax for roads is good, but the same tax for 62,000 new jobs over the next 30 years is bad and reminded those in attendance that sales tax (aside from fees and fines) is all the city has to pay for improvements.
“The weight of the government is sales tax, and you might as well recognize that,” Timko said.
Finance Director Tina Moline briefly broke down who pays which taxes and where those taxes go. Councilman Travis Lingenfelter agreed that sales tax is necessary.
“We need that money,” he said. “We have to take care of our infrastructure. That’s how we pay for things.”
Timko said neither project has the needed analysis to go forward, but it’s time to stop seeing the interchanges compete against each other and work out the phasing issues.
“Start seeing them for what they are – the right thing for the community,” he said.
Timko liked KRMC’s plan, but said ADOT won’t build an interchange without connector roads. The half-cent sales tax will help the city build connector roads and infrastructure necessary for KRMC’s plan.
“We need to put aside past differences and look at what’s better for the community and see that these projects support each other, not compete with each other,” Timko said.
Council made direction to move forward with more workshops.