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9:51 AM Mon, Dec. 17th

Supervisors extend 15-acre farmland lease with Wakimoto Farms

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a lease extension with Wakimoto Farms for 15 acres of farm land in the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District for $60 an acre at Monday’s regular board meeting. (Daily Miner file photo)

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a lease extension with Wakimoto Farms for 15 acres of farm land in the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District for $60 an acre at Monday’s regular board meeting. (Daily Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – The Mohave County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a lease extension with Wakimoto Farms for 15 acres of farm land in the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District for $60 an acre at Monday’s regular board meeting.

The additional term runs from Feb. 1, 2019, to Jan. 31, 2020.

The county purchased land for more water rights for alfalfa farming on a fallowing concept for MVIDD, County Manager Mike Hendrix said.

Supervisor Buster Johnson said he was confused that the county bought property that was part of a consortium originally of five landowners, though one dropped out, but now it’s being farmed by Wakimoto Farms.

“Are we part of the consortium?” he asked.

Board attorney Ryan Esplin said the county is entering into a lease agreement with the group, and he doesn’t see it as a private partnership.

Hendrix said Wakimoto Farms had been farming the 15 acres under former ownership, and now it’s owned by the county. The current group of landowners got together prior to the county buying the land.

Supervisor Ron Gould wanted to know if the Legislature had given the county authority to enter into what he sees as a public-private partnership. Someone needs to look at the legality of the agreement with joint lessors, he said.

Hendrix said the first thing the county needs to do is get an appraisal of the land. According to state law, the lessee must pay at least 90 percent of the appraisal value.

In other board action from Monday’s meeting:

 Elected Supervisor Hildy Angius as chairwoman and Supervisor Jean Bishop as vice chair for the 2019 calendar year.

 Directed staff to bring back within 30 days the legal qualifications of each member of the Building Code Advisory Board. Supervisor Johnson said a member of the board is no longer an engineer. The board must have an architect, engineer, general contractor, electrical or plumbing contractor and member of the public.

 Approved annual rate adjustments for fees at Cerbat Landfill under contract with Gambi Disposal of Arizona and Mohave Valley Landfill under contract with Mesa Disposal. Supervisor Ron Gould asked about the difference in fees between the two landfills, and county engineering manager Cullin Pattillo explained that each contractor has different operating costs.

 Adopted a resolution to amend Mohave County’s general plan and rezone a parcel north of Sierra Vista Avenue and west of Bank Street from general commercial to commercial manufacturing and open-lot storage to allow for a tow yard and vehicle storage. The property is next to Mohave Wash, and Chairman Gary Watson wanted to make sure it has a view-obscuring wall or fence so people walking along the Mohave Wash trail won’t have to look at junk cars. Property owner Joe Kalous said that was already in his plans.