Flagstaff forest thinning project facing $4.5 million shortfall

FLAGSTAFF (AP) – Flagstaff city staff says a $10 million bond approved by voters five years ago will no longer be enough to cover the costs of thinning forests around the city’s watersheds.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project aims to protect Flagstaff’s watersheds from severe fire and post-wildfire flooding.

A report sent to the city council Thursday shows that because of the project’s $4.5 million shortfall, the bond will be short by about 35 percent.

Work on Mormon Mountain was expected to start next year, but the shortfall may put the project behind schedule.

City Manager Josh Copley says the city will begin discussing the possibility of seeking additional funding to cover the remaining costs next week.