Bishop praises project for honoring veterans’ remains

Supervisor Jean Bishop

Supervisor Jean Bishop

KINGMAN – County Supervisor Jean Bishop took a moment to recognize the Missing in America Project with the final item on Monday’s Board of Supervisors regular agenda.

Bishop noted that MIAP is dedicated to locating and identifying unclaimed cremated remains of Arizona veterans and securing a “final resting place” for them at Prescott National Cemetery.

Bishop plans to attend a service at the cemetery on April 6 honoring 15 veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, along with peace time service. Seven of them are from Mohave County.

MIAP’s mission is to “provide honor and respect to those who have served this country by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes like these (15) brave veterans of Arizona,” the program states.

Bishop provided the board with backup material regarding state law on burying a dead person’s remains.

According to ARS 36-831, Section C, if none of the dead person’s relatives or caregivers is willing or financially able to bury or provide other funeral arrangements, or if that person cannot be located after reasonable efforts, “the county in which the death occurs shall bury or place in permanent care crypt the dead body or cremated remains.”

Guest speaker at the ceremony will be Tom Burns, captain of Arizona Patriot Guard Riders. Sutton Memorial Funeral Home and Mohave County Fiduciary have joined in the project.

In other action from the supervisors’ agenda:

The board voted 3-1 (Supervisor Buster Johnson opposed, Supervisor Gary Watson absent) to refer a petition to Public Works to include a 310-foot section of 10th Street in Dolan Springs in the county’s tertiary road maintenance program.

The board voted unanimously to authorize expenditure of not more than $20,000 for the law firm Ryley, Carlock and Applewhite to draft a legal memorandum and complaint, if necessary, outlining the county’s cause of action against Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District transferring water rights to the Central Arizona Project. Supervisor Watson placed the item on the agenda to make sure the county has “legal standing” moving forward, and voted for the item via telephone as it was moved to the front of the agenda.

The board voted 4-0 to proceed with early payment of debt associated with the Mohave County Jail. The jail was financed in 2008 with $46 million in beneficial interest certificates (lease-to-own agreement) and $25 million in county contributions from a quarter-cent sales tax for capital projects. By directing staff to proceed with early redemption, the county will save $582,000 in interest payments, minus final costs. Mohave County currently has sufficient funds in the capital projects fund to pay the remaining balance of $13.4 million.