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Tue, Feb. 18

Chamber survey: Members support Kingman Crossing

KINGMAN - At one point during Tuesday night's City Council meeting regarding the newly proposed development on the north side of the proposed Kingman Crossing Interchange, Chamber of Commerce President Beverly Liles approached the lectern with a survey of businesses registered with the Chamber. The majority of responses to the four-question survey showed that local business owners would like to see more commercial development in the city.

Liles' survey took into account less than 16 percent, or 130 out of 830, of the total businesses registered with the Chamber.

But of those, an overwhelming majority expressed support for Kingman Crossing and commercial growth in the city.

Council, staff and about 60 residents gathered at the County Administration building for an information meeting Tuesday from the new landowner and developer partnership of Vanderbilt Farms and Vestar Development.

Ninety-nine percent of survey respondents, Liles said, expressed support for commercial growth in Kingman; 85 percent said they were aware of the Kingman Crossing project; 88 percent support commercial development at Kingman Crossing; and 80 percent preferred the zoning stay the same for the residential/open space acreage south of the Kingman Crossing proposed location.

Residents Against Irresponsible Development member Harley Pettit thought the survey was ridiculous, as did founding member Mike Bihuniak.

"You put that same survey out to the public and that'll be its own deal," Pettit said.

Bihuniak added that the survey didn't make much sense. Besides lacking an adequate number of business respondents to represent a consensus, he said the businesses on Stockton Hill Road would dry up with all the new commercial developments proposed for Kingman Crossing.

Vestar is currently working on eight developments totaling more than $7 million and ranging from Tucson to Tempe. The company also has two California developments in progress, according to its Web site.

Also during Tuesday's meeting:

• Craig Sheets addressed the Council and mayor at the beginning of the regular meeting with a report on his attempts to uncover a conspiracy with the railroad and the federal government to smuggle cocaine through Kingman. He said he's been traveling the nation talking to councils about due process. In Kingman, he told Council that he discovered that the trains running through town are loaded with cocaine and a chemical called P-2, which is used, he said, in subzero degree weather at airports. Also, pointing west, Sheets said there are projects up in the hills producing or storing crank, which, he pointed out, kills people.

"I think I'm pretty close to the money," he said at one point in his brief report. Council took no action.

• Council heard a request from property owner Dennis Jaeger to waive a $1,000 appraiser's fee for a 20-foot right-of-way he acquired by Council approval in September. Jaeger said he was instructed by the city to conduct his own appraisal, which he did, out of pocket, for $900. The city staff then said his appraised value of the land in question, on Park Street between Fourth and Fifth streets, wasn't accurate. It then paid for another appraisal out of Lake Havasu City at a cost of $1,000.

Councilman Tom Carter made the motion to waive the $1,000 fee, essentially because it wasn't fair for Jaeger to pay for the city's appraisal after the city asked him to conduct his own. Council members Tom Spear and Janet Watson dissented in the 5-2 vote.

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