City will wait to acquire rights of way for Rancho interchange
KINGMAN – Council voted on Tuesday to hold off on authorizing acquisition of two right-of-ways eyed for Rancho Santa Fe Parkway interchange arterial roads, instead opting to wait until after the City presents its pitch to the Arizona Department of Transportation in October.
Vice Mayor Jen Miles asked Council to wait on the acquisitions until the second meeting in November.
“And that way we are postponing the commitment of that $900,000 of City funds total until we have the outcome of some specific things that are going to happen between now and that second meeting,” Miles said.
There is $250,000 included in the adopted budget for the first acquisition, a right-of-way along Airway Avenue between Prospector Street and Rancho Santa Fe Parkway. The adopted budget includes $650,000 for the second, which is along Rancho Santa Fe Parkway between Louise Avenue and the Kingman Airport. Both acquisitions are for 130 feet and are necessary for the I-11 East Kingman Connection Project.
The hope is that both right-of-ways will be donated to the City through discussion and negotiation with property owners. The resolutions before Council would also give authority for City Manager Ron Foggin to use eminent domain to acquire the right-of-ways should negotiations with owners fail.
Miles suggested waiting on the acquisitions until the City knows what will happen with the Transaction Privilege Tax initiative, which will be on the general election ballot, and the presentation to ADOT in October.
“What we thought about is if we had this in place prior to the ADOT board meeting in October, that it sort of favors the City in that respect,” said City Engineer Greg Henry. “And then the other reason with regard to Airway Avenue, is we’ve been in meetings with UniSource Energy, and they want to acquire an easement in the same location that the City’s looking to acquire a right-of-way.”
Should UniSource acquire an electric easement from the property owner before the City moves forward with the right-of-way on the north side of Airway Avenue, Henry said, the City could have to pay for relocating the energy company’s facilities. He later added that could run the City hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“In my own mind, I think the TPT vote on the sixth of November is such a potential game changer,” said Councilman Travis Lingenfelter in support of Miles’ request. “If that passes this City is going to have to reevaluate everything.”
Council voted 6-1, Mayor Monica Gates dissenting, to hold off on the acquisitions.