BULLHEAD CITY —T uesday’s Bullhead City Council meeting provided an unusual amount of breaking news with the announcement of two developments related to the continuing spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Tom Brady issued an emergency proclamation: All city beaches, boat launches and associated parks will be closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through mid-September.

Other locations within the city that provide easy access to the Colorado River also will be closed.

The closures will begin Friday. 

The Fourth of July weekend perhaps was the final straw. 

“I had hoped that since we control only a few areas of the Colorado River shoreline, we could keep them open by reducing the numbers of visitors allowed to an acceptable level for social distancing,” Brady stated in his proclamation. 

City Manager Toby Cotter read it aloud because Brady was attending the meeting virtually using Zoom.  

“Out-of-towners figured out a way to thwart our plan, and they crowded our beaches to socially unacceptable levels,” Brady’s proclamation continued. “In trying to control large crowds moving forward, I now realize our limitations and believe that no matter what the city does, non-compliance and overcrowding will continue to occur, which is not acceptable in trying to stem the spread of this virus.” 

Brady also spoke himself and stressed that any repercussions to citizens and businesses are well understood but that it was necessary to make masks mandatory in indoor public locations after not everyone was doing so voluntarily.

Attempting further changes at Community Park — most recently the numbers of vehicles were limited in an attempt to control beachside crowding — likely would have resulted in confrontations between “police, park staff and our out-of-town visitors,” he said.

Implementing another preventive measure to help reduce the number of cases that have been originating in Bullhead City and nearby unincorporated locations such as Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley also is hoped to keep the number of people seriously affected by the virus from ultimately overtaxing the hospitals that serve the area.  

The public will be able to use the parks Mondays through Thursdays. 

The proclamation orders:

  • Community Park, Colorado River Nature Center and Sunshine Marina will be closed “entirely,” according to a news release sent out during the council meeting.
  • Community Park will be fully fenced off and left without public access. The Nature Center’s main gate will be locked and foot traffic not allowed. 
  • Gates will be installed at Sunshine Marina to stop entry by vehicles and on foot.
  • Rotary Park will be closed to most vehicular traffic and beaches there will be closed and the only parking lot opened will be near the pickleball courts. Access will continue for basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, skate park, walking trails, ballfields and dog park. Gates and fencing will be installed to prevent beach and boat launch access.
  • Street ends with river access, such as Trane, Park Lane, Third, Fifth and others will be closed entirely.

“Together we will get through this pandemic, but it requires each of us to do our part in stopping the spread. Let’s all pray that it ends quickly with no more suffering or fatalities,” Brady also stated in the proclamation.   

Testing events being planned

The city also is working with Mohave County Public Health and Western Arizona Regional Medical Center to set up a site within the city for about 2,000 quick coronavirus tests.

This likely would require at least two events to complete that many tests. The first would be done inside a large and available space at Riverside Mall, which would be provided for free.   

Council members approved the partnership among the city, county and hospital. About $75,000 of CARES funding would be used to pay for the rapid test kits as well as other needs, such as cleaning and utilities.

Each kit costs about $27, Cotter said.

WARMC would donate staff and the county would provide personal protective equipment.

Council members were willing to include people from other parts of what county officials refer to as the “Bullhead City service area,” such as Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley but want the county to pay for testing those people. If the county can’t do that, then the events would be limited to city residents only.

About 25% of cases in the Bullhead City service area come from the smaller communities in the county, Cotter said.

Cotter explained that these tests would help determine which people don’t have the virus so they can get back to work and their lives. Those who test positive can seek out nasal testing and further treatment at WARMC. 

Cotter said the events would alleviate the high level of anxiety among residents worried about having contracted COVID-19.

Other council actions:

  • Allowing the Bullhead City Police Department to accept $35,651 from a Department of Justice program highlighting COVID-19 emergency response needs. The money would be used for purchase of personal protection equipment.  
  • Approved purchase by the BHCPD of five new patrol vehicles — with necessary equipment — for $330,674.
  • Will ask the Bullhead City Pest Abatement District to increase its yearly allocation for the Pest Abatement Program to $160,000, It now pays $135,000.
  • Combined two Laughlin Ranch lighting districts into one and adopted the annual estimated expenses statement of the city’s street lighting districts — which are for developer-created lights and not other outdoor street lights within the city — of $53,355.   

Council member Tami Ring wasn’t at the meeting. All votes were 6-0 in favor of the items presented. 

(15) comments

babajan

I see. So the Virus takes a little vacation during the week, but comes out that play on the weekends. What a bunch of nonsense. I still don’t know a anyone who has acquired it and it’s supposedly has been around for at least six months. I, personally think that I already had it in December. I had a bad flu that stuck with me for about three weeks, would subside, then come back, subside, then return. Something that I had never had experienced before, though I have yet to be tested and have my suspicions. I refuse to let the Chinese defeat us and walk around living my life in fear like all of the millennials nowadays terrified of “The Covid”. The Lord has my back.

Derek

The Lord! Amen

First mate smee

What did you think was going to happen Mr. Brady? TO LITTLE TO LATE. The BHC motto.

ralphwilliams942

Well they had to wait for the big weekend 😡

cargoguy

About time for the closures, Community Park was totally out of control , why was this a surprise???

The proposed covid testing of only 2000 Bullhead residents is not adequate, need at least 10,000 or more. Laughlin is going to have their 2nd round of free testing while Bullhead City has yet to have one.

kenoj

Nice after thought. These closures should have been done at the very start of this pandemic. However, closing beaches and launch areas, parks will not stop the invasion of our county every weekend. Nor will it stop some of the local eating establishments from totally ignoring any form of social distancing or doing what is needed to help prevent the spread of the virus. Its time to stop worrying about hurting someone's feelings and do whatever is needed to put an end to this virus and the spread of it.

tigreyes

Good for you Tom Brady. We have to get this town under control since the Governor isn't doing much.

I wish Wal Mart would test all there Employees.

I think the boat launching s should be closed 7 days a week because people have vacations & will be coming here anyways.

DETOUR > US 66

There is a really easy way to control access to the water still allow most residents to use what THEY pay for in property taxes. We do it in our neighborhood that has a "greenbelt" area that folks can only access from our local park. We charge ALL non-residents of the subdivision $25 per person to walk in, and another $25 per dog if they bring a dog. That keeps away the riff raff that usually are the folks causing the most issues, i.e. leaving trash and not spatial distancing. And it also hels pay for maintenance of the area and gives a cut to whatever resident wants to sit out there all day collecting fees. For what its worth we average about $600- $700 per day in fees. ($300-$400 week days and $500-$800 weekends.) I collected fees first weekend of July and pocketed $425 for about 8 hours of sitting in my Jeep listening to the radio. (And that was "tax free" money too!)

DETOUR > US 66

Charge $100 per boat and $25 per person to get access to the water. Add a surcharge of $100 for every non resident of either AZ or Laughlin. Just price the CA people out of the market just like they do you for gasoline. HaHa. Problem solved.

Kenn Stark

"LOCKDOWN"! PERIOD!

DETOUR > US 66

""LOCKDOWN"! PERIOD!?" No thanks, I kind of like my FREEDOM and LIBERTY as an AMERICAN citizen. You can go ahead and feel free and "Stay home and Stay scared" as long as you want because that is your "freedom".

Acleanerplanet

Rotary Park will be closed to most vehicular traffic and beaches there will be closed and the only parking lot opened will be near the pickleball courts. Access will continue for basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, skate park, walking trails, ballfields and dog park. Gates and fencing will be installed to prevent beach and boat launch access. This is pure Bs! Close the boat launched, but let people use the pickleball,Basketball, dog parks and others stay open? How stupid are you Mayor Brady? If your going to block the parks, you have to block all of it!!!!!! What part don't you understand?

Wiseguyo

Thank you as a local I was really hoping this should happen now we can handle our local viruses close it down until we control it

ralphwilliams942

How about Davis Camp, they are PACKED in there on weekends??

Another good thing is a lot of non responsible,lacking experience people not renting Jet Skis. If Mayor Brady and Cotter would really take time to sit on the water (not in a patrol boat) and watch these idiots on the skis that are not being stopped by the water patrol, it is PATHETIC the response I received on why patrol can't /won't give citations. Might as well not have any patrol and save the budget they don't do much but cruise up and down river, stopping at docks to visit with people they know

ralphwilliams942

How about Davis Camp, they are packed in there? Another good thing coming from closures is not as many non responsible lacking any experience people will not be renting jet skis. If Mayor Brady and Cotter would really take the time to go sit on the water ( not on a patrol boat) and watch these idiots on the skis that are not being stopped by water patrol they may have a different outlook. The response I received regarding reasons these people are not being cited was pathetic. They might as well take patrol off the water and save the budget, all they do is cruise up and down river and stop at docks to visit with friends while skis are violating every code there is right in front of them.

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