BULLHEAD CITY — Mayor Tom Brady set out Thursday evening to clear the air.

Bullhead City isn’t going to raise taxes, and won’t be annexing Fort Mohave anytime soon, Brady said at a town hall meeting hosted by the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mohave County Republican Party.

The city could acquire EPCOR Water Arizona’s local infrastructure, the mayor said, but isn’t likely to pay the $130 million the company has said is the value of its local operations. Brady said a city consultant has pegged the value at about $55 million. 

After voting Tuesday to call for an election on the acquisition of EPCOR’s local assets, he said, the city council cannot advocate for or against the question, but can only distribute factual information or correct inaccurate information.

However, he said, he is permitted to share his thoughts as an individual.

“I research everything,” Brady told those assembled at the forum. “I am a firm believer that we need to purchase EPCOR.”

He said that he believes that if the city takes over the utility, it can keep rates close to what they are now. EPCOR recently has been approved for a rate increase and is expected to file another rate case in May.

In response to an audience member’s question, Brady said he could “guarantee” a rate increase if the city doesn’t acquire the utility.

He said that according to the consultant, even in a worst-case scenario — paying the $130 million — the acquisition would make sense for Bullhead City.

He said the consultant’s opinion was that “if you had to, it might hurt your pocketbook now, but in the future, citizens will applaud you for the action you took.”

One result of taking over EPCOR’s local assets, Brady said, would be that the city would no longer get a water bill, which now totals about $255,000 a year. 

On other issues, Brady said that the city continues to operate on the 2% sales tax it levies, along with state shared revenue and fees. He said the city hasn’t raised taxes in 34 years.

Brady said Bullhead City has a $30 million general fund budget and a reserve fund of $12 million, and that a general rule is that a government should have 10% of its budget in reserves.

“We’re poised very well should the economy turn down like it did in 2007,” he said.

He said that the city has acquired 15 acres of land near the Laughlin Bridge through the efforts of city representatives and  local state legislators, and that the land will be key to future development.

Brady said that a grant for a trail between Davis Dam and the Laughlin Bridge has been approved and the project sent out to bid. He said he expects construction to be underway within six months.

The city is also adding more beaches, Brady said.

“I’m very proud of what Bullhead City is doing,” he said. “I think we’ve got a great future.”

The future does not, he said, include the purchase of Bermuda Water Co. or annexing Fort Mohave, regardless of the speculation audience members may have heard; Brady was adamant on that point.

“It’s not gonna happen,” Brady said. “It’s never been discussed. It’s garbage.”

After Brady spoke, chamber executive director John Pynakker talked about the complementary relationship between the city and the business community.

“I think a lot of the economic development you see in this town and a lot of the positives you hear are the direct result of the responsiveness of our city government,” Pynakker said.

Among the other elected officials  who spoke at the forum were Mohave County Recorder Kristi Blair, who brought up some information voters might like concerning the Nov. 5 all-mail election on the EPCOR question.

She said that anyone wishing to cast a ballot in the election needs to be registered at least 29 days beforehand — by Oct. 7. Blair also said that the post office won’t forward election mail, so it’s important that voters make sure the recorder’s office has updated address information.

Finally, she said, election day is the day a ballot must be received, and that she recommends mailing them at least six days before then.

“It has to be received by 7 p.m.,” Blair said. “If we don’t receive it, your vote will not count.”

(12) comments

babajan

The consultant valuates the worth if the operation at $55 million but says it would make sense to buy it for $130 million. Reminds me of that movie from the 1970’s “Heaven Can Wait” where Leo Farnsworth buys the Los Angeles Rams for $67 million even though it has a book value of $19 million.

DaleBBSBuddy

$130 million is the number that Epcor is throwing around. If it goes to trial the court will determine the price which will probably be in the $55 million range. The city is asking for permission to borrow at a worse case scenario. They legally can only borrow what is necessary to accomplish the purchase. They are not obligated nor legally allowed to borrow more to set up a "slush" fund. Like the recent Fire Department bond that we voted for. They have put the Laughlin Ranch Fire station on the back burner for now so have not borrowed the full amount that we approved.

Fort Mohave Resident

Here we go again Shady Brady continues to tell his lies in hopes to get residents to believe his stories. Brady already stated the City is willing and ready to pay the 130 million to force EPCOR to sell. Brady wants this proposition 415 to pass so the City can get a blank 130 million dollar check. I'm truly hoping the residents of Bullhead are not falling for these Shady Brady lies. Do the Math on how much each customer will pay on a 130 million dollar loan at 8% interest. The City's Shady Brady Mayor and his puppet Cotter will continue to tell lies to our Bullhead City residence. The Mayor and City manager should come clean and tell the Residence the truth, that their water bill will be double or triple what they are paying now. In the end if the City succeed when we're all paying double or triple more the City council will sit in their seats and say (This is what the residence wanted). I myself will be voting NO this is a start to a bankrupted town that everybody will pay for. Mayor you made statements ion the past the residence are having a hard enough time paying for their medication, affording rent. Your decision to go through with this prop 415 will hurt many people.

Wile E Coyote

More parks and recreational stuff, Tom? How 'bout spending some dinero on repaving streets that are at least 30 years old instead of "painting" them with slurry seal?

DaleBBSBuddy

Parks are a relatively frugal investment to improve the quality of life for BHC residents and our guests. As for street improvements, the city has a limited budget and is doing upgrades as the funds become available. Right now there is a massive effort in the Old Bullhead area. Removing old potholed asphalt and replacing with concrete including gutters, curbs and sidewalks. Be patient. Change and improvements are coming but once again all this takes money and the city is trying to accomplish everything without inordinate increases in, property, sales taxes or fees.

Weggy

Agreed! The street should be a higher priority! Slurry doesn’t cut it.

Fort Mohave Resident

The Mayor don't care about the streets or it's residence he just wants something to be remember by after this next term. We're all going to remember Brady as the Mayor who bankrupt the town and destroyed this area. Shady Brady you need to go, take your putter cotter with you. [thumbdown][thumbdown]

ortiz

Why would a Fort Mohave Resident care about what is happening in Bullhead City. Sounds like this person is an Epcor employee hiding his true identity. This is how Epcor operates folks!! Tell a lie often and make it big and people will eventually believe you. Don't believe this crap he is vomiting.

rcgreener

Brady has no credibility with me. The parkway continues to deteriorate and all we do is paint it with slurry. He promised the parkway would be resurfaced. Instead he wants to buy Epcor. Ask yourself when was the last time you saw government to be more efficient than the private sector? He'll buy it and then want to save the planet by restricting water use through price increases. Look at what government has done to the price of a pack of cigarettes.

BIG D

I don't think that the mayor understands that his statement that the city won't have a water bill any longer is non productive. If the city uses 200,000, 00 + worth of water a year someone ends up paying for that water even though the city isn't paying, some body else will be footing the bill for the water the city requires.

GSullen

Does everyone see the same comment in this article as I do?? “It might hurt your pocketbook now, but the residents will thank you in the long run”? To me that sounds like we will be getting an increase just as some said we would. They haven’t given us a rate of what our water bills will be and after reading this, I’m wondering if that’s why. So I guess we will be glad once the 20-year bond is paid back, but what’s before that? I definitely have some concerns.

Lori Fonzi

To the “Fort Mohave Resident” who doesn’t want to identify him/her self and, who obviously has a grudge against Mayor Brady, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say he is willing and ready to pay $130 million dollars at 8% to force EPCOR to sell and, willingly bankrupt our City to do it? How ludicrous. Apparently, you misunderstand the process and I suggest you do a little more research before you blast our local government. Evidently you don’t have a problem subsidizing The City of Edmonton in Canada through EPCOR’s profits though? Have you seen the $278 million-dollar (in 2018) EPCOR Tower, the 3rd tallest building in Edmonton? Here’s a link – see for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epcor_Tower If you’re worried about getting some roads and pot holes fixed, you may want to consider keeping those profits in our community so those projects can be completed. I can’t imagine the City of Edmonton and EPCOR are more concerned about our parks and potholes than our local government – which is an entirely different topic.

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