BULLHEAD CITY — The Bullhead City Council has a lengthy agenda on Tuesday. The regular council meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council chamber, 1255 Marina Blvd.
Here are some of the scheduled items:
Proposition 415/EPCOR acquisition
The City Council will declare and adopt results from the Proposition 415 election. Proposition 415 was approved by a narrow margin: 4,799 (50.4%) to 4,720 (49.6%).
There were 233 rejected ballots in the election, in which ballots were mailed to registered voters about a month ahead of the Nov. 5 deadline.
Mohave County Elections Department staff had been working to verify signatures for days after the election. On the final day of voting, the Bullhead City branch of the Mohave County Library was the site of a ballot drop-off location and ballot replacement center.
Council members also will be asked to amend the city’s contract with Raftelis Financial Consultants for another appraisal of EPCOR’s water system assets in and around Bullhead City.
This appraisal “will be the basis for any action in eminent domain,” City Manager Toby Cotter wrote in his report to the council members. The presentation last summer that resulted in a $55 million valuation of EPCOR’s local water system “addressed only the potential business valuation aspects of acquisition and was not a formal appraisal for eminent domain purposes.”
Cotter also wrote that the actual cost for Phase 3 with Raftelis would cost the city about $60,000 instead of the total $154,000 because of previous work done.
New Laughlin bridge
Council members are being asked to approve an intergovernmental agreement with Clark County for construction of a new Bullhead City-Laughlin bridge that would create a Colorado River crossing from Bullhead Parkway on the Arizona side to a yet-to-be-constructed three-mile extension of Needles Highway on the Nevada side. Clark County asked Bullhead City to help fill a $9 million funding gap after the Laughlin Town Advisory Board withdrew its support for the project about a year ago.
In June, the council approved allocating $4.5 million — half of the shortfall — toward its construction to help advance the project, estimated to cost at least $51 million total. Some estimates of the project’s cost have reached $58 million.
Clark County has federal funding of $21 million. Staff there has been handling project development and engineering.
Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission, the lead agency on the project, could add up to $32 million but more than half of that money isn’t planned for use on the project until 2023, according to previous reports.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the council will consider a contract with McCormick Construction Co. of Bullhead City to construct the half-mile Bullhead Parkway extension west of Highway 95 to the new bridge. Contract cost will be $3,274,754.61 million and include grading, paving, curb and gutters, storm drain improvements, sidewalks, valley gutters with aprons, street lights, sewer facilities, effluent line, and water line relocation.
The staff report to the council notes the full project cost of about $3,630,724. The gap of roughly $356,000 will be covered by a transfer of $450,409 from the city’s Wastewater Enterprise Fund. This will cover additional work to be done by the city and other vendors, specifically sewer mainline and effluent pipelines.
Water rights transfer
Council members will consider approving a resolution to declare opposition to a proposed transfer of fourth priority water to the Central Arizona Project. GSC Farm, LLC, proposes to transfer 2,083.1 acre feet of water entitlement to the town of Queen Creek for municipal uses in areas in Maricopa and Pinal counties
According to the staff report, the water is under contract between the farm and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and irrigates 485 acres of farmland. The switch would result in the retirement of the farmland.
The resolution points out that Mohave County has been given a disaster drought designation in the past by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and identified as a water storage hot spot in a Bureau of Reclamation report.
“(T)his is the third time in a short time span that an entity in Central Arizona is considering a transfer of rural Arizona’s water supply from the Colorado River with the resulting detrimental impact to rural Arizona’s water future and economy,” the proposed resolution states. “...Continual transfer of water/allocations from smaller river communities to benefit metropolitan areas sets a bad precedent and places the water supplies of rural jurisdictions at risk.”
This closed-door meeting in which council members seek legal advice includes the city’s actions against several parties involved with federal opioid crisis litigation; advice regarding potential contracts “in connection with an entity capable of adding to the economic development of the community”; and discussion or consultation about Proposition 415 and potential actions needed to acquire EPCOR Arizona’s local assets.
Proposition 415 and EPCOR, as well as whether to continue with multi-district opioid litigation, are identifiable as agenda items.
Topics listed include the Nov. 30 Farmers Market and an award for excellence in financial reporting going to the city’s finance department. Police body cameras also is listed. A resident asked why officers in the city didn’t have them during public comment at a previous meeting.
Also on the agenda:
Possible adoption of an ordinance to amend municipal code regarding “Behavioral Health Residential Facility.” The pertinent city code is Chapter 17.04, Definitions, and Table 17.26.020. Kristen Ott, CEO of Revive Behavioral Health, spoke to the Planning and Zoning Commission about the request and the facility her organization proposes to open if the code amendment is approved. The commission recommended approval.