Members of the Tri-City Council voted Wednesday to issue a letter of support in opposition to the proposed purchase of water rights attached to Mohave Valley farms by Central Arizona Water Conservation District for use in Phoenix and Tucson.

Council members in all three cities represented by the Tri-City Council — Bullhead City, Kingman and Lake Havasu — have passed resolutions opposing the proposed purchase and movement of water allocations outside Mohave County.

Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen, Kingman Mayor Monica Gates and Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady agreed to rewrite the opposition letter to include Tri-City Council’s further objection to CAWCD’s purchase of mainstream Colorado River water allocation from the town of Quartzsite in La Paz County for the same purpose.

“We each have our own resolution,” Gates said. “But we thought it might be impactful if we also had one from Tri-City Council.”

Hosted in the Bullhead City Council Chamber, Tri-City Council members heard updates from representatives of a half-dozen agencies and organizations including Bureau of Land Management, Northern Arizona Employee Benefit Trust, Arizona Department of Transportation, Rural Transportation Advocacy Council and Laughlin Bullhead International Airport. League of Arizona Cities and Towns presented a state legislative preview.

An ADOT presentation on current and upcoming projects in the county included updates on drainage improvements near milepost 183.6, El Dorado Wash at Highway 95 and on the Aztec and Highway 95 study.

ADOT’s representative told members that the agency has continued meeting with business owners regarding raised medians and that a public meeting is planned for March, where ADOT will present two alternatives, a roundabout and an upgraded signal. The study includes evaluating signals for protected phasing. ADOT crews have also conducted a speed study for the corridor and ADOT officials will meet with city and county officials to discuss their recommendations.

The agency is also constructing an intergovernmental agreement with Bullhead City for the city to construct a traffic signal at Corwin and Highway 95 and for ADOT to submit an application for a minor project in February to construct a southbound right turn lane at Marina Boulevard.

Mohave County Airport Authority President and MCAA Board of Directors Chairman John Hastings briefed council members on the future of air service in the county.

“I’m not going to say that it’s completely impossible to have air service again but I will say that odds are really against us at this point,” Hastings said. “With our current service leaving, every airline in the country will look at it as a pretty poor investment to try again.”

American Airlines announced in November it plans to end in February its daily passenger service to Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport due to under use of the service; the average number of passengers per flight was 40 percent of available seats.

LBIA spent about $250,000 just to get air service, and roughly another quarter million dollars on advertising and marketing Hastings said. The rest of the $1.28 million federal grant has been spent in the form of subsidies for American Airline’s minimum revenue guarantee.

“I would be happy to see somebody else bring air service,” Hastings said. “The reality is it will be a long hard road; if the community really got together and threw money in a pot it could be done.  I’d be willing to help but we’re not going to be driving it.”

Bureau of Land Management field officers reported the agency is involved in a pilot program studying the effectiveness of fertility treatments over a four-year period on burros in the Black Mountains. 

“It’s another tool for (burro) population management for the area,” said Amanda Dobson, BLM Kingman Field Office manager.

A representative of the League of AZ Cities and Towns briefed members on legislative issues including several “big money” bills on Transaction Privilege Tax exemptions, including on digital goods, and upcoming legislation regarding construction sales tax.

In his report to council members, Kevin Adam of Rural Transportation Advocacy Council said ADOT will soon finalize the update to its long-range transportation plan, which covers the next 25 years.  

Based on available and anticipated funding, officials are leaning toward protecting existing assets and that officials are indicating that what federal funding is allocated to Arizona should go toward maintenance, Adam said. Five years from now officials anticipate a freeze on new construction in greater Arizona.

Tri-City Council members also welcomed Kingman Interim City Manager Jim Bacon and Lake Havasu City Manager Jess Knudson.

The council, formed in 2008, is comprised of mayors and governing body representatives of Bullhead City, Kingman and Lake Havasu City, meeting quarterly in a different city on a rotating basis.

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