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7/19/2014 1:29:00 PM
County supervisors to unveil budget Monday
Hearing on ‘dangerous road’ proposal
COTTONWOOD - The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors is poised to once more take up consideration of a public-private partnership to make safety improvements to a dangerous county road at no cost to the county.

On Monday, July 21, the County Board of Supervisors will hold a follow-up hearing to see what progress the county staff and landowner have made since a hearing in March.

At that March hearing, the supervisors told the county staff and landowner to see if they could re-design the proposed safety improvements to Chavez Ranch Road to avoid obtaining a slope easement to a nearby parcel. Now the landowner has created a design that uses a retaining wall.

For decades, those who use Chavez Ranch Road have had to head down one of the county's steepest slopes, without a guardrail, a shoulder, or, for the most part, even pavement anywhere to be found. In 1979, two local teenagers died when their car slipped off the edge of the steep road and into the adjacent ravine. Fortunately, there have not been any fatalities on the road since that tragedy.

Paul Hoffenberg, a local landowner, owns home sites in the area. He has offered to pay for improvements to Chavez Ranch Road, including a guardrail and shoulders, as part of his project investment and at no cost to the county. The estimated cost to Hoffenberg is $2.2 million.

Hoffenberg thinks the dangerous condition of the road needs to be improved. His latest redesign, in which a retaining wall is used to support the safety improvements, continues to be a no-cost proposal to the county.

By Scott Orr
Cronkite News Service

COTTONWOOD - The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors will hold a courtesy hearing to unveil a $200 million fiscal year 2014-15 budget to citizens in the Verde Monday morning.

The board is slated to give official approval to the budget at its Aug. 4 meeting, but routinely does two courtesy hearings, one in Cottonwood and one in Prescott, to give people a look at the final numbers before the vote.

Though this year's budget includes an overall increase of 5 percent, the average property taxpayer should see a decrease of about $1.52 per $100,000 valuation.

Among the items supervisors included is a slightly higher sales tax. Doubling the quarter-cent sales tax would benefit the Jail District, which wants to build a new jail in Prescott.

Additionally, the county's approximately 1,700 employees (including 1,395 full-time workers) will get a 1-percent cost of living raise.

Other issues to be addressed:

• Final approval of the awarding of $178,044 in Forest Fees Projects Funds. These are generally given to communities or fire districts for programs such as Firewise education, fuels mitigation or chipping equipment to dispose of brush.

• The board will discuss and could vote on a request from the proposed Mystic Heights Subdivision for additional variances involving the right-of-way. In March 2014, the board the developer asked for the county's help to acquire rights-of-way for it. The board asked staff to work with the developer's engineer to find alternatives.

The board meets at 9 a.m. Monday at the hearing room in the Yavapai County Administrative Verde Valley Complex, 10 S. Sixth St., Cottonwood.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy

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