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Sidewalk project with state postponed

Arizona Range News of Willcox, Arizona

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The City of Willcox has rescinded the sidewalk project agreement it made nearly one year ago with the State of Arizona, citing lack of funding at this time.

At its Sept, 19, 2011 meeting, the Willcox City Council unanimously approved the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to help put sidewalks on Arizona Avenue.

The City was required to match the State funding with at least $35, 758.

Since then, City staff learned that the project is not scheduled for funding until the year 2016.

"By this time, the funding from the State may have changed," said Gary Adams, the City's Streets Supervisor.

"From the current outlook, it is tending to look worse. This, in turn, would mean the City would have to match more of the funding."

The State is also recommending that cities plan for a 20-percent contingency for State projects, he said.

City staff, who have attended training on the funding of State projects, concluded "that the information, paperwork, and requirements needed for these types of projects are not cost effective for our community," Adams said.

"At this time, with the budget constraints as they are, we are recommending we rescind the agreement with the State of Arizona..." he said.

The Council voted unanimously to do so.

The original sidewalk project consisted of constructing concrete sidewalk on both sides of Arizona Avenue and ADA-compliant ramps from Rex Allen Drive south on Haskell Avenue.

During this year's budget process, City staff presented the Council three alternatives to the grant-funded project.

One was to use the matching funds set aside for the project and have the Streets division perform as much of the work as possible with the available funds, said Dave Bonner, the City's director of Public Services and Works.

"The second option was to use the matching funds to perform additional chips seals," said Bonner, adding, "This would allow us to add about three blocks of chip seal work."

The third alternative was to hold onto the funds, he said.

"Staff required direction during the presentation of the budget, but I don't recall that the Council provided direction at the time," Bonner told the Range News.

Copyright 2012 Arizona Range News, Willcox, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: August 15, 2012

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