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City hoping to expedite land exchange

By TERRI HARBER The Daily NewsMarch 7, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — The Bullhead City Council on Tuesday was tasked with making decisions about some matters with long-term effects.

But one such issue is currently being handled in Washington, D.C., by Mayor Tom Brady. He participated in the council meeting by telephone because he is meeting with various federal officials, including Arizona’s U.S. senators and representatives.

The idea is to devise ways to expedite the land exchange process that would allow the city to acquire 345 acres of land next to Community Park, known as Section 12, from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The federal agency would give the city Section 12 for 1,100 acres in the Black Mountains. The site was donated to the city in 2015 by Don Laughlin.

The U.S. House and Senate have approved legislation allowing the land swap. The bill awaits President Donald Trump’s signature, which is expected to occur this week.

Brady and City Manager Toby Cotter, who was at the council meeting, explained that the process to complete the exchange is complicated and time consuming. It requires a great deal of survey work and research to complete.

And BLM is the lead agency.

The mayor said he will be asking for ideas and input from officials that might allow the city to shorten the timeline.

“I have a lot of questions to ask,” Brady said. “Hopefully, we can cut through some of the bureaucracy.”

And if the president signs the legislation while Brady is in the Capitol, he said he’ll be sure to watch it happen.

Rezoning approved for river front plan

The request for rezoning about 52 acres north of Malow’s and across from Home Depot to develop 288 luxury condominiums along the Colorado River as well as a variety of commercial and retail buildings closer to Highway 95 was approved by council members.

Don Laughlin’s mixed-use development land is deemed suitably zoned for resident-multiple family uses close to the river where the condos will go up and general commercial for the retail and commercial locations.

The work will occur over time in four separate phases.

The four-story condominium structures would have parking below ground. Also planned are two private docks.

It will “reshape the city,” said Council Member Mark Clark.

Along with the land exchange in the area of Community Park, the project north of Old Bullhead could “fundamentally change the north side of Bullhead City,” Cotter noted.

Both are high priorities within the city’s plans to improve that section of the community.

Several residents asked questions about the project. One wanted to know whether the development would affect the public’s access to the river in that area.

Ignacio Gonzalez, of Ignacio Gonzalez/Architects, Ltd., of Las Vegas, the project architect, replied that the river isn’t very accessible there now.

“We will have areas within the project addressing public needs,” he said.

In other business, the council members approved:

w Purchase of an AquaDisk Filter for use at the Section 10 Wastewater Treatment Plant. It will allow for a significant increase in the amount of watered filtered there. It currently processes up to 4 million gallons per day and with the new filter will be able to process up to 5 million gallons per day. The $507,340 purchase is required so the plant will be in compliance with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality regulations. It will replace old equipment beginning to fail, according to city staff. Clark pointed out that the new filter will ensure plant produces the highest quality effluent.

w Temporary use of city money to buy a 2019 Dodge Durango for use by the police department for Mohave Area General Narcotic Enforcement Team needs. The $42,500 for the vehicle will be refunded fully to the city.

w A code revision to allow changeable message signs at locations zoned as public lands.

w Buying a metal bull sculpture from Jenner’s Home Furnishings for $2,500. It has been on display at one of the Jenner’s stores for years. Cotter said the sculpture will be displayed in a way that would keep people from climbing on it while still allowing for them to pose next to it for pictures.

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