Supervisor Gould votes against request for county road maintenance

November 26, 2018

KINGMAN — Supervisor Buster Johnson may have found a friend on the Mohave County Board of Supervisors in Ron Gould, the former state senator who was elected Nov. 6 to replace Lois Wakimoto as District 5 supervisor.

At his first board meeting Monday, Gould joined Johnson in voting against two petitions to accept roads into the county’s tertiary road maintenance system, which provides minimal maintenance of dirt roads.

It’s long been a sticking point for Johnson, who routinely opposes tertiary road maintenance requests and tells people they knew it was a dirt road when they moved there.

District 5 Supervisor Ron Gould attended his first Mohave County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday. He was elected Nov. 6 to replace Lois Wakimoto.

Johnson and Gould voted against a petition to consider south Centennial Road from Geronimo Road to Navajo Drive in the Golden Valley area, a distance of about 3,000 feet, for the road maintenance system. The item was passed by a 3-2 vote.

Gould wanted to know the anticipated cost for the county to maintain tertiary roads and the extent of work promised.

Steve Latoski, director of Mohave County Public Works, said the law allows the county to spend Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) on roads adopted for tertiary maintenance if they’re at least 30 feet wide and open to traffic without encumbrances.

It prescribes a process for a lesser type of maintenance, one that doesn’t have regular blade schedule or standard of care.

This is the first step in which the petitioner expresses a desire for roadway to be accepted for maintenance. The expense part in bringing any roadway to tertiary maintenance standards accepted by the county lies squarely with the petitioner, Latoski said.

The next step is consideration of formal acceptance, so the county expense is nil until the board accepts the roadway for maintenance, and then the county bears the expense for service twice a year.

Gould then wanted to know if existing road maintenance is reduced as more roads are accepted for tertiary maintenance.

Latoski responded that Public Works is currently equipped to take on additional roads for tertiary maintenance as time is available. There is a related operational expense for service, which typically requires lesser level of blading. It can be accomplished in three passes of grader instead of five on regular roads, he said.

Johnson said it still takes money away from the overall program, which is why he continues to vote against the petitions. The major attention should be given to surface roads, he said.

The county maintains 1,300 miles of dirt roads and 800 miles of surfaced roads, Latoski noted.

Gould said he drives about 60 miles a day on dirt roads and has broken an axle on his Ford F-350, and he’s talked to numerous others who have broken axles, so maintaining tertiary roads is important to both him and his constituents.

In a separate item, the board voted 3-2 (Johnson and Gould opposed) to accept west Wagon Trail Road from the Kingman city limits east to the end of the roadway, a distance of 662 feet in the Fort Beale area, into the county’s tertiary road maintenance system.

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