Council backs state land legislation

February 20, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — In a relatively short Bullhead City Council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Tom Brady and Council Members Annette Wegmann and Mark Clark participated by phone.

Both action items on the agenda were approved unanimously.

Council members will support Arizona House Bill 2573. The legislation would affect 12.4 acres of land below Laughlin Bridge and north of Don Laughlin’s riverboat shuttle service, according to the city’s description.

The wetlands area is south of another parcel that begins at the Laughlin Bridge. The dividing line begins about where the electronic billboard operated by the Riverside Resort Hotel casino is, said City Manager Toby Cotter.

“Riverfront is important to our residents,” Cotter said of the wetland area in question.

Garbage finds its way there and the city is interested in taking care of the site so people could use it and, as Cotter put it, “enjoy it.”

HB 2573 would allow the city to maintain it so it can be enjoyed by residents as well as visitors, he said.

Council members also approved contracting with consultants Cassidy & Associates through April 30 to ensure that the land exchange bill is approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.

U.S. Senate Bill 47, the National Resources Management Act, includes a provision for land exchange between the city and the federal government — an exchange of land owned by the city in the Black Mountains for federal land along the Colorado River, known as Section 12, owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Cost for the continued Washington, D.C., lobbying expertise by Cassidy & Associates will be $45,000.

Cotter pointed out that there will be a large number of sports tournaments played here during the next few of months and that businesses need to be aware of the increased demand for services by visitors.

Among topics brought up during the call to the public was a complaint about conditions in a city-controlled rental at Suddenlink Community Center.

Brenda Fury rents space there and told council members she has been trying to conduct business in an extremely cold room. She owns Mutt Manners Dog Training and operates the Food Four Paws Pet Pantry.

The temperature is usually between 55-61 degrees in her Suddenlink Center room and it has been that way since December, she told the council members. It’s so cold that Fury wear fingerless gloves — even when she’s typing on a computer — and that clients have come in and left because they couldn’t stand the chilly environment.

Fury explained that discussions with city staff seem to have gone nowhere toward getting the problem resolved.

“I saw no other option,” she said when explaining why she came to the council meeting to talk about the matter.

She said one of the people she talked to about the problem threatened to raise her rent.

Fury also noted that the water doesn’t work in the room either. It has a sink.

“I found out you heat the pool,” Fury said. “But I can’t have heat in my room?”

Because the item wasn’t on the agenda, councilmembers were not allowed to address the matter publicly at Tuesday’s meeting.

Brady and Wegmann spoke Tuesday at the Arizona Corporation Commission public comment portion of hearing about EPCOR Water Arizona’s application for interim rate increases. The two local officials planned to attend today’s EPCOR hearing scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in Phoenix. It’s slated to be live-streamed at the corporation’s website, azcc.gov. Go to the commission’s agenda and look for a link next to the meeting listed about this issue.