BY LINDA BENTLEY | MAY 9, 2012
Cave Creek joins with Carefree to authorize MAG transportation study
Small towns band together to have a weighted voice at MAG for a piece of the pie instead of the short end of the stick
CAVE CREEK – Mayor Vincent Francia reminded citizens during Monday night’s council meeting that David Schweikert will be a guest speaker at the May 21 council meeting.
He also announced there would be a May 10 workshop to discuss the process for adopting regulations for a specific area in town north of CVS at Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway. The workshop will be at 6 p.m., as noticed by the planning department.
Council voted unanimously, with Councilman Jim Bruce absent, to approve the second reading of an ordinance to change the zoning of a parcel south of Walmart at Cave Creek and Olesen roads from Desert Rural Residential to General Commercial.
With Francia recusing himself, council also voted unanimously to approve the renewal of an off-track parimutuel wagering license/permit for Turf Paradise at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral for a three year period.
Town Engineer Wayne Anderson requested an award of bid and contract to Sunland Asphalt to complete the chip seal project for fiscal year 2011-2012 in an amount not to exceed $422,738.86.
Anderson said the town was just picking back up where it left off on its road maintenance when the economy tanked a few years ago.
As council voted unanimously to authorize the contract, Francia joked, “Can I be assured Morning Star Road will not be touched?” in light of a recent rumor going around that the town was planning to pave Morning Star Road to provide unbridled access for the Cahava Springs Ranch development. Francia has repeatedly assured citizens the rumor is false.
With Carefree councilmen Jim Van Allen and Mike Farrar in attendance, council voted unanimously to authorize the mayor to enter into a proposed agreement with the town of Carefree and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) for a $250,000 study of transportation needs for both communities, requiring a $5,000 contribution from each town.
Carefree authorized participation in the study during its May 1 council meeting.
Cave Creek Councilman Dick Esser (l) explained the project will be funded with federal highway money and said he has worked to form a small communities coalition within MAG, made up of nine small towns, so small communities, which he said previously “always got the short end of the stick” would have a voice in how some of these funds are allocated.
He said, “If the project is approved, and it will be, the start date will be Aug. 20, 2012 and it will be completed Oct. 20, 2013 or sooner.”
According to Esser, “There’s even more money out there.”
Prior to moving to approve Cave Creek’s participation in the study, Councilman Steve LaMar asked if this framework study was a prerequisite to getting money to fund projects.
Esser responded, “Yes.”
Francia said Esser, who has been representing the town at MAG because of his connections from his previous employment with ADOT, was also responsible for securing the funds to do the improvements to the intersection of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway.
Council voted unanimously to grant a one-time, six-month extension of a final plat for the Outlook at Black Mountain, a five-lot subdivision on School House Road.
The applicant, in his letter to the mayor and council requesting the extension, wrote, “As you know the economy has not been very cooperative for new projects,” adding, “We have no intention of starting a project we can’t complete at this time.”