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On Thursday, Feb. 4 the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to move $3 million of County projects to construction this spring to help support and stimulate northern Arizona’s local economy, which has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Public Works Stimulus Plan will allow local and regional contractors to break ground on capital improvement, pavement preservation, road resurfacing, and other projects during the coming construction season.
The Public Works Stimulus Plan includes strategic investments in road infrastructure across the County’s road system. Stimulus projects will be funded by the County’s Transportation Fund, which includes revenues from the Road Maintenance Sales Tax, the gas tax, and vehicle license tax. No County general funds will be used for these projects. By law, these transportation funds cannot be used for any other purpose that road maintenance and reconstruction.
“This is a great opportunity for the County to help local and regional businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic while keeping the Prop. 403 promises that we made to residents about maintaining our roads,” said District 3 Supervisor and Board Chair Matt Ryan. “These are shovel-ready projects that were already scheduled for construction as part of the County’s 10-year plan but had been delayed due to the initial concerns about significant revenue reductions. The gas and vehicle license taxes have continued to outperform conservative forecasts resulting in a healthy Transportation Fund, thus these projects can be done this year to the benefit of our local economy and road system without incurring any debt.”
The Public Works Stimulus Plan features civil capital improvement road projects, almost seven miles of pavement preservation projects, road maintenance equipment procurement, and crushing and blasting at the County’s operated pits to produce road surfacing material. In addition, Public Works has secured approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to resurface 10 miles of County maintained school bus routes on the Navajo Nation as part of the stimulus plan.
“Doing these projects sooner rather than later means more people working and thus more people buying and securing services from businesses located in our county,” said District 5 Supervisor and Board Vice-Chair Lena Fowler. “I’m also excited that the Stimulus Plan includes resurfacing our Nation roads, which will help to get our kids to and from school safely and are vital to our transportation needs.”
The Stimulus Plan projects are scheduled to break ground when weather permits this spring.