The Mohave County Board of Supervisors is set to meet Monday in Kingman to discuss, or vote on, issues including security upgrades at some county departments, taking over a federally funded highway project from the state of Arizona, monitoring wildfire threats at Hualapai Mountain Park and acceptance of the recently defined county administrator’s job duties.

SECURITY UPGRADES

The Board is set to vote on a consent-agenda item concerning security upgrade projects affecting four areas of the county. The project’s total is $62,976 and is not to exceed $71,745.46. County staff recommends the project be awarded to Phoenix-based bidder G&G Specialty Contractors.

According to county documents, the project would provide updates to the county attorney’s office ($18,540), community services department ($16,008), public health WIC ($13,486) and public health nursing ($14,942).

The scope of work includes installation of county-supplied bulletproof panels, interior transaction windows with exterior polycarbonate glazing and reconstruction of interior wall and framing finishes.

The Arizona State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, or SFSF, which was designated for public safety for Mohave County building security in 2010, was used to purchase the bullet resistant panels and interior transaction windows for the project, according to county documents.

HIGHWAY SAFETY

The Board is set to vote on a consent-agenda item to cancel an intergovernmental agreement with Arizona Department of Transportation after it recently announced it was unable to meet a June 30 project deadline. The partnership hinged on federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds in the amount of $134,700. As a result of the cancellation, the state will contribute another $26,940, bringing the HSIP grant for Mohave County to a total of $161,640.

The project includes design and installation of various guardrail end treatment, according to county documents.

INDIGENT DEFENSE SERVICES

The Board is set to vote on a consent-agenda item that would approve a $900,000 increase on overage of indigent legal service and investigation expenses in the current fiscal year.

A transfer of salary savings in the amount of $500,000, and a general fund contingency of $400,000, is at hand to satisfy the additional expenses, according to county documents.

With indigent legal services required by law, the county is on the hook for the fluctuating level of service. In the current fiscal year, FY13, initially about $292,000 was budgeted for capital cases. Actual costs to date in FY13 are about $504,000, resulting in an overage of about $212,000. Contract attorney cases, as a result of caseload overflows and staff vacancies, have resulted in an overage of $192,000 this fiscal year. Juvenile case expenses have resulted in an overage of $131,000, according to county documents.

WILDFIRE THREATS

The Board is set to discuss county practices that would shut down Camp Levi Levi in the county’s Hualapai Mountain Park during times of “very high” or “extreme” fire hazard conditions, as determined by the Bureau of Land Management. The closure would be for safety reasons, according to county documents.

County staff recommendations center on asking the Board to direct county emergency management officials to monitor fire hazard conditions at the park and order the park closed when potential wild land dangers arise.

The camp has come under increased risk in recent years because of continued drought and accumulated vegetative fuel in the Hualapai Mountains. A recent evaluation of the area conducted by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team deemed safe zones of relatively sparse vegetation at or near the camp are not sufficient to provide protection from smoke and high heat. Additionally, Flag Mine Trial, which for years has been considered a last resort foot evacuation route, is no longer safe. BLM doesn’t want the trail designated as an evacuation route and will not allow the trail to be improved for safer foot travel, according to county documents.

The park, and camp area, could more than likely be closed to campers before the onset of the monsoon season. Lightning associated with the monsoon increases wild fire potential and poses a threat to human life in those areas.

The camp is regularly used by Boy Scout groups during June and into the monsoon season and higher fire-threat months, according to county documents.

COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR JOB DUTIES

The Board is set to discuss the recently restructured county administrator job description. The description was formed after a Board of Supervisors workshop June 3.

OPPOSITION TO LAND CLOSURES

The Board is set to discuss possibly opposing the intent of BLM’s intent to further close lands to grazing on and around the Arizona Strip in northern Mohave County. The closure is hinged on protection of the desert tortoise. Reasons for opposing the closure include grazing reduced potential catastrophic wild fire hazards as the grazing animals eat the vegetation. Additionally, historically, studies show that wild fires, which do threaten the tortoises, are most often ignited by lightning and are not human caused.

The letter also addresses the same desert tortoise recovery implementation team wanting to absorb, and close, private land holdings in the area as well as mineral activity.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors meets at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the county administration building, 700 West Beale St., Kingman.

You may contact the reporter at jhanson@havasunews.com.

(1) comment

Miss American

These land closures supposedly to protect some 'endangered' animal are going on all over the country. It is plainly part of the UN's Agenda 21 which our county commissioners have apparently fallen for, due to BRIBES by the feds called GRANTS. Of course they will have figured out a good argument against the logic of wild fires dangers, due to the closures, wiping out the tortoise. It's all part of the massive UN land grab. THEY want the mining, water, etc. resource lease money.

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