"WEED BARRIER NOT COST EFFECTIVE AND WILL DOUBLE TAXES OVER FOUR YEARS!"
A study conducted by the Board of the Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District (RRREMD) concludes that
There will be no cost savings resulting from an installation of a double-weed barrier along SR 179;
The cost of such weed barrier will cost the RRREMD taxpayers $700,000 additional tax dollars; and
Double-weed barriers have been tried by the AZ Department of Transportation (ADOT) and "…were found to be not cost effective."
During the re-construction of SR 179, the Big Park/VOC citizens asked ADOT to install special enhancements on SR 179 including "red rock"-colored sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, benches, trash containers, roundabouts and landscaping in the median and along the shoulders. In order to provide for the perpetual maintenance of those enhancements, the community formed an improvement district and a section of SR 179 was designated as the RRREMD which stretches along SR 179 for a distance of 1.45 miles.
The RRREMD 5-person Board is charged with the responsibility to ensure that the taxes imposed by the RRREMD are being spent wisely to maintain the enhancements for the benefit of the community residents and its visitors as they utilize and travel along SR 179.
The Board recently received a proposal from Paul Gazda, one of its members, to install a double-weed barrier along the medians and shoulders of SR 179 in the District (Proposal). The Board has conducted a cost analysis study of the Proposal which has revealed the following facts:
The Board asked ADOT about these weed barriers and ADOT responded as follows: "We do not use plastic or weed barrier under granite or rock mulches. Those treatments are not new and have been tried and tested ... and have not proven to be cost effective for long term maintenance from 3 to 10 years.";
The Proposal would NOT save community taxpayers any money as alleged by Mr. Gaza but in fact would cost the community over $700,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars over the next 25 years. (The cost analysis figures can be reviewed on the RRREMD website – http://www.improvementdistrictservices.com/redrockroademd.html); and
The proposal would double the RRREMD tax rate over the next 4 years without yielding any clear benefit.
In addition, the Board is very aware that the original SR 179 project caused major disruption to Big Park/VOC businesses and many have been slow to recover. Many have failed. The Board believes that local businesses do not need the adverse impact from another disruptive project along SR 179.
The RRREMD Board is committed to maintaining the enhancements while keeping its promise to keep taxes in line.
In case you haven’t noticed, our SR179 corridor has alphabet soup spilled all over it! Well, not exactly . . . please let me explain. In 2007, the citizens of the Big Park/Village of Oak Creek area got together and petitioned Yavapai County to create an improvement district along SR179 as it runs through the area. Citizens wanted something other than a sterile highway. The measure passed and several improvements were installed, consisting of colored sidewalks with pedestrian lighting, benches and trash containers, roundabouts and landscaping in the median and along the shoulders. The section of road was designated as the Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District [RRREMD] and runs from MilePost 305.45 to 307.08 – a distance of 7,656 feet or 1.45 miles.
Those of you who receive a tax bill will notice the acronym on your tax bill. Once the District was established, it became a taxing authority to support the future maintenance of the improvements. The initial management of the District was assigned to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors. Everybody wanted local control but we had a problem because Arizona law did not provide for citizen management of a maintenance district because there were none in the State. During 2012, Legislative action was taken to update statutes to provide for a local citizen board to manage maintenance districts. Since the RRREMD is the ONLY one in Arizona, it was created especially for us but now that the precedent has been set, other areas of the State are using it as a model for their areas.
The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors then had to transition from them managing the District to a local citizen Board. Announcements were put out seeking applicants and from those received, the following local citizens were appointed to the Board starting in January 2013:
Steve Fiedler Mark Mumaw Joanne Johnson Dave Norton Richard Sidy
The new Board took office on January 15, 2013. The Board elected Dave Norton as Chair and we are all learning a LOT about the roadway we drive, walk and bike on all the time. It is a complicated system!! The roadway, signage and the tall roundabout lights are owned and maintained by ADOT. The pedestrian lighting, sidewalks, benches and trash receptacles are owned and maintained by RRREMD. The landscaping is maintained by RRREMD under contract with a professional landscape company. Landscape maintenance includes weed control, plant replacement when plants die, maintenance of the irrigation system and emptying the trash receptacles.
Your Board is working hard to be sure that our collective tax dollars are being spent wisely to maintain the unique approach to the greater Red Rock and Sedona area for our many tourists. The RRREMD also works closely with the All American Road Committee, which is responsible for the banners that are hung on the pedestrian light poles. The RRREMD Board meets quarterly on the 3rd Tuesday of the first month of each calendar quarter at 2 PM in the VOCA Board office. The meeting is open to the public and the agenda is always posted at VOCA in advance.
The RRREMD Board needs cooperation and assistance from the community to make this enhancement something we can all be proud of. Please do not hang or tape any signs to any of the light poles or sign posts – it makes the area look trashy and they are hard to remove. Any type of sign in the ADOT right of way is not permitted – the right of way extends from the outside edge of the landscaping to the outside edge of the landscaping on the opposite side of the roadway and includes the roundabouts, street light poles, sidewalks, pedestrian benches and trash receptacles. Yes, this means you cannot place a garage sale, estate sale, car wash, real estate for sale or open house, event or ANY OTHER sign in this area unless you have a permit from ADOT. ADOT is known for coming through from time to time and picking up all of the signs and taking them to their Flagstaff office and if you want them back . . . you have to go get them.
We also have a few local residents using the trash containers for their personal trash. Please note that this is against the law and if you are observed dumping household trash in the containers, you could be subject to a fine. These trash containers are for pedestrians to use instead of discarding items along this beautiful stretch of roadway. Please use the containers if you need to discard water bottles, papers, etc. as you are walking the sidewalks.
On a final note, if you ever see what appears to be a water leak in the median or along the shoulders, please do not ignore it! That water is not only a precious resource but it is YOUR tax dollars being wasted! The Sheriff’s Office, Highway Patrol, ADOT and the Sedona Fire District all have the numbers to call RRREMD to report leaks or damage but you are also welcome to call our office directly at 800-659-7149. If nobody is there to answer, please leave a message so the situation can be taken care of. We do have a local contractor on call to deal with such issues. He also changes the pedestrian light bulbs so if you see one out, please report it.
Please get out and ENJOY this beautiful and unique stretch of roadway in Arizona – just don’t slip on the alphabet soup!!
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