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Editorial: Fresh start with new leadership on 260 project
The memorial to Pastor William Hutchinson and his two sons, serves as a reminder to some of a needless accident of State Route 260 and a reminder to others of the need to widen the road between Camp Verde and Cottonwood.
8/14/2012 2:17:00 PM
The last time we traveled down the road to a new-and-improved Arizona 260, the Verde Valley ended up with a black eye.
Arizona Department of Transportation
gave us the chance to define the vision of the project. We turned it into a fight. Cottonwood fought for a four-lane transportation thoroughfare to I-17, while Camp Verde stood firm on an economic corridor with multiple intersections and stoplights, not at all unlike that which Cottonwood has at its end of 260.
What we ended up with was a little of both and the sense that this project was far from complete.
Today, the wheels are being greased again to finish this project. Behind the scenes, there has been some much-needed common sense exercised by Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin to avoid a repeat of the 2005 fiasco that created such ill will between Camp Verde and Cottonwood/Clarkdale.
Martin already has met with Cottonwood City Manager Doug Bartosh and other Upper Verde leaders to define what is, and, more importantly, what is not acceptable if and when this project moves forward.
Martin is being proactive in laying the foundation for compromise and communication in finding that middle ground between Cottonwood's desire for an unimpeded thoroughfare and Camp Verde's belief that 260 is crucial to the town's future economic health. He is providing the kind of leadership that was sadly lacking the last time this project was considered.
Both towns need to bury the past on this project and come together as a voice of unity when communicating with ADOT.
Please, no more black eyes for the Verde Valley.
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