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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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10/9/2012 4:01:00 PM
Camp Verde invests in wider SR 260
File photoThe Camp Verde town council has taken the lead in reopening discussions on widening State route 260 between Interstate 17 and Thousand Trails Road. This Wednesday, the council approved a contract with Marathon Public Affairs to help move the discussions forward.
File photo

The Camp Verde town council has taken the lead in reopening discussions on widening State route 260 between Interstate 17 and Thousand Trails Road. This Wednesday, the council approved a contract with Marathon Public Affairs to help move the discussions forward.

Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter


CAMP VERDE - Not long after Russ Martin took over as town manger he terminated the contract with a consultant working on a revision of the Town code.

Since then he has avoided at all cost hiring outside help to work through town problems, under the belief that when expertise exists within the town staff to tackle a problem, it should be used.

But, he says, there comes a time when it is prudent to seek outside assistance -- especially when dealing with intergovernmental projects -- like building roads.

On Wednesday evening, at Martin's request, the Camp Verde Town Council voted to spend $15,000 with Marathon Public Affairs to keep the ball rolling on the notion of widening State Route 260.

"I understand the propensity not to go with consultants, I generally approve that when we have the expertise. The difficulty here is this issue is played a much higher level than just local decisions," says Martin.

Martin describes Marathon as "very high level" consultants "who can make this happen at levels beyond the Verde Valley."

'I believe they can also be useful in bringing us all together in the Verde Valley, without tripping over history," said Martin.

Attempts in 2005 failed when the Town of Camp Verde, led by property owners along the corridor, and the upper valley communities failed to agree on the number and placement of access points.

The road was eventually widened between Thousand Trails and Western Drive, along a corridor of Forest Service land, and additional safety improvements were made along the remainder of the roadway.

Over the last few months, Martin has met with property owners as well as officials from the upper Verde Valley communities and received support for reopening the talks on widening SR260 between Camp Verde and Thousand Trails.

The consulting contract with marathon is for $15,000 to be spent over the next five months. It will be paid for with money originally budgeted for the Camp Verde Sanitary District/Town of Camp Verde consolidation election, which has been postponed until next March.

Under the contract, Marathon will act as a facilitator in local discussion on the widening of SR260 and help lobby ADOT for the immediate need for the project.

Marathon has extensive experience in lobbying the state legislature and other government agencies. It was also instrumental in drafting Proposition 204, which if passed by voters this November would allocate additional money for transportation projects.

Taylor Waste
Related Stories:
• Editorial: Time for Camp Verde to succeed on Highway 260


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: paul peck

i agree with mr. schultz. the road has been needing to be widened for several years. mr. may: if your ever caught on 260, and nearly get get caught up in a fatal accident like i was the morning pastor bill, his sons, and the others were, you might rethink your attitude of 'there is nothing wrong with the road the way it is now." not everyone knows how to drive with respect for other drivers...they're all in a hurry to get wherever it is they are going and don't care who they hurt or kill. wake up people, it's way past time to widen it, and too many drivers have been killed or hurt on this road.

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: Ray Schultz

To: Mr. May You can't be serious. How about all of the fatal head on collisions that have occurred on that section in the last 12 months? It's broke.

Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Article comment by: Michael May

Looks to me like local government is equally flawed in ridiculous spending of taxpayer funds. There is nothing wrong with the road the way it is now. If it isn't broke there is no need to fix it right? Why not save that funding for a time when the community needs it?



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