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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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2/22/2014 2:39:00 PM
Is a new Cottonwood City Hall decision pending?
VVN/Jon Hutchinson
A possible indication that Cottonwood may  have other plans for a new City Hall, Administrative Services General Manager Rudy Rodriguez requested the current City Hall not be part of the ā€œhistoric landmarkā€ process.
VVN/Jon Hutchinson
A possible indication that Cottonwood may have other plans for a new City Hall, Administrative Services General Manager Rudy Rodriguez requested the current City Hall not be part of the ā€œhistoric landmarkā€ process.

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


COTTONWOOD -- It could be that a land exchange is approaching to make way for a new Cottonwood City Hall for Cottonwood.

There has been no public announcement, but staff and council members may have shown their hand during Tuesday's council discussions of the historic landmarking process. Recently the city has been designated a Certified Local Government, a status which allows it to designate buildings as historic (over 50 years old) and be authorized to apply for grant funding.

The program falls under the National Park Service and is administered in each state under a State Historic Preservation office (SHPO).

While approving a list of city-owned buildings that qualify for historic landmark status so staff may begin the process, the council stumbled on three of the properties. It approved listing of the Cottonwood Civic Center and the Old Town Jail, now operated as a tea room. But Administrative Services General Manager Rudy Rodriguez asked that three other city-owned buildings not be included on the list at this time. Those buildings are City Hall, the Finance Building and Council Chambers.

Rodriguez explained that the "use" of those three structures could change and it could "pose a hurdle." The landmarking process must be "owner-initiated," according to Councilmember Tim Elinski, who is also a member of the Historic Preservation Commission.

Rodriguez said the issue could come before the council during the next three to four weeks.

One of the options the city has been considering for a future city hall site is property on the south side of Main between Sixth and Eighth streets where the 1898 Strahan house once stood, now owned by Joe Nackard. Nackard has proposed exchanging that 10-acre property for those three city-owned buildings, which Nackard wants to convert to retail space.

Under the early plan, the city would lease back of the buildings until a new city hall structure could be built.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: Fast forward 10 years -

And just imagine all the same folks that are against this complaining about the lack of foresight if the city skips whatever opportunity they might be considering.

'they should have built a new city hall years ago... this one is rundown and right in a retail strip...'

'should have done it before property prices rose, construction prices rose...' etc...

Some people are determined to be unhappy no matter the cost & normally the same ones over and over and over...


Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: D Etter

@ More city debt will cost people.
I could not have said it better if I tried.
I work in the customer service business (in Cottonwood city limits) and talk to lot of people from all over the U.S. and world. They are shocked at how high our sales tax rate is. I have been told it is higher than in Manhattan or anywhere else on the east coast and many parts of California, but yet I have also been told by the city utilities dept. that they are only allowed one new street light a year. Where is this money going?? There are so many empty buildings in Cottonwood that would serve the city's purpose and owners that would be willing to make a great deal with the city to get out from under them!
Although we are growing quickly, we are still a small town and just like people the city needs to live within it's means. it is time to slow the wagon and start using the resources available, and spend a lot more time (and money) focusing on the basics for the citizens of Cottonwood.


Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Old town needs a skyscraper,that should suffice for a spell.

Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014
Article comment by: More city debt will cost people

Probably a safe bet the council will proceed with building a expensive but unnecessary city hall, and in doing so will continue burden its already impoverished people with more public debt.

Why will the council do this, and ignore the plight of the people?

Because the city staff will tell them to.

It's also a very good bet that not even one single council member will even mention the extensive poverty in Cottonwood, which exceeds the statewide average. The fact that Cottonwood's median household income is an astounding one-third less than the state average will be a complete nonfactor in any discussion by the council.

No council member will dare breathe a word about how the poor in this town will continue to be burdened by the very high rate of taxation needed to prop up the city government's unnecessary spending on a new city hall.

This of course comes at no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention, since the Cottonwood city council always prioritizes city government over the the people. In their minds, city government is the people. So what's good for city government has to be good for the people.

This is why your elected representatives in Cottonwood will continue to nail those that can least afford it with high taxes on rent and food, and force them to pay unnecessarily high utility rates on water and sewer.




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