Kingman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Position Statement on the City of Kingman Downtown Infrastructure Design Project
At our board meeting on January 24, the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted upon and agreed to support the following outlined position.
Revitalization of Kingman’s downtown is imperative to the future of our community. As evidenced in downtown revitalization projects in similar cities, the project will improve Kingman’s economy and livability as follows:
1. A thriving downtown will encourage business investment and economic activity, which in turn will enhance Kingman’s economy and create more tax revenue for the City of Kingman.
2. The amenities proposed in the downtown revitalization project will provide residents more shopping, dining, and entertainment, which are vital for recruiting and retaining professionals needed to sustain Kingman’s most vital industries.
3. Tourist spending is crucial to many businesses throughout the Kingman area (not just downtown). A revitalized downtown will not only attract tourists to Kingman but will make them more likely to return.
While our board understands the importance of repairing and maintaining Kingman’s streets, we are opposed to using the $7 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds slated for the downtown revitalization project to fund street repairs for the following reasons:
1. Using onetime ARPA funds for street improvement is not a solution to the city’s road maintenance problem. The $7 million would only cover pothole repairs on a few streets and won’t begin to address the funding shortfall for continued street maintenance. Without a more permanent solution, Kingman’s streets will continue to be in disrepair.
2. If the City diverted the ARPA funds for street maintenance, it is highly unlikely that future funding for downtown revitalization could be secured— ending a viable opportunity for enhancing Kingman’s business climate and building our tax base.
3. With the City-approved downtown infrastructure plan, many citizens, businesses, and organizations have already invested substantial private funds into Kingman’s downtown area. The city’s failure to improve safety, walkability, and ADA access to downtown establishments would set a dangerous precedent that would discourage future private investment in our city.
In summary, the Kingman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors fully supports the Downtown Infrastructure Design Project as an essential investment in our city’s economic future. For the best interest of our business community and to uphold the integrity of the city council, the onetime ARPA funds must be spent on downtown infrastructure and not used to fill potholes that will only resurface in the future. Therefore, we oppose any actions that would postpone or endanger implementation of the full initiative as previously planned and budgeted by the City Council.
Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce