$7.1 million contract for downtown Kingman streetscaping approved
KINGMAN – A $7.1-million construction services contract for the downtown infrastructure project was approved by a 5-2 vote during Tuesday’s Kingman City Council meeting. A strong throng of citizens and business owners once again, as they have in the past, expressed and displayed overwhelming support for what is also known as the streetscaping initiative.
It appeared the project might be in jeopardy months ago when the council was split 3-3 with member Shawn Savage staking out middle ground on the proposal to improve several blocks of Beale St. downtown with upgraded curb, gutter and sidewalk features with bump outs and other features making the space more attractive for tourists and locals alike.
Those who questioned the project didn’t necessarily oppose it on its merits, but expressed concern that the money should instead be used to address the city’s crumbling street network. Savage and council member Keith Walker backed away from that consideration to vote in support of the endeavor.
That left council members Cameron Patt and Marion Ward in the minority of the 5-2 vote.
“We’re looking at $7.1-million in a five-block area. That’s roughly half of what we’ve spent in the last 10 years on all of the streets in Kingman,” Ward said. “I can’t justify it.”
Vice Mayor Cherish Sammeli countered with the prevailing opinion that the project is an investment that will fetch great return.
“The importance of a vibrant downtown represents the heart and soul of a community,” Sammeli said. “A healthy downtown increases property values, it expands our tax base and as was mentioned, we thrive and survive on city sales tax.”