MOHAVE COUNTY – A $9-million state legislative appropriation advances the more than decade-long effort to replace dilapidated Mohave County Sheriff’s Office substations in Lake Havasu City and Mohave Valley. Sheriff Doug Schuster was thankful after a momentum gain during an Oct. 16 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Supervisors approved Schuster’s request to use $2.94-million to purchase a newly constructed building at 6534 Showplace Drive to replace the antiquated substation on Highway 95. Supervisors also authorized the sheriff to finish the interior and equip the facility for a total cost not to exceed $5.4-million.

Schuster said the new substation will likely be in operation by for the busy 4th of July holiday next year, if not sooner.

The sheriff said the $3.6-million or more remaining from the state allocation should be enough to purchase and furnish the former Desert Lakes Realty building at 6870 Highway 95 in Mohave Valley. He’s especially pleased with the location, providing an ideal spot for efficiency.

“That’s exactly where we need to be,” Schuster said. He expects to gain expenditure approvals within the next month that could put the Mohave Valley substation in operation by January because there’s less interior work to complete.

Schuster told supervisors that buying rather than building new substations saves money and puts them in service much more quickly since most of the construction time is eliminated. “We found that by taking this approach we could actually get larger space and more office for less money,” the sheriff said.

Schuster said he hopes county supervisors will honor the $5-million-dollar substation facility allocation he said the board approved 3 years ago. He said that money will be needed for a new substation on the Arizona Strip and a Water Safety Center project at Lake Havasu.