The Virgin River Communities Committee (VRC) held its annual meeting with Mohave County Officials Thursday, April 27, at the Beaver Dam Fire Station.
Representatives from the Mohave County Recorder’s and Assessor’s Office were in attendance as well as Gary Watson, District One supervisor, Steve Latoski, developmental services and a Mohave County sheriff. Watson was the only official to address the general meeting; officials were set up at individual tables, apart from the general assembly, so residents could ask specific questions without taking up all the meeting time with questions.
Watson began with news for the residents who live down Old Pioneer Road. The hard work, dedication and financial investment of residents John and Pat Schoppman have finally paid off. The crowd gave an appropriate round of applause to the couple when Watson announced that the “We’ve got this now.” He was referring to the fact that Old Pioneer Road has been brought up to Mohave County standards and the county will now be taking over the maintenance of the road from here forward.
VRC chairwoman Peggy Owen presented to Lael L. Calton, superintendent, Littlefield Unified School District 9, a check for $500 for scholarships for graduating seniors. This is the second $500 scholarship donation from the VRC for the 2017 graduating class. Calton thanked the general assembly and was proud to announce that the Class of 2017 The school valedictorian has already applied for and received more than $60,000 in scholarship money. Calton did not divulge the identity of the valedictorian preferring, instead, to save the announcement for Senior Award Night, which is scheduled for May 22.
Owen also expressed a need for three additional board members. According to the VRC bylaws the board should be comprised of seven members and they presently only have four. The VRC also needs volunteers for community service projects such as watering the plants at the Beaver Dam Cemetery and organizing the annual Christmas Parade. Nobody attending the meeting volunteered for board positions nor did the crowd nominate any candidates. There was only one volunteer signed up and he specified that he would like to water the plants at the cemetery.
The VRC board members reiterated that they desperately need volunteers even if it’s only for an hour a week; every little bit helps in bettering the community.
David Abplanalp, who has been working hard for several years on bringing Jones Flat roads up to county standards, spoke individually with both Watson and Latoski and shared with the MLN the following information on the road updates:
The Chip Seal of Highway 91 from I-15 intersection to Arizona/Nevada border is complete.
The Chip Seal of Old Pioneer Road is completed; however, Watson stated that he was committed to getting the rest of Old Pioneer Road chip sealed.
The official paper work was completed at end of March for Mohave County to accept the right of way on Front Street but the county does not have the extra 37.5 feet easement required on the South of the fence on Front Street from the BLM. Mohave County Road Department submitted an application to the BLM for the extra feet on April 11 but is still waiting. The County will not provide any speed limit signs for Virgin Acres Blvd. or Front Street, unless the road(s) have been accepted by the County for maintenance.
Once the County accepts the road(s) for maintenance, they also have the responsibility for policing (speed control) of the road. Speed limit signs will then be placed and enforced.
None of the money collected from speeding fines goes back into the county road department for road repair. Most of the money collected goes back into the court system.
The private property owner, Beaver Dam Ranches, who owns both sides of Virgin Acres Blvd., will return to the U.S. sometime in May. He will then meet with Mohave County Road Department to resolve differences so the county can accept Virgin Acres Boulevard and finally maintain the road.
The county will not accept Front Street until the fence is moved and the road is brought up to county minimum standards.
Abplanalp added, “You can help encourage the BLM to get moving by writing, email or phone call to BLM personnel listed below. Every little bit helps.”
BLM,Tim Burke, District Manager
Arizona Strip Field Office Bureau of Land Management