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Eye on Sedona 89A Transfer with Councilor Barbara Litrell

What does the SR 89A Transfer mean to you? On February 22, 2011, the City Council voted to approve the ADOT transfer of SR 89A in exchange for a $15.5 million package of $10.6 million in cash and $4.9 million in projects including road paving, bicycle lane striping, and a signalized intersection at Andante Drive.

Sedona City Councilor Barbara Litrell



What does this mean to us financially in the future? Maybe the following information will help better define how Sedona, you and I, can handle this.

When ADOT deposits the $10,650,000 into our City’s bank account, it will be deposited in restricted funds for operations, maintenance and improvements in the Transfer Segment. With proper management of the funds, the City can care for the road for the next 15 years without a problem.

Of that $10.6 million, $1,125,000 is reserved for road maintenance over the next 15 years. That’s $75,000 per year. The City already shares maintenance costs of SR 89A with ADOT. The City spends approximately $35,000 per year; ADOT puts in the other $35,000 – $40,000. So, for the next 15 years we can bank the City’s $35K and use the $75K provided up front by ADOT in the $1,125,000.  Banking $35K will yield $525,000 plus interest in 15 years, which could cover inflation or extend the maintenance pool of money.

$2.8 million is allocated for 24-hour safety improvements in place of continuous roadway lighting. The priority must be to stay within budget. It’s been clear that the community wants some sidewalk lighting on SR 89A. Others have cited the need for a traffic signal at the Medical Center. These should be considered along with other proposed safety measures. 

$3,060,500 is reserved in the account for future improvements and projects on SR 89A. Staff identified proposed improvements for the Transfer Segment and the $3 million should help cover those costs. Any interest earnings or unused funds will remain in the fund for future Transfer Segment needs. 

The final $3,400,000 of the $10.6 million is earmarked for future repaving of SR 89A around 2028. With interest, it should be about $4.5 million in 15 years. In 2027, Sedona will also retire its $6.2 million annual bond debt service. Even if only one year of that $6.2 million is needed, there would be $10+ million for the road repaving around 2028. This would set us up until 2043 when the next repaving is due. A crystal ball can’t go out that far to predict finances but, as our City Manager has stated publicly, 30 years is enough time to plan for our needs.

We need to decide whether the benefits of ownership outweigh the responsibilities. Is it better to control our own destiny or fight ADOT for every change we want or need like we did on SR 179? Can SR 89A look better? Be safer?

We can “what if “ ourselves right into a status quo trap or we can step up to self control and make the decision to work together for a bright Sedona future.

This SedonaEye.com article represents the opinions of Barbara Litrell, Sedona City Councilor, and not those of the staff or the Sedona City Council.



1 Comment

  1. Lawrence says:

    support this position / opponents using scare tactics with ridiculous income stream positions / budgets are by nature FORECASTED

    the will of the people was voted

    where are my earlier comments that are usually minutes to read after sending? can’t find them here is my second send

    liking the hearty dialog these stories & columns generate

    (SedonaEye.com Editor: Thank you, Lawrence. Your “second send” is appreciated and so, too, your compliments. We appreciate our readers!)

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