President Barack Obama signed the stimulus bill Feb. 17 and now Verde Valley communities wait to see how much money trickles down for local road projects.
A stoplight at Airport Road made the list of regional improvements recommended to the Northern Arizona Council of Governments by the Verde Valley Transportation Planning Organization.
NACOG will be responsible for distributing any federal stimulus dollars for roads to both Yavapai and Coconino counties, along with Apache and Navajo counties, according to Chris Fetzer, NACOG manager of transportation planning.
Project lists were prepared by various local organizations, such as the Verde Valley organization, and submitted to NACOG, Fetzer said. NACOG will use the lists to create a master list of projects to be funded after it learns the amount of money it will receive from the Arizona Department of Transportation. ADOT will be the direct recipient of the federal dollars to be distributed for state projects.
Whether Sedona get its stoplight is still up in the air.
“We don’t know how far the funds will go,” Fetzer said.
On the Verde Valley list, the stoplight is ranked fourth on a list of five projects.
Ranking above Sedona’s project is $826,010 for Yavapai County to improve 3.8 miles of Cornville Road, $780,000 for pavement replacement on South 6th Street in Cottonwood and a combination of two Clarkdale projects totaling $804,100. Fifth on the list, after the Airport Road stoplight, is $500,000 for resurfacing a portion of Salt Mine Road in Camp Verde.
Sedona’s project includes the traffic signal, sidewalks and intersection improvements for $731,584. However, stimulus money would be used to pay for half of the project and the city of Sedona would pick up the remaining amount, according to the letter submitted to NACOG by John Bradshaw, the transportation organization chairman.
Bradshaw, also a member of Sedona City Council, could not be reached for comment.
On the county level, Yavapai County Director of Public Works Phil Bourdon said the county came up with a total of four projects for federal funding — only one of which is in the Verde Valley.
The Cornville Road project entails breaking down the road’s pavement, rejuvenating it with oils and laying it back down from Aspass Road in Cornville to Beaverhead Flat Road.
Yavapai County Administrator Julie Ayers said exactly how stimulus money is distributed locally — which projects will be funded and how much — is still uncertain.
“There’s still a lot more questions than answers out there,” Ayers said.
And those questions won’t be answered in the near future.
“It will be several weeks until that [funding information] is available,” Fetzer said.
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