Forest Canyon Estates gets road okay
City council members talk access roads
The on-again, off-again Forest Canyon Estates subdivision got past its latest hurdle March 13 during the regularly scheduled meeting of Williams City Council. Representatives with the TMD Development Group met with council members during their regular meeting February 14 in order for council members to choose an emergency access road to the subdivision based on two submitted plans. The matter was tabled, however, as council members questioned whether or not they should allow the access road to utilize city property and whether or not it would be the best use for the property in question. TMD representatives have said the access road would be dedicated back to the city upon completion.
Council members approved the use of the property during their regular meeting after a brief report from city planner and interim city clerk Harry Holmes. Also approved was the design for the road, which would utilize two 90 degree angles in its design rather than an "S" curve design, which was also proposed.
"Two meetings ago this item was tabled in order to get a legal opinion about whether the developers could build this access road on city property and whether they had to pay for the right-of-way," Holmes told council members during the March 13 meeting.
Holmes said it was determined, following a legal opinion on the matter, that a payment was not necessary in regards to the property where the proposed access road would be located. They would, however, have to provide financial assurance that they would complete the road according to city standards and codes.
"Granting the right of way was a condition of preliminary approval," Holmes said.
Two access roads will be constructed in conjunction with the subdivision, according to city of Williams officials.
In an effort to keep future residents of Forest Canyon Estates from using the access road, council member James Wurgler suggested that the road be declared for emergency use only.
"It can be declared as basically emergency access only and put a breakaway barrier on it," Wurgler said.
City Council Members decided to table a decision on the proposed Arizona State Railroad Museum, in particular a decision regarding city funding for the project, until more data could be made available on revenue sources. According to Al Richmond, who was in attendance for the March 13 regular meeting of the Williams City Council, the museum would take two years to open after breaking ground on the project. The museum was tapped as an Arizona State Centennial project roughly eight months ago and is currently in line for funds from the Greater Arizona Development Authority (GADA).
"Actually 20 years ago last September, right in this room, the City Council, your predecessors, took a leap of faith at that point in time and that brought about the Grand Canyon Railway," Richmond said. "In bringing about the Grand Canyon Railway, that put the city in a lot better financial condition than it was at that point in time. Pretty much the town was almost non-functional in a lot of ways at that point in time. That was the leap of faith that they took which paid off in the long run."
Richmond asked council members to take another leap of faith when it came to the Arizona State Railroad Museum.
Williams City Finance Director Joe Duffy said the numbers were not all in when it came to determining financial figures.
"My recommendation is that it's just a little too early," Duffy said. "We just don't have all the pieces of the puzzle."
Other council matters
Council members also authorized a $1,500 sponsorship for an all-night senior graduation night event at the Williams Recreation Center during their regular meeting March 13 and approved an extension to a water allocation request for the Reserve at Williams Country Club made by developer Mike Cowen. Council members also listened to a brief presentation on the current progress of the HA Clark Memorial Field, as well as the cooperative fire management program during their regular meeting.