The Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to spend county tax dollars to fix up a washed out portion of Planet Ranch Road immediately upstream and adjacent to the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge. Supervisor Buster Johnson voted against the motion.
“Mohave County has not accepted this portion of Planet Ranch Road for maintenance,” Johnson said. “By entering into this agreement with Arizona Game and Fish, we could be putting our Highway User Revenue Funding (HURF) in jeopardy.”
The Arizona Game and Fish Department recently approached the County regarding this one-time maintenance work in order to have the road fixed prior to their Grand Opening of Planet Ranch that had been scheduled for Saturday but has been postponed due to wet weather. Under the agreement, Game and Fish will reimburse the County for the work.
“I have always pushed for public access to Planet Ranch. I encourage folks to attend the Grand Opening; however, Planet Ranch road is a rough washboard road approximately 60 miles from Yucca at the I-40. In my opinion the easiest access to Planet Ranch is at the Bill Williams River Bridge and is less than 10 miles from the I-95,” Johnson explained. He recommended during the Board meeting that those interested in attending could also take Shea Road from Parker which is a 31 mile drive off the I-95.
Johnson’s concerns regarding HURF funds are that they are restricted for use on specific County road work.
“Even though we assist other governments on an emergency basis this work does not constitute an '
emergency' more of a favor we are doing for Game and Fish,” he said. “Game and Fish had this event planned weeks in advance, and this particular portion of road has been washed out for a long time. Game and Fish had ample time to take appropriate action to fix the road.”
The Board approved the item as presented with the addition of an indemnification clause in the agreement freeing the county of liability for future washouts. Johnson said he feels this item should not have been presented to the Board without a written agreement and a cost analysis.