Sedona City Council member, Barbara Litrell, was recently invited to appear on Democratic Perspective to discuss a local issue of roadway control in Sedona.
According to Litrell, since 2006 the Sedona City Council has asked ADOT (Arizona Dept. of Transportation) to improve safety in West Sedona. “ADOT’s solution is to install 108 street lights on a 2.3-mile section of Highway 89A,” she said. “When Sedona responded that most accidents occur during the day, ADOT offered a package of more than $15 million in funds and improvements for the city to assume control of the roadway, instead.”
“Following a City Council vote to accept control of the roadway,” said Litrell, “A small group of citizens opposed the decision and began a referendum. As a result, there will be a special election on Proposition 410 on November 8. A Yes vote on Prop 410 is a vote to approve the city’s takeover of the roadway. A No vote means that ADOT will continue to control the roadway and will install 108 lights from the intersection at Airport Road to the intersection at Dry Creek Road.”
Another proposition on the November 8 ballot is Prop 411. “A Yes vote on this proposition will mean that no city council in the future can negotiate with ADOT,” said Litrell. “I believe that Prop 411 is blatantly unconstitutional. There are rumors that taking over the roadway will cost the City of Sedona mega dollars resulting in the reduction of other city services,” she continued. “Those rumors are simply not true. There is also a fear that the roadway takeover will lead to a city property tax. Again, I do not believe that will happen,” she said. “The City Council could not make that decision. According to state law, voters would have to pass a bill requesting a property tax,” said Litrell.
“The City of Sedona has money available to improve and maintain the roadway,” Litrell said. “In addition to the money offered by ADOT, the city will have a $1.5 million surplus this year. There are additional funds now that the city has paid off the treatment plant. And, in any event, there is no plan to do all of the improvements at once,” she concluded.
Mail-in ballots for the election will be mailed on September 27 and must be returned by November 8. Or, if they prefer, voters can vote at their regular polling stations on Tuesday, Novermber 8. If Sedona residents vote Yes on Prop 410, Litrell said the city and ADOT will return to negotiations. “ADOT wants Sedona to take back the roadway,” Litrell stated.
More information on the subject is available at http://voiceofchoicefor89A.com.