COTTONWOOD -- A petition circulated among citizens to add sidewalks and road improvements along both the north and south side of Fir Street from Monte Tesoro to Chuckawalla Street has gained Cottonwood City Council’s attention.
The petition was from Verde Village Unit 8 residents residing within the city limits. The main concern outlined in a memo to the city states that Fir Street from Monte Tesoro sees a lot if traffic and serves residents residing within and outside city limits. Despite the heavy traffic, street improvements have been neglected, according to the memo.
“The residents between Monte Tesoro and Chuckawalla have no other route from their homes to anywhere other than Fir Street,” the memo states. “The city conceded the safety issues and two drainage issues when they completed the improvements to the eastern portion of Fir Street. These issues have been ignored for nearly eighteen years on the western portion.”
In a presentation to Cottonwood City Council, Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman and city council candidate Doug Hulse cited drainage problems and eroded pavement.
He also noted that there was no place for bicyclists to ride or for pedestrians to walk. The issue will become worse once Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School becomes a K-8 following realignment plans by the district, causing the area along Monte Tesoro Drive to see more traffic, he said.
Council Member Tosca Henry concurred on the safety issue for pedestrians.
“As a runner myself, a reasonable person would not know where to walk,” she said.
The memo requests a city council commitment that projects begin as soon as possible and no later than fiscal year 2019-2020.
.Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski said that while he agreed that the street improvements needed to be addressed, there are many other streets within city limits on the priority list. According to city staff documents, Fir Street and Monte Tesoro Drive to Chuckawalla street improvements aren’t slated to begin until 2028.
“We are painfully aware of these problems,” he said. “Hopefully the sales tax increase will help.”