At the regular Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday November 18, 2020, the Board heard a motion to reject all three Design-Build Request For Proposals (RFP) for the Verde Connect Project, authorize payment to the three unsuccessful offerors in an amount not to exceed that specified in the RFP, and direct staff to end all contracts and agreements related to the design and funding of the Verde Connect project.
The Board was presented with this as a follow up action item following an executive session on the road project contract. Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Brown said he made the motion to end the Verde Connect project for the following reasons:
- The cost of the total project has exceeded the original engineers estimate and is far beyond the available funding of the BUILD grant awarded to Yavapai County. The cost of completing the entire project from SR 260 to Cornville Road is approximately twice as much as the $25 million-dollar BUILD grant.
- Phase 1 costs for the project from SR 260 to Middle Verde Road would cost the County’s Regional Road Program approximately $8 to $10 million dollars out of the portion designated for the Verde Valley and take away needed funding for future needs of roadways in the region.
- To complete phase 2 of the project, from Middle Verde Road to Cornville Road, the County would need to borrow additional money on behalf of the project and incur debt in the magnitude of $15 to $20 million dollars which would further strain and take away additional funding available in the Regional Road Program for future needs of roadways in the Verde Valley.
- The project does not function effectively as regional connections unless the entire project from SR 260 to Cornville Road is completed, and funding of the entire project is not feasible without jeopardizing the funding of the future needs of roadways in the Verde Valley.
The Verde Connect project was designed to connect Cornville Road to State Route 260. Chairman Brown said, “With the cost to construct new roads increasing and available funds being limited, three members of the board ultimately decided now was not the time to take on additional debt and limit the amount of funds available for other projects.” The three members that voted in support of the motion were Chairman Brown, Supervisors Mary Mallory and Supervisor Thomas Thurman.