With the Sedona City Council voting to move forward with a new half-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation projects, the next step is to create a plan for advancing projects through the decision-making process.
That’s what the council did during its Tuesday, Nov. 14, meeting as the city moves forward with its Transportation Master Plan. The item was for direction only, thus no vote was taken.
According to a city report, based on a presentation of possible large projects as part of the master plan, there were instances where staff referenced possible small-scale projects or ancillary costs associated with large-scale projects.
As an example, staff is pursuing some preliminary feasibility work on the Forest Road connection prior to developing a scope for design. Staff would like to add cameras to capture congestion on State Route 179 similar to what is used on State Route 89A north of Uptown.
City Manager Justin Clifton said staff also anticipates continuing to collect travel time data that will help them refine analysis during design of projects and assess the relief in congestion once a project is complete. All of these are examples of projects that are consistent with the master plan goals but not individually identified and discussed with council.
Similarly, they are all likely below a procurement threshold that would require council approval.
“We do have money in this year’s budget for what we consider ‘low-hanging fruit,’” Clifton said. “As we discuss moving forward, it occurred to us that there could be some things that weren’t just discussed explicitly as part of the Transportation Master Plan.”
Staff was seeking confirmation that they should proceed with these kinds of projects using the normal procurement thresholds to determine when to seek council approval.
Council could opt to be more involved than normal with these approvals but it risks slowing down progress, Clifton said. Council already makes all decisions regarding contracts over $100,000 and anything involving acquisition of property.