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Sat, July 20

<I>Resident wants flood aid for Paulden</I><BR>County says it's working on the wash problems

PAULDEN – Peter Hartmann is furious with the county.

The west Paulden resident said residents are not getting the flood control assistance they need, even though they pay for it in their property taxes – referring to the line item that goes to the county for the Flood Control District.

"What the county can do is it can simply do what it has to do for emergency flood mitigation," Hartmann said.

Development Services Director Ken Spedding, who oversees the county's Flood Control District, said the county is not responsible for washes, including the Big Chino and Williamson Valley washes that cut through the Paulden area.

"I know of no obligation that we have to maintain the washes," he said. "They are essentially on private property. We manage the flood plain, but do not control the flood waters."

Spedding had county employees post a notice in Paulden Wednesday focusing on the flooding situation. Recent storms have flooded the Paulden area and the washes, essentially cutting many residents off from access to main roads – in or out of the area.

Spedding's "Notice to Paulden Residents" said recent flooding throughout the community is a result of overflowing water from the Big Chino and Williamson Valley washes.

The notice states that the county is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to look into the problem. "While a study itself won't fix the problem," he wrote, "it is a required step for any subsequent funding or projects."

According to the notice, the county has money available now from the Flood Control District budget to repair the crossing at Feather Mountain Road or Big Spring Ranch Road by July 2005.

"While this won't prevent the area from being inaccessible, it should shorten the time access is cut off," he wrote.

A design is complete and went to the Paulden Area Community Organization as part of its November meeting, according to the notice.

"It is the intent of the district to schedule construction once site conditions improve," Spedding wrote.

The county would need to budget for further crossing improvement projects in the upcoming budget cycle, Spedding said Wednesday afternoon.

This year, he said the Flood Control District budget is approximately $4 million, adding that the budget includes carryover monies from prior years.

Spedding said he has slated roughly $1.6 million to go back to incorporated cities and towns for improvements within their communities for flood control projects.

Contact the reporter at jsoifer@prescottaz.com

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