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Mon, Oct. 14

County sets tax rates, objects to wolf area expansion

YAVAPAI COUNTY - The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted, 5-0, to accept the primary and secondary property tax rates for 2013 at Monday's meeting.

The tax rates will apply to Yavapai County, Fire District Contribution, Yavapai County Free Library District, Yavapai County Flood Control District, Ash Fork Street Lighting Improvement District, Seligman Street Lighting Improvement District, Yarnell Street Lighting Improvement District, and Seligman Sanitary District. Supervisors will also forward tax rates for all jurisdictions over to the County Treasurer.

The rate of increase or decrease varies between areas of the county. Residents in the Seligman Street Lighting Improvements District will be seeing and increase of 83 percent to their secondary taxes while residents in the Yarnell Street Light Improvement District will experience only a 14 percent increase to secondary taxes.

A copy of the tax rate changes for districts around the county can be found at www.yavapai.us, under the Aug. 19 Board of Supervisors meeting tab.

Supervisors also approved, 5-0, a letter to not support expanding the territory boundaries for the Mexican Gray Wolf despite a plea from a Prescott resident to reconsider.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking to expand the roaming borders for the wolves as well as reclassify them as an endangered subspecies of the larger gray wolf. Under the expansion, wolves would be allowed to roam as far north as Interstate 40 and as far south as Interstate 10.

"The report omits the value the wolves provide to the environment," resident Ralph Hess said. "If they return to healthy numbers, the wolf population strengthen the environment by keeping deer, elk and javelina populations healthy and in check. The wolves prey upon the old, sick and young and prevent those populations from growing so numerous that they overgraze and destroy the habitat that countless other species depend upon. And those other species include us."

Hess asked supervisors to take a look at additional data and statistics involving the Mexican Gray Wolf population before taking action on the letter.

"Are we willing to let the wolves take over here like they did in Montana, Wyoming and Minnesota to the point where the deprivation to the natural species of moose and elk, which we depend upon for our hunting population and the tourist that we bring into the state, gets out of hand?" Supervisor Craig Brown asked. "In those three states it is out of hand to the point where they are shooting them (the wolves) on-sight."

"You have to ask yourself, 'is this predator really needed in Arizona?'" he added.

In other business, supervisors:

• Approved, 5-0, to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation to turn lane improvements at the intersection of State Route 169 and Cherry Creek Road.

• Approved, 5-0, a Series 10 Liquor License application for The Dollar General Store at 3255 E. Beaver Creek Road, Rim Rock.

• Accepted and issued a new fund number for a $30,000 Governor's Office of Education Innovation Grant.

• Approved, 5-0, for the county to be a sponsor of for the fundraising event hosted by the Yavapai Cemetery Association on Sept. 6 at the Citizens Cemetery.

• Did not take any action regarding the construction of a solar farm at the Camp Verde Jail Complex.

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