Bashas’ celebrates grand re-opening, Leisure Lane culverts get redesign

Greg Crossman
Greg Crossman

CAREFREE – During the Current Events segment of the Oct. 4 council meeting, Vice Mayor John Crane announced Bashas’ grand re-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony the following morning.

After undergoing a massive remodeling that now includes a salad bar, sushi bar and Starbuck’s, Crane said, “The store really looks good.”

He also announced the first 200 shoppers who spend $50 or more that Saturday would receive a free bag of groceries.

Mayor Les Peterson commented about what an asset Bashas’ is to the community, especially now since Albertson’s (briefly Haggen) has closed its doors.

Call to the Public brought Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Kip Rustenburg to the podium to remind everyone about the Public Safety Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Desert View Bible Church at the corner of Carefree Highway and Central Avenue.

She also mentioned there are some new MCSO deputies working in the area, including a sergeant and lieutenant.

With the fiscal year beginning in July, Town Administrator Gary Neiss explained the restated financial report for that month.

He said Town Accountant Jim Keen transferred figures from last year to the spreadsheet for the new fiscal year, which created some glitches in the formulas and the restated financial report reflects the corrections made.

Neiss said the town has $6.5 million in unrestricted funds and even after all the recent capital improvement projects were completed by the town, it is in sound financial shape.

Town Engineer Greg Crossman was requesting authorization to enter into an engineering contract with Metro/Land Consultants in an amount not to exceed $35,000 for the Leisure Lane culvert design.

Crossman explained there are two 36-inch culverts at the southwest corner of town within the Sentinel Rock subdivision that are completely plugged.

After investigating six alternatives, including “do nothing,” he was recommending a four-foot high by eight-foot wide concrete box culvert utilizing either a cast-in-place or pre-cast, both of which pass entire 100-year storm under road.

Crossman provided council with some background about the agenda item.

He said the culverts first became plugged on March 1, 2014 and in July 2014 the town undertook an extensive cleanout project only to have the culverts plug up again in August.

Crossman said the town has expended an extensive amount of resources to clean them out, it was not in the best interest of the town to continue to clean them out and called them a “continued nuisance and nightmare for the town.”

Peterson asked if there was litigation over the issue.

Crossman said there was but the town entered into a settlement agreement and there is currently no obligation for the town to do anything.

Neiss noted they were unable to find any documentation from the county as to how the design of the culverts came to be.

Town Attorney Michael Wright said he hadn’t seen the settlement agreement and didn’t know what the amount was but was aware the case had been settled by the risk pool.

Responding to Crane’s question as to whether the road is public or private, Neiss said it is public.

Crossman said it will probably cost somewhere around $150,000 to $200,000 to correct.

Crane said because it is a public road it is the town’s responsibility to correct the problem.

With Glenn Miller absent, council voted unanimously to approve the expenditure.

Although the gateway arches are essentially completed, Councilwoman Melissa Price said they were still working on the lighting and asked they not turn them on at night until the bugs were worked out.