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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions August 28, 2014

4/10/2013 10:00:00 PM
Editorial: Habitat, city should share costs for road
The Daily Courier

When the City of Prescott and council see the need for a neighborhood improvement, usually the developer of homes there or homeowners would shoulder that cost.

But, in the case of six homes to be built off Madison Street, the developer is Habitat for Humanity and the homeowners will be low-income families.

Call it a Catch-22 situation.

Habitat is planning a six-home project, the plat of which got the green light Tuesday from the City Council. However, it is happening with a requirement for $132,000 in street improvements there. The Habitat parcel is on Meany Street and it currently is a narrow track that would need to be widened to 20 or 24 feet.

If we are ever to consider projects that benefit families or people who are struggling and need a hand-up, Habitat for Humanity is an obvious benefactor in that regard.

Notice, we stated "hand-up," rather than "hand-out." Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit that builds houses for low-income families who provide "sweat-equity" in the project. For every dollar Habitat puts into street improvements, for example, that is a dollar that could have helped put a roof over a family's head.

A Habitat official has emphasized that any additional costs could make the project too expensive for the organization. At the same time, developers and homeowners cannot expect the city to foot the bill for everything.

Considering that "Meany Street and Short Street are severely deficient streets," according to Councilman Charlie Arnold, the answer here is simple: split the cost between the city and Habitat.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: Byte Me

This one is easy. Build one or two fewer houses and use that money to fix the street, or have a bake sale.

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: Sylvia Robertson

Don't the actual residents, renters, and home owners have a role in choosing where they live and their neighborhood? Ranchers still live on dusty roads, some neighborhoods have narrow streets, others have HOA's and private streets. Prescott has a streets guideline for Planned Area Developments which use City services. Increasing paving widths on Meany and Short is senseless. If the right-of-way is currently 50 feet, then how is a slab of concrete or blacktop going to matter in an emergency. This is all big brother gone crazy.

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: My Thoughts

Habitat is asking for 6 homes on a couple of lots that should have the same number of homes in total. Doubling the density is already asking a lot. Asking neighbors to not only endure it but help pay for it is the real issue.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Chas Johnson

The existing streets match many of others in the neighborhood. There is no traffic on the streets now and there won't be after these 6 homes are built. Issues with public safety are just trumped up and not legitimate. The next thing will be putting helicopter pads every three houses. Approve this great project and don't worry about a problem that doesn't exist.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Dear Editor

I live on Copper Basin road, and three years ago the City of Prescott widened the road, put in curbs and gutters, retaining walls and drainage systems. I didn't pay a dime, as a matter of fact I got $200 out of the deal, when the city paid me to pile some dirt on my property. I think the city should recognize that the folks on Meany street deserve a better street, and we should as a community be doing everthing we can to hep Habitat for Humanity improve our city. There is no developer here, this is all non-profit.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

@ Tom Steele: Fann had nothing to do with that 89a interchange. That interchange was mandated by the state to be paid for by COP long ago, and they delayed building it for years. Actually Fann bid to build the project and didn't get it. It had nothing to do with his development zoning (which he probably lost a lot of money on so far).

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Finish the Job, Habitat.

In a radio interview, a habitat official was clear that they didn't think of additional costs for roads, etc. and therefore didn't fundraise for it. Now, they want the city to help them. I say no way. The argument for low income give aways is not a good one. There was an oversight on their part and who knows what the city's check list included? Costs for road improvements? We all learn lessons in life. This is one of them. Stop whining and putting the pressure on the taxpayers and go raise the additional funds necessary to meet your responsibilities to this project. Habitat is a great organization but please don't put the burden of your oversight on me, an already stretched taxpayer.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: City is Confused!

You say that "usually the developer of homes there or homeowners would shoulder that cost."

Past experience tell me that only when the developer of the homes owns the development, does the developer and home owner share the cost of the road improvement.

Home developers do not fix city streets. That is the job of the city. The city put in the sub-standard street. They should fix it.

Lets tell the truth now!

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

I sense that the person who wrote the editorial doesn't get it when they suggest that Habitat pay for half the street improvements. OK say they agree. Then I would reduce the number of homes built on the street by an amount to equal my half of the street repairs. So it helps the city and hurts the poor person who doesn't get a house. It would be nice if the poor could put "sweat equity" into their street repairs, but that probably can't happen. I've worked on Habitat homes elsewhere, and that org doesn't have $60k laying around for streets. Get a clue.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

How much did Mike Fann pay towards the 22 Million interchange and roads off 89A for his development? And how can the city ignore an insufficient street and expect a small development pay the costs? We are not talking about charity or are we?

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Tongue-in-Cheek .

A WHOLE NEW STANDARD IS BEING BARGAINED WITH. In the future, if you want to beat building codes and safety ordinances along with OTHER expensive government building mandates, ALL YOU NEED TO DO is DECLARE that it is being built for POOR people. The city worries about FIRE TRUCK access coming and going, WHAT ABOUT GARBAGE TRUCKS, do poor people have no garbage? I say, what is good for the goose is good for the gander, even if the gander has no feathers.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Narrow Ness

"Meany and Short are severely deficient"....for the current residences, for fire protection etc....then why hasn't the city already improved them.

It took H for H to get something done.

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