After a three-week recess, the Flagstaff City Council met Tuesday evening. Council discussed a bridge expansion on I-40 and a recent survey regarding the minimum wage increase. Council voted to resolve an agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation in order to complete the Fourth Street and I-40 bridge replacement project. The partnership between the city and ADOT was initially approved in 2018. The project was originally estimated to cost $10.5 million, but by September 2019, the cost was up to $12.3 million. The total cost of the project currently stands at $16.3 million. The city has a shortfall of $2.3 million on the project. The shortfall will be covered by the transportation tax and just over a million dollars from the Flagstaff Urban Trails System Fund. City officials say the additional money won’t jeopardize future projects. Council then turned to the minimum wage study. The city contracted Rounds Consulting Group to conduct the survey that would look at the effect of the minimum wage ordinance on local businesses. The agenda item sought a change order to allow Seidman Research Institute of Arizona State University to coauthor the study and conduct analysis. The change order would come with a $15,000 increase in the contract, which exceeds the limit previously set by council. After much discourse among council, an alternative motion proposed by Councilmember Regina Salas passed, saying the contract will remain as is with no coauthor.
Written by KAFF News’ Scout Ehrler