Apache Junction to Create Active Trails Master Plan

IGA resolution approved to design and document plan for biking, walking, horseback paths in the city

For those who love to bike, hike, walk and ride horses while taking in the beautiful views of our little piece of heaven on earth, there is reason to celebrate.

At the last City Council meeting on Feb. 20, council members voted unanimously to approve a resolution establishing an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) for the city’s first-ever Active Transportation Plan (ATP). The IGA comes with federal grant money.

Stephanie Bubenheim from the City’s planning department described the project and the grant. She said it is called “Active” transportation because it will include surfaces that can be traversed by wheelchairs, as well as bikes, horses, pedestrians and non-motorized modes of transportation.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $197,800. Under the agreement, federal aid funds will provide 80% of the cost ($158,240) and Apache Junction will pay the 20% balance ($39,560).

The IGA includes forming a consultant team headed by J2 Engineering and Environmental Design, LLC to create the Active Transportation master plan. J2 was one of the city’s partners in the development of Flatiron Park.

The money will be used only for creating the plan, not building the pathways. City Manager Bryant Powell explained that the city needs a plan in place in order to qualify for future grants from MAG and other local government entities. “Having a plan in place will make getting money easier,” he said.

The city would like to hear ideas for the Active Transportation plan from residents of the region. Anyone can contribute online by visiting AJCity.net/active and take the survey. Those who do will be entered into a raffle for a new bicycle, donated by Junction Bicycle.

Apache Junction expects the final plan to be eligible for award status in both the process and deliverables and has scheduled an extensive public outreach program to include public safety and health agencies, equestrian and bicycle associations, surrounding communities that may want to link to the plan, as well as local residents and businesses. Information booths were set up this month at the Lost Dutchman Marathon Health/Wellness Expo and the Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo. A community meeting is planned for April 4. For more information, contact the Development Services Department at 480-474-5083, or visit AJCity.net/active.

Other actions by the City Council Feb. 20

The Council voted unanimously to reverse its recommendation to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control for denial of the application for acquisition of control for Pizza Hut, 240 S. Phelps Drive.

The Council voted to approve the application after receiving updated information from Superstition Fire and Medical District.

Also approved unanimously was a resolution to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Pinal County for election services for the August 2018 primary election and, if necessary, the November 2018 general election. The IGA will provide the City with critical election and voter-related services, including: sample and final ballots, ballot tabulation, precinct registers and signature rosters, early voting and election boards.

Council members will meet in executive session at 6:00 p.m. and work session at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 5, 2018. There will also be an executive session at 6:00 p.m. and work session at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. City Council meetings are open to the public and held in chambers at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction. Complete agendas and supporting materials are available at https://apachejunction.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

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