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Buckeye Council approves nearly $1 million reimbursement to developer

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BUCKEYE — Buckeye’s City Council spent a small portion of Tuesday’s regular meeting deciding whether $923,000 should be spent.

The council ended up unanimously approving a plan to reimburse a contractor for making infrastructure improvements at the intersection of Lower Buckeye and Miller roads. The city will reimburse CRE-Commerce AZ $923,000 for the road widening, intersection improvements and other work it will oversee on the edge of its 72-acre property.

CRE will ensure new traffic signals, curb and gutter, curb returns, pedestrian ramps, new pavement, signage and marking will be installed. The company plans to construct a new 860,000-square-foot speculative industrial building and is speeding up the process of creating infrastructure improvements the city would eventually have to build anyway, said Deputy City Manager Dave Roderique.

There are plans to build a retail development on one of the other corners at Lower Buckeye and Miller, said Roderique, who added even with no immediate plans for the other two corner properties, improvements will make the area more attractive to potential developers.

Before the vote, Vice Mayor Tony Youngker, said he regrets plans haven’t come together in a way that would have brought more improvements to Miller Road. In addition to being a main connector between downtown Buckeye and the Interstate 10 corridor. Miller Road, even with several recent improvements, is still a narrow artery through an area where much development is happening.

The council also approved a consent agenda that included several questions about various agenda items, as asked by Council Member Craig Heustis.
Staff clarified details of entry and exit plans on a pair of housing developments that were on the consent agenda.

A different staff member explained how bids to redo the front portion of the Buckeye Valley Museum came in about $30,000 over the initial budget line item because of escalating construction costs.

Staff explained a similar situation with three bids for the Senior Center in downtown Buckeye, which were all about $180,000 beyond its initial budget.

Mayor Eric Orsborn encouraged staff to provide council with more regular updates on capital improvement projects and issues with bids and budgets, so that Council can evaluate priorities more often.

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