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FLORENCE — The Pinal County Board of Supervisors agreed to abandon the county’s easement for a future Schnepf Road extension bisecting a future subdivision between Bella Vista and Skyline roads in San Tan Valley.

There is currently no county-maintained road within the 80-foot-wide alignment. The developer will eventually plan for a more westerly path for the road through the community development process, county staff member Celeste Garza told the supervisors Wednesday.

The supervisors held a public hearing, but no others spoke. According to the county staff report, legal and physical access to all surrounding parcels will not be compromised. The current alignment is between farm fields. Surrounding utilities have no objection and a portion of Schnepf Road has already been abandoned just north of Bella Vista Road.

Supervisors Chairman Mike Goodman, R-San Tan Valley, said it’s important that the road is eventually built. “We have a ton of people we need to move around.”

The supervisors heard a presentation from United Way of Pinal County about the agency’s programs and recent accomplishments. Yet challenges continue, with one in four Pinal County children living in a food-insecure household, Braden Biggs with United Way said. Supervisor Steve Miller, R-Casa Grande, asked what that means and how it’s determined.

Biggs said it refers to people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and it’s determined by the federal government. He further reported that 152 county employees gave more than $27,000 to the United Way in 2004, but by 2017, giving had fallen to just 22 donors with a total of $4,707.

Supervisor Anthony Smith, R-Maricopa, said new county employees need to be given the opportunity to contribute during their orientation. “I’d like to see us have numbers that represent our ability to contribute.” He added the county’s new manufacturers must also be encouraged to “jump on board.”

In other business:

  • The supervisors agreed to create manager and administrative assistant positions in the Sheriff’s Office while eliminating an emergency dispatch supervisor and an administrative specialist. Mark Lamb told the supervisors it amounts to switching two positions for two others, and it will result in a small savings.
  • County Manager Greg Stanley said that at next week’s meeting, the board will be asked to adopt the annual budget. Also, financial adviser Mark Reader will attend and discuss options for issuing bonds and building $78 million in new facilities and renovations in phases.
  • The supervisors heard an appeal of a code violation on East American Avenue in Oracle. The supervisors voted to affirm the hearing officer’s decision, but if the owners clean up the property within 30 days, the $1,400 fine will be waived.
  • The supervisors voted to dismiss an appeal by Village Square mobile home park on West American Avenue in Oracle for failure to appeal in a timely manner. The county fined the owner $30,000 for violations including outside storage of miscellaneous scrap, tires, mattresses and trash; inoperable and unregistered vehicles; and furniture and appliances stored outside.
  • In the public comment period, Mehmood Mohiuddin, owner of the Hitching Post Saloon in Apache Junction, said his neighbors are alleging noise and other nuisances, although “we’ve done everything we can” to abate potential problems. Despite 286 complaint calls, county staff has yet to cite a violation, he said. Supervisor Todd House, R-Apache Junction, asked the county manager to check into the situation and added the supervisors need a briefing from the county attorney.
  • A representative of the Gold Canyon Coordinating Committee said residents would like a plan for their area along the lines of the San Tan Area Plan made for San Tan Valley. He asked for county staff to meet with his committee. “I agree, let’s get the ball rolling,” Goodman said.
  • A representative of the U.S. Census said the census is hiring for temporary positions paying $16 an hour and 58 cents per mile beginning in August.
  • Barry McCain of Arizona City congratulated the supervisors on their choice of finalists to be the next county manager. “

You can’t lose with any of them.”


Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at