Equipment Barn- to build or not to build?
Updated: Aug 24
August 20, 2020
The Munds Park Equipment Barn Committee had its second virtual meeting on August 13th with a presentation from Coconino County Public Works. Our guests included Pinewood Fire Chief Josh Tope and Sheriff Deputy, Lieutenant Gerrit Boeck. The presentation focused on the County Public Works services and investments across the County and Munds Park. The specific service levels and operations were reviewed with the Committee. The presentation included why the Equipment Barn was needed for the enhancement of services. However, since the outbreak of COVID-19, the financial picture has changed which will put the Equipment Barn on hold for now. This presentation, along with meeting highlights, and questions/answers can be found on the County website, www.coconino.az.gov/MundsParkEquipmentBarn.
The committee will continue its charter of finding a community driven solution for a potential public works equipment barn for Munds Park. We will have monthly Zoom meetings through the end of the year, which the residents of Munds Park are welcome to attend. Our next meeting will be on September 9th from 10 – 11AM. Agenda and Zoom login information will be posted on the County website prior to the meeting date. We have also set up an email account for people to submit their questions and comments. The account is MundsParkBarn@gmail.com These questions and answers will be posted on the website for everyone to see.
Your Committee members are committed to keeping everyone informed of our progress.
August 12, 20202
The Munds Park Equipment Barn Committee met on Wednesday, July 29, in a virtual meeting. County District Supervisor Matt Ryan was joined by Deputy County Manager/Public Works Director Lucinda Andreani, Public Works Deputy Director Eslir Musta, for the first meeting. The thirteen-member citizen committee is working with County Public Works towards identifying viable solutions for a new equipment barn in the community. The placement of the Equipment Barn in/near the community is an effort to further enhance service, especially during snow seasons.
The group plans to meet monthly through the end of this year, with the next meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 13. Members of the Munds Park Community can view the Committee’s meetings in real-time through the Zoom platform and participate through chat. The Agenda, meeting highlights and links for the sessions will be posted on Munds Park Equipment Barn, you can view it here.
We encourage community involvement by viewing the Committee Meetings on Zoom, reviewing the Committee agenda and meeting highlights posted on the Coconino County website or contacting and sharing your thoughts with any one of the committee members. They are Bud Alter, Scott Bowen, Walt Brodzinski, Sandee Caviness, Wes Deam, Dick Drinen, Tom Eade, Sharon Emery, Joe Holcombe, Cat Klein, Roy Levenda, Gail VanDeurzen, and Everette Worfolk
Our goal is to determine if there are viable solutions for a Munds Park Equipment Barn that meets the needs of the community and Coconino County.
June 5, 2020
County Supervisor Matt Ryan and his assistant Greg Nelson visited with community members on Debby Ridge's porch to discuss the Munds Park Barn project. Out of that visit came great news! Matt put the budget for the Barn Project on hold until 2022 and will form a committee to research a new location outside of our forest neighborhoods.
Debby Ridge and Joy Whitfield have created a Facebook group to keep interested community members updated. Please join them here.
ATTENTION! New update from Matt Ryan, County Supervisor, District 3. The project is on hold, and they will work with the Munds Park Community to find an alternative to the Hillside location! Please read Matt's letter below.
May 8, 2020
Dear Munds Park Resident,
This letter accompanies Deputy County Manager and Public Works Director Lucinda Andreani’s letter addressing the need for an Equipment Barn in Munds Park, the process they have followed, and the intent to withdraw the current application with the Forest Service for the proposed site on U.S. Forest Service land north of Hillside Drive in Munds Park.
Lucinda and staff, for a couple of years, have tried to create a solution for maintenance needs in Munds Park, especially in the winter. This effort has been discussed at the quarterly community meetings during that timeframe. Having equipment stored in Munds Park would help the community with a more rapid response while also fulfilling the need to have roads cleared for the Pinewood Fire District to respond more swiftly to the community and also to emergencies on Interstate-17 during our snow events. There would be additional benefits beyond the winter months as explained in Lucinda’s letter including a staging area for sandbagging when floods ensue in the community or wildfire response. We, the Board of Supervisors, approved the budget to do so.
In the past week the location of the proposed site and the opposition to that site have come to my attention. I convened a meeting with Lucinda, and Deputy Director of Public Works Eslir Musta, and one of our Capital Projects Manager involved in designing the site, Jeff Stein. I thought that it would make sense to pause and provide an opportunity to create a committee of community residents to help us find a solution for the most appropriate site. We all agreed that this would be a good opportunity for the community to help provide a solution. We do have a limited budget and we have certain parameters that we need to work within.
This is to inform you that we have withdrawn our application for the proposed site north of Hillside Drive. I will be selecting a committee of solution-oriented individuals from the community as I have done in the past with different committees. Public Works will convene and work with the committee in seeking to identify a site within the community or immediate area.
Thank you for understanding. I hope that you have a wonderful summer and the you will help us determine an appropriate site for this needed asset in your community. For more information please visit www.coconino.az.gov/MundsParkEquipmentBarn. If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to contact my Executive Assistant, Dr. Gregory Nelson or myself at 928-679-7163 or Public Works as noted in the accompanying letter.
County Supervisor, District 3
Matt's original letter is in the link below.
If you are a member of any Munds Park Facebook group or read this month's Pinewood News, you know the county has plans to build an Equipment Storage Barn just north of Munds Park, at the north/east end of Hillside Road. This build has become controversial, and below, you can read the proposal, a letter from Lucinda Andreani, the Deputy County Manager and Director for Public Works, and an open letter to Munds Park from Cat & Mark Klein.
Dear Munds Park Residents,
I want to first acknowledge that we are aware of the concerns raised by some residents regarding the potential County Public Works Equipment Barn, which is proposed to be located on U.S. Forest Service property near the north end of Hillside Drive. We are in the process of developing a letter, background information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding this project that will be mailed to Munds Park residents later this week, and also will be posted on the Munds Park Today website.
Please note that the primary purpose of the Equipment Barn would be to store snow removal equipment that is used exclusively to service the Munds Park community during our winter and spring snow months. We believe that placing this Equipment Barn in Munds Park would significantly improve the County’s response time during snow events. In addition to being of great benefit to residents, the Equipment Barn would allow us to respond faster during snow emergencies, which would be of great benefit to the Pinewood Fire Department and other first responders on calls requiring fire and medical personnel. Please also note that the prospect of placing an equipment barn in Munds Park has been one of our regular presentation topics at Munds Park Community Watch meetings over the last several years. Our goal for the forthcoming letter is to recap some of the benefits and challenges of the Munds Park Equipment Barn project that we’ve discussed at these meetings so that residents can consider its value in as broad and factual a context as possible. We look forward to continuing this dialogue with you.
Lucinda Andreani Deputy County Manager Director, Public Works
Notice from NEPA
The Coconino National Forest is considering a proposal from Coconino County Public Works (CCPW) Department to construct a new equipment storage barn and sup-port facilities on National Forest System land just north of Munds Park, at the north/east end of Hillside Road, behind the Pinewood Water Company water tank, in Section 14 of Township 18N, Range 08E. Click the link below to download the Project Area Map.
Our preliminary analysis indicates that this project falls under the Categorical Exclu-sion 36 Code of Federal Regulations 220.6 (e)(3) which states “Approval, modiﬁcation, or continuation of minor special use of NFS lands that require less than ﬁve contiguous acres of land.” A Categorical Exclusion means a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a signiﬁcant eﬀect on the environment, and therefore neither an Environmental Assessment nor an Environmental Impact Statement is required to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.
Purpose and Need
The purpose of this project is to provide a new equipment storage barn and sup-port facilities for CCPW to support snow removal and road maintenance operations in the Munds Park community. The project would greatly enhance the ability of CCPW to conduct snow operations in the community resulting in improved travel safety for the public, decreased emergency and maintenance response times, and improved/safer access for emergency responders during snow events. The project would also eliminate the need for slow moving, heavy equipment to utilize I-17 for access to the community which would provide further safety improvements for the traveling public. There is a need to issue a Forest Service Special Use Permit to authorize the devel-opment of this approximately 3.0-acre site for use by a public agency (Coconino County) for the purpose of constructing a new equipment storage barn and support facilities for Munds Park .
Proposed Action The Munds Park Truck Barn project area is proposed to be approximately 3.0 acres in total. It is anticipated that approximately 2.0 of those acres would be graded and developed for equipment circulation, building and parking. The remaining 1.0 acre is proposed to be a landscape buﬀer and to preserve select trees. The 2.0 acres for parking and circulation would be excavated to an estimated depth of 12 inches to allow for compaction subgrade and the placement of road base ma-terial and a ﬁnish course of asphalt millings. Within those 2.0 acres, a building pad would need to be excavated to a depth to be determined by a future geotechnical investigation associated with the construction of the equipment barn. Temporary and permanent stormwater pollution prevention measures would be installed to prevent erosion and detrimental runoﬀ from the site. Although operations at the site would occur year-round, the majority of activity would occur during winter months to support snow removal.
Building Construction An equipment barn of up to 5,000 square feet is proposed for construction on the site with an estimated 40-foot x 125-foot building footprint and up to ﬁve bays. A smaller barn may be constructed depending on costs. The building would house equipment, restrooms, and a small oﬃce. An approximately 500-gallon diesel tank in secondary containment would also be located within the building.
Water: to building site from Hillside Drive
Sewer: to building site from Hillside Drive
Electric: to building site from Hillside Drive
Data: to building site from Hillside Drive
Propane: approximately 1,000-gallon tank to be located at building perimeter
Fencing and Gate Construction The entire approximately 3.0-acre site would be enclosed in fencing. Fencing is pro-posed to be constructed of wood, chain-link or a combination of the two materials. A double gate would be located on the southside of the property to provide access from Hillside Drive.
Access Access to the project area would be obtained from the north/east end of Hillside Drive in Munds Park. No access routes would be required outside of the proposed 3.0-acre project area.
Equipment For construction of the project, a backhoe, front end loader, bulldozer, concrete mixer, roller, geotechnical investigation equipment, pickup trucks, and tree removal equipment would be required. The following equipment would be used/stored on site after construction is complete:
Two (2) motor graders – routine road maintenance and snow operations
Two (2) ten (10) wheel dump trucks – routine road maintenance and snow opera-tions
Other equipment for special projects including backhoe, front end loader, bull-dozer, roller
Parking for staﬀ vehicles during work shifts
Project Timeline The proposed schedule for the project is as follows:
2020 June – July: begin engineering planning and design
2020 July – August: install gates and fencing
2020 July – August: complete rough grading and tree removals by CCPW staﬀ
2020 August – October: complete ﬁne grading to allow for operational use during winter months of 2020 – 2021
2020 July – December: building and utility design, permitting, and procurement
Spring 2021: begin construction of utilities, building and site
Summer/Fall 2021: complete construction
Project construction activities would likely begin in July 2020 with an anticipated duration of 90 days. Excavation and vegetation removal activities would not com-mence until after the migratory bird breeding season (March 1 – August 31) to en-sure compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. There is no critical habitat for Mexican spotted owl (MSO) at the site, so no additional MSO timing restrictions would be required.
Resource Reviews During development of the proposed action, baseline information was collected about cultural and biological resources within the project area. The location of the truck barn project area is designed to avoid and/or minimize impacts to these re-sources, where feasible. As part of the National Environmental Policy Act planning process, analyses o be conducted on these environmental resources, as well as other that are identiﬁed during the process.
Opportunity to Comment We would love to hear your comments on the proposed action. This proposal is an activity that is subject to the project level pre-decisional administrative review process at 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B. Only individuals or entities (as deﬁned by 36 CFR 218.2) who submit timely and speciﬁc written comments (as deﬁned by 36 CFR 218.2) regarding this proposal, during this or other public comment periods es-tablished by the Responsible Oﬃcial, will be eligible to ﬁle an objection.
Please submit comments prior to the close of public scoping by May 29, 2020.
Submit comments in writing, through one of the following methods:
Email: to email@example.com, please include “Munds Park Truck Barn SUP for Coconino County Project” in the subject line;
Mail: to the Coconino Forest Service, Attention: Munds Park Truck Barn SUP for Coconino County Project, 1824 South Thompson Street., Flagstaﬀ, Arizona 86001;
Facsimile: to (928) 527-3620.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 exposure concerns and to adhere to appropriate social dis-tancing protocols, no in person submittals of public comments will be accepted. Comments received in response to this scoping notice, including names and ad-dresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project and will be available to public inspection upon request. As such, personally identiﬁable information should not be included in the body of the comment. Contact Person
Project information can be viewed online.
For general questions, contact
Lands and Minerals Program Manager
(928) 527-3415 or firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNTERPOINT . . .
Open Letter to Munds Park
My husband and I waited over 30 years to make one of our dreams come true, and that was to have a retirement home (cabin) up North. We found that dream cabin 5 years ago in Munds Park. We specifically bought a cabin and paid a premium to be on the National Forest with the understanding that we would never need to worry about anyone building anything in the forest behind us. We were never imagined that there are loopholes that would allow a project of this nature to literally be built in our back yard. This is not just another place for us to get out of the heat, this has been our happy place. It is a place where we can relax and forget about the hustle and bustle of work and everyday life. We go in the Winter as much, if not more than we do in the Spring and Summer. We feel our happy place is being taken away from us! We were dumbfounded, angry and extremely sad when we received the USDA letter on 4/30/2020, advising us that work would begin in June of 2020 to build a 3-acre compound housing a 5000 ft facility to store and maintain snow removal and heavy equipment in the National Forest approximately 100 feet from our property line. It is our understanding that the equipment/machinery will include road graders, 10 wheel dump trucks, backhoes, front-end loaders, bulldozers, and an asphalt roller. They will be potentially servicing county roads from Kachina Village to Stoneman Lake Rd., and of course Munds Park. These heavy-duty vehicles will be driving back and forth through Munds Park's roads from early in the morning throughout the day/evening, so the majority of our residents will be impacted by this traffic and noise.
I believe work on this project should be stopped until citizens are given an opportunity to review, comment, and propose different locations that would not be right next to a residential area and disturb our beautiful nature and wildlife. We are not opposed to this facility, if it is truly needed (is it?). We are just asking that it be located in a place, not in the forest or any place that could impact the quality of life for all our residents in Munds Park.
Issues to address are:
Residents don't want a utility building within sight of homes or obstructing our natural surroundings.
Heavy equipment on our residential roads presents a danger to pedestrians and children playing. We have enough traffic with ATVs, side by sides, and cars.
Increased noise pollution in our residential neighborhoods. The noise of the equipment's backup beepers (potentially at all hours) are 97 to 110 decibels, which is equivalent to a live rock concert, jackhammer, helicopter at 100 ft, and a car horn at 3 ft. (per Purdue University). In a 2010 report titled Technology for a Quieter America, cited that backup beepers as 1 of the 6 top noise sources people associated with behavioral, health, and emotional consequences.
Storing that much fuel and propane is a safety and fire threat to our forest and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Hillside trailhead will be gone.
Our wildlife will be scared away because of the noise and uprooted from their homes, and we will no longer be able to enjoy our wildlife in the surrounding areas.
I believe work on this project should be stopped until citizens are given an opportunity to review, comment, and propose different locations that would not be right next to a residential area and disturb our beautiful nature and wildlife. We are not opposed to this facility if it is truly needed (is it?). We are just asking that it be located in a place, not in the forest or any place that could impact the quality of life for all our residents in Munds Park.es.
Dust and particulate pollution from the vehicles
The wear and tear on our streets due to this heavy equipment
Finally, property decrease for surrounding neighborhoods
I'm sure there are other important things that are not listed; however, we wanted to highlight safety, security, and the preservation of our wildlife and the peace and tranquility that we live for. After all, this is why we bought a home in Munds Park and love it so much. Again, I truly feel our happy place is being stripped from us. We have started a petition, and as of this morning, we have collected over 1,000 signatures in less than 12 hours (and it continues to increase). If you have access to view the Munds Park Facebook pages, you would also see the overwhelming response to stop this project as it stands. I feel this project needs to be stopped and thoroughly reviewed, not ramrodded through. Neighbors I've spoken to agree and are considering legal action if necessary. We know that this can be resolved in a practical and civil way, so let’s work together and make that happen.
I want to first acknowledge that we are aware of the concerns raised by some residents regarding the potential County Public Works Equipment Barn, which is proposed to be located on U.S. Forest Service property near the north end of Hillside Drive. We are in the process of developing a letter, background information, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding this project that will be mailed to Munds Park residents later this week, and also will be posted on the Munds Park Today website.
Cat & Mark Klein
District 3 Supervisor, Matt Ryan, has stated he will work with us on an alternate location. However, we believe we still need a strong showing of community support to block the building of the Equipment Barn. Please read and sign our petition below.