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Don Laughlin donated more than 1,100 acres to Bullhead City in 2015

 

BULLHEAD CITY – Bullhead City is getting a head start on a property swap project involving 1,120 acres the municipality owns outside the city limits. Don Laughlin donated the rugged parcel in the Black Mountains between Bullhead City and Golden Valley in December of 2015.

 

The property was valued at $7.7 million at the time and the donation carried a restriction that Bullhead City could not liquidate the asset until December 15, 2020. Manager Toby Cotter said then, and believes now, that the city should trade the property for federally owned land within the city limits.

Cotter told City Council members in May that staff was recommending the hiring of Cassidy & Associates, a lobbying firm capable of achieving the land swap through congressional legislation, rather than the more cumbersome and expensive formal governmental land exchange protocols.

“This is a big, big project, a big program," Cotter said. “We're talking about a massive undertaking."

“Cotter said interviews with representatives of three lobbying firms led to an assessment that the city should contract with Cassidy & Associates.

Mayor Tom Brady agreed.

“We're dealing with a multimillion-dollar gift from Don Laughlin. If we try to go it on our own the BLM land exchange manual is several hundred pages thick and when you talk to anybody that tries to go through that process, including Lake Havasu City, they've been in it for years,” the mayor said.

“So bringing these consultants in who have the political wherewithal to possibly get it done through a stroke of the pen by Congress, and get it done more quickly, is certainly, in my mind, to our advantage,” Brady said.

Council approved retaining the firm.

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