DOUGLAS, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The Cochise County Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to support James Ranch Road as the preferred location for the development of a new commercial port of entry in Douglas.
Supervisors Peggy Judd and Ann English passed a resolution Tuesday morning, April 9 officially declaring the County’s support of the project site. Supervisor Tom Borer was excused from the meeting.
The move follows the Board’s decision to prioritize economic development in its five-year Strategic Plan. The Board believes the current Raul H. Castro Port of Entry, the second largest commercial port in Arizona, needs to be expanded and remodeled, and a new commercial facility built to divert and process increasing cross-border traffic.
County Administrator Ed Gilligan said James Ranch Road was considered an ideal location for a new port because it includes a large area of undeveloped land, it is close to two major highways, and the City of Douglas owns property which was transferred from the County for this project.
Additionally, there are opportunities to expand and connect to the City of Douglas’ wastewater treatment plant and municipal water services, he told the Board at its regular meeting on April 9, as well as build facilities and distribution centers required by companies transporting goods.
“This resolution is a good step forward in the Board’s expression of support for this location so staff can move forward to evaluate the best way to work with the City of Douglas and support this project,” Gilligan said.
The County has set aside around $200,000 to help fund a development study and will partner with the City of Douglas to help move the project forward.
Supervisor English, whose district includes Douglas, said the County and the City of Douglas will be seeking support from their Congressional representatives, as well as the General Services Administration, which recently completed a feasibility study backing a two-port solution.
The City of Douglas is due to vote on a similar resolution declaring James Ranch Road as a preferred site at its council meeting on April 10.