Havasu’s Contact Point Arizona State Park Plan Moves Forward

Source:  Havasunews.com – August 1, 2016. 

Arizona State Parks announced formalized plans for Contact Point State Park on Monday, which is expected to be the first piece of the most significant development since the city’s founding.

The 198-acre park will feature a marina with a launch ramp, docks, dry boat storage, along with a restaurant with boat docking, a beach and ramadas. The park is anticipated to open in 2020. It will further provide the basis for the city’s Havasu 280 project and will lay adjacent to 250 acres of proposed residential housing.

“This is probably the most significant development to take place in Lake Havasu City possibly ever,” City Manager Charlie Cassens said. “Aside from Robert McCulloch’s original development of the city, this would be the most significant overall master plan.”

Contact Point State Park will be developed through a public-private partnership with Komick Enterprises 57a03a1ad57fb.imageof California, which also owns the adjacent property intended for residential use. According to a press release, Komick Enterprises was selected in July through the State of Arizona’s competitive bidding process to undertake the project. The developer is working in partnership with the locally based real estate firm Desert Land Group on the project.

“Contact Point is kind of the catalyst to the whole project. Now the city and private development will all be moving forward together,” said Mychal Gorden of Desert Land Group. “It’s really exciting and will be the catalyst to kick off a whole new amenity package for visitors and set up Havasu’s future on the south side.

According to a Desert Land Group press release, projects are scheduled to be developed in phases over the next 10 years, and the city will break ground later this summer on roadway improvements connecting State Route 95 to the projects. The city previously approved $450,000 for road improvements related to the development this fiscal year.

Executive Director of Arizona State Parks, Sue Black said the park will be “a game changer” for the area. She said the park’s additional boat slips are expected to ease boating related traffic congestion and extra amenities surrounding 10,000 feet of shoreline will make it a destination spot.

“It’s great to be working with Lake Havasu City, Arizona State Representative Sonny Borrelli and Jim Komick,” Black said. “Together, the vision of providing greater access and opportunity for the public to enjoy the beautiful environment at Contact Point State Park has become a reality.”

Gov. Doug Ducey also commented on the future Contact Point State Park, which is set to become the Arizona’s 33rd state park.

“Arizona’s state parks are known for their beauty and accessibility,” Gov. Doug Ducey said. “Contact Point State Park is another impressive piece of our state’s beautiful landscape that will be open for Arizonans and visitors to enjoy. It will provide even more amenities to Lake Havasu, driving more people to the region and creating economic prosperity. I’m excited this project is moving forward.”

My Turn: GOP Must Once Again Embrace Conservation by David Jenkins, President of Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship

(Source: Arizona Republic, July 16, 2016).  The Republican Party’s newly adopted 2016 platform contains narrowly approved language calling for our national endowment of federal public lands, which currently belong to all Americans, to be surrendered to states in order to benefit special interests. Given the Republican Party’s strong conservation legacy, it is worth noting just how radical that position is.

The proposed platform language is way out of line with the public-land and conservation ethic that the country has embraced since the early 1900s when Republican president Theodore Roosevelt — responding to the rampant abuse of America’s natural resources — made conservation a priority.

The 1912 Republican Party platform was very clear about the party’s approach to our nation’s natural resources, proclaiming, “We rejoice in the success of the distinctive Republican policy of the conservation of our National resources, for their use by the people without waste and without monopoly. We pledge ourselves to a continuance of such a policy.”  Even though Roosevelt was not the GOP nominee that year, the party continued to embrace his conservation principles. This has also been the case in subsequent platforms.

Even more on point, the 1924 Republican platform declared, “The natural resources of the country belong to all the people and are a part of an estate belonging to generations yet unborn.”

What conservatism really means

That is the kind of prudent, reverent, unselfish and forward-thinking perspective one would expect from a genuinely conservative political party. And we have also seen it reflected in more recent platforms.

The 1988 GOP platform quoted Roosevelt and cited the party’s “long and honored tradition of preserving our nation’s natural resources and environment.” It called safeguarding “our God-given resources” a shared responsibility and stated, “We believe public lands should not be transferred to any special group” and that “we should keep public lands open and accessible.”

As recently as 2008 the platform Scenic view from Point Imperial, Grand Canyon Nationalpledged to manage our lands in a balanced way that protects our “irreplaceable environment” and noted that the “Republican perspective” is in agreement with Theodore Roosevelt’s view that the conservation of the nation’s natural resources is our most fundamental challenge.

Contrast the respect for our natural heritage, ethic of stewardship and commitment to balance reflected in those platforms — which according to polls is consistent with the views and values of most Republicans — with the radical anti-conservation agenda being pushed now by some within the party.

Who’s peddling this agenda?

That agenda includes, as now indicated in the 2016 platform, the wholesale transfer of our national forests, wildlife refuges and conservation lands, many of which were first protected by Theodore Roosevelt, to state and private interests.

It includes efforts in Congress to eliminate or undermine the Antiquities Act, the 110-year-old Republican-passed law that Roosevelt used to protect natural and cultural treasures like the Grand Canyon and Montezuma Castle.

It even includes an assault on the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a universally popular — and conservative — program that dedicates a small portion of oil- and gas-lease revenue to land conservation.

Who is peddling this agenda within the GOP? Primarily a handful of Western lawmakers, along with Koch-funded special-interest groups like Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

They are trying to reverse more than 100 years of conservative stewardship, seize land that is the birthright of every American, and act against the long-term interest of our nation, in order to facilitate their own short-term gain. There is nothing remotely conservative about it.

Be alarmed, very alarmed

That this small faction can hijack and radicalize the Republican Party platform in such a way should alarm all Republicans who love to hunt, fish, hike or otherwise enjoy America’s great outdoors — and especially those whose livelihood depends on outdoor recreation or tourism.

The party of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan recognized the value of the nation’s public lands — its parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other conservation areas — to both present and future generations of Americans. It recognized that protecting them is, as President Reagan reminded us, “our great moral responsibility.”

Republicans who still share those values, and who want their political party to do the same, can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines.

Getting more vocal and more involved is the only way to prevent the anti-conservation agenda of a radical fringe from permanently supplanting the Republican Party’s long and storied conservation tradition.

David Jenkins is president of Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, a national non-profit organization. Email him at djenkins@conservativestewards.org; follow on Twitter, @ConservStewards.

Where Does Arizona’s Lottery Revenue Go?

(Source: Arizona Republic,  July 1, 2016) – The Arizona Lottery celebrates its 35th anniversary Friday.  And while that has meant 35 years of big dreams, winning tickets and some dashed hopes, it has also meant 35 years of increased revenue flowing into the state coffers.

Since  the Arizona Lottery’s launch on July 1, 1981, its sales revenue has totaled $11 billion, with nearly $3.5 billion of that directed back into state funds and programs. While a majority — and growing — portion of that money has gone into the general fund where the governor and Legislature canThis was the first Arizona Lottery ticket. spend it as they choose, about $1.8 billion has been returned to Arizona communities through grants and programs that help people who are homeless, victims of domestic abuse and children in the foster care system.

“Whenever you hear lottery, people always think about jackpots and what they’re going to do with the dollars,” lottery executive director Gregory Edgar said. “But for us, it’s drilling into the numbers and seeing the impact we can have in our community. The investment of $3.5 billion over 35 years is a pretty significant impact.

Changing agendas

  • 1980: Arizona voters approved the creation of the Arizona Lottery by a narrow margin. Ballot literature promised proceeds would “pay for law enforcement, health services, education and other vital programs.” But the original proposition wording required only that at least 30 percent of revenue go into the general fund.
  • 1990: Voters required that $20 million in lottery revenue a year go into heritage funds for Arizona State Parks and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
  • 1993: Lawmakers required up to $23 million a year in lottery revenue to be put into a fund for local transit projects and up to $7.6 million a year to be divided among counties.
  • 1996: Voters required that $17 million in revenue be spent annually on specific health and social-service programs, including teen-pregnancy prevention, food assistance for infants and mothers, and disease research.
  • 2010: The Legislature borrowed against future lottery revenue, eliminated allocations to the counties and essentially cut in half lottery allocations to both the transportation fund and the heritage funds, sweeping nearly an extra $30 million a year into the general fund.
  • 2015: The Legislature allocated $900,000 a year in lottery revenue to the Internet Crimes Against Children Enforcement Fund, $100,000 to the Victims’ Rights Enforcement Fund and up to $160,000 a year to the tribal college dual enrollment program.

Where the money really goes.

An Arizona Republic analysis of 35 years of Arizona Lottery revenue and disbursements found that about $1.8 billion in lottery revenue has gone to the specific programs voters and lawmakers designated.

Local transportation projects got $782 million; economic development efforts got $201 million; the Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund, which supports outdoor recreation and protects critical wildlife, got $384 million; health and welfare programs like teen-pregnancy prevention and food assistance for children and mothers got $219 million; the Court Appointed Special Advocates program for foster children got $39 million; homeless shelters got $8 million; a state program for problem gamblers got $3.6 million; and a program to help law-enforcement agencies fight internet crimes against children got $2 million.

“The dollars touch every corner of the state,” Edgar said. “My dream as director would be that every time someone puts down that dollar, they’ve got the thought that I’m having some fun playing a game but also having some impact in our community.” As annual lottery revenue has grown over the years, the money allocated to these programs has remained relatively stagnant due to limits the Legislature and voters set.

Transportation programs got less in 2015 than they did in 1982. Counties for years got $7.6 million a year, but since 2011 have gotten nothing. The Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund got $10 million in 2015, compared with the $20 million a year it got during the 1990s and 2000s. Programs for economic development, health and welfare, foster-care advocates, homeless and gambling addiction have remained stagnant for decades.  The real winner in Arizona’s lottery game has been the general fund

Who really controls the money?

The lottery, overseen by a five-member, governor-appointed commission and an executive director, controls the marketing. But it’s the Legislature that has taken control of where the revenue is allocated.

As lottery revenue has grown and disbursements to specific programs have shrunk or remained stagnant, the Legislature has directed more money into the state’s general fund, where it is impossible to track how specific dollars are spent. That revenue might have gone to schools and public-welfare programs as lawmakers promised and the Lottery markets on its website, or it might have gone to private prisons and lawmaker pensions.

The general fund over the past 35 years has received $1.7 billion.  In fiscal 2015, $72 million — 9.7 percent of the lottery’s $750 million in annual revenue — went directly to programs touted to voters. Another $103 million went into the general fund. That compares with 19 percent going to designated programs in both 2005 and 1995.  Before the recession, the general fund received about $30 million a year. Over the past several years, the annual allocation has topped $100 million. This year, that trend is expected to continue.

Arizona Game & Fish Heritage Fund O&M Resolution Workgroup Meeting Summary, 08/06/14

nazsr_landscapephoto_600webArizona Game & Fish Heritage Fund O&M Resolution Workgroup Meeting Summary, 08/06/14

Attendees: Bob Vahle, Bill McLean, Josh Avey, Beth Woodin, Allen Taylor, Jim Unmacht, Jim deVos, Jim Hinkle, Jorge Canaca, Pat Barber, and Marianne Cox. Not attending: Bob Hernbrode Location: AGFD Headquarters

Meeting Summary:

  • Review of agenda, identification of additional agenda items including:
    • Addition of crowd funding to agenda for discussion
    • Clarification of the agenda: ‘discuss mechanisms/ability/guidance for Commission to consider regarding removal of non-historical structures properties that…’
    • June 16 meeting summary correction to incorporate suggestion to seek repayment of Heritage Fund funds previously swept by legislature to the list of approaches considered.
  • Group reviewed summary of Fiscal Year 13, 14, and 15 costing (budgeted and expenditure) as well as anticipated deferred maintenance costing for Heritage Fund acquired properties.
  • Discussion and agreement amongst group to allow recommend changing recommended modification to 17-298 whereby the Heritage Fund acquisition portion of the fund would change from 40% to 35% to allow for funding Heritage Fund acquired property operation and maintenance costing from the non-acquisition portion of the fund.
  • Discussed recommending amendment of Commission Policy to require annual Commission approval for use of Heritage Fund grant funds towards Heritage Fund acquired property operation and maintenance costing.
  • Discussed the need to utilize an open comment process to identify support for the recommendation to reduce the Heritage Fund acquisition portion from 40% to 35%; it was noted that this work group was established with membership intended to represent stakeholders on this issue and that the expectation is that work group membership should be providing information regarding recommendations to the Commission, expressing positions to the work group and serving as liaisons and conduits of information in support of public process and transparency.
  • Discussed approach and recommended modification to 17-298 such that acquisition may include fee simple title, or any possessory or non-possessory interest in land.
  • Disposal of property that does not carry the Heritage Fund value is already possible albeit cumbersome.
  • Structure removal on existing or future properties was discussed as a suitable recommendation.
  • Recommendation to minimize acquisitions that have structures that would have regular operation and maintenance costs.
  • Discussed approaches and feasibility for use of endowments (long term) and crowd funding and corporate sponsorship approaches in building a privately held endowment fund.

A suite of options to present to the Commission at the September Commission meeting was developed that entail: 1) long term funding generation/savings (solutions), 2) Short term funding generation/solutions, and 3) Legislative changes. See list of options below.

Work group reviewed the objective and tenets put forth by the Commission and determined that they met those objectives to the extent possible. No further meetings are needed.

Action Items:

  • Send list of recommendations for Commission consideration – Marianne Cox
  • Present options developed by workgroup to Commission for consideration at September Commission meeting – Jim deVos

Adjourn

 

Arizona Game & Fish Heritage Fund O&M Resolution Workgroup Recommendations List for Commission Consideration, August 6, 2014

Long Term Funding Generation/Savings (solutions)

  • Endowment – held by 501(c)3
  • Divest of non-sensitive species value properties (those portions that no longer meet intent of purchase)
  • Remove non-value-added (non-historic) structures from properties
  • Investigate the economic potential of new programs such as a wildlife watching Heritage Fund stamp
  • Modify Heritage Fund language to change acquisition fund percent from 40 – 35% so 5% ends up in IIPAM from where O&M expenditures can be made
  • Modify Heritage Fund language to allow for acquisition via non-possessory language and the divestiture of these properties using same
  • Seek corporate sponsors
  • Develop an O&M assessment with each new property being considered for purchase

Short Term Funding Generation/Solutions:

  • Minimize acquisitions that have structures that need O&M
  • Crowd funding for specific O&M actions
  • Seek legislative refunding of funding swept by prior legislature in 2003 – $10 million from Heritage Fund acquisitions fund

Legislative Changes:

  • Change percentage in Heritage Fund Acquisition fund from 40% to 35% so extra 5% ends up in IIPAM from where O&M expenditures can be made
  • Allow for non-possessory acquisition such as conservation easement and disposal of property or portions of properties by “conservation buyer” under a conservation easement