El Mirage to break ground on 1st phase of $3 mil park

[Source: Lily Leung, Arizona Republic] — Construction of a $3 million park in El Mirage began this month and will be marked with a groundbreaking ceremony this week. Heritage Park, a two-phase city project, will sit on 13 acres south of Peoria Avenue, between El Mirage and Dysart roads.  The John F. Long Estate donated the acreage for the park, which is expected to be finished by January 2010.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, and the public is invited. “The city is committed to improving the quality of life for our residents,” El Mirage City Manager BJ Cornwall said.  “It will offer amenities for everyone in our community to enjoy.”

Half of the cost of the $1.5 million first phase will be paid for with help from the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund, for which $20 million of Arizona Lottery revenue is set aside annually to build and maintain parks, trails, natural, and historic areas and wildlife-conservation activities across the state.  The first phase of the park includes construction of a central pavilion for concerts and community events, amphitheater lawn seating, multiuse fields, a playground, and picnic areas.  The first phase is scheduled to be completed in January.  [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Arizona state legislative update (Sandy Bahr, Sierra Club)

The Arizona State Senate passed a budget early on the morning of June 26 and the House passed the same budget that night.  It is on its way to the Governor.  Considering they are making up a nearly $2 billion shortfall, it could have been a lot worse — although most environmental programs are already underfunded.  The Legislature cannot get the votes to really increase revenues substantially, so cuts, fund transfers, bonding, and rollovers are the focus. 

The Arizona State Parks system is hit hard again with over $7.4 million in fund transfers; at the Department of Water Resources, the Arizona Water Protection Fund dollars were rolled back again; and the Department of Environmental Quality had $8.6 million in fund transfers.

The Governor and Legislature did not hit the Heritage Fund, however.  These dollars are critical to parks and wildlife and are inadequate as is.  Please thank the Governor and legislators for keeping the Heritage Fund intact.

  • You can reach the Governor at azgov@az.gov.  Or, call 602-542-4331 or outside the Phoenix area 1-800-253-0883.  You can also write to: The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona, 1700 W. Washington, 9th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85007 or by fax at 602-542-1381.
  • To contact your state legislators, go to www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp.  If you are not sure who your legislators are, go to www.vote-smart.org (you will need your 9-digit zip code) or call the House or Senate information desks.  If you’re outside the Phoenix area, call your legislators’ offices at 1-800-352-8404; in the Phoenix area call 602-926-3559 (Senate) or 602-926-4221 (House).  Correspondence goes to 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890.