[Source: Carl Jackson, Sedona.biz] – At last night’s City Council meeting, newly appointed City Manager Timothy Ernster explained to the council staff’s plan to redeploy a $586,000 Heritage Fund grant given to the City by the Arizona State Parks in 1995-96 to invest in the now defunct Sedona Cultural Park. The center piece of the park was a 5,000 seat amphitheater named after St. Louis Rams owner and accomplished soprano, Georgia Frontiere, who helped launch it in May, 2000 with a $1 million donation. A requirement of the grant was that the site be available to the general public for outdoor recreation use for a period of 25 years, and be subject to periodic on-site inspections.
After the park filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and the grant money was lost, the City faced a quandary: return the grant to the Arizona State Parks or find another qualifying public use. In 2004, the City of Sedona commissioned a feasibility study for a Sedona Performing Arts and Conference Center that ranked the Sedona Cultural Park first in the evaluation, but the project never moved forward.