Arizona Lottery funds benefit Yuma-area projects

[Source: YumaSun.com, Joyce Lobeck] – –  Over the years, the Arizona Lottery has provided millions of dollars for projects in the Yuma area that make it a better place to live and visit.  Those projects range from parks and recreation to wildlife preservation, education, public health, transportation and economic development, said Art Macias, executive director of Arizona Lottery, during a presentation Tuesday to Yuma-area leaders and community members. He repeated the presentation in San Luis, Ariz., for south county representatives.

Since Arizona voters first approved the lottery in 1981, nearly $30 million has gone to help fund projects in Yuma County stretching from San Luis to Wellton, Macias said. A good share of that funding has gone to local transportation needs as a partner with the city of Yuma and Yuma County, he said. Lottery money also helped fund the rehabilitation of the Yuma County Courthouse and the Historic Yuma Theatre, the development of Gateway Park and the West Wetlands along the riverfront, the Urgent Care and Family Center in Somerton, electricity for street lighting in San Luis and street maintenance in Wellton. [Note: to read the full article click here.]

Mesa to slash pools, parks, arts budgets

[Source: East Valley Tribune, Sonu Monshi] – –  Mesa’s $62 million budget shortfall is going to hit city residents, as youth and adult programs get slashed, several swimming pools close to the public, museums bring fewer exhibits and some park maintenance is reduced or outsourced.

Top officials of the Parks, Recreation and Commercial Facilities Department, as well as the Arts and Cultural Department, outlined their proposed cuts on Monday to the City Council .  Parks and Recreation would take an $8.2 million cut over the next 19 months. The department stands to lose 56 full-time equivalent positions, or nearly 23 percent of its positions, beginning in January.  That would translate next year to 957 fewer recreation and aquatics programs available to the public. Department director Rhett Evans told the council that could mean more than 50,000 fewer users across these programs next year.  The department cut $1 million last fiscal year and the renewed deficit is going to be a challenge, Evans said. [Note: to read the full article click here.]

Camp Verde Town Council shows courage in park efforts

[Source: CVBugle.com Editorial] — The Camp Verde Town Council gets it, even if it is difficult for others to keep their eyes on the prize, so to speak. The enthusiasm Camp Verde residents once had for the new 118-acre park has begun to dim. Just as people are selling off their RVs, ATVs, boats, dune buggies and other toys just to pay the essential bills, the importance of recreation in general is sliding down the priorities list.

So it takes long-range vision from the town council to stay focused on making reality of the plans for the park east of White Bridge. Camp Verde has too much invested in the park already to suddenly change its collective mind, chuck the whole idea and stick it in the classifieds with the quads and skateboards. [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

City of Sedona gambling with its Arizona Heritage Fund grant

[Source: Sedona.biz, letter to the editor] — The Sedona Cultural Park may have closed its doors five years ago, but it’s ghost is alive and well in the guise of the Barbara Antonsen Memorial Park and Pavilion. Plans to plop a geodesic dome in the midst of a recreational overbuilt Posse Ground Park (populated with 16 various courts, fields, underutilized teen center, dog park, swimming pool, elementary school and unregulated skateboard park bordered by two of Sedona’s longest established neighborhoods and one exclusive and relatively new subdivision) are moving along rapidly with the help of the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The matching grant of $586,600 was awarded to the City of Sedona for fiscal year 1995-1996 and, in turn, given to the non-profit organization responsible for establishing and maintaining the Sedona Cultural Park project. However, the City neglected to protect its interest by securing the grant in the event that the Cultural Park defaulted (and when it did, the City had no recourse). Included in this grant were; a two level amphitheatre, site preparation, sod, stage utilities, tree preservation, landscaping irrigation, fencing, lighting, ticket area, picnic/shade ramadas, tables and benches, restrooms, roads, lights, sewer, potable water, gas, electric, telephone and signage. [Note: to read the full article, click here.]