Tubac state park avoids closure, for now

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

[Source: Green Valley News] — Tubac Presidio State Historic Park was among eight state parks that saw a reprieve Tuesday after the parks board said it would look at other options before closing the doors to save money.  State parks director Ken Travous went into Tuesday’s meeting with a list of eight locations recommended for closure based on visitor counts and operating costs.  The agency is struggling with a deficit projected to reach $647,000 by June.  “We need to make up a lot of money real fast,” Travous said.  “We’re out of time.”

Rather than endorsing the plan, the board asked Arizona State Parks to look at options such as employee furloughs and cutting park hours before it takes up the issue again Feb. 20.  “We need a bigger menu of options,” said State Land Commissioner Mark Winkleman, a member of the board.

Along with Tubac, Travous proposed closing Riordan Mansion State Historic Park in Flagstaff, Fort Verde State Historic Park in Camp Verde, Homolovi Ruins State Park in Winslow, Lyman Lake State Park in Springerville, McFarland State Historic in Florence, Oracle State Park, and Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.

Garry Hembree, a 27-year resident of Tubac and president of the Tubac Chamber of Commerce, said he found the proposal upsetting.  “The people who established the state park knew the historical significance of it and knew that it was important enough to open Arizona’s first state park,” he said.  “I just think that for that reason, regardless of the attendance or anything else, it’s worth preserving.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]