League of Arizona Cities & Towns Adopts Parks Resolution

At the 2011 League of Arizona Cities and Towns in Tucson, the Resolutions Committee adopted a State Parks Resolution submitted by: City of Sedona, Town of Payson, Town of Clarkdale, Town of Prescott Valley, City of Kingman, City of Cottonwood, City of Bullhead City, Town of Jerome and Town of Camp Verde.

 The Resolutions are the foundation of the League’s Municipal Policy Statement, which guides the League’s legislative agenda. Go to: Resolution#3.

Community involvement keeps threatened Arizona parks open

[Source: Mark Duncan, Enterprise Reporter, the Daily Courier] – A couple of years ago, the Arizona State Parks system found itself in a second-hand crisis, thanks to the general budgeting malaise that affected the whole of state government. With gargantuan deficits looming, the Legislature chose to “sweep” pretty much any and all available money from any and all “non-essential” departments, including the state parks department, which suddenly had some hard choices on its hands.

The directors there cut staffing and programs and looked for every possible way to make ends meet. In the end, though, they had to make a list they never thought they’d make – a list of parks that might have to close because they just couldn’t make ends meet on their own. On that list were Red Rocks State Park, one of four conservation parks statewide, and Fort Verde Historic State Park, one of the nine historic parks in the system.

Well, the folks of Sedona and Camp Verde weren’t going to let that happen in their towns. And it just so happened that Yavapai County Supervisor Chip Davis had stashed away some money from cable television franchise fees – money that was earmarked for parks and recreation activities. With the blessing of the other two supervisors, he pledged $30,000 per year to each of the two parks.

In Sedona, as the staff of state employees was cut in half, the community came alive in support of the park. In addition to the county money, the City of Sedona contributed $15,000 and the Sedona Community Foundation added $10,000, and a group called the Benefactors of Red Rock State Park came up with $145,000 in donations large and small, including $15,000 from a family foundation that paid for a part-time ranger to run the school program [to read the full article click here].

Editorial: Camp Verde pact with Fort Verde may be vulnerable again

[Source: Camp Verde Bugle]

Partnerships, compacts and agreements are only as binding as the resolve of the parties involved. When one of those parties is at the mercy of a third party in order to fulfill its obligations, it becomes a high-risk proposition.

Arizona State Parks has had 15 partnerships in operation to keep 27 of its 30 parks open to the public. Three of those partnered parks are in the Verde Valley. In an unsurprising move, however, the recent Legislative budget again removes millions from ASP.

The cuts could endanger ASP’s agreements with the Town of Camp Verde, Yavapai County and other entities.

The question facing the Town of Camp Verde is not whether to throw good money after bad – town money so far has been keeping Fort Verde operating and that is a good thing – but whether to continue a partnership in which the state cannot hold up its end.

Camp Verde’s relationship with Fort Verde is not the Town’s most important issue. Providing and maintaining basic public services and safety are far higher on the priority list, and they should be.

Soon, Town Hall will once again examine its relationship with Fort Verde and re-evaluate where the economy is headed. Hoping for a substantive turnaround is like chasing shadows.

Everyone hopes the parks can ride out the economic storm. Ideas are on the table. There are many with determination and enthusiasm involved.

ASP is tied by the state and a lot of bad timing. The Parks Foundation has a concerted effort toward privatizing the state parks. It needs time and legislative support to do this, and neither seems available.

The Legislature is not in a mood to be patient with its own state agencies. It needs to cut deep and cut now. That yanks the rug out from under the hopes of ASP and its partnerships with local governments like Camp Verde. It also limits the resolve on the state side of these agreements.

Meanwhile, Fort Verde, the core of the partnership, ends up in its usual position – under threat.

Fort Verde gets a new roof

[Source: Steve Ayers Camp Verde Bugle]

VVN/Steve Ayers

Your typical household roofing job will run in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the size of the house and the material of choice.

But if the roof you are replacing is made of shake shingles and happens to protect a 140-year-old adobe building, the costs can go considerably higher.

Such is the case with the roofing job at Fort Verde. Starting last week and continuing for the next month or so crews are replacing the cedar shingles on the four remaining builds and putting new asphalt shingles on the restrooms.

The cost of the project is $185,000.

“We were very fortunate to receive some of the last of the Heritage Fund money that was not swept by the Legislature,” says Park Manager Sheila Stubler.

The Commanding Officer’s Quarters, the one with the Mansard roof, will be the most expensive, costing about $55,000.

The historic records show that the original cedar shingles came from the Black Hills, south and west of the fort and were made at the Army’s saw mill located in the community of Cherry.

The red cedar shingles were brought in from British Columbia

This time the clear heartwood red cedar shingles had to be brought in from British Columbia.

“The buildings are on the National Historic Register of Historic Places, so any work has to conform to the Department of the Interior guidelines,” says Margy Parisella, a project manager and architect with Arizona State Parks.

That means they have to be the same product, same size and the same spacing.

The final look will be the same but this time the nearly 50,000 shingles will be applied with the latest and greatest methods and materials.

According to Dan Settle with Brown and Sons Roofing, the contractor on the project, they will apply an additional layer of breather material before nailing in the shingles.

“I had never seen the material until about five years ago,” says Settle. “It has become pretty popular back East where they see a lot more moisture. We are putting it on because we believe it will extend the life of the shingles by allowing air to pass beneath them.”

Prior to the roofers showing up, a group of local volunteers led by George Dvorak donated over 650 hours replacing the wood around all the dormers, fixing cracked window panes, painting and rebuilding the old shutters.

According to Stubler, the project should be completed by the end of March, weather permitting.