|Written by Staff Reporter|
|Tuesday, 12 June 2007 14:00|
Looking to build a community park full of ball fields, Camp Verde Town Council has been seesawing over how large a slice of a U.S. Forest Service land it wants and how large a slice it can afford.
A few weeks ago, council received a welcome new estimate of the worth of the almost 230 acres off Hwy. 260 that it originally wanted, as well as a 40-acre “carve out.”
The 40 acres would have been well within the town’s budget, which includes $1.2 million immediately available in its park fund, according to Finance Director Dane Bullard.
But in a May 30 budget meeting, the council voted for a bigger helping.
“We can’t afford all of the land because we need to improve the land that we do purchase,” Smith said. “If we encumber all of our resources, or the majority of them, in land purchases, we can’t do what we need to do for the public.”
Smith said that, by contrast, the largest park in Flagstaff is 47 acres.
More than a half-million dollars in park improvement money was granted to the town years ago. That grant has been renewed multiple times and will be lost if work does not start on a park by this fall.
That may be a big “if,” considering that, in the past, the town and the Forest Service have been far apart on their assessments and may be no closer this time, regardless of the latest lower assessment.
The town must also wait for the Forest Service’s own assessment and negotiate with it — a process that can take up to a year.
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