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Grant paves way for park

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Camp Verde is one step closer to seeing Homestead Park become a fixture. Or rather, one road closer.

Town of Camp Verde Economic Development Director Steve Ayers learned on Wednesday, June 21, that the town had received a $231,013 Economic Strength Projects Grant from the Arizona Department of Transportation toward construction of the Homestead Parkway extension project.


The 1,800-foot paved extension of Homestead Parkway will allow access to the proposed 80-acre Homestead Park, the eventual site of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center’s new facility and a business park proposed by landowner Scott Simonton.

Homestead Parkway intersects State Route 260 approximately a mile south east of Interstate 17 and ends in a dirt road about a quarter mile east of State Route 260. The extension will include paving, curb and gutter, a waterline and a channel for future installation of fiber-optic cable.

“Including the Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Grant we received earlier this year, we have received a total of $255,513 towards building the road,” Ayers said.

He said approval of the extension project two years ago prompted Simonton’s donation of a 9.28-acre parcel and a 2.69-acre easement parcel, giving the town “deed and title to a permanent access road” to the future Homestead Park.

Per the town’s River Recreation Master Plan, “the town has already negotiated with the Simonton family and the Archaeology Center to include a parking area and trailhead to access Homestead Park as a condition for paving and improving the road.”

“This is great news and is exciting to see this dream move forward,” Mayor Charlie German said.

In an email to Ayers, Arizona Commerce Authority Senior Vice President of Economic and Rural Development Keith Watkins stated the town would need to execute a Joint Project Agreement with ADOT for the project, which is required to be completed by July 1, 2018.

Homestead Park
The largest park proposed within Camp Verde’s Verde River Recreational Master Plan, Homestead Park, is home to javelina, deer and many birds endemic to the area. The area is often trespassed upon, according to Camp Verde Director of Economic Development Steve Ayers. Per the River Recreation Master Plan, “Current uses have been somewhat problematic, as it is the site for a number of transient camps, unregulated uses and the site of significant dumping, including large items such as old sofas, mattresses and other trash.” The proposed park would cordon off fragile riparian areas while ensuring locals and visitors a safe and sustainable way to access the river. Here are some facts about the proposed park: It would be encompass approximately 80 acres. Half of the property is owned by Prescott National Forest; the other half is owned by Arizona State Parks. It features over a quarter-mile of riverfront property. It is a combination of open grassland and cottonwood tree canopy. It is bordered by private land on all sides, butting up to Simonton Ranch. For more information, visit “River Recreation Master Plan” at the Town of Camp Verde website.

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