2008 Open Space Bond Needs Your Help!
As the 2004 Conservation Acquisition (Open Space) Program continues with implementation, Pima County is gearing up for another bond election in 2008. As of August 31, 2007, the County has spent nearly $75 million of the $174.3 million approved in the 2004 bond election. The County has acquired more than 25,500 acres of conservation land and holds grazing leases on an additional 86,000 acres of state trust land. All of these lands are an integral component to the success of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.
The long-range vision of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan created an acquisition program that would necessitate a series of open space bonds in order to acquire all of the important conservation lands. The citizens’ Conservation Acquisition Commission (CAC) has finalized its recommendation of $285 million for the 2008 Open Space Bond. The lands not yet acquired in the 2004 bond will be “rolled over” into the 2008 bond program, minus those that have since been developed. As well, there have been minor additions to the 2004 eligible property acquisition map.
These additions include additional private and state lands in the Tortolita Fan, grasslands, and lands associated with water rights, streams, and springs. The CAC also included a number of properties that have significance to the community. These properties include parcels at the base of Sentinel Peak (A Mountain), the West Desert Preserve in Green Valley, Rosemont Ranch, and private lands which would be added to Saguaro National Park.
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The 2008 Bond Program will fund various project categories in addition to Open Space. These categories include public works, justice and law enforcement, parks, transportation safety, affordable housing, neighborhood investment, libraries, public health facilities, and cultural resources. Each category was assigned to a subcommittee which will forward a recommendation to the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee (BAC). This Committee will review the proposals and send their recommendations to the Pima County Board of Supervisors in the coming months.
The subcommittee proposals represent over $1.4 billion in project funding requests. It will now be up to the BAC to make cuts to the proposals in order to bring the bond package to somewhere in the range of $600 – $700 million.
Another important element to include is floodplain acquisitions. Pima County Regional Flood Control requested $10 million dollars to continue their program, but no funding was included in the Parks Subcommittee package.
In order for Open Space to be fully funded at $285 million, the BAC needs to hear from you!
|Please let the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee know that the protection of the Sonoran Desert is your number one priority!
Please contact the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee and let them know you support:
· $285 million for conservation acquisition
· And an additional $10 million for flood plain acquisition.
Please take the time to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send letters to Nicole Fyffe, County Administrators Office, 130 W. Congress St., Floor 10, Tucson, AZ 85701.