Letters to the Editor July 21, 2006

Community makes July 4 celebration a success

Editor:

This years July 4 celebration was a great success. It is tremendous to see a community come together to support an event of this scale. This year the Cottonwood Parks and Recreation Department was able to feed thousands of people for free with the help of the: Kiwanis Club, Fry's, Safeway and Food City. We especially want to thank the grocery stores for your support and wonderful and much appreciated donations. We also would like to thank Pepsi, North American Waste Services and Sparkletts Water for their contributions.

Good people and first-rate events make Cottonwood a wonderful place to live.

Hezekiah Allen

Special Events Coordinator

City of Cottonwood

Take me out to the ballpark

Editor:

This is an open invitation to young and old! Verde Valley Little League is hosting this year's 9-10 year old Little League State Championship Tournament right here in Cottonwood, at Riverfront Park this week.

For those who ever doubted why we needed Little League fields here in Cottonwood, please join us, and the over 600 athletes, coaches, umpires, family members, and friends, as we watch these young men give it their all for 10 days straight at 5 and 7 p.m. This will be a big event for the City of Cottonwood and the Chamber of Commerce. We hope to see our local city officials, council members and Chamber officials enjoying the event as well; and witnessing the revenue-generating side of youth baseball.

A special thanks goes out to all the parent volunteers who spent over a week transforming the Riverfront Park fields from an adult softball complex to a Little League complex, including semi-permanent fencing donated by Yavapai Fence. Thanks Yavapai Fence!

This effort was truly a heart-warming effort by many who care so much about our local children. Thanks again to the local corporate sponsors for your support throughout the regular season. We would like to thank the Cottonwood Parks and Recreation Department for allowing us to utilize these fields. Hopefully the event will serve as a motivating factor in continuing to strive for the November completion date of the youth Baseball and Softball complex across from Riverfront Park.

Bringing more excitement to this event is that our hometown team, the Verde Valley 9 and 10 year old All Stars and District 10 Champs will be representing Cottonwood. Good Luck Coaches Ron Bright and Tim McKeever and Players Biff, Big A, Big E, EJ, Glove, Gonzo, Jess, Little A, Obb, Rocket, TAZ and Unit in your quest for the Arizona State Championship.

Mark and Lori Simmons

Cottonwood.

No reason to pay for the park land

Editor:

Regarding the proposed $30,000-per-acre purchase of public land for a public park ­ that's dumb. Even if they cut the price in half, it's still dumb.

The land was improperly appraised because it is carried on the County Recorder's files with the wrong zoning. It still is! My reference is the County Recorder herself. The town must change the zoning to get an accurate appraisal. Land zoned for a public park will obviously be worth nothing to a private developer. Again, change the zoning now.

But an appraisal is only relevant if we intend to buy it. Why buy it? We can and should get it transferred to the town.

It was offered to the town as an airport a decade ago, but we turned it down. One of the newspaper reporters covering this issue told me the Coconino National Forest Service representative admitted we could still get it as an airport. Tell the Feds we changed our minds. One objection to this approach is that the town can't get it for free as an airport and use any part of it for a park. Not true.

Another is that we don't want a jetport. Probably true. Solution to both. There is a new FAA aircraft designation, "light-sport." These light-sport aircraft are quieter and smaller than most aircraft using Sedona and Cottonwood airports, and cannot be jets. They use airports called "flight parks." Establishing a light-sport flight park, nicely landscaped but unpaved, would ensure no jetport and leave plenty of room for other recreational activities on Parcel 800-02-010F. We could probably even get federal and state airport development money to help build a light-sport aircraft flight park.

The reporter was told we should not do that because if we get it for an airport, can we only have aviation-related activities there. So what? Sedona's airport has car rental, a restaurant, a motel, and a Masonic lodge. Payson's has a restaurant, walking trail, picnic pavilions, and campground. The activities on a light-sport flight park would all be aviation related. Providing crew meal preparation facilities, crew rest amenities, and physical fitness facilities ­ all are obviously aviation-related. And everybody in town could use them. Picnic areas, ball diamonds, skateboard area, bicycle motocross track? Of course! All enhance pilots' physical fitness for flight.

Another approach is to simply request it be transferred to the Town as a park. The authority for this is in 43USC869-1, "The Secretary may sell such land to the political subdivision in which the lands are situated for the purpose for which the land has been classified, and conveyances of such land for recreational purposes shall be made without monetary consideration." Translation - we get it free.

But first it has to be zoned "public use" for a light-sport flight park or for recreational purposes. How much can that cost? How much longer must we wait for it to be done?

Michael Muetzel

Camp Verde

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