June 18, 2006

Rec Center will be welcome

addition to Cottonwood

Editor:

Again, I must respond to Mr. Thomas McCabe. You published a letter by him on Sunday, June 4, which I find requires a comment.

To clarify the function of the Parks & Recreation Commission, we bring to the city government our input as citizen volunteers on matters relating to our department

Those of us on the Parks & Rec Commission have been spending our personal time and efforts to understand the needs of the public. A few have traveled to Colorado cities to be informed on what leisure activities were supported and how these were incorporated within their multigenerational centers.

With this information, the Cottonwood Parks and Recreation Commission was able to offer helpful advice to Barker Rinker Seacat Architects; thus the center was designed to answer many of the needs of our citizens. This preliminary design was submitted to the public and the City Council in open meetings.

A recurring theme of Mr. McCabe letters relates to the cost the transportation by families to the center. The wonderful thing about the Cottonwood area is the short distances within the Valley. When and if fuel prices become a major factor in personal recreation, the closeness of the center as well as Riverfront Park will be a blessing.

A second theme in Mr. McCabe's letters is the financing of the center and whether it will lead to higher property taxes. The City of Cottonwood does not impose any property tax. If Mr. McCabe lives within the city and will look at his Yavapai County tax statement, he will note that a substantial portion of property taxes are related to the schools and the education of the next generation.

He will also note that there is no city tax as Cottonwood uses the sales taxes, grants and state shared revenues to fund the government programs. The funds for the Rec Center will be allocated from the sales tax, implemented grants applied for by the staff of the Parks & Rec Department.

Cottonwood has received assurances of donations of in-kind services from local building contractors as well as corporations, both local and non-local. We again extend to the citizens of Cottonwood and to Mr. McCabe an invitation to attend the meetings of the Parks and Recreation Commission and the City Council and ask questions and receive facts related to the center.

Lastly, Mr. McCabe refers to the user fees of the planned developments for their clubhouses and puts forth the rationale that they will be charged double. Most of the homes in the Verde Valley are not in planned developments (subdivisions). Planned developments limit home colors, impose landscape restrictions, and require homeowner association fees. All these are spelled out in the contractual obligations you have to sign when you purchase a home in Verde Santa Fe (which is outside the city) or Del Webb (part of which is outside the city).

The Rec Center will not charge fees for use of the public areas. Fees will be charged for the health club and aquatic areas as they always have here in Cottonwood. These charges support the Rec Center.

This is the time to move forward. Cottonwood is growing. We see new homes filling the empty lots and apartments under constriction everywhere in the city. Where are we going to provide for all these new people to have a place to enjoy themselves. Are we going to put them out on the sidewalks just to walk or to ride bikes. The answer is to have a place for all to relax, run, read, train on equipment, and, of course, swim.

The more I write these letters the more I feel that Cottonwood is stepping up to the plate and hitting the long ball to left field. The goal is not home runs, but to be the best city in Arizona.

William Bowden

Parks and Recreation Commissioner

Trash situation is out of hand

Editor:

My hat goes off to you Judy Martinson for your letter regarding the huge amount of litter in and around Cottonwood. Have you noticed all the plastic bags, etc., that drape the landscape acoss the street from Wal-Mart? Or on Arizona 260 between Cottonwood and Camp Verde or on Arizona 89A just outside the city limits of Cottonwood headed toward Sedona.

If we are suppose to have an anti-litter law, then it needs to start being enforced. It is without a doubt appalling.

How hard can it be for a person to carry one of those plastic bags (or any kind of a bag) in the car to put the trash into, instead of throwing it out the window??

Come on everyone ... take pride in where you live.

Joy Kaulfers

Cottonwood

Thank you, Titan Trucking

Editor:

I would like to publicly thank Barick and all his drivers for their continual courtesy while driving down Mingus Avenue.

The speed limit is 25 mph and they are the only commercial vehicles that drive within the limit every day. We who are residents on this street appreciate you and your men.

Judy Love

Cottonwood

Don't learn your lesson the hard way

Editor:

I found out just how small of a town I live in when I had the unfortunate experience of running over my daughter with my car. It happened on a Saturday and the following Wednesday, there it was in the local paper. "Child run over Š"

I thought to myself, "that's quite an invasion of privacy, and that the accident was horrifying enough, and now it is here in the paper to relive." Then I thought, "I wonder how I can use this in a positive way to help others?" Hence this letter.

I would like to tell the story about what happened.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning and my husband wanted to go for a motorcycle ride. My 1965 convertible Mustang was in the garage, (as it always is) and he wanted me to move it so he could get his bike out. Upon hearing that I was going to move the car, my daughter immediately wanted to go in the car with me. She loves it as much as I do and takes every opportunity to ride with me, no matter how short the distance.

She got in to the front passenger seat and sat in her removable booster chair. We were going to move about 30 yards, so foolishly I failed to buckle her in. As I backed out and gained momentum and began to turn, she announced that she forgot something and needed to open the door to go get it. Before I knew it, she had done just that Š opened the door and was on her way out before I had time to slam on the brakes. She and her booster seat went tumbling out and the front right wheel went over her lower back.

I threw the car in park and ran to her panicked and screaming. My husband ran to her, scooped her up and took her to our bed, a place of comfort for her. 911 was called and she was flown to St. Joseph's hospital. She was determined to have a fractured pelvis and some other minor injuries. We spent three days in the hospital and she was released the following Tuesday. We were very fortunate that the situation was not worse.

What I have learned from this is that no matter how closely you watch your kids, it's never close enough and that you can never take enough precaution with children.

What I hope to accomplish by writing this letter is to enlighten every parent that accidents happen and that you can never be too careful with your kids, especially in and around vehicles. I learned my lesson the hard way, but I learned that child safety is of the utmost importance.

I urge everyone to closely watch their kids, no matter what!

Monica M. Kendall

Cottonwood

Isn't it great to have government looking out for us?

Editor:

Camp Verde and Cottonwood government members have cost local taxpayers (themselves, as well) millions upon millions of additional tax dollars in the year and a half or so they have been unable to reach agreement on the four-lane construction of Arizona 260.

Due to now "sky-higher" construction prices, these same people may very well have cost us our four-lane highway, or the most part of it, for the foreseeable future (note Supervisor Davis' recent public remarks on this subject). There may now only be monies available for a very small portion of four "lane-ing."

It would appear at this point that the only individuals these government members have been helping are those property owners along the highway's route. Too bad we can't ask our state and county officials to take the higher building costs we're now faced with out of those owners' proceeds at the time such properties are sold.

Of course, we'll be told by both municipalities that the "improvements/changes" they've been holding out for will, in the long run, result in higher tax income and other revenues from what's done with these properties in the future.

Perhaps, that's true, but in the meantime you and I will be paying all those higher costs ‹ and doing without our much-needed four-lane highway for a longer time, to boot (how many more deaths along the current roadway will have occurred by then?).

Seems to me we could have had our four-lane highway under construction by now, if not already near done. Any additional entrance/exit lanes and traffic lights needed due to future growth and development could have been added in the future. Oh, wait, they'll tell us that could never work either.

Isn't it great that, as a general rule, we have government to "look out for us?"

Philip Cumpston

Cottonwood

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