Wed, Jan. 22

Town to buy rodeo arena

For $55,000, Camp Verde is buying a used portable rodeo arena that can be used in the town's new community park and elsewhere.

Town Manager Bill Lee said he hopes to have the equipment purchased and here in time for the upcoming Main Street Stampede on April 23-24.

The Camp Verde Town Council agreed unanimously to Chet Teague's motion to buy the arena using dollars from the Parks Contingency Fund.

Lee explained that the first phase of the proposed park will include ball fields; the second, an arena for equestrian events and a staging area for BMX bike events. Although the town has not yet purchased the land for its new community park, and an arena is part of its second phase, Bullhead City Chamber has the used equipment available now at a good price.

Initially offered at $75,000, Lee told council members that Louis Rezzonico, owner of Camp Verde Feeds, negotiated the price down to $55,000, exactly what the chamber owes on it.

The equipment includes pens for saddle horses, a timed-event livestock loading system, main arena, bucking chutes, rough-stock pens, gate and fence posts. The cost does not include transportation, but Mayor Mitch Dickinson suggested that the town might be able to negotiate transporting the equipment in an empty semi-truck returning to the area following a delivery.

Council member Howard Parrish, well known in the horse-judging field, was asked to share information he had investigated on the costs prior to the council's decision. He told members that it appeared it could save the town substantial dollars over new equipment. He pointed out that steel, which it is made of, has just gone up 12.5 percent.

"Our 4-H has no place to practice or hold events," he added.

Council member Jackie Baker, who agreed that it would "be just wonderful with our park system," cautioned members that additional insurance for equestrian events would be necessary. Lee agreed, estimating about $2,000 per event.

Council member Tony Gioia, who said he normally does not like to spend outside the town's budgeted allocations, threw his support behind this purchase, commenting, "If building a large community park, it is part of Camp Verde's heritage."

The Main Street Stampede, where the rodeo arena might be used for the first time, is the first official tour destination for the Angry American Rough Stock Tour, hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department, town merchants and the CV High School Athletics Department. The celebration later this month is behind Town Hall on the old football field welcoming the public back to Main Street following months of construction.

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