Pima County will hold a bond election November 3rd. The ballot will include seven propositions totaling $815.8 million that will give Pima County citizens the opportunity to address road repair, economic development projects, historic preservation, parks and more. In these next few Vail Voice articles, I’ll highlight bond projects in the Vail, Rita Ranch and Corona de Tucson communities.
Proposition 427 focuses on promoting tourism within Pima County. Increasing tourism will have a positive effect on the local economy because it creates jobs and has a ripple effect on associated industries, such as retail, transportation, hospitality and food service. Visitation at tourism venues also increases revenues at nearby businesses.
In the Vail and surrounding regions, if Prop 427 passes, Pima County residents will also invest $3.35 million in preserving and enhancing Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Colossal Cave is a natural resource and historical treasure. Recently, the Board of Supervisors has made significant efforts to improve the operations of this park and approved a contract with Ortega National Parks as its new operator. For decades, this natural park has functioned on a limited budget, but Pima County citizens have the opportunity to improve this precious natural asset through Prop 427. Plans involve infrastructure upgrades and renovations to the cave, as well as surrounding facilities, trails and campgrounds.
Upgrades include replacing all cave indoor lighting and electrical wiring; water and waste systems; fixing and building trails; installing outdoor lighting wherever necessary; improving the park road, parking lots and restrooms; and introducing new nature-based and adventure activities.
These revenue-enhancing projects will sustain and modernize Colossal Cave Mountain Park and will help promote visitor awareness and participation. Safety, accessibility and expansion are at the forefront of these improvements in order to enhance its local and national tourist appeal.
If Prop 427 passes, Pima County voters will invest $6.5 million in renovating the Pima County Fairgrounds, infrastructure and RV Park. In the past decade, Pima County Fair attendance has doubled from 150,000 to about 300,000 people and this makes the Fair the largest single event in Pima County. Projects include renovating buildings and infrastructure to include more bathrooms; installing water systems, insulation, heating and cooling; and a new administration office. In addition, the RV Park will expand to 50 acres to provide lodgings for Pima County residents and visitors who attend special events such as the Fair, music festivals, horse shows and RV rallies. These improvements will help accommodate recent record-breaking fairgrounds attendance. New facilities, upgraded buildings and increased infrastructure will allow for continual use of the facility throughout the year and will ultimately attract more patrons.
Other projects in this area include:
• Prop 428
-Purple Heart Park Expansion ($1.5 million)
-Esmond Station Regional Park ($6.8 million)
-Model Airplane Park ($1 million)
– Southeast Regional Park Shooting Range Improvements ($2.5 million)
• Prop 429
-Vail Sheriff Substation
• Prop 430
-Public Natural Park Trailheads ($3.75 million)
For more details, check out this Interactive Map of all seven propositions.