Bill in Legislature Could Help Create Granite Dells Park

A bill currently in the Arizona Legislature could go toward the creation of what is tentatively called “a regional park in Granite Dells.”

The $5.3 million bill proposed by State Rep. Noel Campbell, whose district includes Prescott, was working its way through the House of Representatives in March and then the Senate, City officials said. 

The Prescott City Council voted March 10 to approve up to $1.5 million from its open space money to go toward acquisition of land in the Granite Dells from a private property owner. Those dollars would be withdrawn from the approximate $1.77 million that remains in the Prescott open space fund. Those dollars originated from the City open space/street sales tax provision that expired in December 2015. 

The City Council made clear the proposed allocation is contingent upon House Bill 2284 being approved at the Legislature. The exact dollars ultimately will depend upon the amount, if any, appropriated by the Legislature. 

Council members also made clear the parcel being discussed does not in any way include the Arizona Eco Development land that is near the Point of Rocks and under consideration for annexation into City limits. Instead, it is about 300 acres of property that would not be included in the proposed AED development. 

Campbell has indicated a legislative decision could be weeks away, as the Legislature is trying to move rapidly toward close for the year.

Several City Council members, including Phil Goode and Cathey Rusing, have said they hoped the City’s action will convince the Legislature that the City and the community are behind Campbell’s bill.

Campbell’s bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Karen Fann, president of the Arizona Senate, and by Rep. Steve Pierce, a Prescott resident. The bill requests funds to be appropriated from the Arizona State Parks Board, which could then distribute the money to the City of Prescott to establish the regional park.