SB 1474 submitted to Legislature

GLOBE — The Cobre Valley Regional Aquatic Center Committee (CVRAC) has recently submitted a bill to the Arizona State Legislature.  SB 1474. The Aquatics Facility Maintenance District is sponsored by Senator Frank Pratt of District 8, and if signed into law, would be the start of the funding mechanism for the maintenance and operation (M & O) costs of the aquatic center.

Last year, CVRAC submitted revisions to the Revitalization District Bill under SB 1416.  The bill passed the Senate and failed in the House.  Throughout the year, members of the CVRAC reviewed the reasons why the bill failed and met with those at corporate and state levels who gave clear insight as to why the bill failed. The Revitalization Bill was a very complicated piece of legislation that, if left unchecked, could be misused.

Through meetings with state legislators and representatives from corporate Arizona, a very narrow, tightly written bill was produced.  SB 1474, Aquatics Facility Maintenance Districts, will soon be moving through the Senate Finance Committee in the Arizona Legislature.

Similarities in the two bills are that the district formed will make up the Town of Miami, City of Globe, and some county areas. Signatures of 51% of land owners and 51% of land valuations will have to be gathered to form the district. A tax structure would be approved by registered voters and a board of directors would oversee the construction and operations of the facility. 

“My wife and I do not have children but I would vote for the tax because I care about the future of our community,” stated Stan Gibson, former business owner and CVRAC board member. “We can’t look at today but for the vision we have for our communities years from now.”  

An aquatic center cannot financially be supported by one entity alone, and the M & O expenses of all aquatic centers in Arizona, with the exception of two, are supported by some type of tax dollars or HOA fees.

This new bill, SB 1474, will be a stand-alone bill for an Aquatic Facility Maintenance District that will help rural counties provide aquatic center maintenance and operating costs. The district will resemble a fire district with much of the language the same. This bill isn’t just for Globe-Miami, but all rural counties under 100,000 in population – Gila, Apache, Greenlee, La Paz, Graham, Santa Cruz, and Apache counties.

The district will have the power to accept gifts, donations (i.e. cash or land), apply for grants, hire staff and consultants, oversee the management of all operations and maintenance, and the ability to oversee capital construction. The district will not have the ability to bond for financing or take on debt – the tax dollars will be strictly used for M & O costs to safeguard the life of the pool.  

CVRAC is currently working on the boundaries of the district and the passage of the bill.  If you are interested in more information, please call Evelyn Vargas at 928-402-1141, Sherry Dorathy at 928-425-3261, or Bryan Seppala 928-812-0098.

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