Letter: Protect the Dells
On March 26, our council rejected Save the Dells’ resolution supporting meaningful open space protection in Arizona Eco Developments 2,500-acre development. Finding cover under dubious advice of the city attorney, our timid council would not commit to 500 acres of open-space in trade for granting the developer the privilege of being incorporated into the City of Prescott.
The question is what’s next. Several on the council have expressed a strong desire for saving the Dells but have taken no concrete steps to do so. Back in 2000, we citizens voted for a small tax increase to raise funds to support roads and open space. We asked for an equal distribution of those funds between roads and open space.
Disregarding the citizens’ intent, councils since then have blatantly ignored both the intent and spirit behind our vote. Of the $191 million raised by that tax initiative, less than $20 million was spent on open space — the rest on roads, including one that would access AED’s development. The labored sentiments of those on council who say they support saving the Dells is patently false.
The good intentions of some on the council to save the Dells could be realized through their introduction of a new tax initiative in the August election cycle to raise money for purchases that would indeed save the Dells. I would vote for a small tax increase.
Development of the Dells property owned by AED is clearly not in the interest of this community. We desperately need to see where council stands. Do they support the developer who will permanently disfigure our iconic Granite Dells, or the people, who perhaps misguidedly voted them into office?