National Park looks to partner with Tusayan for Centennial celebrations

Photo/WGCN

Photo/WGCN

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Doug Lentz chief of concessions for Grand Canyon National Park gave a presentation to Tusayan council members during their Jan. 20 meeting, asking for the town's participation in upcoming park Centennial celebrations.

Across the nation, the National Park Service (NPS) has planned a number of ongoing events and outreach programs to celebrate NPS's one-hundredth anniversary. The park is currently working on several youth programs with Grand Canyon School (GCS) including a video, "99 Ways to Find Your Park" with GCS Videography students. The park also plans to have a multimedia public awareness campaign targeting millennials and urban youth, a Find Your Park selfie booth at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and a career day and job fair for local students. The park is also involved with the Every Kid in a Park fourth grade outreach and several initiatives for Native American and cultural workshops/education programs.

The park is planning a Centennial kick-off event for the Grand Canyon and Tusayan residents Feb. 26 and requested event support and help with booths as well as setup and cleanup from the council. The town did not commit to helping with the event at this time.

"We told them we would be as supportive as we can," said Eric Duthie, Tusayan town manager. "We just don't know the flavor of our participation yet."

In other council news, the town staff, under direction of the council was asked to contact Coconino County Board of Election to inquire when the next possible election would be held. According to Duthie, the county said the next possible election would be the primary election in August.

"Our understanding at this point is that it would be August," Duthie said. "Based on a variety of issues. So we are gearing toward the August primary election."

There was some confusion as to when the next possible election would be held after former Tusayan mayor Greg Bryan resigned, leaving his council seat and mayor position vacant. Former vice mayor, Craig Sanderson is currently filling the position.

The council also held its annual retreat Jan. 12 at the town hall. The retreat was an opportunity to discuss the town's budget and goals for 2016. Council members, the town manager, town attorney and a project manager attended the retreat.

Discussions included the status of the Grand Canyon Clinic, the development of snow play areas, outdoor fitness trail developments, broadband for the town, the extension of the contract for shuttle bus services into the park, beautification of the bus stops, updates on the status of the Sports Complex Center, election timetables for the council and an alternative energy code creation and resident utility assistance.

Town Attorney Bill Sims, led discussions on housing development projects for the Kotzin property.

"(There were) a lot of plans made and discussion of where we are and how we got there and what we need to do to move forward," Duthie said. "It was very productive on what the goals are for 2016."

Duthie said affordable housing was a priority goal for the council.

No action was taken on any of the items discussed at the retreat.

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