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The Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution this week supporting the use of county resources for infrastructure improvements in the United States’ National Parks.
In 2016, the National Park Service estimated a deferred maintenance backlog of nearly $460 million in Coconino County, including necessary repairs to the visitor centers, aging historical structures, trails, sewers, drainage, roads, bridges, tunnels and other vital infrastructure of the county’s six National Parks, Monuments and Recreation Areas.
“The Board of Supervisors recognizes the importance and value of National Parks to both the county and our many visitors,” said Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta. “Our goal with approving this resolution is that we can help support the necessary maintenance and improvements of these areas.”
Coconino County hosted more than seven million visitors to its National Parks in 2015. These visits brought an estimated $932 million in revenue to local communities adjacent to national parks in the State of Arizona.
“Coconino County's economic foundation is built on visitation to National Parks, National Monuments, National Recreation Areas and public lands,” said Supervisor Art Babbott. “By adequately funding critical infrastructure- water lines, roads wastewater- we can strengthen our economies, improve visitor experience to these wondrous places and protect these landscapes for future generations.”
The County will forward on the resolution to Congressional representatives and the National Association of Counties to do further advocacy during federal budget negotiations.