Yuma Sun, June 18, 2009

Yuma Sun

June 18, 2009

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Issue date: Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pages available: 48

Previous edition: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Next edition: Friday, June 19, 2009

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Publication name: Yuma Sun

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Yuma Sun (Newspaper) - June 18, 2009, Yuma, Arizona 4 rn Yuma THURSDAY, JUNE 18,2009 50 CENTS Check out the videos at YumaSun.com for complete coverage of your local news Today's high: I OO0 Details on C8    i    1163780 " 70050 BY JAMES GILBERT SUN STAFF WRITER THE NEW AQUATIC CENTER FEATURES AN aqua play area for children, complete with slides and water spouts. The Aquatic Center will open for the public July 2. Aquatic Anticipation New facilities are set to officially open two weeks from today BY WILLIAM ROLLER SUN STAFF WRITER Completed just in time to relieve the scorching heat is Yuma’s newest pool facility, the Valley Aquatic Center. The center is a water park with two pools and surrounding amenities that enhance outdoor summer fun, said Debbie Wendt, Yuma Parks and Recreation Department recreation superintendent. The project is the culmination of a collaborative effort between Parks and Recreation Department and the Yuma Union High School District over the last three years. “There’s been a major demand for a pool in the (west) end of town and it’s been a wonderful partnership between us and the school district,” Wendt said Thursday as she gave a tour of the facility. “Each party wanted to make sure that things they needed happened for both.” And those features for the city included a leisure pool, with dumping buckets '(elevated containers showering swimmers), slides, an aqua playground Also paqt of the center are    Check out classrooms YumaSun.com comprising for video and the Aquatic    slideshow Center shade structures and grass areas, offering “a real cooling shelter from direct sunlight,” Wendt said. For the high schools, all of which will have access to the facility, there is a 13-lane competition pool that also has a three-meter diving board and two one-meter boards, along with a shaded spectator area and bleachers. The 7-acre complex cost $8.8 million and required 18 months to build. It will be open to the public on July 2. But on July I, from 7 p.m. to IO p.m. the public is welcome to attend an exclusive pre-opening pool party, Wendt noted. Only 300 tickets will be sold. Tickets cost $20 each. They can be purchased at the City Hall Parks and Recreation Department, Yuma Arts Center, WM rn fill CITY OF YUMA PARKS AND RECREATION SUPERINTENDENT DEBBI WENDT shows off the new splash pad, an interactive water feature for children, at the new Valley Aquatic Center Wednesday morning. Yuma Civic Center, or online at www.yumaaz.gov. The deadline is June 25. A unique feature to the center is that it incorporates artwork created by the high school students who designed mosaic tile swirls around the deck of the pool, Wendt noted. “We also have waves of mosaic tile in the entry way of the aquatic center which make this facility even more beautiful.” This pool, near Cibola High School at 4381 W. 18th St., will be available for physical education classes, pool parties and special events. The public will also be able to reserve space for parties through the reservation and rental process at the Parks and Recreation Department. This year the pool opens July 2 but beginning next year, opening day starts Memorial Day weekend and concludes Labor Day weekend. The pool will operate seven days a week SEE AQUATIC/A6 truth and taxation hearing. “Hopefully we will have the state budget by then,” Wicks said, especially since July I is the start of fiscal year 2009-10. “But even if we don’t, we need to move on. If the state does something drastic, we may need to make some adjustments.” The preliminary budget sets the city’s operating budget at $147.1 million and the capital improvement program budget at $94.4 million. The budget also establishes the financial support by the city to outside agencies for the year for a total of $2.1 million. Several agencies are being allocated about IO percent less than they received for the current fiscal year. Other agencies were spared a cut, in part as a result of voters on May 19 approving the renewal of the 2 percent hospitality tax. Also, lobbying remains at $217,656. See list for details. Joyce Lobeck can be reached at [email protected] or 539-6853. OUTSIDE AGENCIES RECEIVING MONEY City council adopts preliminary budget cap State budget could force changes when finally handed down BY JOYCE LOBECK SUN STAFF WRITER While the Legislature continues to struggle with Arizona’s budget, the Yuma City Council has adopted the city’s preliminary budget, setting caps on the maximum amount that can be sent for the new fiscal year that starts in two weeks. Plans are to hold a public hearing during the regular city council meeting on July I, then adopt the final city budget, said Pat Wicks, finance director. But it won’t be set in stone, with adjustments likely in the coming year as the state determines its budget and the impact of the economic downturn continues to be felt. During the July I meeting, the council also will hold the • Greater Yuma Economic Development Corp. will receive a reduced allocation of $247,500 for job creation efforts. • Main Street/Heritage Festivals will receive $81,000, down from $90,000. • Greater Yuma Port Authority will receive $45,000, a reduction of $5,000, toward development of the new commercial port of entry and related business activity. • The Film Commission will receive $9,000. • Catholic Community Services is being allocated $22,500 for Safe House, nothing for Senior Nutrition and $4,500 for adult day health care. • Community Legal Services will receive $5,400. • Amberly’s Place will receive $41,580. • Crossroads Mission is being allocated $27,000. • Yuma Fine Arts Association is to receive $35,000. • Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club is being allocated $10,800. • Cultural Council is to receive $22,500. • American Red Cross and Special Olympics will receive no allocations. • The Yuma Visitors Bureau is being allocated $650,000, the same as last year, to help fund its efforts to promote tourism. • Yuma Crossing Park and riverfront development will again receive $175,000. • The allocation for cultural activities will remain at $42,566. • The Humane Society of Yuma will . receive $457,875. While still a reduction from the current allocation of $495,000, it is $12,000 more than was originally proposed. The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office has launched1 an investigation into the disappearance of more than $2,000 from the secured evidence vault* in the Superior Court Clerk's Office. “We have received a report on it and will be looking at the facts of the situation and determine where to go from here,” said YCSO spokesman Capt. Eben Bratcher. Jeff Mangis, chief deputy for the Superior Court Clerk’s Office, said the money was initially discovered missing Monday morning and that his office filed a report with the YCSO office on Wednesday morning. “This is an extremely unusual occurrence,” Mangis said. “We don’t know currently whether the money has been taken or just misplaced." Mangis said the money, which totaled about $2,200, was being held as evidence in a drug case that was scheduled to go to trial on Tuesday. But when staff went to the the locked vault the day before to retrieve the money and other exhibits, they were unable to locate it. “We were notified the case was going to go to trial the next day, so that is when we went to pull the exhibits and inventory them,” Mangis said. Mangis said his office is also conducting an inventory audit of all the exhibits being held in the secured vault to find out what SEE M0NEY/A6 Hospitality tax dollars to be hard at work Wish list of city projects now being hashed out BY JOYCE LOBECK SUN STAFF WRITER Expected revenue for the recently renewed 2 percent hospitality tax will be put to work soon, providing a variety of new parks and recreational facilities around the community. An accounting of plans for use of the money was presented to the Yuma City Council this week by the city Parks and Recreation Department and by the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. Becky Chavez, city Parks and Recreation director, outlined her department’s plans. She told the council that the top five projects her department will focus on developing are the projects that were on the city’s SEE TAX/A6 More money evidence goes missing Court Clerk's Office isn’t sure if cash was stolen or misplaced ;