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4/3/2012 10:24:00 AM
Town of Tusayan employee housing in the works
ADOT has identified five sites at Grand Canyon Airport that could be leased to town

Clara Beard
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - During their March 21 meeting, the Tusayan Town Council discussed future employee housing at the Grand Canyon Airport, progress on the school community park and potentially hiring a Colorado-based consulting firm for the town's prospective housing development.

Town Employee Housing

Officials with the Grand Canyon Airport, owned by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), recently met with Tusayan Town Council representatives, and successfully identified five sites the town could lease from the airport to house future employees.

Tusyan Town Manager Enrique Ochoa said housing is crucial for recruitment.

"We plan on leasing at least three sites that we can start using on a pretty immediate basis," Ochoa said. "Right now, I'm looking for a town clerk, and it's hard when potential employees ask, 'where am I going to live, am I going to have to drive all the way up to the Grand Canyon?'"

Town/School Community Park

The Tusayan Town Council and Grand Canyon School District (GCSD) plan to break ground on the town/school community park in three weeks, Tusayan Town Manager Enrique Ochoa said.

"The town has paid around $15-20,000 for the architectural design and then they are looking at the fact that we initially budgeted around $150,000 for the this, so this whole phase is supposed to cost about $425,000," Ochoa said. "If the council were to vote another $150,000 that would cover $300,000 and then the school would only have to come up with $125,000 from other revenue sources."

The school park committee includes representatives from both the city and the town. Ochoa said at a recent committee meeting, the school planned to hire retired GCS Maintenance Director Andrew Aldaz to spearhead the park project.

Affordable Housing Village Proposal

Mayor Greg Bryan reported to the council he met with consultants John B. Young and Scott V. Brown from International Housing Solutions, and has asked them to present a proposal for the council's next meeting.

According to the staff report, the consultants, recommended by Bryan, may be able to aid in outlining the process that needs to be followed to establish a housing program upon the town's acquisition of 40 acres, promised by the Stilo Group if their land use agreement is successful.

The Colorado-based consulting firm uses a phased approach to review housing model options and financing. During the process, the consultants will "organize infrastructure outline land use process to outline a master planning process and present findings to the community," the staff report stated.

"The council decided that the mayor and town manager will talk to them," Ochoa said.

The Tusayan town attorney has drafted an agreement, which will be discussed in more detail during the council's next public meeting.

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