Camp Verde Sports Complex
The Town of Camp Verde and Parks & Recreation are excited about the continued progress at the new Sports Complex, which is located on about 100 acres of Town land behind the Verde Ranger Station off SR 260, and want to update everyone on our plans and progress.
Construction on the Sports Complex began back in April of 2018. The initial work included; clearing and grubbing, mass grading, drainage improvements, underground utilities, and a paved access road. All of this work was completed on schedule and under the engineer’s original cost estimate. However rising construction costs due to the improved economy resulted in bids that were well above our available funding which ultimately led to a pause in construction during much of 2019.
During the pause Town staff and our design firm Kimley-Horn “value engineered” the plans in an effort to reduce costs prior to re-bidding the project in early 2020. This effort resulted in a contract award to Tierra Verde Builders of Camp Verde in February. The current work which started in late March includes; finish grading for the parking area, 2-baseball/softball fields and 2-soccer/football fields; the installation of field drainage and irrigation lines, electric work for field lighting, and soon the placement of grass on the playing fields.
Earlier this year, the Town Council approved borrowing an additional $2.5 million dollars for necessary improvements that were not included in the current project. Those improvements include; field lighting, a restroom/concession stand facility, waste water lift station, potable water well, and A+ reclaimed irrigation water from the Waste Water Treatment Plant. The funding was available to start the work in July and it was our intent to begin work on those improvements immediately until the Town learned that it was eligible for a grant funding opportunity that had not been previously available in an amount that would fund our improvements.
In May Town staff attended a meeting where they found out that grant funding was available for Park projects that could be granted in much larger sums than previously allowed. The funding source, called the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant, was available through the Arizona State Parks & Trails Grant program in partnership with the National Park Service. The Town applied for the LWCF Grant in July which required a dollar for dollar match. The Town decided to maximize the grant amount by putting the recently acquired $2.5 million up as a match for $2.5 million in grant funding. If awarded the funding could have been available as early as October of this year. Unfortunately the program was suddenly shut down by the Federal government due to complications from COVID-19. However the U.S. Congress recently reauthorized the funding and will begin accepting grant applications in January for award in March 2021.
The Town will be applying for $2.5 million in LWCF Grant funds in January requiring us to hold on to the same amount for the match. Any of the match funding expended by the Town prior to the award of the grant cannot be used as a match. With the first scheduled use of the fields now slated for early spring of next year there is plenty of time to complete the construction after the award of the additional grant funds. The Town is confident that we have a great chance to be awarded this grant and want to be sure to have as much match money available as possible. Obviously an additional $2.5 million will go a very long way in completing amenities at the Sports Complex. The Town staff and Council feel this it is worth the wait in order to potentially secure additional funding making for a more successful project. In the event the grant is not awarded to the Town, we will use the current funds available to complete the priority portions of the project in time for baseball in the spring.
Our contractor, Ben Bassous with Tierra Verde Builders, had the following comments; “This is a great opportunity to have more funding for a great project for our Town. I am fully behind putting the project on pause, as these opportunities are very rare.” And “As a resident of Camp Verde and a father to children who will use this park, I want it done just as much as the next person, but I want a premier facility more than that.”
The Town’s Council and Staff are committed to getting this Sports Complex constructed. This is a lifelong, generational facility and we feel it is worth the wait in order to have the best project we can. We are just as excited as the community to get the Sports Complex open for our community. If you have any specific questions please contact Parks and Rec at 928-554-0820 ext. 3. We will be more than happy to speak with you.