Flagstaff Council Postpones Final Vote On Proposed Sled Hill
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The Flagstaff City Council postponed a final decision on a controversial proposed snow park on McMillan Mesa at tonight’s meeting. The issue will be placed back on the council agenda on September 4th. While a final lease agreement was not voted on, two amendments to the lease did receive council approval. These included adding a one time lease fee of $75,000 and making changes to the lease renewal process so that the council could have a say when the lease comes up again for renewal. Amendments to allow lighting at the snow park failed.
Several times during the council discussion process the council received jeers and heckling from the audience of mostly Friends of Flagstaff’s Future members and their supporters. Friends of Flagstaff’s Future is strongly opposed to the snow park and tonight they delivered a petition with 500 signatures asking the council to reject the lease agreement.
During the roughly 90 minutes of public comment, only a handful of speakers voiced support for the snow play area.
Those opposed expressed concerns about everything from the loss of open space to the possibility that some kids could not afford the cost of admission
One member of the public asked why the City was allowing someone to open a snow play area as a business rather than letting children sled for free on the hills and mountains.
Mayor Nabours responded with a reference to action taken by former councils,
“We as a City have fenced off every known sledding area. There is nowhere to sled. “