Local News

New Town Hall Costs Tusayan Residents $800 a person

March 12, 2012

Tusayan’s new town hall is up and running. And while no one can accuse the town of constructing a palace it certainly bears notice that the project’s estimated $400,000 price tag is a lot of money when you consider the town’s population is about 500 people;  it adds up to $800 a person.  Councilman John Reuter and town staff spent carefully, but the fact remains that a considerable amount of money has been spent as the result of the formation of a town that was politically funded by an Italian developer, Stilo.

Here are some pictures of the new facility which is still a work in progress. It is an unusual facility in that it is designed to serve a municipality with such a small population.

 Most small towns in Arizona have several thousand people. One notable exception is Jerome, which saw its population shrink over more than a century.

Because such small communities don’t need incorporation, the state of Arizona required a minimum population of about 1,500.  The rule was altered to allow Tusayan to be incorporated by legislation backed by Stilo.

The Town’s projected budget is estimated at $3.5 million. Divide that up by 500 and you get $7,000 a person.  That’s essentially what is being spent to provide a local government to 500 people. The funds do not include the cost of the lawsuit initiated by Stilo to prevent a public vote of its land use plan.

At a time when government has to make do with less, Stilo seems to think it’s OK to spend tax dollars to advance its agenda. What’s even more troubling is that the promise of low cost housing, used by Stilo to advance its cause, could have been fulfilled if Elling Halvorson simply decided to develop his residentially zoned land and build homes instead of setting up old trailers at Camper Village. Stilo wants to use the property to build resorts and vacation homes for the wealthy. By the way, despite the price tag, the new Town hall is still a double wide.