Friday, February 22, 2008

Future of Oro Valley's Steam Pump closer to resolution

[Source: Patrick McNamara, Explorer News] -- The Oro Valley Town Council, last Wednesday, got an early glimpse of estimated preservation and operating costs at the town’s historic Steam Pump Ranch property. As currently envisioned, the restoration alone could top $8.4 million. With that potentially multi-million-dollar restoration effort and hundreds of thousands in annual operating expenses looming, some council members have grown apprehensive about the plans. “What I’m worried about is, how do we control the level of expectations people have and what can we deliver?” Councilman Terry Parish said the day after the meeting.

Answering some of those questions is what the citizen-led group charged with writing a proposal for the council to review and possibly adopt has tried to do since first meeting last August. At the Wednesday council meeting, the group sought guidance from the council on some possible funding options for the site, and to secure council members’ input on different staffing and operations options at the historic residence. “We like to look at master planning as not fixed or set in stone,” said Corky Poster of the architectural firm Poster Frost Associates. The town contracted the company to guide the planning process and draw up the final plan. So far, the plan has the property bisected into two era-specific displays. One half reflects the early years of the ranch, established by German immigrant George Pusch in 1870. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]