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2014 A Good Year for Page; Says Sun Report

December 29
11:16 2014

glen canyon damPage recently received a bright outlook from the Arizona Daily Sun.  Correspondent Todd Glasenapp summarized major 2014 events that gave Page a new lease on life.  The number one event, according to Glasenapp, was when the federal Environmental Protection Agency Ruled that the Navajo Generating Station would remain open until 2044.  The total loss of the 2,250-megawatt facility would have cost the community about 1,000 jobs.

The EPA opted in July to accept a proposal generated by a consortium of NGS supporters to reduce emissions by one-third by the start of a new 25-year lease beginning in 2019. One of the plant’s three units would be shut down, reducing emissions by one-third.  The emissions reductions would allow NGS to comply with terms of a federal plan to improve visibility over the Grand Canyon. The plant reportedly accounts for 4 to 5 percent of Grand Canyon haze.

Page Tourism

Page tourism also improved in 2014 according to the report, with a 15 percent increase over 2013 in sales tax revenue from May through October. Page enjoyed its first-ever million-dollar month in September, and attributes this in part to the paving of the parallel Navajo Route 20, now known as Highway 89T which provided a direct route to Page after the buckling of Highway 89 in February of 2013.  Now the preferred route by many traveling from the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff area, 89T will remain open once the new section of Highway 89 is repaired in time for the 2015 tourist season.

Repair of Highway 89

The Arizona Department of Transportation reported the reconstruction of US 89 between Bitter Springs and Page would begin in late July of 2014. The State Transportation Board approved a $25 million project to repair the landslide-damaged highway.

Local Government

Other positive developments in the report included the hiring of Crystal Prentice as the Page City Manager in June, Joe Estes was hired as City Attorney and Frank Balkcom Sr., as Police Chief. Also at the local level, the report mentions the new Memorial Plaza dedication and Glen Canyon Dam’s 50-year anniversary.

Another City development mentioned in the report has to do with a delay on building a roundabout on Haul Road and Highway 89.  Apparently the city received word in June that ADOT and Walmart had reached tentative agreement, but it doesn’t look as if the ground has been broken.

Quagga Mussels

Glasenapp mentions that one event in 2014 did not contribute to a rosy outlook, and that was when the National Park Service announced that quagga mussels had seeped from Lake Powell into the Colorado River through the Glen Canyon dam.  This event will continue to be a paramount environmental concern in years to come.

Read “Page gets new lease on life,” by TODD GLASENAPP, Sun Correspondent

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