Sunday, January 08, 2006

Western Cotton Research Lab: Lobbyists ask for land back from federal government but not from University of Arizona

An earlier post established that the Arizona Cotton Growers Association (ACGA) proactively lobbied Congressman Pastor to sponsor legislation to have the Western Cotton Research Lab (WCRL) conveyed free of charge to the ACGA. Congressman Pastor noted that the original land for the WCRL was originally donated by the ACGA for $1 and used this as justification for transfering the land; saying nothing of the President's original request to sell the facility to fund a new facility.

This post shows that the ACGA also donated land adjacent to the WCRL to the University of Arizona; it was known as the Cotton Research Center. But unlike the federal land which was returned, the land donated by the ACGA to the University of Arizona has been sold to fund the Maricopa Agricultural Center (MAC), which just happens to be the location of the new Western Cotton Research Lab!

From this history of the MAC we find that:
The Cotton Research Center was one of the University farms whose activities were transferred to the Maricopa Agricultural Center in January 1983. The 257-acre Cotton Research Center was located in Phoenix between 40th and 48th Streets, and Broadway and Roesser Roads. In addition to the deeded acreage, the University leased 42 ½ acres from the Department of Transportation, which adjoined the farm on the southeast. The Cotton Center was originally a 265-acre tract purchased in 1955 by the Arizona Cotton Planting Seed Distributors and the Arizona Cotton Growers Association from the Bartlett-Heard estate for $207,530. These two cotton-farmer associations donated this land to the University and also contributed materially to the construction of the physical facilities. The original farm acreage was reduced by eight acres when the University deeded five acres for the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in 1958 and three acres to Maricopa County for a new County Agricultural Extension Center in 1972.

The U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory is the same sister lab that is being sold (see update 11/23/2005) to fund the new joint facility.

So, to net it out:

All of the land that was donated by the Arizona Cotton Growers Association (ACGA) to the University of Arizona has or is being sold to fund the new facilities. Only the donated federal land of the WCRL is being 'conveyed' to the ACGA free of charge. And it took an act of Congress and the President's signature for this special consideration to be enacted.

If the ACGA was using the justification that the land was once theirs to begin with for lobbying for its return, why did they not ask for return of the land used by the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory and the Cotton Center; both of which were originally donated to the University of Arizona? Why wasn't the land of the U.S Water Conservation Lab returned to the University of Arizona and then back to the ACGA?

Here's a theory:

If all the donated land was returned to the ACGA there would be no land to sell by the University to fund the Maricopa Agricultural Center. Funding would then have to come from the University's general fund. Unlike the University, the federal government is a 'bottomless pit' of taxpayer funding; or so Congressman Pastor would have us believe.

This reinforces the deception Porkopolis is claiming Congressman Pastor is attempting to pass by American taxpayers and supports the call for an investigation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree on need for an investigation--It needs a lot of Arizona sunshine.

January 9, 2006 at 2:53 AM  

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