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Senate panel OKs funds for 4 Corners tourist site

SHARE Senate panel OKs funds for 4 Corners tourist site

A Senate panel has approved spending up to $2 million to help construct a new visitors center at Four Corners, where the boundaries of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet.

The bill by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to improve services to the 250,000 people who stop at the site annually.A small monument currently sits in a tribal park operated by the Navajo Nation and Ute Mountain Ute tribes.

"But because there are no utilities, restrooms, running water, telephones or vendor stations, the monument's physical conditions have been, at best, inconvenient, uncomfortable and even unsafe in the event of an accident," Hatch said.

He said exhibits at the center would provide "an important opportunity to promote the preservation of the unique cultural and historical treasures of the area. The monument currently offers no educational exhibits or information to visitors."

The bill now goes to the full Senate. It is co-sponsored by Sens. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.