The County Board of Supervisors this week granted permission for the Old Pueblo Pioneer Endurance Ride to take place from March 12-14 at the Empire Ranch in Sonoita.

The move ends a months-long streak in which the board denied permits for special events in Sonoita and Tubac as a result of a spike in COVID-19 infections in the county.

At Tuesday’s meeting, all three supervisors unanimously approved the equestrian endurance event.

“Looking over at this proposal, I see no issue with it. They have good COVID procedures in place,” said Jeff Terrell, the county health services director, advising the board to grant permission. “It is an outdoor event, so I do not see a problem with it.”

Between 100 to 150 people are expected to attend the event, he said.

Supervisors oppose state bill on jurisdiction at ports

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the board members voiced their opposition to Arizona House Bill 2447, which transfers the jurisdiction at the state’s ports of entry from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Public Safety.

“It was a different number last year, but we opposed this bill last year,” Supervisor Bruce Bracker, who requested the item on the agenda, said during the meeting. “This transfer is not in the best interest of anybody on the border.”

When the board opposed two similar bills last January, Bracker told the NI that passage would mean that DPS would oversee commercial truck inspections at local ports, alongside the state Department of Agriculture.

“We’ve worked hard with ADOT to create conditions where ADOT is working on compliance to get the trucks through the ports of entry at the speed of business, and it is really, really important to us that the relationship with ADOT continue,” Bracker had said at the time.

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