newsnet - June 18, 5:03 pm
AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: ZOO MASTER PLAN - At their study session this afternoon, M&C will receive an update from staff on the Reid Park Zoo Master Plan. As an accredited member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the zoo must undergo an extensive inspection every five years and meet strict requirements to maintain accreditation. One of the requirements for accreditation is a current Master Plan. With the opening of Expedition Tanzania in February of 2012, the majority of the items in the current Reid Park Zoo Master Plan were substantially complete. Updating the current plan will help guide development over the next several years and will also allow for a prioritization of future long-term projects, all while keeping the same conceptual vision that was set in the original plan. Read the M&C memo here. Read the Master Plan Update from Reid Park Zoo here. Story from KVOA here.
WORK TO BEGIN ON CONVERSION OF NORTH SIXTH AVENUE TO TWO-WAY STREET - Work is scheduled to begin this week on a project to convert the section of North Sixth Avenue between Fifth Street and Drachman Street into a two-way street. The project consists of slurry sealing, a pavement preservation method, followed by new striping and signage. The project is expected to be complete by mid-August. Read the news release from TDOT here.
CITY CONDUCTING SURVEY ON YARD SALE, PARKING RESTRICTIONS - Possible restrictions on the number of yard sales allowed per household, along with limits on parking large vehicles such as motor homes, are the subject of an online survey being conducted by the city Housing and Community Development Department. The survey closes Friday. From the Sentinel. Take the survey here.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR SUGGESTS WAYS TO SPEND UNALLOCATED FUNDS RESULTING FROM TAX HIKE - Last month, the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a property tax increase of about 7 percent, which was slightly above the 5.5 percent increase recommended by County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. The increase will result in about $3.9 in extra revenue. As a result, Huckelberry is recommending $744,000 in additional expenditure as adjustments to the Tentative Budget. These include increases to the Sheriff’s Deputy Uniform Allowance, and new funding for Green Valley’s Community Performance and Arts Center, the Southeast Shooting Range, the Ajo Chamber of Commerce, and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. About 41 percent of property taxes in Pima County are paid by taxpayers in the City of Tucson. From the Star. Read the memo from County Administrator Huckelberry here.
UA LAUNCHES FAST-TRACK DEGREE PROGRAM FOR REAL ESTATE DEVEOPMENT - The University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) is launching a new degree program this fall. The Master of Real Estate Development focuses on sustainable and responsible development: public/private partnerships, transit-oriented development, and health and wellness. The program is aimed at those who wish to better understanding the real estate industry as a whole, as well as those who are or intend to be real estate developers. From UA News.
newsnet - June 18, 4:43 pm
BUSINESS INCENTIVES IN ACTION: ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE CADENCE AND PLAZA CENTRO - At their Study Session tomorrow, M&C will review an independent economic analysis for The Cadence and Plaza Centro project, a mixed-use development at the east end of Congress St. The project seek to utilize the City's GPLET program, which provides temporary property tax relief as an incentive. The project will include 196 student housing units and about 20,000 feet of retail space, expected to be occupied by stores, bars and restaurants. According to the analysis, the construction phase of the project will have created 230 direct jobs, 150 indirect jobs and $43.5M of total impact. Once complete, the project is expected to result in 100 new direct jobs, 30 indirect jobs, and an annual impact of $14.4M. Read the independent analysis here. Info page on City of Tucson business resources here.
CONNEXION 12: CONSTRUYEN NUEVA CLÍNICA EL RÍO - Dan inicio a la construcción de la nueva clínica El Río.Un edificio de 54,000 pies cuadrados que se edificará en la calle Congress. Vídeo de Tucson 12.
PIMA BOND COMMITTEE TO EVALUATE $1.3B IN PROPOSALS - More than 200 activists, bureaucrats and critics crowded into a conference room in a midtown hotel Friday to address the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee. The committee is expected to spend the next six months reviewing more than 100 proposals worth $1.3 billion for possible inclusion on a November 2014 bond ballot. Little action was taken during the Friday morning meeting, with the committee instructing the county staff to ask municipalities and agencies to prioritize their requests as well as to begin a public outreach campaign. From the Star.
FORMER TPD OFFICER INDICTED FOR COMPUTER CRIMES - Andrea Middleton, a TPD Officer who recently resigned amidst an internal investigation, has been indicted on three counts of Computer Tampering, a Class 6 felony offense. TPD says they did have an open investigation on Middleton, and even though she has resigned, the investigation will continue. Middleton had been with the Department since 2005. News release from TPD here, story from KVOA here.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT - The City of Tucson is seeking a dynamic, creative, and progressive team leader with a passion for Procurement to serve as the key executive for the department. For additional information about this excellent opportunity, please view our brochure and/or contact Executive Recruiter Mark Pargas. Download the City of Tucson recruitment brochure here. View contact info for Mark Pargas here.
newsnet - June 18, 3:46 pm
INTRODUCING THE “VISIT TUCSON ANTHEM” – Visit Tucson, formerly known as the Tucson Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, has released a promotional video attended by the following statement: “Tucson isn't chic, polished or plastic. Tucson is a bit off the beaten path and attracts the free-spirited and genuine. Tucson inspires a sense of freedom among all who visit. Freedom of thought and expression. Freedom to discover and explore. And the freedom to be yourself.” From Visit Tucson.
TPT REFORM PASSES, WITH SOME CONCESSIONS TO CITIES – The Arizona Legislature gave final approval to an amended version of H.B. 2111, a bill supported by Governor Brewer that makes several changes to the way businesses collect and pay their sales taxes, known in Arizona as “Transaction Privilege Taxes.” Passage had been held up over a range of concerns from cities over administration, auditing, and construction sales taxes. The bill was able to pass after being amended with changes supported by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. The City of Tucson opposed the bill. From KSAZ.
ACCIDENT NEAR 22ND AND SOUTH SIXTH CAUSING POWER OUTAGES, TRAFFIC DELAYS – An accident involving a truck a power pole downed power lines near the intersection of 22nd Street and South Sixth Avenue, disabling traffic signals at the intersection and leaving nearby neighborhoods without power. From KOLD/KMSB.
STREETCAR CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: PENNINGTON STREET TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE – Beginning on Monday, June 17, 2013, access to West Pennington Street from eastbound Congress Street/Broadway will be prohibited to allow work crews to reconstruct the roadway in preparation for new asphalt. Access to West Pennington Street from westbound Congress will be allowed. The left turn restriction to West Pennington Street from Congress/Broadway will be in place for approximately two weeks. Access to the south side of City Hall, West Pennington Street, Pima County Administration and the Pima County Court Complex parking garages can be accessed by westbound Congress Street only. Read the City of Tucson news release here.
CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY: PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTING DOOR HANGERS – The City of Tucson is seeking a contractor for the printing and distribution of door hangers. Door hangers shall be printed and delivered to all eligible customers of the City of Tucson Brush and Bulky program, Tucson Water Services, Neighborhood Chip Sealing Program, and other City programs requiring 1 page notices delivered door-to-door. City of Tucson RFP here.
transportation - June 18, 3:40 pm
On Monday, June 24, 2013, beginning at 7 a.m., Rita Road will be closed to travel at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing to allow work crews to begin railroad track improvements at the at-grade crossing, located between Old Vail Road and Interstate 10. The complete closure is scheduled to be in place until 7 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2013. The improvements include new railroad ties, ballast and flat panels. When complete, the railroad track work will improve pedestrian and bicycle access across the tracks.
newsnet - June 18, 3:29 pm
AZ HOUSE APPROVES MEDICAID EXPANSION, $8.8 BILLION BUDGET - In a surprise special session called Tuesday by Gov. Brewer, a bipartisan coalition of state reps voted to approve an $8.8 billion fiscal 2014 budget and the Governor's proposed expansion of the state's health-insurance program to cover an additional 350,000 low-income Arizonans under the federal health-care overhaul. The mostly 33-27 votes followed nine hours of debate, concluding at about 3:40 a.m. Story in the Republic here, story in the Star here.
UA BASEBALL AT HI CORBETT ATTAINS NATIONAL RANK IN ATTENDENCE - The University of Arizona baseball program drew more than 100,000 fans to its games in 2013 and ranked among the national leaders in attendance for the second consecutive season. A total of 103,877 patrons passed through the gates this year at Hi Corbett Field, a figure ranked No. 14 nationally out of 298 Division I programs. Over the 38 home games, the Wildcats averaged 2,733 per game, which checked in No. 21 across the country. Hi Corbett field is owned by the City of Tucson, and became the permanent home of Wildcat Baseball in 2012. Read the news release from UA Athletics here.
INVERTIR EN GUAYMAS ES UNA BUENA DECISIÓN: ROTHSCHILD - El mayor de Tucson, Jonathan Rothschild, dijo que el interés de esa ciudad y está en la visión de un gran corredor, una región unidad económicamente y todo lo que a Guaymas beneficia en materia económica nos beneficia a nosotros. Al visitar a autoridades y empresarios de la industria maquiladora y el puerto marítimo de altura, tomó parte en una reunión y recorrido en las instalaciones de la Administración Portuaria Integral al lado de la senadora Claudia Pavlovich y conoció proyecciones ambiciosas en materia portuaria e intercambio comercial con el mundo. En Expresso.
ALASKAN BROWN BEARS COMING TO REID PARK ZOO - Work is underway at the Reid Park Zoo to convert space that formerly housed the zoo's polar bears to an Alaskan Brown Bear exhibit. "The zoo is working with wildlife officials in Alaska who help rescue orphaned bears or bears that can't be reintroduced into the wild," said zoo spokeswoman Vivian VanPeenen. Work on the exhibit is expected to be complete by the end of summer. From the Star.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: LATERAL POLICE OFFICER - The Tucson Police Department is seeking experienced Arizona Police Officers in current good standing with an Arizona law enforcement agency. The position requires current AZ-POST certification, one year of post-FTO experience as a peace officer, ability to pass TPD's Physical Fitness Assessment, and other requirements. Read the City of Tucson job posting here.
newsnet - June 18, 2:41 pm
TPD FAMILY HOPES TO COLLECT 1,600 BIRTHDAY CARDS FOR SPECIAL TEEN - Jacob Mockbee, son of TPD Sergeant Jeff Mockbee, was born with Spina Bifida. He will be 16 this Sunday. To celebrate his birthday, his parents started a social media campaign to get him 1,600 birthday cards. Cards have come in from well-wishers all over the world, including celebrities like football star Kurt Warner, food network star Giada and the Tim Tebow Foundation. If you'd like to send Jacob a card, there are four days left. Address them to Jacob Mockbee at 8987 E. Tanque Verde #309-104. Tucson, AZ 85749-9399. From KOLD/KMSB.
TUCSON WATER CUSTOMERS TARGETED BY PHONE SCAM - Tucson Water has received complaints from customers who were contacted by telephone and asked to provide certain information to prevent termination of their water service. The callers were falsely representing themselves as Tucson Water employees, asserting that customers payments were past due, and attempting to obtain payment information. "We do not initiate outbound delinquency notification by phone calls," said Fernando Molina, Tucson Water Public Information Officer. "We only call customers if they have initiated contact with us to address other issues they are trying to resolve." Customers may verify their account and status of service information by contacting Tucson Water Customer Service at (520) 791-3242. Read the news release from Tucson Water here, story in the Star here.
FIRST PRODUCTION-LINE STREETCAR FROM UNITED STREETCAR BEGINS CARRYING PASSENGERS IN PORTLAND - The second Portland Streetcar produced by United Streetcar in Clackamas County officially went into service yesterday morning. The first car, a prototype, has been in service since last year. But completing and certifying the second car took longer than expected. Now, company officials say, they hope to deliver the last of the six streetcars ordered by Portland later this summer and begin producing streetcars for other American cities that are starting their own streetcar lines. Tucson and Washington DC have both placed orders with United Streetcar, which is owned by Oregon Iron Works. Tucson is expected to receive its first streetcar from United Streetcar late this summer. Story in the Portland Tribune here, story in the Oregonian here.
GOV. BREWER CALLS LEGISLATURE INTO SURPRISE SPECIAL SESSION - Frustrated over weeks of delay over her top legislative priority, Gov. Jan Brewer called an unprecedented special session yesterday afternoon, bypassing the leadership of her own party to push through Medicaid expansion and the 2014 budget. The Governor's surprise move comes after House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, adjourned until Thursday, stalling efforts by a bipartisan House coalition to pass Brewer's 2014 budget and Medicaid expansion. From the Republic.
CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY: TRANSIT SURVEY - The City is seeking a contractor to plan and manage a comprehensive on-board survey that includes all routes of Sun Tran, Sun Express, Sun Shuttle, Cat Tran, and Downtown Loop. The On-Board survey must be conducted over a two-week period in late September/early October 2013, to be mutually determined by Sun Tran and the contractor. Data collected in the survey will include riders travel patterns, frequency of use, demographics and customer satisfaction. Read the City of Tucson RFP here.
newsnet - June 18, 2:14 pm
STREETCAR CONSTRUCTION WRAPPING UP - Construction of the Sun Link modern streetcar line is approaching the target completion date of July 7, set prior to the start of construction in Spring of 2012. Project Manager Joe Chase says he expects most of the work will be complete by then, though work on some final pieces of the project will continue throughout the summer. Though initially expected earlier, delivery of the first streetcar has been delayed by the manufacturer and is now anticipated in August. From KOLD/KMSB.
VAIL INCORPORATION COMMITTEE SUBMITS PETITIONS - The Citizens for Vail committee submitted the required petitions with signatures to Pima County last Thursday. This was the next in a series of steps necessary to get the incorporation effort on the ballot for an upcoming election. Based on the population of the proposed Town of Vail, 722 valid signatures, or 10 percent of registered voters living within the proposed boundaries are required to place the incorporation initiative on the ballot. From KOLD/KMSB.
TUCSON 12: CITY GARBAGE TRUCKS SWITCHING TO CNG - Lower fuel and maintenance costs, lower emissions, and quieter operations were among the benefits celebrated as the City unveiled its first natural gas powered garbage truck. "We hope to convert our entire fleet to compressed natural gas, and thats almost 100 vehicles, over the next five years," said Environmental Services Director Andy Quigley. Tucson 12's cameras were there to capture the occasion. From Tucson 12.
EL DEPARTAMENTO DE PARQUES Y RECREACION LANZA LA CAMPANA DE VERANO SPLASH 2013 - El Tucson Departamento de Parques y Recreación conoce y da las gracias al Alcalde y Consejo de la Ciudad de Tucson, Fundación de Parques y Recreación y el sector privado por el desempeño y colaboración en la Campaña Verano 2013 SPLASH. Debido a su participación en la Campaña SPLASH, nuestro departamento ha podido aumentar las clases de natación, y brindar empleo a jóvenes. Se mantienen abiertas 8 piscinas dentro del periodo de mayo 30-julio 31. Las piscinas son: Escalante, Freedom, Himmel, Jacobs, Mansfield, Menlo, Palo Verde y Purple Heart. Comunicado de prensa de la Ciudad de Tucson.
THIS WEEKEND: BREW AT THE ZOO - The Reid Park Zoological Societyand Craft Tucson are teaming up for a unique event at the zoo this weekend. Brew at the Zoo, Beer for Bears will take place on Saturday, June 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Proceeds from the event help bring brown bears to Tucson in the form of Reid Park Zoo's new Brown Bear exhibit. Tickets cost $30 for Members; $40 for non-members; $20 for designated drivers. At the door, an additional $10 per ticket will be charged. Ages 21+. ID's will be checked. From the Reid Park Zoo.
ward3 - June 17, 3:58 pm
-Karin’s Note -Ward 3 Events -Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s) -Citywide Events -Did You Know?
transportation - June 14, 11:43 am
On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 and Wednesday, June 19, 2013, the City of Tucson Department of Transportation and Hunter Contracting will be paving the north side of Valencia Road at the Houghton Road Intersection. The work will begin 6 a.m. each day and is scheduled to be complete by 10 a.m. each day. Traffic will be reduced to one travel lane, with flaggers and Tucson police officers present to direct traffic.
newsnet - June 12, 4:26 pm
REMINDER: FINAL PUBLIC HEARING ON PLAN TUCSON TOMORROW NIGHT - A public hearing is scheduled during tomorrow night's M&C Regular Session to discuss Plan Tucson, the City's proposed new General Plan. By state law, cities and towns must refer their General Plans for voter approval once every ten years. Tucson's last General Plan was approved by voters in 2001, but a bill passed by the Arizona Legislature in 2010 extended the deadline until 2015. Read the M&C memo here.
COUNTY BOND COMMITTEE TO MEET THIS FRIDAY - A postponed meeting of the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee has been rescheduled for Friday, June 14th at 8 a.m. The Bond Advisory Committee will be generally discussing the $650 million of new and resubmitted projects, reviewing their adopted criteria for evaluating projects, and considering a process and timeline to develop a recommended bond package for November 2014. From the Explorer. Download the meeting agenda here.
AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: UNDER PROPOSED AGREEMENT, CITY WOULD BEGIN BUYING POTTED TREES FROM COUNTY - Under a proposed intergovernmental agreement (IGA) on tomorrow's M&C Consent Agenda, the City would begin purchasing trees in tall pots from a nursery operated by Pima County's Parks Department. The nursery grows trees in pots that are thirty inches tall, with the goal of allowing the roots to reach moisture deep beneath the soil's surface. These trees would be used to replace trees in City right-of-way as the need arises. Under the IGA, the City would pay $25 per pot for the first year, and would be required to order the pots in increments of 50. The term of the proposed agreement is one year, but can be extended by staff for five additional one-year terms. Read the M&C memo here. Read the proposed IGA here.
COUNTY SURVEY SAYS LAW ENFORCEMENT PAY ON PAR WITH OTHER AGENCIES - A three-page memo from Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry says County pay for law enforcement is relatively similar to the pay of officers working in Tucson and Phoenix, as well as in Maricopa, Pinal and Yuma counties. Next year's proposed budget has a 1 percent across-the-board pay increase for all county employees starting on July 1, with an additional 2 percent pay increase starting on Jan. 1. Deputies will also get, on average, a $1,000 one-time bonus, as well as an increase in their uniform allowance. From the Star.
PLAYABLE PARKS: SAN ANTONIO PARK - Tucson artist Maloree Renaud and her two-year-old son, Captain Awesome, are on a mission to visit all 127 of Tucson's city parks. They recently visited San Antonio Park, a smaller neighborhood park in Ward Five's Barrio San Antonio. Renaud writes: "Even in so small a space, the way the land has small hills and valleys and a winding rock irrigation path made it easy to become an explorer, discovering uncharted lands and finding new species of bird and lizard. San Antonio park is beautiful and unique. Instead of making me forget that we live in the desert, it reminded me how fortunate we are to call Tucson our home." From Playable Parks.