newsnet - May 14, 3:04 pm
TPD MEMORIAL SERVICE HONORS FALLEN OFFICERS - Officers killed in the line of duty were honored and remembered yesterday at a memorial service at Tucson Police Department Memorial Plaza. Dozens of officers gathered to pay tribute. Eight red roses and several wreaths symbolized the end of watch for eight Tucson police officers. One by one, families brought up the roses as the names of fallen officers were read aloud. Officers who left behind families and friends, many of them still grieving. "It's not how our officers died that made them heroes, it's how they lived," said Tucson Police Department Chief Roberto Villasenor. The City of Tucson solemnly remembers the service and sacrifice of William Elliot, William Katzenstein, Robert Cummins, Barry Headricks, James Smith, Jeffery Ross, Patrick Hardesty, and Erik Hite. Story from KOLD/KMSB here, story from the Star here.
SOUTH TUCSON POLICE CHIEF RETIRING - South Tucson Police Chief Richard Muñoz, a retired TPD officer, will retire tomorrow from the South Tucson Police Department after more than three decades in law enforcement. Muñoz began working for STPD in 2002. "South Tucson has been more of a family, and my time here was an eye-opening experience"; said Muñoz. "It would have been very difficult without all the help I received from Deputy Chief Richard Vidaurri and City Manager [Enrique] Serna," said Muñoz. He will be replaced by incoming Chief William Lackey, who has been with the department since 2001. From the Star.
SUN TRAN ANNOUNCES SMART CARD FARE SYSTEM LAUNCH - Sun Tran is announcing the launch of SunGO, a new fare payment system coming to transit vehicles on Sunday, June 30, 2013. The SunGO fare payment system utilizes smart card technology to facilitate fare payments and transfers throughout the Sun Tran and Sun Express service areas, and soon the Sun Link modern streetcar. The new technology will also facilitate the collection of improved ridership data to improve future service and achieve greater efficiencies, according to City of Tucson Transportation Director, Daryl Cole. From KOLD/KMSB. Read the news release from Sun Tran here.
TOWN HALL TONIGHT ON WATER RATE INCREASES, TWO MORE NEXT WEEK - Tucson Water is hosting one of four scheduled town hall meetings tonight at the Quincie Douglas Library, near 36th and Campbell, to discuss the three options for FY14 water rates and fees proposed by the Citizens Water Advisory Committee (CWAC). Rate changes could result in an estimated increase from $2.91 to $3.68 in the monthly water bill for the average residential customer in a single family home. Nearly 90% of Tucson Water customers are residential accounts. Next week's town halls will be held on Tuesday May 14th and Wednesday May 15th, at the Randolph Center Mesquite Room and Clements Recreation Center, respectively. From KOLD/KMSB. Read the news release from Tucson Water here.
CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY: ORAL INTERPRETATION SERVICES - The City of Tucson is seeking proposals from qualified firms for the provision of phone oral interpretation services for the Tucson Police, Fire Departments Dispatch Centers and various City Departments. The successful Contractor will provide interpretation services for the 911 emergency dispatch center and upon request to City departments as they interface with citizens, businesses and visitors. The services shall include oral interpretation of Spanish, Afro-Asiatic, Romance, Germanic, Slavic, and Asian. Read the City of Tucson RFP here.
transportation - May 13, 10:44 am
Intermountain Slurry Seal, under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will begin a micro-surfacing program on the following dates at the following locations:
Monday, May 13, 2013 and Tuesday, May 14, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Harrison Road - Golf Links Road to Magdalena Road. Approaches to the intersections at Harrison Road and 29th Street, Harrison Road and 22nd Street and Harrison Road and Old Spanish Trail will also be done.
transportation - May 13, 10:35 am
The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar project team has completed the installation of track along Congress Street from Church Avenue to Granada Avenue. As of Thursday, May 9, 2013, all of Congress Street is open to at least one travel lane. Crews will continue work on the installation of signals, the overhead contact system (electrical) and sidewalks. The final layer of asphalt will be placed later this summer.
newsnet - May 12, 10:25 pm
STREET REPAIR SPOTLIGHT: NEIGHBORHOOD STREET WORK - Beginning today, Granite Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will apply slurry seal to all the residential streets in three neighborhood areas: (1) between Country Club and Alvernon, Pima and Speedway; (2) Swan, Craycroft, Fifth and Broadway; and (3) Pantano, Harrison, Golf Links and Sellarole. Crews will be working from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The pavement improvement project is part of the Fiscal Year 2013 Mayor and Council approved Pavement Preservation Program, a one-year, $20 million street rehabilitation program to resurface arterial, collector and residential streets. Read the News release from TDOT. FY14 BUDGET TENTATIVELY ADOPTED - M&C tentatively adopted the City Manager's recommended budget for Fiscal 2014 in their regular session last night. The budget includes a 55-cent hourly wage increase for permanent city workers, and measures to close a deficit of about $15M through debt restructuring, land sales, and other means. Although tentatively adopted, the budget must still return to M&C for final approval after another public hearing, scheduled for May 21. The vote was 5-2 (Council Members Cunningham and Kozachik dissenting). From KVOA.
PARKWISE FIVE-YEAR PLAN APPROVED: SMART METERS, NEW RATES ON THE WAY - On April 4, 2013, the ParkWise Commission recommended various adjustments to Downtown parking rates and fees, including increases to on-street meter rates and some discounts elsewhere, expected to increase revenue by $350K in 2014 and larger amounts in succeeding years. The new revenue will allow ParkWise to address a list of capital needs, including access and revenue control systems for downtown parking garages, and smart meter systems capable of accepting credit and debit cards. From the Star. Read the M&C memo here. Download the slide presentation on five-year plan here. EL RIO GOLF COURSE COULD BECOME PRIVATE COLLEGE CAMPUS - Staff from the City and Grand Canyon University, a private Phoenix-based Christian college, have been discussing the terms of a possible sale or lease agreement for a school campus on the site of El Rio Golf Course. Potential benefits range from an increase in jobs and capital investment to additional educational opportunities for Tucson's West Side. Concerns include the reduction of current golf operations, an existing contract with the Tucson Conquistadors for the First Tee program at El Rio, and the need for improvements to the adjacent Joaquin Murrieta Park. Story from from KOLD/KMSB here. Story from the Star here. AIRPORT AUTHORITY BREAKS GROUND ON SOLAR PARKING SHADE PROJECT - Work has begun on a solar project expected to replace about 40 percent of the Tucson International Airports electrical energy needs, via photovoltaic panels covering its parking lot. "It'll be a tremendous emission savings and power savings for us, and it will provide covered parking for our customers as a side benefit," said Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) President Bonnie Allin. Tucson International Airport is owned by the City of Tucson and operated by TAA under a lease agreement. From Arizona Public Media.
newsnet - May 12, 9:56 pm
DETECTIVE WORK BY TPD COLD CASE UNIT LEADS TO ARREST IN 1976 HOMICIDE - After more than 37 years, the man suspected of killing Ms. Donna Smith in March of 1976 has been arrested. Smith, then 20 years old, was found dead at her south side residence on March 19, 1979. TPD homicide detectives then identified Smith's live-in boyfriend, Bruce McCullough, as the suspect of the homicide, but could not locate him. The case, which has been the subject of multiple cold case reviews, yielded new information in January of this year. Detectives discovered McCullough had been living in California under a false identity, but had recently begun using his real name. On May 2, he was arrested and jailed in San Diego on a charge of First Degree Murder. He is currently awaiting extradition to Arizona. Read the media release from TPD here. Story from KOLD/KMSB here. Story from the Star here. Story from the San Francisco Chronicle here. CITY EXPLORING ITS OPTIONS TO RECOVER LATE FEES FROM STREETCAR MANUFACTURER - Oregon Ironworks, the company manufacturing Tucson's streetcar vehicles, is behind schedule. Under their contract with the City, Tucson is owed $250 per day on the late vehicles, of which there are currently three. Among City officials' options are deducting the fees from its progress payments to Oregon Ironworks, collecting the fees after the project is finished, and allowing the company to pay off some fees by including warranties and spare parts for maintenance. Story from KOLD/KMSB here, story from the Star here.
BUSINESS INCENTIVES IN ACTION: CADENCE AND PLAZA CENTRO RETAIL PROJECTS - In an item on today's Study Session agenda, staff is recommending M&C move forward with the approval process for business incentive applications submitted by Capstone Development Partners, developer of The Cadence, and OT Alegria LLC, developer of Plaza Centro Retail. The two properties, located at Congress Street's eastern gateway next to the 4th Avenue underpass, are seeking the Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET) incentive and a HUD 108 loan, respectively. The Cadence is a mixed-use student housing and retail complex expected to accommodate 196 units, targeted to an older, more mature student population. Plaza Centro Retail consists of almost 20,000 square feet of retail space, to be developed as restaurants, bars and stores. Read the M&C memo here. Download the incentive Application for Plaza Centro Retail (HUD 108) here. Download the incentive Application for The Cadence (GPLET) here.
AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: PARKWISE FINANCIAL FORECAST, EQUIPMENT UPGRADES, AND RATES - ParkWise is asking M&C to authorize funding for upgrades to its on-street metering and off-street access and revenue control systems, and to adopt a new schedule of rates and fees, at today's Study Session. Additionally, ParkWise will present a five-year financial forecast which shows a replenishment of its reserve to approximately $2 million by the end of FY2018. Read the M&C memo here. Download the ParkWise five-year financial forecast slide presentation here.
TUCSON 12: CYCLOVIA 2013 - Twice last month, sections of City streets closed for Cyclovia Tucson, an annual free event celebrating cyclists, walkers, joggers, skaters and all other forms of people-powered movement. Tucson 12's cameras were there to capture it.
newsnet - May 11, 3:19 pm
AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: TENTATIVE ADOPTION OF FISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET - Tentative adoption of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget is scheduled for tomorrows M&C Regular Session. The combined operating and capital budget scheduled for tentative adoption is $1,271,886,620, an increase of $2,482,000 over the recommended budget amount of $1,269,404,620. The increase is the result of a revised forecast of sales tax revenue adding $1.9M to the general fund budget, plus $582K in increased transit revenue due to the sale of advertising on buses and an increase in Sun Van fares. Read the M&C memo here.
TUCSON'S VICTORY IN MAYORS WATER CHALLENGE MEANS IMPROVED IRRIGATION SYSTEM FOR LOCAL PARK - Last week, Tucson placed first in its city division during the Wyland Foundation's National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation. The first place finish is thanks in part to residents pledging 38,829,430 gallons and $1,620,720 to conserve water, in addition to pledging to reduce waste in the landfill by 959,198 pounds. Residents who pledged have also been entered into a drawing to win a Toyota Prius and other prizes. As an added bonus, one of the challenges sponsors, Rain Bird, will also be donating equipment to help irrigate Toumey Park in Tucson. From KOLD/KMSB.
SIXTH AVENUE TO BECOME TWO-WAY STREET - Work will begin later this month on a project to convert about two miles of Sixth Avenue to two-way traffic. The project includes new traffic signals at Sixth Avenue and Speedway, and at Sixth Avenue and Sixth Street. There will also be new signs, smoother pavement and new striping. Between Sixth Street and Speedway, Sixth Avenue will have two northbound lanes and one southbound lane, with parking on both sides of the street. There will be markings for cars to share the road with cyclists. From the Star.
DAVIS-MONTHAN RELEASES ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSIS FOR 2012 - The 355th Comptroller Squadron of the United States Air Force has published its annual Economic Impact Analysis for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (DM). The analysis addresses military and civilian personnel employed at the base; annual payroll; construction expenditures, services and procurement of materials; and estimated number and dollar value of indirect jobs created by the DM AFB presence. According to the analysis, DM's economic impact on the local community is $1.1 billion ($1.6 billion including retiree data). In addition, DM employed 3,332 civilians, and created approximately 4,687 jobs in FY2012. From DM.
TEMP JOB OPPORTUNITY: MAINTENANCE WORKERS FOR PARKS, GOLF - The Parks & Rec Department seeks to fill multiple temporary maintenance positions. Duties to include waste collection, landscaping, and other parks maintenance tasks. Requires a valid, unrestricted drivers license. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday. Reas the COT job posting here.
ward3 - May 10, 1:21 pm
Karin's Note: Friday, May 10, 2013
-Ward 3 Events
-Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s)
-Did You Know?
transportation - May 7, 5:33 pm
On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, Granite Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will apply slurry seal to all the residential streets in the following neighborhoods:
May 8, 2013 - Country Club Road to the west, Alvernon Way to the east, Pima Street to the north and Speedway Boulevard to the south.
May 15, 2013 - Swan Road to the west, Craycroft Road to the east, Fifth Street to north and Broadway to the south.
newsnet - May 6, 12:40 pm
TUCSON TOPS COMPETITION IN WATER CONSERVATION CHALLENGE – Tucson was among five US cities honored today for residents' commitment to water-saving choices as part of the second annual National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation. Separated into five population categories, the winning cities are Denver; Tucson, Ariz.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Bremerton, Wash. and Laguna Beach, Calif. Residents in all 50 states made more than 44,000 online pledges to save water, use less energy and reduce pollution in four categories – home, yard, community and life – with potential cost savings of more than $30.6 million. At a May 10 event in Denver, Hancock will draw the grand prize winner of a new Prius c from the pool of winning cities' participants, who are also eligible to win hundreds of water-saving fixtures and gift certificates to Lowe's stores. A $1,000 Lowe's Shopping Spree will also be chosen from among the entire pool of U.S. participants.
AGENDA SPOTLIGHT: CREATING THE BOND PROJECT ADVISORY COMMITTEE – A proposed resolution has been placed on the M&C Regular Session agenda for next Tuesday to create the City of Tucson’s first bond project advisory committee. This committee will have the purpose of proposing projects to the Mayor and Council and the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee, as well as to monitor the implementation of the specific projects. Read the M&C memo here.
STREET REPAIR SPOTLIGHT: SATURDAY NIGHT MICROSURFACING – Microsurfacing, a cold-mix pavement repair technology designed to remedy a broad range of pavement problems, will be performed Saturday night through Sunday morning on three different sections of City roadways: southbound Craycroft road approaching Golf Links, northbound Kolb approaching Grant, and both directions of Speedway between Campbell and Alvernon. The work is part of the Fiscal Year 2013 Mayor and Council approved Pavement Preservation Program, a one-year, $20 million street rehabilitation program to resurface arterial, collector and residential streets. The funding was made available by restructuring the Fiscal Year 2013 Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) debt, the increase of HURF revenue and General Fund money. Read the news release from TDOT here. Read more about microsurfacing here.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: PARKS & REC SUPERINTENDENT – The Parks and Recreation Department is seeking a consummate professional who demonstrates leadership and teamwork in all aspects of parks and recreation programming and facility operation. Duties to include employee supervision and coordinating human resource actions, implementation of policies and programs, assistance with planning and budgeting, management of parks facilities, and more. Required qualifications include six months of vocational, administrative or technical training in parks & rec or a related field, and five years of supervisory experience in an appropriate field. Salary range $53,213 - $89,410. Position closes Monday, May 6. Read the COT job posting here.
AGENCIES TO CONDUCT DUI CHECKPOINTS THROUGHOUT CINCO DE MAYO WEEKEND – Starting tonight, the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force will be conducting sobriety checkpoints throughout the Tucson metro region. The task force consists of officers from the Tucson Police Department, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, and other local agencies. Officials are not releasing information about the location of checkpoints, but say they will be in busy areas. From KOLD/KMSB.
newsnet - May 6, 12:33 pm
ANNOUNCING CAMP FURY 2013 - The Tucson Fire Department and Tucson Police Department are proud to partner with Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona for this year's Camp Fury. The Camp is a five-day, four-night long resident camp in which girls entering 9th through 12th grade can train alongside firefighters and law enforcement personnel to learn search and rescue skills, crime scene investigative techniques, perform physical fitness drills, and more. In January, University High School Junior Erica Yee was recognized by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild for saving the life of a classmate last fall, using skills she learned at Camp Fury. Read the announcement from Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona here.
TOWN HALLS SET FOR PROPOSED 2014 WATER RATES AND FEES - In the upcoming weeks, Tucson Water will host four town halls to present three options for proposed fiscal year 2014 water rates and fees that have been recommended by the Citizens Water Advisory Committee (CWAC). Rate changes could result in an estimated increase from $2.91 to $3.68 in the monthly water bill for the average residential customer in a single family home. A public hearing is scheduled during the Tuesday, May 21, Mayor and Council meeting. Following the hearing, Mayor and Council are expected to vote on adopting a new water rate schedule. Read the news release from Tucson Water here.
ADOT ACCELERATES PLAN TO REBUILD AJO/I-19 INTERCHANGE BY THREE YEARS, WILL NOW START IN 2015 - At the urging of business stakeholders, an $86M improvement project along Interstate 19 that includes a new interchange at Ajo Way, new ramps at Irvington, freeway sound walls and a new bridge across the Santa Cruz has been split into two phases in order to speed construction of the interchange. Mayor and Council and City of Tucson Intergovernmental Relations Staff also worked with ADOT and requested speeding up this project. The first phase of the project, originally slated to start in 2018, is now expected to start in 2015. From the Star.
MENLO PARK REVITALIZATION CELEBRATION NEXT SATURDAY - Neighborhood residents, officials from the City of Tucson and Pima County, and community partners will gather next Saturday morning at the Menlo Park Plaza to celebrate the Menlo Park Neighborhood Revitalization Project. The project includes new park amenities, transportation improvements, safety improvements, and environmental sustainability improvements. The project was paid for with funding from a combination of county bonds, city bonds, CDBG, Back to Basics, and other funding sources. Read the news release from Parks & Rec here.
SECOND CYCLOVIA ATTRACTS AN ESTIMATED 15,000 - An estimated 15,000 cyclists and pedestrians took to Tucson's midtown streets on Sunday for April's second Cyclovia event, an annual celebration in which a course along city streets is opened exclusively to cyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motorized forms of transportation. More than nine Tucson neighborhoods and two regional jurisdictions - the City of Tucson and Pima County - hosted Cyclovia's new route. From KOLD/KMSB.