Karin's Note: Thursday, June 27, 2013

-Ward 3 Events
-Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s)
-Citywide Events
-Did You Know?

Dear Tucsonans,

The City Manager’s Office provided this update on our road repair progress, a top priority of the Mayor and City Council:


As the end of Fiscal Year 2013 approaches on June 30, 2013, the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) is completing the $20 million Fiscal Year 2013 Pavement Preservation Program approved by the Mayor and Council in May 2012. Nearly 60 miles of City streets were rehabilitated through this program. TDOT employed a variety of paving operations depending on the existing pavement conditions on the various streets, which included fog sealing, micro-surfacing and milling (removing asphalt) and repaving.

The funding – a one-time allocation for FY 2013 – was made available through refinancing Highway User Fund (HURF) debt, the reallocation of HURF money and City General Fund money.

“The response from the citizens of Tucson has been extremely positive,” said TDOT Director Daryl W. Cole. “TDOT staff and our contractors showed the public how committed we all are to improving our transportation infrastructure. And thanks to voters who in November approved the street bonds, we have five more years and $100 million to invest in improving our roadways.”

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said:  “I’m glad we were able to jump-start the road bond with these early repairs. The next five years will show marked improvement on a number of Tucson streets.

As part of the 2013 Pavement Preservation Program, the streets that were milled and repaved were:

Alvernon Way – 22nd Street to Palo Verde Road
Broadway – Wilmot Road to Pantano Road
Craycroft Road – Grant Road to the Rillito River
Golf Links Road – Craycroft Road to Kolb Road
Mission Road – Starr Pass Boulevard to Ajo Way
Oracle Road – Miracle Mile to Drachman Street
Stone Avenue – River Road to Wetmore Road

In addition to the arterial and collector streets that were resurfaced, crews chip sealed four different neighborhoods within the City limits.
In November 2012, City voters approved a Street Bond Program. This Road Recovery Program will allow the City to invest $100 million to restore, repair and resurface more than 200 [additional] miles of City streets over the next five years. All street repair work will be performed by private sector companies, ensuring that the bond funds enhance the local economy. Work will begin in early July 2013. 

Progress in the Skies

Nonstop air service between Tucson and Portland beings November 1! Clearly good for travelers and for our local economy (and, ok, for me since my first child Brennan just enrolled at Portland State University!).  Here’s the story from the Arizona Daily Star:


Alaska Airlines announced today it will begin new nonstop service between Tucson and Portland, Ore., starting Nov. 1.
The once-daily service will be a new destination for the Tucson region, and will bring the total of nonstop destinations served by Tucson International Airport (TIA) to 15. Alaska’s schedule shows a daily incoming flight arriving at 1:05 p.m., with the outbound at 1:35 p.m.

Alaska is the first airline to offer a new destination that qualifies for the Tucson Airport Authority's Air Service Incentive Program, which provides marketing incentives and landing fee waivers.  Alaska currently operates daily nonstop service to Seattle.
In November 2012, executives from Alaska Airlines visited Tucson to meet with TAA officials and a diverse group of local business and community leaders. The incentive program, combined with a strong showing of support for the route from the community, were important factors in Alaska’s decision to expand its service from Tucson, the Airport Authority said.

Budget Update

There continues to be discussion about the implications of the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) reforms passed at the state level recently. While the initial loss to the City was projected to be as high as $6-8 million, amendments have reeled that in to the $1-2 million range. Those projected losses could also be offset as Tucson gets our share of new internet sales tax revenues anticipated, should Congress approve that step.

Rather than echoing negative assumptions about the local impacts of this measure, I am listening to the thoughts of Tucson area legislators, including this from State Senator Steve Farley’s June 18 online report:

“I have supported the effort since she (Governor Brewer) brought it up in January and became part of the coalition of business leaders and legislators who were committed to passing HB2111 to make it easier to do business in Arizona, support our brick-and-mortar retailers, and stabilize municipal and state budgets by enabling us to start collecting $700 million annually in currently owed but uncollected online sales taxes once the federal Marketplace Fairness Act goes into place.”

We will continue to work through the actual numbers as we move into FY2015 forecasting. I plan to include the perspective of our state representatives and senators in those deliberations to be sure we look at both sides of the equation rather than assuming the worst about the TPT reforms. The Arizona League of Cities ultimately concurred with the compromise passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor. We may find in it some good fiscal news after all.

Plan Tucson 

Since the June 11 Mayor and Council meeting, City Staff has been working with community stakeholders to address outstanding issues of the plan.  Based on written and oral comments, staff identified the key issues as:  (1) Coverage of economic development; (2) Davis-Monthan-related policy language; (3) Neighborhood & Area Plan process language; (4) Opportunity Areas Map content and use language. Several additional outreach meetings were held and revised language for the plan was developed.   A full overview of the revision process as well as the new language for each section can be found at:   https://www.tucsonaz.gov/pdsd/plan-tucson.  I’ll be reviewing this closely in preparation for the Mayor and Council meeting on July 9, when we will vote on whether to refer the Plan to the voters on the upcoming November election ballot.

Beat the Heat

Or at least don’t join it! Please be sure to pay special attention to children, the elderly and pets in your family and neighborhoods. Take it easy the best you can, drink lots of water, and avoid the sun during the coming 110+ degree days. I hear the monsoon rains may be rolling in Monday!


Ward 3 Events:

-Bat Bridge Discovery – River and Campbell bridge, every Thursday evening at dusk. Docents from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will be on hand to answer questions and provide hands-on material—including a “bat detector.” Great fun for the entire family.

Upcoming Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s):


-Richland Heights East NA – Tuesday, July 9 at 6:30 p.m. 3301 N. Wilson

-Oracle Project Steering Committee (TOPS) – Tuesday, July 9 at 5:30 p.m. TPD’s Westside Substation, 1310 W. Miracle Mile

-Alvernon Grant Initiative (AGI/TNBC) – Community Law Enforcement Task Force. Tuesday, July 9 at 6:30 p.m. Emerge! 2425 N. Haskell

-Friends of Mansfield Park – Wednesday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. Parkside Terrace Apartments, Community Rm.


-El Cortez NA –Thursday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. Parkside Terrace Apartments, Community Rm

Citywide Events:

-Porchfest Armory Park – Sunday, June 30 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 19 musical acts performing on a dozen porches throughout the Armory Park Neighborhood.  Free event (tip jars will be out!) so join in this live music event inspired by a similar day-long festival in New York. The houses hosting are primarily between 5th and 3rd Avenues and 12th and 18th Streets.  More info: http://azstarnet.com/entertainment/music/porchfest-will-bring-music-home/article_8d870451-beba-5ba0-8984-e7b0d10f58d9.html

-17th Annual “A” Mountain Fire Works – Thursday, July 4 with a “downtown party” from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center parking lot “B” off Granada Avenue between Congress and Cushing Streets. Food and drink vendors and parking is free. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.!

-Did you know…?

…that  Chefs Addam Buzzalini of Maynard's Market and Kitchen and Janos Wilder of Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails are included in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America?  Congratulation… so happy to have them both in downtown Tucson!

…that Sun Tran is rolling out the new “SunGO” smart card fare payment system effective Sunday, June 30? More information available; http://www.suntran.com/sungo_information13.php