(Posted April 4, 2020)
The city made this announcement today:
City Park Amenities Set to Close Today at Noon
Spas, Salons No Longer Deemed Essential Services
Gov. Doug Ducey has released additional guidance on what is now deemed non-essential services and recreational activities. Businesses like nail and hair salons, tanning, spas and tattoo parlors have until 5 p.m. today to cease operations.
The city of Casa Grande is set to close its remaining park amenities today at noon. This includes public courts (basketball, tennis, pickleball, etc.), splash pads, playgrounds and restrooms. Parks remain accessible as long as the public continues to practice social/physical distancing, adheres to crowds less than 10 persons and follows CDC recommended guidelines. This, too, is subject to change.
A fire hose of constant information flow from multiple directions has made it difficult for some residents to find the help they need. The city continues to streamline useful information through COVID-19 City Response and Small Business Assistance sites to help the community maneuver through current challenges. Residents are also encouraged to follow city social media for more frequent information share (Facebook, Twitter, NextDoor and YouTube). These resources help provide links to business loans, job searches, mortgage and senior assistance, food banks, health and unemployment insurance and more.
To learn more about how to reduce COVID-19 spread, please visit Arizona Department of Health Services or Pinal County Public Health.
Additional City Updates:
City Hall Passport Office is closed to the public in compliance with U.S. Department of State. Passport or renewal applications submitted prior to 3/19/2020 will be processed; however, routine service may be delayed.
The city is temporarily suspending assessment of late fees. Residents are encouraged to access one of six ways to pay: phone or online bill pay, auto-draft automatic deduction, personal online banking, USPS mail or payment drop box. The City Finance lobby is open for public access but restrooms are now closed. New guidelines now limit the lobby to no more than two customers at any time. Sidewalk lines have been created to help provide 6-feet separation between customers.
Although the City Court lobby is closed to the public, the court is still available to provide the community with access to services for protective order, victims, civil traffic citation, fine payment, continuance/extension/motion, warrants, motion/document, or additional forms.
City libraries remain closed until further notice. Due date for all materials checked has been extended to May 1. Please maintain items until libraries reopen. No fines will be assessed for materials during this time. Library cards currently allow residents access to hundreds of free online resources, 24/7, including e-books, e-magazines, downloadable videos, music, audio books, databases and more.
The governor's executive order regards parks as an essential service. In adherence, outdoor city parks remain available to the public. Allowed activities include outdoor exercise such as walking, hiking, running, biking or golfing; but only if appropriate social/physical distancing practices are used. All public playgrounds, courts, splash pads, bathrooms and ramadas are now closed until further notice.
Paul Mason Sports Complex and Little League baseball/softball fields are closed. All programming, leagues, practices and games have been cancelled or postponed. No activity reservations are being taken at this time. Additional closed facilities include Len Colla, the Recreation Center and Dorothy Powell Senior Center. The home delivered meal program remains operational, but meals are available on a pick-up or home-delivery basis only.
(Posted March 24, 2020)
Pinal County announced this today:
Pinal County Announces Six Further COVID-19 Cases
The total number of cases in the County now stands at 22
Pinal County Public Health Department can confirm six further cases of COVID-19 in Pinal County.
• A female in her 20s.
• A male in his 30s.
• A female in her 40s.
• A male in his 40s.
• A male in his 50s.
• A female in her 70s
All five cases, not related to each other or any previous cases, are in isolation at home and recovering. County Health Department staff are investigating all cases to identify close contacts.
Pinal County's total cases of COVID-19 now stand at 22, with only one case, a female in her 80s, hospitalized.
On Monday afternoon, Pinal County received its allocation of the Strategic National Stockpile from the CDC through Arizona Department of Health Services.
Utilizing the established SNS Plan in place, county staff along with twenty volunteers from Maricopa CERT and Florence CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) were able to inventory and process all of the personal protective equipment and repackage to be distributed to our public safety and healthcare partners.
Staff and volunteers were able to begin delivery of those supplies to two of our county healthcare providers and one of the tribes. Fifteen additional deliveries are scheduled for today.
(Posted March 20, 2020)
City coronavirus page:
City coronavirus answers page:
Help for small businesses:
Casa Grande emergency proclamation is HERE
Pinal County emergency declaration:
The city issued this press release today:
City Introduces Resources to Help Guide Businesses and Community through COVID-19 Response
Today, City Manager Larry Rains received notice that Pinal County Board of Supervisors just declared a state of emergency in response to novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). There are now 13 confirmed cases of the virus in Pinal County and one death in Arizona. It is anticipated that the number will increase as more testing takes place.
Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland and the City Council approved a resolution earlier this week declaring an emergency. McFarland issued a proclamation outlining current specifications related to the outbreak.
According to McFarland, this action allows the city to act rapidly in the deployment of resources and establish any necessary regulations to combat the spread of the flu-like contagion.
"Public health is paramount," expressed McFarland. "The proclamation gives us the ability to do what is necessary to preserve public peace, health, safety and the general welfare of our community."
Gov. Ducey has issued an executive order closing bars, movie theaters, indoor gyms and fitness centers throughout the state, as well as, ordering restaurants to move to drive-thru or take-out business only. This measure helps to ensure food access, increase hospital capacity, provide updated guidance and some flexibility for businesses and waive Arizona Department of Transportation requirements for seniors and commercial drivers. The executive order becomes effective today.
Ducey has also submitted an application requesting a disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration. Once the application is approved, business owners should apply online (see link above) in the Disaster Loan Application Portal. They will need to register to complete the application, which will be screened by the Disaster Processing Center.
City Economic Development Director Richard Wilkie, said the city is researching and soliciting federal and state assistance for local businesses.
"Our businesses are comprised of everyday people that stand ready to serve their neighbors and friends, daily," said Wilkie. "We're working hard to help connect them to the resources and financial assistance needed to help keep their doors open."
To support local businesses, the City is collaborating with vendors to accommodate drive-up/pick-up options for customers in response to a decrease in foot traffic. Businesses can use orange cones provided by the City to help customers identify these safe zones while ensuring safe and efficient traffic flows. This assistance is free-of-charge to area businesses. To learn more about this option, contact Chris Lawson at 421-8625.
For the most up-to-date information on the outbreak and what you can do to reduce your risk, visit the Center for Disease Control at www.CoronaVirus.gov.
(Posted March 19, 2020)
Pinal County issued this statement today:
Public Health Confirms Two Further Positive Cases of COVID-19 in Pinal County
Pinal County Public Health Department can confirm two further cases have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Pinal County. Both are household contacts of separate cases reported yesterday.
The first is a male in his 30s, a household contact of a female in her 30s reported yesterday, who is isolated at home and recovering.
The second is also a male in his 30s, a household contact of a female in her 30s reported yesterday, who is isolated at home and recovering.
This brings the total number of cases in Pinal County to 10.
MARCH 18 UPDATE:
This city posted this today:
The city is following CDC guidelines to limit public meetings to 10 people, with six feet of separation.
We are encouraging residents to view tonight's (March 18) 6 p.m. City Council meeting from the comfort of their homes on Cox Channel 11 or City Facebook Live.
Thank you for helping to reduce risk.
(Posted March 17, 2020)
The Casa Grande City Council meets in special session Wednesday night (March 18) to consider an emergency declaration about the coronavirus threat.
The meeting, open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 510 E. Florence Blvd.
The full resolution declaring an emergency is HERE.
It does not list specific restrictions for Casa Grande, saying only that the mayor may, “by proclamation, impose all necessary regulations to preserve the public peace, health, safety and general welfare of the city.”
A statement issued by the city Monday night said, “The city is also actively evaluating a declaration of emergency to help in the fight of the spread of COVID-19. This measure would further assist in protecting public health by allowing access to federal emergency funds and making it possible for individuals and businesses to receive federal financial assistance.”
(Posted March 16, 2020)
Casa Grande officials released this official coronavirus statement Monday night. A version of it was read by Mayor Craig McFarland at the end of Monday night’s City Council meeting:
We Can Make a Difference In the Next 15 Days!
City remains informed, engaged and prepared to do its part
The unique quality that makes the city of Casa Grande so special, strong and resilient is its sense of community. Over the years, residents have shown an extraordinary capacity to care for and help meet the needs of their fellow neighbors and friends. These same traits are shared by city workers who strive to serve residents, each and every day. It is why city leadership and its community partners remain informed, engaged and prepared to help meet the evolving challenges resulting from the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
According to Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland, access to accurate information is important for residents to respond in a measured and thoughtful way.
"An informed community is an empowered one," explained McFarland, "and is capable of processing facts carefully, engaging available resources appropriately while also helping others that may need assistance. After all, we're in this together."
The city is already taking steps to follow recent guidelines issued by the CDC, Arizona Department of Health Services and Pinal County Health and remains ready to adjust quickly if circumstances change.
In accordance with federal guidelines to limit or postpone large gatherings of 10 persons or more, the city has cancelled all in-person, city-sponsored events until further notice. The public is welcome to continue checking the city online calendar for updates.
The city is taking proactive measures to help protect high-risk populations and reduce risk for spread of the virus. The city has cancelled all programs, events and gatherings at its recreational facilities including Len Colla, the Recreation Center, Dorothy Powell Senior Center and both public libraries. The home-delivered Meal program is continuing but meals remain on a take-out or home-delivery basis only.
(This sentence is included in the official statement: “Parks will remain open along with the golf course, but the public will have limited access to the clubhouse.” However, McFarland’s address at the meeting said the closings include, “All of our parks, and that includes the ramada reservations, for the next two weeks. So, no large gatherings at the ramadas.”
(McFarland also added this:
“Also, I was notified this evening that the Boys & Girls Clubs is also going to close. They will not remain open, and that will start tomorrow. That’s going to be a big burden on a lot of our community, as they rely on the club, and I know that’s going to be a problem. So please try to deal with it as best you can.”)
Police and fire response
The Police and Fire departments are maintaining a normal business schedule. All first responders are provided information received from the health department, as it relates to the virus. They also carry masks and gloves as a matter of practice. The Fire Department is working closely with the Pinal County Office of Emergency Management to monitor the situation and is following stringent infectious disease protocols, already in place. The ability to provide emergency services to the community has not been impacted, and the city does not anticipate any delay or interruption to services.
Local health centers and schools
The city is working collaboratively and closely with local schools and health centers as they continue to prepare, plan and modify protocols, accordingly. Please visit them directly to stay informed.
Declaration of emergency
The city is also actively evaluating a declaration of emergency to help in the fight of the spread of COVID-19. This measure would further assist in protecting public health by allowing access to federal emergency funds and making it possible for individuals and businesses to receive federal financial assistance.
City Manager Larry Rains is asking the community to remain flexible and work together.
"This is an exceptional city," said Rains. "Times of uncertainty or anxiety is when our community really shows how big of a family we actually are."
For the most up-to-date information on the outbreak and what you can do to reduce your risk, please visit the CDC at www.CoronaVirus.gov.
What is COVID-19?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), signs and symptoms resemble the common cold or flu and may include a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Most people (about 80 percent) have a mild presentation and recover from the disease without needing special treatment. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from an affected person, even if asymptomatic.
Help stop the spread of COVID-19
Today, President Trump released new federal guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are young or otherwise healthy, you are still at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that everyone does his/her part to stop the spread of the coronavirus:
Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
If you work in a critical infrastructure industry as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employees should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants and food courts. Use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options.
Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits.
Do not visit nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Practice good hygiene:
Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
Avoid touching your face.
Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces, as much as possible.
(Posted March 16, 2020)
This announcement by the Casa Grande Parks and Recreation Department was posted today:
Following precautionary measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state leaders, and other health experts, the following city facilities will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17, until further notice:
• Casa Grande Community Recreation Center
• City of Casa Grande Public Library (both locations)
• Dorothy Powell Senior Center
• Len Colla Recreation Center
All classes, programs, leagues and meetings will be postponed until further notice.
The Community Recreation Center will work to credit members for the period of time the centers are closed.
Private rentals scheduled to take place during the closure are canceled and will be fully refunded. For rental questions or to reschedule your event for a later date, please email CommunityServices@CasaGrandeAZ.gov
Our administrative offices will continue to be available by phone only Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by calling 421-8677. There will be no public access to these facilities.
For up-to-date information, visit www.casagrandeaz.gov or follow us on social media.
(Posted March 13, 2020)
The city issued this announcement today:
Dorothy Powell Senior Center Will Temporarily Reduce Hours Starting March 16
Effective Monday, March 16, the City of Casa Grande will temporarily reduce hours at the Dorothy Powell Senior Center and suspend non-essential activities until further notice.
This decision is a proactive measure designed to help protect a high-risk population during this serious public health challenge. By temporarily making these changes, the most vulnerable members of our community will have reduced chances of community spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The City of Casa Grande is striving to continue to offer essential services while significantly lowering health risk.
The changes at Dorothy Powell Senior Center are:
• The senior center will only be open for congregate meals from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning March 16. The office will be open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. but will have no public access.
• All activities and programs at the senior center will be suspended.
• The Home Delivered Meal program will continue, but will begin using single use trays and enact other procedures to limit contact between employees, volunteers and participants.
• Transportation will continue but be restricted to only essential trips to and from the center for congregate meals.
For questions or additional information, call 421-8760 between the hours of 8 a.m.-4:00 pm.
The city of Casa Grande will continue to evaluate the Dorothy Powell Senior Center as this rapidly evolving health situation changes daily.
Dino Deluca, left
(Posted March 13, 2020)
The CG Fire Department posted this today:
As public safety dispatchers, we are trained to provide potentially life saving services by instructing callers with step by step instructions.
It’s not very often we have to utilize that training firsthand, but that’s just what one of our off-duty dispatchers did.
Public Safety Dispatcher Dino “D.J.” Deluca had just finished his 10-hour shift and was making his way home when he received an alert on his phone. A report of an unresponsive person nearby.
As it turns out, he was in the right place at the right time. D.J. quickly went in to see if he could assist.
Having been trained in compression-only CPR, D.J. was able to assist in the life-saving technique until fire and medical personnel could arrive on scene to take over.
We would like to commend D.J. on his quick response and willingness to do this out of the kindness of his heart and dedication to his city.
(Posted March 11, 2020)
Pinal County issued this coronavirus statement today:
Cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Pinal County
The total of five Pinal County cases are all from the same household
Pinal County Public Health Department can confirm that two further Pinal County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Both cases are over sixty years old and from the same household as the three current Pinal County cases (Queen Creek). They are recovering at home.
Pinal County Public Health officials are continuing to investigate the cases.
For the latest information about COVID-19, its symptoms, and advice on ways to prevent infection, please visit azhealth.gov/COVID19 or pinal.gov/publichealth
Scroll down for earlier stories about same family
(Posted March 8, 2020)
State health officials issued this statement this evening:
Public Health Confirms Previously Identified Case of COVID-19
is Member of Arizona School Community
School Administration Implementing Public Health Recommendations
PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Health Services announced that state and local health officials have been working with the administration of American Leadership Academy, Ironwood K-12 campus (in Queen Creek) regarding a member of their school community who was one of the two individuals identified as having a presumptive positive test for COVID-19 (coronavirus) on Saturday, March 7.
This individual did not have severe illness and has fully recovered from the virus.
Because the individual was not on campus while ill, Public Health believes the risk to others, outside of close contacts, of getting COVID-19 from this person is low.
As the school recently started spring break, administrators will have time to fully implement public health recommendations before school is back in session.
The school administration has proactively taken steps to ensure the safety of the families and staff, including cleaning all areas of the campus, establishing enhanced daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces, adding hand sanitizing stations to hallways, and incorporating routine hand hygiene practices throughout the day when students return.
State and local public health are actively investigating to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed. Identified individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. Any members of this community who are sick with fever, shortness of breath and cough should call their health care provider who can help determine if COVID-19 testing is needed. Families and staff will receive a letter from the school with information on what they need to know and how they can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
(EARLIER STORIES BELOW)
(Posted March 6, 2020)
Pinal County issued this statement this evening:
Presumptive Positive Case of COVID-19 Identified in Pinal County
The case may signal community spread in Arizona
FLORENCE, ARIZ. (March 6, 2020) – Pinal County Public Health Department confirmed a presumptive positive case of COVID-19, bringing the total COVID-19 case count in Arizona to three. The case, a healthcare worker in her 40s, lives in Pinal County and is currently in stable condition in a Maricopa County hospital. She is not a known contact of any confirmed COVID-19 cases and has not traveled to any areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely. For this reason, Public Health is treating this case as its first instance of community spread.
“Community spread refers to the spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. Just like during flu season, if you get symptoms, you need to stay home and take care of yourself,” said Dr. Shauna McIsaac, director of Pinal County Public Health Department. “Similar to the flu, most people will only have mild symptoms that do not require a visit to a healthcare provider or hospital. Individuals who are older or have underlying health conditions like chronic lung disease are at higher risk of more severe illness. Occasionally, a young, healthy person will have severe disease. Unfortunately, this woman is one of those people,” she added.
“We are moving into a public health strategy that is just like seasonal flu. We know that healthcare workers are exposed to people with flu and other infectious diseases all the time and therefore are at higher risk, which is why they wear personal protective equipment,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for disease control at Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Now that there is community spread of COVID-19, just like during flu season, it is important for everyone, especially healthcare workers, to stay home when they are sick to avoid exposing others. “We are no longer recommending quarantine of exposed healthcare workers who don’t show any symptoms because we need our healthcare workforce during this response,” Dr. Sunenshine added.
COVID-19 is a respiratory infection with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The vast majority of people with the disease have mild symptoms and will not require medical intervention.
COVID-19 is believed to spread mostly through respiratory droplets produced when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment, but treatments are being studied and a vaccine is currently under development. Individuals with COVID-19 should be provided with supportive care including fluids or fever-reducing medication.
Since receiving the presumptive positive test result, Pinal County and Maricopa County have been working together to interview close contacts of the case and recommend symptom monitoring.
Overall recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases spread through respiratory droplets are:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces like door knobs, light switches, and electronic devices using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Public health encourages concerned individuals to follow credible sites for information about COVID-19. For up-to-date facts, please visit www.pinal.gov/publichealth and http://www.Maricopa.gov/Coronavirus. For statewide case counts and information about testing at the Arizona State Public Health Lab, please visit www.azhealth.gov/COVID-19.
(Posted Feb. 25, 2020)
The video of the discussion is item I2 HERE
The SmartWorks Plus website is HERE
The ASRS retirement work rules are HERE
The council staff report is HERE
The ordinance is HERE
The SmartWorks agreement is HERE
The compensation agreement is HERE
Casa Grande City Manager Larry Rains is eligible to retire under the Arizona State Retirement System.
He’s also maxed out any benefits from ASRS, so staying on is no real benefit to him.
The City Council wants him to stay on the job, guiding Casa Grande through various projects and calling upon his 18 years as finance director, assistant city manager and city manager.
The catch was that if he retired and then was kept on at his ASRS-covered job, he would lose ASRS retirement benefits for the first year.
The solution was for the City Council to approve Rains joining a company known as SmartWorks, which under an agreement with the state provides such newly-retired employees for various municipal positions.
The council approval was unanimous.
(The background of SmartWorks is in the council staff report, above.)
As a private employee, Rains will be able to continue to work for the city on a one-year contract while still drawing his state retirement benefits.
Under the agreement, Rains will retire March 20, coming back to the city March 30 as a SmartWorks employee and paid $151,352.66 annually, or $582.126 a day. His present salary is $195,484.
The city will pay the new salary and related costs directly to SmartWorks, which will receive 4 percent for handling the employment.
The agreement will provide some financial savings for the city, Human Resources Director Scott Barber told the council.
“Social Security, unemployment, those things, are a part of the deal (handled by SmartWorks),” Barber said.
Rains will pay for his own health insurance.
Another savings is that the city’s contribution to ASRS for an employee, due to rise to 10.21 percent on July 1, would now be 1.7 percent less.
Overall savings for the city will be about $75,000 a year, Barber said.
As it now stands, the agreement covers only Rains, not other city employees.
Fitzgibbons asked for clarification.
“I guess I’m a little confused on the ordinance, because I didn’t find it that clear,” she said. “This is something I’ve been concerned with.
“Keeping our current city manager is really important for us and I understand the situation he’s in but it concerns me because I do feel that it’s good to have new people come within our organization.
“Are we opening the door and creating a precedent for this happening to all employees and we get no one new?”
City Attorney Brett Wallace responded that the ordinance, as written, covers only Rains as city manager. Retirees under ASRS from other cities could be considered for other city positions, such as current recruitment for a finance director.
Barber had earlier said that the situation could change in the future if the council wanted to expand the program.
Wallace continued that, “If it’s the desire of council that we do so, then we can bring back maybe a proposal for when that would work, but at this point it’s only doing one employee from the city of Casa Grande because the council has the ability to make that.
“This is a very unique situation, obviously a very unique employee in the city that council had the opportunity to review.
“We just feel at this point, given some of those concerns, we wanted to make a recommendation and I think the ordinance, hopefully, is clear that it’s only for those two classes and the contract cannot exceed the authorization as given in the ordinance.”
Wallace told the council to “‘keep in mind that this is a very narrow piece. We can have whoever we want and any ASRS retiree could come to work for us tomorrow, but there’s just no incentive for them to do that because they would forfeit and then have to return their retirement benefits.
“But they really only have that restriction for the first year. Once they’ve been retired for 365 days, they no longer have that.
“So it’s a very narrow piece. As Mr. Barber said it’s to capture someone who might be in that unique position.”
As Powell sees it, “I think that we’ve made a lot of progress in the last six to eight years. A lot of industry coming in, a lot of growth, housing market is back to a healthy status.
“And we have somebody that’s leading us, our leader, who’s very unique.
“He’s such a key to what we do and how we do it that it’s like shutting off the engine before you get to the end of the road. And we’re not to the end of the road, we’re trying to climb a hill. And we need someone that’s really, really good to do that and we have that kind of faith in Larry and that’s why we want to not make him have to suffer financially, which he would have to, under certain circumstances, but that he would be able to come back or stay here and work with us and lead us into the future.
“There’ll come a time when Larry will probably want to say goodbye to everybody but that’s not that time right now and we certainly don’t want to say goodbye to him.”
“I want to echo everything that Mr. Powell said” Huddleston told the council. “I totally agree with all of that.
“This ordinance, which is what Scott Barber said, is another tool in our toolbox. And I think it’s one that’s reserved for special needs. It’s almost a break glass when needed type thing. And I think we found ourselves in a position where we needed to break the glass and this solves the problem and saves us money at the same time. So I’m all for it.”
“Sometimes we have to take the employee itself out of the picture and look at the position,” she said. “And if we do that with Mr. Rains I don’t think we’d ever find the same replacement, or better, than where we’re at.
“As Mr. Powell said, the expertise that this position has developed over the past years has put us in a new place. And so, I don’t think that we can afford to lose that.
“And so while we’re talking about Larry — and everybody in the room knows that — I think what we’re talking about is with the position of city manager that we have right now it would be detrimental to the city to lose that expertise and I think that is really what we’re looking at.”
(Posted Nov. 1, 2019)
The city issued this announcement today:
The Casa Grande City Attorney's Office Victim Assistance Program, in partnership with the Casa Grande Elementary School District, will host the annual Children's Flower Garden Event on Friday, Nov. 8.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. at the flower garden in front of the City Hall Plaza, located at 510 E. Florence Blvd.
This year's special event is being sponsored by Artistic Land Management LLC.
The schools participating in this year's event are Cottonwood Elementary School, Desert Willow Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Mesquite Elementary School and Villago Middle School, and the Casa Grande Union High School Cougar Spirit Line, Woodwind Section and Blue Notes.
Against Abuse, Inc. will join in the event this year by planting pinwheels to promote child abuse prevention. Also, the Boys & Girls Club of Casa Grande will be providing pin back buttons with inspirational quotes for the students.
The flower garden is planted every year to remember children who have been victims of abuse. Each year, millions of children and adolescents in the United States are exposed to violence. According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, almost five children die every day as a result of abuse in the U.S.
Of the children who die, 41.6 percent suffer physical abuse and 75.4 percent suffer neglect and 72 percent of the child fatalities are younger than three years old.
Their exposure to violence can have a long-lasting physical, psychological and emotional impact. They may suffer from depression, fear, anxiety, aggression, difficulty in school, frequent nightmares and visible injuries.
We need to educate children, families and the community about domestic violence and child abuse and how to recognize the signs and put an end to it.
Gardening is a wonderful way to give children an opportunity to explore and learn about nature. It teaches them self-confidence and responsibility and is a great way to acknowledge the important work they are doing to help children who have been victimized.
The City Attorney's Victim Assistance Program provides direct assistance, support, and protection to victims and their families. We also educate them about domestic violence, safety planning and the criminal justice process. To learn about important resources available, GO TO and click on Victim Assistance or call 421-8600.
(Posted Oct. 23, 2019)
The full feasibility study from 2018, including profit/loss, is HERE
The staff report is HERE
The letter from the consultants is HERE
The City Council has unanimously authorized spending $30,000 to hire a consultant to make a presentation before the Arizona Department of Health Services requesting that the city be granted a certificate of necessity to operate both basic and advanced life support ambulance services.
Spending another $500,000 for attorney fees is also projected.
The approval to hire the J. Vincent Group, which did a feasibility study for the city in 2018, was given during Monday night’s council meeting.
According to the staff report for the agenda item, “The next step is to prepare a CON application and supporting documents as required by the AZDHS. Preparation of Ambulance Cost and Recovery Report (ARCR) pro forma financial information. Provide methodology as required by the AZDHS during the administrative and substantive review process.”
The ending of the staff report adds, “During this hearing process an attorney will be representing us and utilizing our consultants, depending on the length of the process, we could see legal fees of up to $500,000.”
It could take top to six months for a decision from the state, leaving the services now offered by AMR ambulance in place.
Click on above images to enlarge
At one time, it was reported that AMR would campaign against a city certificate, but during Monday night’s meeting Fire Chief Scott Miller said that AMR is now discussing the issue.
“What I’d like to mention,” he said, “is that AMR has indicated through verbal willingness to support the application with specific models. And that model is what we’ve been trying to look at with the public-private model that we started with our memorandum of understanding back a few years ago. We’re waiting for further discussions there, but either way we still need to apply for a CON and move forward, whether we have the public-private partnership or we’re going for our own CON.”
The city at one time had an agreement with then Southwest Ambulance, the predecessor of AMR, but when Southwest was sold after bankruptcy the new owner decided not to honor it.
Benefits to the city from its own certificate, Miller said, include “It provides four dedicated ambulances, is what’s recommended for our community. We can have a single-unit response on a basic life support call. And what that does is it keeps our four-person advanced life support engine available for critical life saving calls, such as cardiac arrest, difficulty breathing, stroke, broken hip, leg, trauma patients involved in motor vehicle accidents, stabbings, shootings, machinery accidents, allergic reactions, etc.
“It also will help in reducing down response times, it would increase our customer service. There is a reduction in the perception of seeing an engine on every call, because the ambulance would be able to handle the BLS by themselves. And it would increase the life expectancy of our engine companies.”
According to the feasibility study, the city would have four ambulances. One each at Station 501 downtown, State 502 at Ninth Street and Peart Road, Station 504 on McCartney Road and the fourth at Station 501 for peak load calls.
The feasibility study said among the benefits would be:
• Four ambulances 24 hours, 365 days, and one peak-load ambulance eight hours a day five days per week, 52 weeks a year.
• 90 percent of all emergency calls will be reached in 10 minutes or less from
time of notification.
• 95 percent of all emergency calls will be reached in 15 minutes or less.
• 99 percent of all emergency calls will be reached in 20 mins or less from time of notification.
(Further details are in the feasibility study, linked above)
“There’s been a couple of things come up in the community about private business and free market. It is not a free market right now. There’s (only) one company that can provide ambulance service to the city of Casa Grande, so we’re not providing a free market.
“This is a great example of you, chief, working with the public/private partnership to try to get this done. And we can control what we want to do in the future.
“We had an agreement with Southwest Ambulance and then when they got bought out they didn’t go along with that agreement that we liked a city, so we’re going to this point. And I’m a really a fan … with the BLS, of running our units so we don’t to run our engines all the time to medical calls.
“So I want to commend you on doing this and I think it’s a great step forward for our citizens and the services that we can provide to make sure that we can keep our citizens safe and the services they need. It’s about services to the citizens and we need to have ambulances here in order to make sure, because when it’s my family or your family or anyone’s family in town you want to have that services as soon as possible. So we want to make sure we can provide that.
“You convinced me at our last meeting that this is important and this is something we need to do.
“You’ve convinced me and the firemen have convinced me that this is something we have to do for safety.
“And, truthfully, I think economically it’ll turn out pretty well in the end, not having to replace equipment as we had before. The cost of a fire engine is pretty expensive and the gas savings. There’s a huge amount of economic savings on what we’re doing with this”
“When I first showed up on council I think one of the first meetings was a study session with the consultants or something and I had a ton of questions about this.
It’s a long road to go down, there’s lots of moving parts and I want to compliment the two chiefs, the firefighters and Mr. Rains (City Manager Larry Rains) for answering all the questions.
“I know there was a lot of them and I had a lot of concerns.
“But I’m convinced that this is the best way to go for the Fire Department, for our city government and as we’ve said, most importantly to the citizens of our community. I think you guys have done a real good job in researching this, doing all the due diligence and, as I said, I’m fully convinced this is the way to go.”
“Several years ago it was pointed out that we were not covered, our residents were not covered, by the ambulance service because the folks servicing that also services the entire county and there would be times when a city of our size would not have ambulance service.
“This way, we’re going to have a dedicated service, somebody that’s dedicated to our residents, will always be there, and then there’s that continuity of care. And I just think that this is the best thing.
“It’s not to compete with the private business. I think this is the best thing we can do for our city.
“We could talk about this all night long, but one of the things I just want to mention is the (competing with) private business issue has come up on social media and I understand what some of the comments are but the bottom line is that our community deserves to be safe and we have the staff to make that happen and I think we need to move forward.”
“This isn’t something that just came up even in the last two years. I think since I’ve been on City Council since 2011 there’s been this discussion and giving some of these companies a chance on some of these issues that we were facing and there weren’t changes.
“So you guys have been on top of this and advised us of the some of the concerns that are out there and then we had a consultant come in and do the research and present the (information) to move forward it was something that we all were really interested in and wanted to make sure we were doing the best thing for the community.
“It was a very detailed report, I think they did a great job, and I’m really looking forward to moving forward on this.
“If we choose to do a public/private partnership that’s great, but if we do something that’s just the city it’s going to provide the best service to our community.”
(Posted Oct. 18, 2019)
Highlights of the presentation are HERE
The Casa Grande Fire Department has proposed a $20 million project to relocate and upgrade three of the present four fire stations — downtown, Peart and Eighth, and at the airport.
No decision on authorizing a bond election has been reached by the City Council.
(Posted Sept. 21, 2019)
The staff report is HERE
The full report, with additional details, statistics and photos, is HERE
The City Council has approved a report to be sent to the federal government outlining how Casa Grande has used money from the Community Development Block Grant program.
The report details accomplishments and spending during the past fiscal year “to measure to what extent the jurisdictions are meeting priority needs, goals and strategies as outlined in the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan.”
Because it is federal money, a report on how the funds were used is required.
An overview of the report, present to the council by Mary Allen, the city’s grants coordinator, includes:
• Seeds of Hope’s Senior Connections program, given $15,905 to provide services to 68 seniors.
• Against Abuse’s Advocacy Services for Victims and Homeless Women and Children, $15,000 and served 53 woman and children.
• Casa Grande Police Department’s Southside Crime Prevention Education Program, $5,000 to serve approximately 200 local residents. “Thomas Anderson (the department’s public information officer) did an awesome job of reaching out to the south side neighborhoods,” Allen told the council.
• Community Action Human Resources Agency (CAHRA), for Casa Grande homeless services, $14,670.15, serving 60 clients in the city.
Housing and Public Facility Improvements
• Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped, $40,000 for improvements, serving 101 handicapped people. “They are located down on Main Street and they’ve got two buildings,” Allen said, “and they didn’t have accessible bathrooms, so $40,000 to help them fix those facilities.”
• Casa Grande Community Services Department, $50,000 for Carr McNatt Park playground equipment. “That was a carryover from the previous year,” Allen said, “but we were finally able to get to where we could install it. I kind of guesstimated a minimum of a thousand residents benefit from that playground equipment.”
• Casa Grande Community Development Division’s owner occupied housing rehabilitation program, $25,177. “We completed three owner-occupied housing rehabilitations houses and we have three more projects in progress,” Allen told the council.
Public Facility Improvements in Progress
• Casa Grande Public Works Department, Southside sidewalk project, $120,821. “That’s going to be sidewalk improvements from Nutt Park to Elliot Park,” Allen said. “I believe they’re in the process of awarding that contract.”
• Casa Grande Community Services Department, $30,000 for a shade ramada in Elliot Park. “We’re moving forward with that project now that we own it (the park),” Allen said.
As Councilwoman Donna McBride sees it, “I think that all of those projects help so many different parts of our community and different age groups, and that’s very important.”
Approval of sending the report was unanimous, with Councilwoman Mary Kortsen on an excused absence.
(Posted Sept. 16, 2019)
Terms of the agreement are HERE
Casa Grande is swapping space on the Kiwanis Field telecommunications tower in Carr McNatt Park (10th Street and Brown Avenue) for Elliot Park, now owned by Casa Grande Elementary School District.
Initial approval was given Monday night by the City Council.
As the staff report describes the two-part deal:
“The city has, for some time, been in discussions with the Casa Grande Elementary School District to acquire Elliot Park (105 S. Florence St.), which is owned by the district but has been maintained by the city as a city park.
“The mayor and City Council formally made the acquisition of Elliot Park a goal as part of the 2018 Strategic Plan and staff has been in near constant communication with the district since that time to finalize an agreement to exchange the park land for space on the city's radio tower at Kiwanis Field.
“The parties have now reached an agreement in principle to provide an easement to the top of the Kiwanis Field tower for a period of 50 years in favor of the district, with the city receiving a deed to the park.
“The easement, which would allow the district use of the tower but would also allow the city to use the tower for its own use or to lease to other parties as long as the uses do not interfere with each other, would be provided free of charge to the district in exchange for the district conveying the land (park) to the city. These uses have been acknowledged by the parties to be roughly equivalent in value, which is required to allow the district to convey the property.”
The staff report adds that, “the city has provided landscaping maintenance for Elliot Park for the several years. Once the property is acquired, as part of the council’s strategic plan, staff has planned significant improvements to the park, including new parking spaces, new playground equipment with a shade structure, as well as a new ramada and sidewalks.
“Staff hopes obtaining ownership of the park and the improvements thereto will help improve amenities to the nearby residents and serve as a beautification project for the area.”
The vote for initial approval was unanimous, with Councilwoman Mary Kortsen on excused absence. The final vote is expected during the next council meeting.
Before the vote, Councilman Dick Powell said he had looked at the park area.
“I’ve looked at Main Street, that two-block area that needs to be new road in there, Florence Street coming in needs to be repaved,” he said.
“When those kind of things get done, it’s going to really feel different down there on the south side of Casa Grande. I’m really happy that this is happening.”
(Posted Aug. 20, 2019)
The city posted this announcement today:
The City of Casa Grande is excited to offer residents a new online service request portal which will include a new mobile app.
This new system will provide citizens with a new and improved way to submit service requests, track ticket progress, and submit additional feedback directly to city departments ensuring better customer service.
Residents who see a non-emergency issue that needs to be addressed, such as a pothole, graffiti, non-working street light, uncontained trash pick-up, abandoned vehicle, illegal dumping, or other code violation can submit a request through the portal or mobile app.
Users are also able to include the pinpoint location and a photo of the request when submitting a ticket, allowing city officials to receive and resolve the request quickly and efficiently.
The city evaluated the prior system and decided it was time to upgrade to include a mobile app, allowing citizens an easier way to communicate to city staff in a timely matter.
Other benefits of this new app include a modern, simplified interface to enhance user experience, improved GPS mapping of service location, quick access to city news and social media. City staff will be able to monitor how quickly requests are being addressed and provide the customer with status updates.
Citizens can also send reports HERE.
For more information, including instructions on how to create an account or report an issue, call the Public Works Department at 421-8625.
(Posted Aug. 20, 2019)
Further information, including rehab guidelines and application form, is available on the city’s website at
Casa Grande is seeking $310,000 in state funds for the city’s owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program.
As outlined to the City Council during Monday night’s session, it’s a competitive process with other cities.
To boost the city’s chances of receiving the $310,000, Grant Coordinator Mary Allen told the council, Casa Grande will add other money available to it.
That includes $50,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds, $15,000 from the county Human Action Human Resources Agency for weatherizing of homes, and other sources for a total, with the state funding, of $465,000.
If that total amount is available, Allen said, the city hopes to rehabilitate four to six homes during the next year.
“We have an application process, we do determine eligibility financially,” Allen continued. “Also they have to live in their home for at least a minimum of six months.
“We are actually prioritizing the elderly, the physically disabled and it definitely has to be low to moderate income.”
The council vote was unanimous to approve applying for the state grants and to accept the updated housing rehabilitation guidelines.
(Posted Aug. 19, 2019)
The current General Plan is found at:
The scope of update work is HERE
The update costs breakdown is HERE
The citizen participation plan is HERE
The citizen advisory group list is HERE
Every 10 years, Casa Grande updates its General Plan, a guide to the future.
Final City Council approval was given Monday night to a $200,000 consultant contract with PLAN*et consultants for the latest update, going through 2030.
The council also adopted a public participation plan for the update and appointed a steering committee of residents from various business and community backgrounds.
As the current document says, the General Plan is a lengthy, comprehensive document that “includes elements that provide guidance for future growth and development” and “should be referred to when considering requests for rezoning and new development within the Casa Grande municipal limits and planning area. Each element includes goals, policies, strategies, maps and figures”s
During initial approved of the PLAN*et contract two weeks ago, Planning and Development Director Paul Tice said, “I might note that PLAN*et was involved with the last General Plan update. Leslie Dornfeld, the principal at PLAN*et, was highly involved as the project manager for our last General Plan and she has a consultant team consisting of a number of staff who were also involved with the last General Plan.
“Many of those same plan member, team members, were actually involved with the assistance team that recently visited for our downtown project, as well.”
According to the staff report, “The adopted public participation plan calls for the creation of a community-based steering forum whose role is to help steer the direction of the General Plan update process and to act as ambassadors and champions of the update to the various community groups/interests that they represent.
“Due to the large size of this group (25+) of people who are active in a number of different community affairs it is recommended that a quorum for meeting business purposes be defined as a minimum of 10. The meetings of the steering forum will be public meetings and as such staff will post notice of the meetings as well as take minutes that will be forwarded to City Council for acceptance.”
The number is actually 29 on the citizen committee.
“This formally creates this committee,” Tice told the council Monday night.
Final council approval for the items was unanimous.
(Posted Aug. 6, 2019)
The staff report is HERE
The presentation material is HERE
Video of the one hour, 19 minute discussion is item K2 at https://casagrandeaz.swagit.com/play/08052019-1123
(NOTE: An earlier version misidentified those voting no. That has been corrected.)
Action to eventually end the irrigation system within the Evergreen Historic District was put on hold Monday night by the City Council pending further discussion.
The vote was 5-2, with councilwomen Mary Kortsen and Donna McBride opposed.
No date was set for future action or appointing a city/Evergreen users committee to discuss the problems.
Before the council was a staff recommendation to refund the $1,019 assessment to users made during repairs to the system pump in 2014.
As the staff report puts it, “The city will continue to operate the Evergreen Irrigation system with the current well, current pump and current flow of water until June 30, 2020, or if the system fails, whichever comes first. At that point, the system will be discontinued. With this refund, the city agrees to operate the system with no further capital repairs to the system.”
In the 1980s, the staff report continues, there were approximately 50 users of the system. In 2014, the number of users dropped to 26. Of those, 22 customers agreed to pay the $1,019 assessment to continue as users. There are currently nine active users in the system.
The report shows that during 2018, revenue was $13,318 versus $26,507 in expenses. So far this year, the report says, revenue is $5,356 versus expenses of $22,422.
The well, originally drilled in the 1920s, has had problems and the water delivery system also needs work, the council was told.
The system now is able to deliver about 100 gallons of water a minute, far below what is needed. In some cases, the council was told, that is barely enough to reach some users, or not enough to even water some properties.
“The costs of drilling a new well range from $394,893 to $592,408 depending upon the specifications desired,” the staff report says.
“This includes the cost of drilling the well and adding a new turbine pump assembly. This is assuming that the well could be drilled upon the current location; however, there are several other potential issues at the current location based on the size of the lot and proximity to houses. Any new well drilled would have to be permitted by the Arizona Department of Water Resources.
“Public works has estimated the costs for new underground pipes to the delivery system at an additional $480,000 to $770,000, depending upon exact locations of pipe and construction methods necessary for installation.
“Under the provisions of the 1986 ordinance, if council assessed only the active users of the property, each property would need to be assessed between approximately $97,000 and $155,000, depending on the final cost of repairs to the system in order to drill a new well and upgrade the delivery system”
An alternative to closing the system, the report says, would be approving $1.4 million to completely rebuild the system, including $592,000 to drill a new well, $770,000 for a new delivery system, and $38,000 for contingency.
(Posted Aug. 5, 2019)
Banner Casa Grande Medical Center announced this today:
Banner Casa Grande Medical Center will begin work on a $10 million Emergency Department and Wound Clinic expansion this fall.
The expansion, part of an ongoing commitment to update the hospital, will add more than 3,300 square feet to the existing Emergency department, creating private triage areas and 12 more patient rooms to bring the total number of ED beds to 28.
The project will also put a second CT scanner in the ED, add more public restrooms, and expand staff storage and work space.
“As more people continue to move to our community, we want to make sure our Emergency department can handle their needs,’’ said Brian Kellar, CEO of Banner Casa Grande. “It’s our responsibility to make sure people have the best possible access to emergency medicine now and in the future.
“This expansion allows us to provide even greater access to emergency-care services.’’
The Banner Casa Grande Emergency department records more than 4,000 visits a month, making it the busiest ED in Pinal County.
The project’s first phase will move the current Wound Clinic to a more accessible space in the medical office building next to the hospital on Florence Boulevard. The second phase calls for the former clinic space to be remodeled into additional space for the Emergency department, Kellar said.
Planning and design have already begun, with construction expected to be finished by November 2020.
Emergency services will not be affected by the construction, Kellar said. Parking and ED access will remain the same.
The ED expansion is the latest phase in Banner’s updates to the Casa Grande campus, Kellar said. Since 2014, Banner Health has invested millions in facility upgrades, including opening a new Women’s and Infant Services unit and expanding the hospital’s pharmacy.
(Posted July 12, 2019)
Now that Casa Grande has terminated its recycling program (in which only about 26 percent of customers participated), the city has posted this list of places that will take some recyclable items:
• City of Casa Grande Landfill
5200 ChuiChu Road
Scrap metals, appliances, electronic-waste, paints
Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Metal Solutions
1551 N. VIP Blvd.
Aluminum cans, aluminum, electronic, metals, pallets
• Recycle Cans and Plastics
852 W. Gila Bend Highway
Cans and clear plastics only
• Timeless Recycling
401 W. Main Ave.
Aluminum cans, plastic #1, copper, brass, electrical wire, Christmas lights, batteries
• Wellington Salvage
1429 N. Grant Ave.
Aluminum cans, aluminum, electronic, metals, pallets
(Posted July 15, 2019)
A proposal for a single-story skilled nursing facility at the southeast corner of a vacant area at Trekell and Kortsen roads is a step closer with City Council initial approval of changing zoning there.
The north part of the vacant land is now zoned as general business and the south as commercial office.
City Planner James Gagliardi told the council during its July 8 meeting that the present zoning categories would not allow a nursing facility.
“It can only be accommodated in other zone districts such as the R2, which is conditionally permitted,” he said.
These are the city’s definitions of the zoning categories involved in the request:
• R-2 – MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL
The purpose of the R-2 Zone is to provide for medium density housing in multiple-family structures and directly related complementary uses. The R-2 Zone is designed to allow an economical use of land while creating an attractive, functional and safe residential environment.
• B-2 – GENERAL BUSINESS ZONE
The purpose of the B-2 Zone is to provide for low intensity, retail or service outlets which deal directly with the consumer for whom the goods or services are intended. The uses allowed in this district are to provide goods and services on a community market scale and located in areas which are served by arterial street facilities.
• COMMERCIAL OFFICE ZONE
The commercial office (CO) zoning district is established to provide for well-designed and attractive professional, administrative, and business offices of a residential scale and character on sites in appropriate locations to serve the nearby residential and commercial areas. The commercial office zoning district is characterized by low volumes of direct customer contact and is designed to provide a transition of development between residential neighborhoods and more intense land uses, districts, and heavily traveled transportation routes. The principal uses permitted in this district are professional, semi-professional, administrative, and business offices, and branch offices for banks and similar financial institutions.
Because the proposed project butts up to the Cottonwood Ranch neighborhood, several comments were received from neighbors, Gagliardi continued.
(See link above to written comments)
“People definitely did not want to see multi-family, a lot of people requested that there be a limit of height at 20 feet,” Gagliardi said. “There was concern about proximity of parking areas to the back, also some questioning in regards to type of landscaping and screens to be created between Cottonwood Ranch and this new development.”
There is now a 30-foot landscape buffer on the Cottonwood Ranch side, he continued, and the 20-foot buffer on the nursing home side would effectively create a 50-foot buffer.
There were also questions about pedestrian access and an emergency access road, Gagliardi said, things that would have to be detailed by the developer as the process moves on.
“As a result of those concerns, staff came up with a list of recommended conditions that would be imposed on the zone district that would help minimize those concerns and help make this a compatible site with the Cottonwood Ranch neighborhood,” he continued.
• Except for single-family dwellings on individual lots, a major site plan shall be required to be considered for approval by the Planning Commission prior to construction of any use on this property.
• Development is limited to single-story structures with a maximum height of 20 feet for principally permitted uses and a maximum height of 28 feet for conditionally permitted uses.
• All buildings, other than accessory, shall be setback a minimum distance of 75 feet from this property’s south and east boundary. Accessory structures shall have a minimum setback of 20 feet.
• A minimum 20 feet landscape buffer shall be provided along this property’s south and east boundaries. Quantity, minimum spacing, and varietal type of landscaping, as well as any wall design and placement, shall be determined at the time of major site plan/preliminary landscape plan consideration by the Planning Commission.
• The site design shall address the concern regarding pedestrian access between this subject site and Cottonwood Ranch Tract ‘P’.
• Four-sided architecture is required, which is to include the use of masonry; door and window detail such as pop-outs, recesses, or ledges; and wall articulation of on all sides of principle buildings.
• Prior to any development, the subject property shall be placed in its own parcel or parcels, all of which shall be completely contained within the new R-2 zone boundary.
• Vehicular, utility and emergency access easements to the property, where needed, meeting City standards shall be recorded prior to the issuance of any building permits on this property.
Almost all of the vacant land is under the same owner, Gagliardi said, so there’s no issue with access, but the city want to make sure the access easements are created before issuing a building permit.
“Should this request for zone change be approved,” he continued, “the next step for the applicant is to go forward with a major site plan and conditional use permit to build their skilled facility.”
Voting for the initial zone change approval (with final approval expected during the next meeting) were council members Mary Kortsen, Dick Powell, Matt Herman, Bob Huddleston and Lisa Fitzgibbons. Mayor Craig McFarland abstained from voting and Councilwoman Donna McBride was on an excused absence.
TOP: The new exterior, looking west. ABOVE: Proposed large meeting room. LEFT: Proposed small meeting room.
(Posted July 10, 2019)
The staff report is HERE
The construction timetable is HERE
A $765,100 expansion of Casa Grande’s Main Library at 449 N. Drylake St. was given initial approval Monday night by the City Council. Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.
The construction timeline for the project to add meeting rooms and widen a hallway show initial work beginning this month and final completion in early January of next year. The changes will be on the east and north sides of the present building.
Development impact fees of $720,000 and a $45,100 grant from Arizona State Library will pay for the work.
Steve Hardesty, community services director, told the council that, “The goals of the expansion project are several.
“It will provide additional meeting space for the public, provide additional rooms which currently are not available at the Main Library, it will provide staff with more flexibility and ability to serve public requests with more efficiency and it will invest our historical development impact fees into something that the citizens can realize.”
In showing the council sketches of the outside and interior work, Hardesty said the furniture shown will not necessarily be what is finally chosen.
“The actual furniture that will be selected has not been selected yet so the room could be configured into several different ways to utilize for the public,” he said.
Hardesty noted that there are study rooms at the Vista Grande Library “that are heavily utilized and our staff feels it would really expand our programs to have these study rooms available” at the Main Library.
Responding to a question from Councilman Matt Herman about landscaping not being in the construction contract, Hardest said, “We’re trying to value engineer the project to meet the budget, so that’s an area, landscaping, you can spend a lot of money, which our (city) staff can do utilizing their skills. It will not be less landscaping.”
(Posted July 9, 2019)
(Click on an organization name for services provided)
Community grants totaling $301,650 were approved Monday night by the Casa Grande City Council.
• Pinal Alliance for Economic Growth - $25,000.
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Arizona - $140,000.
• Casa Grande Main Street - $39,150.
• Casa Grande Valley Historical Society - $34,000.
• Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce - $43,500.
• Pinal County Water Augmentation Authority - $20,000.
The staff report accompanying the agenda item points out that grants are the same as last year, except that, “The funding request for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Arizona increased by $30,000 due to an expansion of service. The Boys and Girls Clubs will oversee a Teen Program at the Community Recreation Center.”
The report adds that, “Each of these organizations provides a direct benefit to residents of the city of Casa Grande. Historically, each of the organizations listed has previously applied and been awarded funding support from the city.
“The city made applications available to the organizations for the upcoming fiscal year as well.
Each service organization submitted an applicant package which included a funding request, an outline of the services provided and a copy of their most recent financial statement audit.
“As shown in years past, the value of the impact that each of the services organizations provides greatly outweigh the monetary value, and represent a great investment to our community.
“The funding composition for this request includes $161,650 from the General Fund and $140,000 from the Youth Services - Dedicated Sales Tax Fund.”
(Posted June 12, 2019)
Pinal County made this announcement today:
We are sending this out as a courtesy to ACRL
Arizona’s Center for Rural Leadership, commonly known as Project CENTRL, distributed select awards during its annual CENTRL Celebration June 8, 2019 at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Chandler.
The 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award for Civic Impact was given to Casa Grande resident and Pinal County employee Donna McBride, who was a member of CENTRL’s Class 18 from 2005-07
More than 150 people in attendance represented leaders from across the state who are alumni of the program, graduates of Class 27, the newly selected participants in Class 28 and members of the board of directors.
The Civic Impact Award recognizes someone who has taken the skills and networks they built during CENTRL and works to improve the common good of the community. Coincidentally, this year’s winner is from one our featured classes: Class 18.
She has dedicated her professional and volunteer life to public service. She currently is the mayor pro tem of Casa Grande, serving on the city council since 2016. What started as a volunteer position in Pinal County Juvenile Court, turned into a 15-year second career working with Court Appointed Special Advocate Unit. She helped create the Casa Grande Youth Commission and has been a part of just about everything in Casa Grande from the mayor’s reading to drug prevention (Casa Grande Alliance board president) to the Parks/Recreation and Police Advisory boards. As a reflection of her efforts, she was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism.
In the words of one of her nominators: “she is a caring and generous person who is always going 100 miles per hour and works from sunup to sundown to help improve the lives of others.”
Project CENTRL is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to improving the development of Arizona’s rural leaders and establishing a network of problem-solvers, decision makers and spokespersons for rural Arizona.
Each year it competitively selects 16 participants connected to rural Arizona for a 12-month, tuition-free training program delivered in Arizona’s rural communities, Sonora, Mexico, and Washington D.C. Participants build personal leadership skills, learn about the issues facing the state and connect with experts and other leaders. More than 650 people have graduated from program including six serving in Arizona’s 54th Legislature.
Visit www.centrl.org for more information.