CG News

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This page is for general Casa Grande city government and other city reporting by Harold Kitching, continuing what he did at the Casa Grande Dispatch for more than 11 years before he resigned after being told that kind of work was no longer wanted.

(Older items are in NEWS ARCHIVE)

Area jobless rates fall during September

(Posted Oct. 23, 2021)

Statistics for all cities in Arizona so far this year and for all of 2020 are HERE

Scroll down page for complete 2020 statistics.

NOTE: Arizona uses two sets of unemployment statistics: seasonally adjusted, calculating a rate factoring in normal seasonal unemployment, and non adjusted showing the actual number of jobless during a month. 

The statistics below are non adjusted, or actual, rates.

Unemployment in Casa Grande and area cities dropped during September, statistics posted by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity show.

Casa Grande has a September jobless rate of 4.4 percent, down from 5.4 during August. Statistics show 1,189 people out of work during September, down from 1,435 for August. The January rate was 7.1 percent. The average unemployment rate for the city during 2020 was 7.7 percent.

Other September statistics


7.7 percent jobless rate (461 unemployed) for September, down from 9.4 (558) during August. The January rate was 12.1. The 2020 average was 13.5 percent.


6.3 rate for September (273 jobless), down from 7.6 (331) during August. The January rate was 9.9. The 2020 average was 11.


4.4 rate for September (190 jobless), down from 6.4 (273) during August. The January rate was 7.8. The Florence average for 2020 was 8.7.

Maricopa city

4.9 rate for September (1,374 jobless), down from 5.9 (1,653) during August. The January rate was 7.1. The average for 2020 was 7.9.

Pinal County

The county had a September rate of 4.2 percent jobless, down from 6.9 for August. 

The state no longer issues statistics for unincorporated areas or Indian communities.

Electric-vehicle charging stations coming to City Hall

(Posted Oct. 4, 2021)

Questions and answers are HERE

Differences in chargers are HERE

An easement to allow Arizona Public Service Co. to install two electric vehicle charging stations on the City Hall complex was approved Monday night by the Casa Grande City Council.

The stations, with two charging outlets on each, will be located in an area between City Hall and the old gymnasium and auditorium, taking up four present parking spaces.

The equipment cost will be $8,613, with an annual network fee of $1,120.

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, "The city applied and was accepted to take part in the APS Take Charge pilot program. 

"The primary reason for participating is two fold. First, we have Lucid building their electric car plant in Casa Grande and we need to lead by example. Second, APS is covering so much of the costs. 

"This pilot provides EV chargers to non-residential customers. APS will install the electrical infrastructure necessary to power two charging stations with four ports. Four adjoining parking spaces will be designated for EV parking/charging.

"The chargers will be owned and maintained by APS for five years. After five years, the city can chose to take ownership or have them removed at no cost."

The staff report points out that the city had its choice of two EV charger models.

"As a part of the program you could chose the Clipper Creek Charger for free; however. it does not have the ability to charge customers and is meant for just employees because you distribute keys to use it. The city has elected to upgrade to the ChargePoint which gives us the ability to charge (a fee) and be placed in the database of charging stations.

A separate sheet from APS says it will take three to five months for installation and commissioning of the chargers.

CG holiday trash collection schedules

(Posted Oct. 1, 2021)

Sanitation Holiday Schedule

Thanksgiving Holiday 2021
(City Holidays observed Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26)
Thursday's trash will be collected one day early on Wednesday, Nov. 24, and Friday's trash will be collected as normal on Friday, Nov. 26.

Christmas Holiday 2021
(City Holiday observed Friday, Dec. 24)
Trash collection will take place one day early. Thursday's trash will be collected on Wednesday, Dec. 22, and Friday's trash will be collected on Thursday, Dec. 23.

Elks signs designated as local historic landmarks

(Posted Sept. 21, 2021)

Video of the discussion is HERE  Click on Item L.1

The background report is HERE

Designating the signs on the CG Elks Lodge as local historic landmarks was approved unanimously Monday night by the City Council.

Parking lot work at smaller city parks approved

(Posted Sept. 8, 2021)

Casa Grande will move ahead with maintenance and repair of parking lots at several city parks.

The work, part of the city's capital improvements program, was given final approval during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

As the staff report points out, "Until last year, routine maintenance of the asphalt parking lots in the city's parks had been deferred. The largest parks at Dave White, Paul Mason, and Villago were targeted for maintenance and repairs in FY20-21. 

"This project will focus on small parking lots within the park's inventory including the Little League complex, Burruss Park, Rancho Grande Park, Len Colla, and the older sections of Carr McNatt Park.

"The repairs and maintenance of these various parking lots will include removal and replacing the worst spots, crack sealing, and seal coating the entire parking lot.

"All of the parking areas were properly constructed with a solid foundation, but regular care and attention will allow these assets to have a longer life."

The contract with Cactus Asphalt, which has done work for the city in the past, is for a maximum of $124,750.

Council approval was unanimous.

City continuing to keep down smells from sewers

(Posted Sept. 8, 2021)

The staff report is HERE

The work details are HERE

Sewers and smells. They go hand in hand (or with another part of the body).

That's why the Casa Grande Public Works Department each year cleans about 25 percent of the vast collection system of about  1.5 million linear feet of pipelines and 4,500 sewer manholes.

Still, there are some complaints from residents about smells.

During Tuesday night's City Council meeting approval was given to a $350,000 contract with Ancon Marine to continue the cleaning, as it has for several years, keeping down the hydrogen sulfide levels.

Although the contract is for up to $350,000, the staff report indicates that "when assigned to any given project, the appropriate scope and fee for the project will be negotiated based on the pricing sheet (HERE) provided by the contractor."

Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council that, "The main purpose of cleaning our sewers is to remove the debris that gets stuck in there and starts to break down, which leads to H2S (hydrogen sulfide) gas which is very detrimental to our sewer system, especially the manholes when it starts to eat away at the concrete and some of our older sewer collection system."

Councilman Dick Powell said, "I know in past years there's been a lot of complaints about sewer smell and those type of things, but I don't recall anything now that's happening like that. Are we pretty well keeping it in the pipeline, hopefully?"

Louis replied, "I wish I could say yes, but, no. We continue to get odor complaints and high H2S in areas.

"I will tell you honestly we have much better control over it and we've made some changes in how we attack the different sections of sewer. Some areas we do twice a year, some we do every four or five years. So, we've really learned where those trouble spots are and we're able to hit those more often. And I think that has decreased some of the complaints. There are still a number of complaints and it's an issue that's not going away with our system."

No indication was given as to which sewer areas are next to be cleaned.

The council's initial approval of the contract was unanimous. Final approval is expected during the next session.

CG's combined property tax rate set at $1.0148

(Posted Aug. 10, 2021)

Scroll down page for earlier story with background and charts

A further breakdown is HERE


Video of the Aug. 2 discussion is HERE  Click on Item K-2

Final action was taken Monday night by the City Council night to set Casa Grande's combined primary and secondary property tax rates at $1.5850 per hundred dollars of assessed valuation.

That breaks down as $1.0148 for the primary and 57.02 cents as the secondary, which is used to pay back bonds approved by citizens for public projects such as the Community Recreation Center and renovation of Len Colla Center.

The secondary tax has become a point of contention for Councilman Dick Powell, who has pointed out during previous discussions that it is more than doubled from the 27.52 during the past two fiscal year budgets.

That is true, but it was not something the city wanted to do.

Revenue from the secondary tax has fluctuated as more properties have been added to the tax rolls. Any money coming in over what was needed for the bond payments was kept in a fund to eventually pay off the bonds early.

The state of Arizona stepped in, though, saying that such a fund was not legal and ordering the city to repay the money. 

For the past two fiscal years, that excess money payback was used to lower the secondary rate to 27.52 cents. That money is now gone, meaning the secondary has gone back to generally previous levels.

There have been complaints about the increase to 57.02 cents from 27.52, but the new rate is still lower than in some previous years.

As an example, during fiscal years 2018 and 2019, before the reduction, the secondary rate was 60.10 cents. For fiscal years '15, '16 and '17 it was 63.08 cents. 

Before the council gave initial approval to the rates during the July 19 meeting, Councilman Matt Herman said, "I think so people understand it, this is a property tax rate that was voted on when we floated our bonds years ago, and in fact is lower than what we proposed in the bond language.

"This is us paying our bills. 

"Nobody wants to raise taxes. We talked about this two years ago when we had to lower the taxes due to state statutes. We were trying to save up our money in order to pay our bonds off earlier to save money in the long run. However, the state didn't think that was such a good idea so they made us reduce how much we kept in reserve to pay our bonds, so we cut that down over the last two years. 

"And now we're at the point which we talked about two years ago that we're going to have to go back up," Herman continued. "It's a little bit less than what we were charging before. 

"Again, nobody wants to raise taxes, it's not a good time to do it, but we have this obligation that we as a city and as taxpayers have voted on. And it's to pay for our Rec Center, our Public Safety building, our courthouse, and Len Colla Center. It's an obligation that we have to pay our bills. If we don't do this then we're going to have to cut other areas of the budget, police or fire or roads or something else, in order to pay these bonds. 

"Again, we discussed it two years ago that we were going to have to go back to this rate that we have, and hopefully it will go down in the future because our assessed valuation is going up. I just wanted to explain that to people that we're not just raising the tax rate for no reason. But we did have to drop it two years ago by a substantial amount so we're putting it back to where it was."

Finance Director Angele Ozoemelam told the council that "not only did we have to drop the rate over the last two fiscal years, for the fiscal '22 budget there was a budget transfer from the development impact fees to the secondary bond obligation debt service fees to accommodate the shortfall that existed in fiscal year '21. So that kind of diminished the burden that would have been placed on our residents had we not done a transfer. So I just wanted to make that clear, that we have gone to great lengths trying to make sure we did not burden the residents as much as we could have had we not chosen to make that transfer."

Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons echoed Herman's comments.

"We were here two years ago and we were concerned when we had to lower that rate but we were forced to," she said. "There was concern that we were going to raise the property tax because we were lowering the secondary tax. We  didn't want the top level on the property tax because we wanted to make sure that we were considerate of the taxpayers. So at that time we were very conscious on what we did and we chose to go with the lower tax rate." 

Councilman Powell, who has from the start opposed the secondary increase and voted against the entire budget because of it, said, "This is looking like a really good year for construction and we should be bringing in funding. The inflation is something that's already taking place and a lot of people that have to pay considerable much more for their property tax. That's the house you live in, that's your property and we have to pay the city for things that were done and not paid for. And I don't think that's fair to the people that live in our city and I don't think it's fair to the people that have to pay these taxes. And it's a big jump. As I say, it's a jump from last year ($1,108,799 raised, to a projected $2,297,380 for this year.) That's a huge amount of money and the citizens shouldn't have to pay that. The city should work on it and be responsible for it."

Fitzgibbons responded, "Councilman Powell, I fully understand your concern but even though it looks like it's doubling it's really lower than where it was before 2019. I do feel we knew this was coming and unfortunately people don't remember and it's just something we have to do at this point, and I think we've been pretty conservative and conscious and very considerate to the taxpayers"

Mayor Craig McFarland said, "I echo Lisa's and Matt's comments and I think that we also need to remember that the property tax for the city of Casa Grande is very small in terms of the total budget for the city. We are about 7 percent of the total property tax bill that's collected from all residents. Again, the share the city gets out of property tax that all of our citizens pay is a small amount. As I said, it's 7 percent of your tax bill.  I just want to remind everybody of that. It's a small amount, most of it is schools and the state and county, actually. So that's where most of your property tax goes."

When the vote for initial approval came, Powell was the only one voting no.

"I think you know my position," he said. "I'm voting no. I don't think the community should have to make up for the city not having enough money to pay their bills. And we're asking them to put a million-plus extra dollars into the coffers this year. I don't think that's fair. I think that's a bad decision. So I vote no."

Elks Lodge signs historic designation sought
(A favorable recommendation has been sent to the City Council)

Updated city pay scales approved
The pay amounts           The staff report

To check city job openings, go HERE
Click on Job Openings

The city's secondary tax rate going back to normal

(Posted Aug. 4, 2021)

UPDATE: The City Council gave initial approval to the increase during the Aug. 2 meeting, with Councilman Dick Powell again opposed. The final vote is expected on Aug. 9.

(Posted July 13, 2021)

Video of the session is HERE  Click on item C & D

Details of property tax rates HERE

Scroll down page for earlier complete budget package

Over the past two years, Casa Grande residents have seen a temporary decrease in their secondary property tax that is used to repay bond issues, such as for building the Community Recreation Center.

This year, that rate is rising, going from 27.52 cents per hundred dollars of assessed valuation to 57.02 cents, but even with the increase the secondary rate is lower than during the past years before the temporary reductions.

The increase is a situation caused by the Arizona Legislature passing a law that cities cannot hold excess money in tax funds, leading to reductions until that excess was used.

It's also a situation where City Councilman Dick Powell is unhappy enough over the increase that during last Tuesday's council meeting he voted against approving the entire $300,681,482 city budget for this fiscal year.

Although the city primary and secondary tax rates are in the yearly budget they are voted on during a separate City Council meeting, this year on Aug. 2.

During the Tuesday council meeting City Manager Larry Rains gave a brief explanation of the situation.

He pointed out that during fiscal years 2016 the secondary rate was 63 cents per hundred, the same as 2017. During FY2018 and 2019 it was 60 cents.

"In fiscal year 20," Rains continued, "the rate was reduced to 27 cents per hundred of assessed valuation. But the reason it was reduced in that particular fiscal year had to do with a new statutory requirement that was actually passed in House Bill 2011 and it amended the state statute 35458" prohibiting holding excess funds.

"So essentially what has transpired leading up to fiscal year 20 is that we had built a fund balance in that secondary, in that debt service fund, and ultimately the Legislature passed this new statute and it required the city to use that fund balance, which essentially drove down the amount that we needed to levy at that point in time.

"And staff presented that to the mayor and council, essentially advising you that our biggest concern with this new statute is that it is going to give a perception to the residents, they're going to see the drop and then they're going to see the increase when we've spent that fund balance.

"And so this is what we're dealing with today."

Mayor Craig McFarland said the simple explanation is that in fiscal years 20 and 21 the city used the excess funds balance to lower the secondary rate.

Rains responded that, "In fiscal year 20 that did transpire. In fiscal year 21 quite frankly, as mayor and council might recall, we had interim staff that were handling our budget process for us and there was an oversight that took place in fiscal year 21. In fiscal year 21, because we did not levy sufficient revenue stream through the secondary property tax we essentially utilized revenue stream from other sources to make up the difference."

Councilman Dick Powell did not accept the explanations.

"The property tax levy amount, property tax is tough for a lot of people," he said.

"I know we are actually incurring inflation right now. When you go to the grocery store and the gas station and all those kind of things. It's costing you more money to live in America, to live in Casa Grande.

"And what I can't accept is basically in FY 2021 the secondary property tax was $1,108,799. That doubled in 2022 to $2,297,380 and I don't see why we have to have our taxpayers and our residents have to pay that rate of secondary tax.

"That's my problem. I can't support it or vote for it."

Rains replied, "Certainly, again, I understand Mr. Powell's point. I guess the point I want to make is that if the council elects not to levy the secondary property tax at 57.02 cents, which is being proposed, we will need to come up with another revenue to essentially pay the debt service for those general obligation bonds.

"And I say that very delicately, I guess, because I will tell you that when you're dealing with GO bonds there are certain covenants and restrictions that take place as these bond holders are actually buying our bonds. And while I don't have a lot of explanation for options to consider to replace this particular funding, what I would caution the council is that if you're concerned about the secondary rate, then we should be having discussions about a blended rate, perhaps lowering our primary property tax and dealing with the loss of revenue to the General Fund in order to ensure that we're levying the proper amount for the secondary tax.

"If by chance as you're considering the final budget, if there is an ultimate concern on the part of council and you would like us to develop options to essentially reduce our aggregate tax, then we'll be more than glad to do that as we're moving into the tax consideration in August."

Other views

The opinions of some other council members were opposite of Powell.

Councilman Bob Huddleston said, "I think actually over the last six or seven years we're shown a remarkable consistency in creating the actual tax, except for those fiscal years 20 and 21, which was an anomaly, but it was a dip," he said, "and I think if we see the schedule that includes a total of six years I think that will show a clear picture that we've been very consistent."

Councilman Matt Herman asked, "The secondary tax rate could affect our bonding capacity going forward if we don't meet our obligations that we already have that people voted on, correct? We're looking at selling some bonds in the very near future as part of our plan."

Rains replied, "The decision on the tax levy would not directly impact the capacity. There are state statutes that drive our capacity numbers of what we can actually bond for. But it could potentially affect our rating from a revenue perspective.

"You do make a very good point, at least in my opinion, that these are bonds that were approved by our voters and when we actually went out to our voters we actually had proposed rates that were greater than what we collected. We've really tried to stagger our projects, as the mayor and council knows, in order to main the secondary tax rate at a rate less than what we had proposed in 2006 when we went to our voters and asked them to consider those capital projects."

Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons said she could understand Powell's view "because I've never been a supporter of raising the tax rates. But I do ... remember when we raised the primary tax at that time we were very conservative. When staff came made recommendations to raise, I think there were three different levels, we were really conservative on increasing that primary tax. We went from lower recommendation because of our concern with how it's going to look on the primary tax rate even though the secondary tax rate was so low. So I understand your concern. I feel comfortable with this even though it looks like we're raising it somewhat, but it's really kind of going back to where we were a couple of years before."

Mayor McFarland said "I would concur with Lisa's comments and Mr. Huddleston's. Now we're back to that normal rate. So I don't have any concerns with it, myself."

Before the vote on the entire budget was called, Powell said, "I just don't feel like we can put this on the backs of our constituents."

He voted no, the others yes.

Fire Department facility work contractor sought

(Posted July 8, 2021)

Casa Grande is seeking a contractor for a new block wall fence, security gate, and overhead cover for the Fire Department parking area at the Public Safety Facility on Val Vista Boulevard. 

The request for qualifications says, "The intent is to construct this as an addition to the existing Public Safety Facility, using materials and construction consistent and compatible with the existing building. This addition will be located at the east side of the building. 

"The anticipated expenses for this project is $400,000 for all costs, including design fees, construction costs and project management services."

The complete request is found HERE

Four appointments to Casa Grande boards

(Posted July 8, 2021)

Four appointments to city boards were made by the City Council during Tuesday night's meeting.

They are:

• Eddie Mankel and Roddy "Rusty" Riggs to the Board of Appeals.

• Andrea Varela to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

• Dennis Jenkins reappointed to the Industrial Development Authority.

The Board of Appeals provides an avenue for persons to appeal requirements, decisions or determinations made by administrative officials pertaining to the building or fire codes. Members serve four-year terms.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board advises the City Council and assists the community services director with the development of a continuing plan for the city’s parks system and recreation programs. Members serve three-year terms.

The Industrial Development Authority promotes industry and develops trade by inducing manufacturing, industrial and commercial enterprises to locate and remain in Casa Grande. Members serve six-year terms.

Casa Grande's $281,496,256 budget approved
Staff report    Budget breakdown    List of city improvement projects

Sunland Gin/Jimmie Kerr traffic signal a step closer

(Posted July 7, 2021)

Video of the presentation is HERE

(Begins at 7 minutes, 35 seconds)

The agreement on who does what and who pays for what is HERE

The May cost breakdown is HERE

City Council approval Tuesday night of an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad puts a traffic signal at Sunland Gin Road and Jimmie Kerr Boulevard a step closer.

However, it may be June of next year before the work on the nearly $1 million project begins, Deputy Public Works Director Terry McKeon told the council. 

That's because the city still needs to find a contractor and it will take time for the railroad to acquire the needed  equipment.

"It's been a long time coming," McKeon said. "This project has been in the work for quite a few years. The majority of that time is coordinating and working with the railroad so it interacts with the signal. We can't just throw up a signal.

"We are in the process of finalizing the solicitation for a construction manager at risk (one who guarantees the price will not be higher than the estimate), we anticipate that going out probably early August. Once that solicitation results in a selection and then we develop a guaranteed maximum price for the work, that will then come back to council and then hopefully move forward with construction.

"There's a lot of lead time in the equipment, particularly on the railroad side, so we would imagine that probably -- I hate to say it -- we might be looking at June of next year to commence construction because of the lead time on the equipment."

The staff report accompanying the agenda item shows the total cost of the signals work will be $989,630, broken down as $482,630 to be paid back to the railroad after it completes its work on coordinating its signals and $507,000 as the cost of the city's work. An estimate sheet from May (link above) shows a total of $946,055.

Once the work is completed, the city's signal will coordinate with the railroad's signals.

The report notes that the Sunland Gin-Jimmie Kerr intersection "is experiencing safety issues and congestion."

During the presentation, Councilman Dick Powell said, "Sunland Gin is a dangerous place so it is good that they are going to do that."

Approval of the agreement with Union Pacific was unanimous.

Mayor's Reading Club expanding, needs volunteers

(Posted July 5, 2021)

Casa Grande posted this announcement today:

This fall, Mayor Craig McFarland will expand the Mayor’s Reading Club, now entering its 24th year. 

In addition to recruiting volunteers who read to students in area schools, the program will also offer an incentive program to encourage K-third grade students to read outside of school.

Volunteers will visit the classrooms, sharing their love of reading with students. In addition, the Library Bookmobile will visit schools throughout the school year to deliver free books to students who have met their reading goal. 

Volunteers are scheduled to spend up to one hour each month reading in two to four classrooms on a specific day.

Volunteers can apply to the program online or they can pick up an application in person at either library branch. 

Applicants must also complete a Casa Grande Elementary School District volunteer application prior to classroom reading. 

For more information, contact the Casa Grande Public Library at 520-421-8710 or email

Fire inspection, maintenance contract approved

(Posted June 26, 2021)

The full request for proposals is HERE

The City Council has approved a $30,000 contract with a private company, A P Fire Protection, for annual inspection and maintenance of fire suppression systems in some Casa Grande facilities.

It is different from normal Fire Department inspections of buildings because it also includes maintenance and repair.

The staff report accompanying the agenda item says, "This project will provide funds to perform the required annual inspection services, as well as provide any required maintenance and repairs as may be needed to ensure the systems are in proper working order and fully operational. 

"Due to the age of these systems, it is anticipated that various repairs will be required, thus this request includes funding in an amount to provide for these repair services."

These city properties are involved:

• Communications Facility.

• Len Colla Recreation Facility. 

• Community Recreation Center.

• Fire Station 502.

• Fire Station 504. 

• Public Safety Facility.

• North Operations Facility.

• Municipal Court.

• Finance/HR Facility.

• City Hall Main 

• Main Public Library.

• Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center.

The year-long contract begins July 1.

$5.675 million for CG public works projects

(Posted June 24, 2021)

The complete staff report about the rescue money is HERE

Video of the discussion is HERE.  Click on item K-3.

Casa Grande will use $5.675 million of its $11.4 million federal American Rescue Plan Act allocation for public works upgrades.

The approval by the City Council during Monday night's meeting is broken down as:

• $2,125,000 for the Florence Boulevard relief sewer main.

• $1,800,000 for expansion of the sewage treatment plant.

• $1,750,000 for building a reclaimed wastewater recharge facility.

The staff report accompanying the agenda item points out that the proposed spending falls under the rescue plan section about necessary investment in water, sewer or broadband.

The report says the city believes other parts of the rescue plan money could be used later for:

• Supporting cultural events by non-profits and small businesses.

• Similar activities as funded in the CG Cares program (business and residential assistance programs).

• Developing a program to assist residents with past due balances on sewer and trash billings.

• Developing a program to assist non-profits that lease city facilities and have been unable to pay rents due to the lack of programming on their part.

Water to Copper Mountain Ranch moves ahead

(Posted June 22, 2021)

Video of the session is HERE.  (Starts at 15 minutes)

The PowerPoint presentation is HERE

The staff report is HERE

The memorandum of understanding is HERE

Casa Grande and Arizona Water Co. are moving ahead with plans to bring water to the Copper Mountain Ranch area on the city's northwest side.

Information from Monday night's joint session is above.

Downtown CG street maintenance scheduled

(Posted June 18, 2021)

Casa Grande posted this announcement today:

Asphalt seal coating on some downtown streets begins Saturday, June 26, Casa Grande has announced. They are:

-- Drylake, First and Hermosilla streets on Saturday, June 26, from 6 a.m.-5 p.m.

-- Maricopa Street and Florence Street on Sunday, June 27, from 6 a..m-5 p.m.

The roads will be closed during work hours.

Map and further details HERE

Golf course irrigation project contractor sought

(Posted June 11, 2021)

The scope of work is HERE

Casa Grande is seeking a qualified contractor for a major project at Dave White Golf Course.

The request for qualifications says, "The city is seeking to modernize the golf course irrigation system, incorporate new equipment where necessary, maximize efficient water usage and provide quality turf for golfers."

Responses are due by July 13.

Sports World irrigation pump repairs approved

(Posted June 11, 2021)

Emergency repairs to the pump station at Grande Sports World was approved unanimously Monday night by the Casa Grande City Council.

The cost is $31,580.22.

The staff report accompanying the agenda item points out that the city owns the two-pump station, used to irrigate the soccer fields at the sports complex.

"Staff from Grande Sports World operates these pumps and pays for routine inspections and maintenance," the report says."The city is responsible for capital repairs on these same pumps.

"Recently, it was discovered that one of the pumps need to be pulled and repaired in order to provide irrigation water during the hot summer season. The fields can be watered with one pump for a short period, but both pumps are necessary to provide irrigation water during the upcoming 100+ summer temperatures. 

"The contractor chosen for this emergency repair is the same contractor that provides the routine inspections and annual maintenance, Clearwater Engineering. Clearwater has provided successful pump service to the city on past pump repairs."

4 appointments to Casa Grande board, commission

(Posted June 10, 2021)

Four appointments to a Casa Grande board and a commission were made Monday night by the City Council.

They are:

• Celeste Garza to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission reviews development plans for the city, provides regulatory guidelines and makes recommendations and decisions regarding planning issues.

• Mindi McWherter-Dawkins, Darlene Moberly and Michael Cruz to the Board of Adjustment.

The board hears and decides appeals where it is alleged that an error exists in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of the zoning ordinance.

Initial approval for extending BlackBox lease

(Posted June 10, 2021)

Initial approval was given Monday night by the Casa Grande City Council to extending the lease with BlackBox Foundation for the former Woman's Club at 407 N. Sacaton St.

Final approval is expected during the next council session.

BlackBox, which has leased the building since 2018, asked for a three-year extension.

The new lease calls for a gradually increasing rate:

• March 1, 2021, to Feb. 28, 2022, at $7,005 ($583.75 per month). 

• March 1, 2022, to Feb. 28, 2023, at $7,410 ($617.50 per month).  

• March 1, 2023, to Feb. 28, 2024, at $7,842 ($653.50 per month).

13 streetlights in Cottonwood Gardens approved

(Posted June 10, 2021)

The lights locations map is HERE

Installation of 13 streetlights in Cottonwood Gardens was given final approval Monday night by the Casa Grande City Council.

The staff report says the neighborhood, north of Cottonwood Lane west of Thornton Road, "currently has no streetlighting; this project will provide improved visibility and safety for the residents of the neighborhood by installing these lights."

The $102,088 project, with a contingency of $2,912, is being paid for from community development block grant money.

Initial approval for Florence/Trekell intersection work

(Posted June 8, 2021)

The complete details of all work are in THIS REPORT (scroll down item by item)

Video of the presentation is HERE, click on Item I-2

Initial approval for improvements at the Florence Boulevard/Trekell Road intersection was given Monday night by the Casa City Council.

Final approval of the maximum $655,693 contract is expected during the next council session.

"This is what I consider phase two of this project," Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council. "As you'll recall, during our pavement preservation project we restriped that section.

"This project will expand the intersection width on the north side of Trekell and Florence and provide quite a few improvements: two left-turn lanes (southbound to eastbound), a westbound right turn lane and construction of and installation of new traffic signals, curb, gutters, sidewalks and driveway improvements at that location."

A start date has not been given.

Councilman Bob Huddleston said, "I know at one time that was the busiest intersection in our community? Does it still rank that?"

Louis replied, "This corridor still is one of our most challenging. Cottonwood and Trekell is the number one."

The initial approval was unanimous.

Community facilities districts tentative tax rates set
         Villago   Post Ranch   Mission Royale   Copper Mountain 

16 appointments to Casa Grande Youth Commission

Florence/Peart traffic signal improvement set

(Posted May 18, 2021)

Casa Grande posted this press release today:


Process Improvement Set to Begin June 1

Video explains new process

Casa Grande, AZ – A growing number of vehicle crashes and traffic congestion have occurred near the eastbound left-turning lane at Florence Boulevard and Peart Road. Upon studying the occurrences, the (City) of Casa Grande is set to adjust the traffic signal timing and cycling to help reduce accidents and increase flow at the intersection. The process starts June 1.

According to Mayor Craig McFarland, the revised pattern may take some getting used to for motorists but is expected to help.

“The turn signal will act a lot differently from what drivers normally expect,” explained McFarland. “We ask drivers to PAY CLOSER ATTENTION and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS when approaching the intersection.”

Currently when waiting to turn left, the green arrow appears after thru-traffic has progressed through the intersection. During afternoon peak hours, this leads to vehicle congestion in the eastbound left-turning lane and a spill-over of cars into the thru-traffic lane. Once adjusted, the eastbound arrow will appear green at the beginning of the signal cycle as thru-traffic flows simultaneously to the east. Once the arrow disappears, east and westbound traffic will flow parallel to each other on green until both lights turn red. Lastly, both east and westbound arrows will appear green to complete the cycle and traffic flow.

“The traffic pattern is anticipated to provide smoother and more efficient movements through the intersection,” said McFarland.

Referred to as lead-lag, according to City Traffic Engineer Duane Eitel, the new signal timing will occur only during afternoon peak traffic.

"We will give it a month to see if this improves the operation of the intersection," said Eitel. "If it doesn’t work, we will make changes.

Eventually, the left turning lane will be lengthened to further aid the process. Until then, motorists are encouraged to Stay Alert and Watch Signals Closely. Drivers may also watch a video simulation of the new traffic-signal improvement to learn. For questions, please contact Duane Eitel at or (520)280-4060.

Anti-opioid Narcan available for free

(Posted Nov. 24, 2020)

A Narcan video by Sheriff Mark Lamb is HERE

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office made this announcement today:

Narcan now available for Pinal County residents

Since April of this year, nearly 600 people in Pinal County have had a suspected opioid overdose.

Many of these overdoses have been caused by illegal counterfeit pills containing fentanyl. So far in 2020, The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has been able to take 300,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills off the streets. That is up dramatically from just 700 pills in 2019. 

All PCSO deputies already carry Narcan. Now, in an effort to save even more lives, PCSO is also making Narcan available for the residents of Pinal County at no cost.

(CG News note: A description of Narcan: 

Opioid Overdose Reversal with Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio)`

Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.)

“We have seen too many people lose their lives due to drug overdose this year,” said Sheriff Mark Lamb. "If you or a loved one uses opioids recreationally or for pain management, Narcan is now available to you, no questions asked."  

Thanks to our partnership with the Arizona Counterdrug Task Force, this life saving drug can now be picked up at the following three PCSO substations during normal business hours:


971 N. Jason Lopez Cir.

Casa Grande*:

820 East Cottonwood Lane Bldg D

Phone: 866.7419

San Tan Valley*:

40815 N. Ironwood Dr. #101

Phone: 866.5240 or 866.5280

(*Please note our STV and CG lobbies are closed to the public due to COVID. We are asking people to call ahead to let our receptionist know they will be stopping by.)

Information on Stanfield homicide suspect sought

(Posted Sept. 4, 2020)

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office announced this today:

PCSO is requesting public assistance identifying a suspect in connection with a recent homicide. 

On 9/1/2020, at 12:10 a.m., PCSO was called to a residence on North Baylor Way in Stanfield regarding shots fired.

Upon arrival, deputies found 16-year-old Isaac Rosales suffering from a gunshot wound following a confrontation with an unknown suspect in front of the home. 

The victim was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased. 

PCSO detectives continue to investigate and are following up on leads from witnesses. At this time there have been no arrests made. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the PCSO Silent Witness Line at 520-866-8105.

895 calls for CG Fire Department during August

(Posted Sept. 4, 2020)

The Fire Department announced this today:

The Casa Grande Fire Department answered 895 calls during August. 

• 593 were medical-related emergencies 

• 16 were fire-related incidents 

• 5 were hazmat related incidents 

• 281 were other types of emergencies

Dave Kean named Casa Grande fire chief

Dave Kean, left

(Posted July 13, 2020)

The city posted this announcement today:

Casa Grande City Manager Larry Rains announced today that Assistant Fire Chief Dave Kean has been selected as the new chief of the Casa Grande Fire Department. 

Chief Kean was chosen after a nationwide search that included 65 applicants for the position. He will be replacing Scott R. Miller, who recently retired. 

He has served as the department's operations chief for the last four years. He previously served for 32 years with the Long Beach Fire Department in Southern California and retired as the assistant fire chief of operations.  

Chief Kean holds an associate in science degree in fire science from Long Beach City College, a bachelor's degree in education, and a master's degree in public administration from California State University at Long Beach. He will graduate from the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program in August and received his chief fire officer designation through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International earlier this year. Chief Kean has attended the Senior Executives in State and Local Government certificate program at Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass., in 2014. 

Chief Kean also serves as the president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Pinal County and has served as a firefighter, fire inspector, arson/explosives investigator, fire captain, operations battalion chief and assistant fire chief.

Chief Kean is a military combat veteran, having served in the United States Army Reserve for 27 years. He held the rank of chief warrant officer 4 and was a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot. He fought in the war on terrorism with three deployments to Southwest Asia. He was awarded two air medals for meritorious achievement while serving in aerial flight in a combat zone and the meritorious service medal for meritorious service to the United States. 

Chief Kean comes from a firefighting family. He is married to his wife of 20 years, Koreen Kean, who works at the Orange County Fire Authority in the EMS Division and has daughters, Jenna and Ashlee, who are both full-time students and avid softball players. Chief Kean's brother, Jeff Work, is a fire engineer with the Colorado Springs Fire Department. 

844 Casa Grande Fire Department calls during June

(Posted July 7, 2020)

The CG Fire Department announced this today:

The Casa Grande Fire Department answered 844 calls during June 2020. 

They were:

•  536 medical-related emergencies.

• 34 fire-related incidents.

• 6 hazmat related incidents.

• 268 other types of emergencies.

CG personnel classification, salary plan being updated

(Posted June 16, 2020)

Initial approval was given Monday night to an ordinance updating Casa Grande's personnel position classification plan and listing position salaries. Final approval is expected during the next City Council meeting. 

The new plan is HERE

(Posted June 16, 2020)

Each year when Pinal County sends out property tax bills, Casa Grande city government gets phone calls complaining that the amount is far, far more than the city budget had announced.

In fact, the Casa Grande part of the total county tax bill will be only 9 percent, as this breakdown shows.

Casa Grande property tax projected to drop slightly

(Posted June 12, 2020)

If Casa Grande's fiscal year 2021 budget is passed as proposed, the city primary property tax will fall slightly to $10598 per hundred dollars of assessed valuation, down from $1.0606. 

The Monday night budget agenda item, including charts and reports, is at

842 CG Fire Department calls during May

(Posted June 9, 2020)

The Fire Department posted this today:

The Casa Grande Fire Department answered 842 calls in the month of May 2020. 

Of those, 538 were medical-related emergencies, 30 were fire-related incidents, 13 were hazmat-related incidents and 261 were other types of emergencies.

Ed Hooper Park playground equipment approved

(Posted April 13, 2020)

The play area plan and sketches are HERE

The staff report is HERE

Casa Grande is spending almost $79,000 to replacing aging playground equipment at Ed Hooper Park.

The purchase, approved during the last City Council meeting, is part of a long-range city program for improving parks.

According to the council staff report, "This playground is located in the northern portion of Ed Hooper Park between the ball fields and the dog park. 

"The design of the equipment includes two large play systems, one for ages 2-5 and one for ages 5-12, with shade features built into each structure. In addition, plans include a large swing structure that features a swing that can be used by both adults and children at the same time. This contract also includes the engineering and installation of these pieces.

"In order to provide the best fiscal responsibility, parks staff will complete several portions of this project in-house, including preparation of the site, any necessary demolition, and final placement of resilient engineered wood fiber surfacing."

The staff report continues that, "This project is a continuation of the Neighborhood Parks Improvement Program that has taken place in the last two fiscal years through the capital improvement program.  

"Staff periodically reviews the age and performance of equipment in all parks to make recommendations. The equipment in this park (Hooper) is over 20 years old and has reached the end of its useful life. In order to maintain safe equipment for the children who patronize this area, parks staff has identified this playground for updated equipment.

"The Neighborhood Parks Improvement Program has been very successful in updating equipment in parks throughout Casa Grande. This program has allowed staff to focus on smaller projects and make a variety of improvements. A new basketball court at Western Manor Park, new playgrounds at Mosely Park and Gilbert Park and improved safety surfacing in all playgrounds are some of the projects that have taken place over the last two years."

Design agreement for Thornton widening due April 20

(Posted April 12, 2020)

The scope of work is HERE

The text of the agreement is HERE

The City Council staff report is HERE

Final agreement between Casa Grande and Pinal County on designing the widening of Thornton Road from Gila Bend Highway to Interstate 8 is expected when the City Council meets April 20.

According to the intergovernmental agreement, Casa Grande will pay 56 percent of the estimated design cost of $1,587,500, including a $200,000 contingency, with Pinal County responsible for the remainder.

Pinal County has already approved the agreement.

Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council during its last meeting when initial approval was given that the widening will be for two lanes in each direction, with turn lanes at intersections and major entrances to industries.

Councilman Dick Powell said he had looked at the area and wondered if additional overpass work at I-8 would be needed, as was done when Florence Boulevard was widened over I-10.

Louis responded that, "The design did take that into consideration and we will be designing final improvements that are needed to make that interchange function appropriately with the addition of those lanes. All of those improvements may not happen at this time but they will be programmed and happen when they're needed."

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, "The Thornton Road corridor is located in a portion of Casa Grande and Pinal County that has been identified for large scale growth specifically geared toward the industrial sector. The government agencies have fostered relationships and prepared agreements to attract businesses to the region. 

"Based on projections, the existing roadway will not be able to accommodate this growth. The capacity of the roadway will need to increase further to accommodate the traffic volumes over the next few years."

CG Fire Department answered 841 calls during March

(Posted April 3, 2020)

The Fire Department posted this today:

The Casa Grande Fire Department answered 841 calls during March. 

Of those, 510 were medical-related emergencies, 38 were fire-related incidents, three were HazMat related incidents and 290 were other types of emergencies. 

Initial approvals for new Holiday Inn complex

(Posted April 3, 2020)

The general staff report is HERE

The P&Z staff report is HERE

Major steps were taken Thursday night toward building a large Holiday Inn hotel and convention center on the west side of Interstate 10 south of the U-Haul center.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended amending the present planned area development, splitting it into two lots. That recommendation must be confirmed by the Casa Grande City Council.

The commission also approved the major site plan for the 116-room, 217.708 square feet hotel and convention center.

Details of the project are in the staff reports listed above.

Major I-10 work begins north of Casa Grande

(Posted March 23, 2020)

The Arizona Department of Transportation issued this announcement:

Travel Alert: Project to improve Interstate 10 in Pinal County underway

Allow extra time, use caution around construction crews during overnight hours

Drivers who use Interstate 10 in Pinal County between Casa Grande and the Chandler area should expect overnight restrictions and possible delays through 2020.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has started an improvement project on I-10 between State Route 587 (Casa Blanca Road) and SR 387 near Casa Grande. 

The project area is on the Gila River Indian Community, about 16 miles south of Chandler in Pinal County.

The scope of work for this $15 million project includes removing and replacing pavement in both directions; installing new guardrail; signing and striping; seeding; and other related work. After the existing pavement is milled out, the roadway will be resurfaced with rubberized asphalt.

Anyone who lives, works or drives in the project area should take note of the information below and plan accordingly:

• Work is occurring during overnight hours from 8 p.m.-5 a.m., Sundays through Thursdays.

• Motorists should anticipate delays up to 20 minutes.

• I-10 will be narrowed to one lane in each direction in two-mile increments while work is underway.

• The active work zone is adjacent to the I-10 travel lanes. ADOT urges all drivers to slow down and use extreme caution around construction personnel and equipment.

• No work is currently scheduled to occur on weekends or holidays.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. 

For more information, please call the ADOT Bilingual Project Information Line at 855-712-8530 or go to and select Projects from the drop-down menu. 

For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

You can't flush just anything down the toilet

(Posted March 18, 2020)

The city posted this announcement:

When you use your toilet, shower, washing machine or dishwasher, wastewater leaves your home through pipes that connect to the city’s sewer system.

Many materials frequently flushed down the drain can harm the pipes that connect to city sewers, as well as the city’s sewer system and the Water Reclamation Facility. 

Every property owner connected to the city sewer system can be a potential contributor to sewer problems, and a potential victim of those problems.

Putting the wrong things down the drain can damage the sewer system, cause sewer backups and sewer releases to the environment. Anyone who uses the city sewer system should be responsible for what they flush or pour down drains.

To avoid disruptions to your service we are asking that you PLEASE be considerate of what you discharge to the sewer system.

Basically, the only things you should ever flush down a toilet are human waste (urine and feces) and toilet paper. Even though some products such as wipes and baby diapers claim to be flushable, they aren’t. 

Here is a list of some things to keep out of the toilet:

• flushable wipes

• facial tissues

• paper towels

• napkins

• cleaning wipes of any kind

• disposable diapers

• tampons and tampon applicators

• sanitary napkins

• cotton balls and swabs

• mini or maxi pads

• condoms

• bandages and bandage wrappings

Get that #%%@&# out of here

(Posted March 3, 2020)

The staff report is HERE

Get that #%@& out of here.

That’s what the Pubic Works Department will be doing with final approval of a contract to haul biosolids from the city’s sewage treatment plant to the landfill.

(Biosolids, in brief, result from the treatment of domestic sewage in a wastewater treatment facility; i.e., treated sewage sludge.)

Initial approval for a contract for up to $193,000 was given Monday night by the City Council, with final approval expected during the next meeting.

“Under this contract,” Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council, “the biosolids are hauled to the landfill where the landfill staff then blends those with the topsoil material that we import and then use that as a cover material, which is required by our permit to operate.

“We’re estimating that we’re trending about 17,500 tons of solids annually at a cost of about $193,000. We do have $216,000 currently in this year’s budget for this item.”

Councilman Bob Huddleston asked if there is a reason city staff does not do the hauling.

“I assume there’s equipment and labor time and all that,” he said. “Is it simply more cost effective to contract out?”

Louis responded that, “We evaluate that during each budget cycle. We look at the cost of our contracts versus performing those services in-house.

“Right now, we don’t currently have the equipment and we haven’t been in a position for the purchase of that equipment.

“So, we’re currently evaluating that in this current budget year. We may make that request, but it would require additional manpower as well as the additional equipment.”

The initial approval was unanimous.

Initial approval for upgrades to three city streets

(Posted March 3, 2020)

The city staff report is HERE

More construction details, with map, are HERE

The Ellison-Mills proposal with cost breakdown is HERE

Initial approval was given Monday night for a $2-million contract to upgrade parts of two Casa Grande streets south of the railroad tracks and one to the north.

Final approval is expected during the next City Council meeting.

According to the work documents from Ellison-Mills Contracting, the areas involved are:

• Third Street heading west from Florence Street for approximately 100 feet will be designed and constructed to eliminate the current surface cracking, ensure ADA compliancy at all intersections and alleviate the current drainage issue at the Third Street and alley intersection. New light poles, striping and signage will be reviewed during design, and incorporated as required and/or deemed necessary.

• Main Avenue from Florence Street to Sacaton Street will be designed and constructed to eliminate the current surface cracking, ensure ADA compliancy at all intersections and alleviate the current drainage issues along the length of the Maine Avenue segment. New light poles, striping and signage will be reviewed during design, and incorporated as required and/or deemed necessary. Sheet flow to the south side of Maine Avenue, draining to west toward Sacaton will be reviewed during design and incorporated into construction if necessary.

• Florence Street from Main Avenue to approximately 225 feet south of Third Avenue, will be designed and constructed to eliminate the current surface cracking, ensure ADA compliancy at all intersections. New light poles, striping and signage will be reviewed during design, and incorporated as required and/or deemed necessary. It is our current plan to perform a full reconstruction of the intersections, while utilizing a mill and overlay of the segments on Florence Street between the intersections.

Throughout the entire project, the existing sidewalks and curb and gutters that are not part of any full reconstruction portions, will be evaluated separately and replaced as deemed necessary.

The preliminary schedule to complete the $1,999,040 improvement project is anticipated for Nov. 30, 2020.

Addressing the council during Monday night’s meeting, Public Works Director Kevin Louis said “These are all part of the old concrete roadway system that was constructed a long time ago.

“During this design phase we’re going to be determining what we’re going to do for the pavement replacement. We have already determined that a similar grind like we did in phase two where we cut the original concrete and ground the top two inches off and resurfaced that, it’s not possible with the condition of the concrete on these streets, based on our core samples, so we will be removing and replacing that pavement section.”

Louis said the design and preconstruction work will take about two and a half months “then once construction starts with this procurement process it’s going to be a very fast-paced project. We anticipate six months for completion.”

Initial approval of the contract was unanimous.

Continued vandalism at Carr McNatt Park

(Posted March 3, 2020)

Casa Grande needs help in combatting vandalism at newly-renovated Carr McNatt Park, Mayor Craig McFarland said Monday night.

Addressing the City Council at the end of the regular meeting, McFarland said the vandalism is a continuing problem.

“There’s people throwing rocks on the basketball court,” he continued, “which if you have a wheelchair you can’t use because it’s covered with pebbles.

“In the new tennis courts they ripped off the seats in there. They’re bolted to the concrete floor and they busted those loose. They broke a post in the tennis court for the net.

“Vandalism to the ladies’ bathroom over there to the point where they couldn’t even get the door open.

“I mean, who does this kind of stuff?”

In asking the public to be alert, McFarland said, “I really want to implore people to keep your eyes open and notice if somebody’s doing something wrong. If they’re doing something wrong take a picture of it and report it.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s a new park, we spent a lot money — a lot of your money, a lot of our citizens’ money ($6.8 million) — on putting this park into really nice shape for the citizens only to have a handful of people, maybe not even be a handful, maybe two or three, to abuse it like they abuse it. And I think it’s just wrong.

“If anybody sees anything, please call us and let us know. If you see something, say something.”

The Police Department nonemergency phone number is 421-8700.

899 Casa Grande fire calls during January

(Posted Feb. 7, 2020)

The Casa Grande Fire Department posted this today:

CGFD's bravest answered 899 calls the month of January 2020. 

Of those, 584 were medical-related emergencies, 43 were fire-related incidents, 10 were HazMat related incidents and 262 were other types of emergencies.

Weeds -- they're everywhere around Casa Grande

(Posted Feb. 4, 2020)

They’re everywhere around Casa Grande, almost rivaling all of those messages from Publishers Clearing House touting how to get rich for life.

They’re weeds.

Councilman Matt Herman touched on the problem during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“One thing I noticed around town, everybody — as well as the city — needs to take care of their weeds,” he said. “It’s been a great rainy year.

“The city’s trying to keep up with it — and we have a lot of property — and I hope everybody does, too.

“We know it’s an issue and we’re going at it.”

Free customizable searches for job seekers, employers

(Posted Jan. 31, 2020)

The following was taken from the city of Casa Grande’s economic development email newsletter. To be put on the email list, go to


ARIZONA@WORK Pinal County matches employers in search of a qualified workforce with jobseekers who possess the right skills. This match is facilitated through a combination of conversations and assessments that, first and foremost, allow our professional staff to understand an employer’s needs and a jobseeker’s employment goal. 

Our career planners then works with the jobseeker to customize a robust menu of services to bridge any identified gaps and develop a pathway to prosperous employment in high-growth, high-skilled, high-earning potential occupations.

For information about customizable, no-cost services for employers click HERE

For information about customizable, no-cost services for jobseekers, click HERE.

Click HERE to browse 300+ local opportunities listed on Arizona Job Connection.

Click below to view current local employment opportunities: 

Abbott Nutrition

Lucid Motors 

Frito Lay  

Banner Health


(search for Casa Grande)

Casa Grande sewer plant equipment to be calibrated

(Posted Jan. 25, 2020)

The staff report is HERE

We can flush our toilets all we want to but if the equipment at Casa Grande’s sewage treatment plant isn’t working properly we’re all up that proverbial creek.

To head that off and stay within state regulations, the Public Works Department is asking for a three-year contract with Hach Co. for ongoing calibration of instruments at the plant.

Initial approval was given during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, with final approved expected during the next session.

The cost would be $28,919 for the first year, $29,786 the second and $30,681 the third. The contract could be cancelled at the end of each year if the city is not satisfied.

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, “The city owns and operates a 12 million-gallon-per-day water reclamation facility. Instrumentation for analysis of various constituents and processes is critical to the proper functioning and operation of this facility, thus proper calibration and maintenance of these devices is vital.

“There are a total of approximately 38 instruments which will be serviced and maintained under this agreement. The agreement provides for the parts and labor as required to service, calibrate, maintain, and provide certified documentation for each of these devices periodically as required for each device throughout the year.”

The work cannot be done by sewage plant personnel.

As Public Works Director Kevin Louis explained to the council, “In order for the plant equipment to maintain warranties and be calibrated properly to meet our regulatory compliance, the work has to be done by a factory-trained technician certified by the manufacturer.”

In this case, the work will be done by representatives for Hach, headquartered in Colorado.

Casa Grande upgrading sewer cleaning capabilities

(Posted Jan. 25, 2020)

The staff report is HERE

The brochure describing the machine and its capabilities is HERE

Casa Grande has begun the process of buying a new sewer cleaning truck, replacing two that were put into service in 2006 and 2007 and now showing wear and causing increased maintenance problems.

Initial approval for buying the machine — at a cost of $397,983.54 — was given during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, with final approval expected during the next session.

According to the staff report given to the council, “This machine is a combination hydro-jetter and vacuum mounted on a heavy-duty truck chassis.

“This machine is utilized to respond to customer work order requests including odor complaints as well as sewer plug complaints, which are considered an emergency, making it a critical piece of equipment that must be dependable and fully functional at all times, as any unavailability or delay in response could lead to potential health and safety issues/violations.”

As Public Works Director Kevin Louis explained to the council, the equipment is important because the city doesn’t want to have to answer complaints from Arizona state environmental officials if a sewer problem is not handled promptly and properly.

“Obviously if we’re not able to unclog a plug and we have a true overflow,” he said, “that’s a reportable offense and we need to report that to the state. We want to do that as little as possible.”

The machine can be used for work on the city’s smaller sewer lines and at the sewer plant.

“The small lines, up to about 24 inches, we’re able to clean those lines with our equipment,” Louis explained.

“Now, a lot of that work we do subcontract out because it is very labor intensive and when we did the plant expansion we decided to bring all of our labor resources inside the plant and only respond to emergencies. We’ve never staffed up to the point where we can do a lot of that cleaning in-house .

“However, we do do sewer cleaning to address sewer odors and things like that. Those types of complaints we’re able to go respond to those things, where we’re not able to handle to handle that with our sewer cleaning contracts on a regular basis. So we use it for a combination of things.”

Turning to the two present cleaning trucks, Louis said, “We are replacing those two with one truck at this time, not replacing the second truck. We’re actually going to keep one truck as a backup so that we can always meet that regulatory compliance to have that emergency equipment.”

Councilwoman Donna McBride asked if the other truck will be sold.

Louis responded, “We’re currently looking at options for selling that. 

“Typically, those things do not bring us a big response at auction, so we are working some conversations with some companies that are interested in purchasing that equipment but we have not completed that process. 

“So at this time, we’re not sure how we’re going to dispose of it.”

Applications open for 2020 city Leadership Academy

(Posted Jan. 14, 2020)

The city posted this today:

Casa Grande is accepting applications for the 2020 Leadership Academy, an eight-week program designed to educate citizens on how their local government works. 

Each week, participants learn about a facet of the city through presentations and tours hosted by department directors, elected officials and local community stakeholders. 

Since 2003, this free training opportunity has provided residents with a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep Casa Grande running. 

City Mayor Craig McFarland graduated from the Leadership Academy in 2016 and explained there is a lot more than meets the eye to city business.

"We want our community to be informed and involved," he said. "Whether you are a new or seasoned resident or want to learn how your money is spent as a taxpayer, the academy will provide the opportunity for you to learn these things and more."

The Leadership Academy is held every year and is available to 25 Casa Grande residents, generally 18 years and older. Sessions will run every Thursday, starting Feb. 13 from 6-8:30 p.m. and end with a graduation on April 2. 

The city partners with Arizona Public Service (APS) to sponsor this program. 

To participate, residents must complete an application by Jan. 31 at

A tentative class schedule is HERE

Space is limited so please apply today. Those accepted into the program will be notified by email before sessions start.

To learn more about serving on city boards and commissions and review current openings, please visit

Road closings for Jan. 18-19 downtown Street Fair
Staff report       Site map

Streets closed Feb. 15 for O'Odham Tash parade
Staff report      Route map

Council chambers audio/visual system being upgraded

(Posted Jan. 6, 2020)

The staff report is HERE

The presentation is HERE

Scroll down in document for work and price lists HERE

A constant complaint to City Hall has been that the sound system in the City Council chambers is so bad that many in the audience or watching on channel 11 can’t hear what is being said and the television screen is so small that many can’t read what is on it.

It has been even worse on the city’s channel 11, which has video of the council meetings. Sometimes, the sound has been almost non existent, with no way to boost the volume.

The problems are being corrected through a $131,000 audio/visual contract given initial approval by the council Monday night. Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.

Details are in the links above.

Peart/Kortsen problem being worked on, mayor says

(Posted Dec. 17, 2019)

As the Scottish poet Bobby Burns once put it, “The best laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft agley.”

Work on installing traffic signals at the intersection of Peart and Kortsen roads has also gone astray, but Craig McFarland says it’s something that’s being worked on.

“I’m getting several comments and emails about that interchange,” he said during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“We had full intentions of that interchange being completed with the project at the Community Center, but due to some unforeseen circumstances and some challenges with the property on the corner we’ve not been able to complete that project. 

“So it’s kind of getting frustrating, I know, for a lot of people who use that interchange, especially if you’re hearing eastbound on Kortsen trying to get to Peart with all the poles and different things that are in the ground there, it’s really starting to look kind of ratty.”

The city is working on the situation, McFarland continued.

“You really don’t seen anything happening, but there is work being done behind the scenes and I just want to assure everybody that we will come to some resolution on that corner and we will get it fixed.

“So please be patient. Some of this stuff doesn’t happen overnight, so I want to make sure I assure everybody that we are working on it.”

Recreation Center memberships 'off the chart'

(Posted Dec. 17, 2019)

Membership information is HERE

Memberships at Casa Grande’s Community Recreation Center have far exceeded initial hopes, Mayor Craig McFarland said during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“Off the chart,” he said.

“Membership contracts so far are 1,502 and the total memberships is 3,356. I think our goal was 750.”

“They’ve been averaging 15,000 visits per month. That’s crazy — crazy good.”

McFarland thanked the city’s recreation officials and center employees.

“It’s been a phenomenal, phenomenal experience,” he said.

Casa Grande's population estimated at 56,962
     Chart is HERE, including neighboring communities and state

884 CG Fire Department calls during November

(Posted Dec. 6, 2019)

The Casa Grande Fire Department answered 884 calls during November according to an announcement posted today.

The breakdown is:

• 551 medical related emergencies.

• 15 fire related incidents.

• 318 other types of emergencies.

Light Parade events, street closings announced

(Posted Nov. 26, 2019)

The parade route map is HERE

More than 80 floats are expected to participate in the 25th Annual Electric Light Parade, the city announced today.

The parade and the downtown Winter Wonderland events will be Dec. 7.

“Festivities for the day begin at 2 p.m. in downtown Casa Grande with an ice skating rink, pictures with Santa, kids craft area, live music, and game booths, all of which are free,” the announcement said. “Food will be available for purchase at the event and during the parade.

“The Electric Light Parade will start at 5:45 p.m. at the intersection of Florence Boulevard and Colorado Street and will continue on to Florence Street and conclude at Second Street.

“The public is encouraged to vote online at for their favorite float. The winning float will receive the People's Choice Award and be recognized at an upcoming City Council meeting. 

“The annual tree lighting ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. in front of City Hall.” 

Streets closed

To accommodate the parade staging and route, the following streets will be closed:

• Florence Street between Florence Boulevard and Second Street, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.               

• Florence Boulevard between Colorado Street and Peart Road, 2:30-10 p.m.

• Pottebaum Avenue between Ninth Street and Florence Boulevard, 2:30-10 p.m.

• Colorado Street between Ninth Street and Florence Boulevard, 2:30-10 p.m.

• Florence Boulevard from Peart Road to Florence Street (parade route), 4-10 p.m.

Home Builder Round Table went well, city says

(Posted Nov. 26, 2019)

The round table report is HERE

A Home Builder Round Table held by Casa Grande went well, Economic Development Director Richard Wilkie said.

“This was a very productive event that allowed us, the city, to educate the homebuilders in attendance about all of the growth and enhancements that have been made in the community that has helped improve the quality of life (i.e., improvements to our parks, new recreation center, new companies, etc.) of our residents,” Wilkie said in an email to CG News.  

“We also were able to share with them information about some of the current projects that we are working on, which included the progress made by Lucid, and the significant increase in single-family unit permits.  

“Equally as important to our having the chance to update them on the realities of what Casa Grande is today vs. the perception of many people in the metros still have that Casa Grande doesn’t have a lot to offer, is old, not much to do, just a stopping point between Phoenix and Tucson or Tucson and San Diego, etc. 

“This old, outdated perception was shared by some of the attendees as being some of the reasons why some in their industry had been hesitant to invest or invest more in the city.  

“However, after our presentation and update we were able to address some of the concerns/challenges that were shared and dismiss some of the misinformation (i.e., farther than Maricopa, employment and pay, etc.) that was presented, and overall there was a much more positive attitude of the city, the direction that it was going in, and its potential.”

Fire Department donating pumper truck to CAVIT

(Posted Nov. 26, 2019)

The donation list is HERE

The donation agreement is HERE

The Casa Grande Fire Department is donating a 22-year-old pumper truck and equipment to Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology for CAVIT’s fire science program.

Final approval of passing along the 1997 Pierce Saber pumper was given during the last City Council meeting.

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, “By donating this pumper, the city will assist in providing a vital piece of equipment for the training and development of future firefighters in Pinal County who are attending the fire science program at CAVIT. 

“(the pumper) is beyond its useful life span. The salvage value on this 1997 pumper and the old equipment are listed as $0 on the city's asset list.”

Lighted street name signs proposal approved

(Posted Nov. 21, 2019)

The contract requirements are HERE

The bid cost breakdown is HERE

The City Council has approved moving forward with a multiyear project of adding lighted street name signs at Casa Grande’s signalized intersections and rehabilitating those now showing wear.

Approval of a $76,692 contract, renewable for two more years, was given during Monday night’s session.

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, “The intent of this project is to furnish and maintain an illuminated street-name sign at each of the city’s signalized intersections. 

“Although each signal does not currently have illuminated signs or signs which meet the city’s standards, the intent is that over the course of several years such signs will be installed at each intersection. 

“The on-call contract also allows staff to complete other miscellaneous traffic signal and street light services to assist in the annual maintenance of the city's city-wide system of signals and street lights.”

The staff report adds that the scope of work by the contractor, Fluoresco Services of Phoenix, includes:

• Fabricate and install new LED illuminated street name signs.

• Fabricate and replace existing sign faces.

• Maintenance and repair of illuminated street name signs mounted on signal poles.

• Provide additional labor, materials and equipment for ancillary services on demand.

Councilman Bob Huddleston noted that some of the present illuminated signs have become hard to read.

Public Works Director Kevin Louis responded that, “A lot of the ones that have started to deteriorate are some of our older ones, and of course we want to prioritize those and get those replaced so that they’re legible.

“We’ve gone to a new standard … that are much more resistant to the UV rays of our sun. The old ones did not have as much protection built in through the manufacturer.”

Louis said the new signs will be mounted from the pole rather than hanging down from the middle of an intersection.

The hang-down design, he added, caused “issues with our wind storms and large vehicles hitting them.”

Council approval was unanimous, with Councilwoman Mary Kortsen on excused absence.

Street closings Dec. 7 for Electric Light Parade

(Posted Nov. 19, 2019)

Parts of several downtown streets will be closed Dec. 7 for Casa Grande’s annual Electric Light Parade and Winter Wonderland.

Approval was given during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

The closures are:

• Florence Street between Florence Boulevard and Second Street, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

• Florence Boulevard between Colorado Street and Peart Road for staging area, 3-10 p.m.

• Colorado and Ninth streets for band staging area, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

• Florence Boulevard from Colorado to Florence streets for parade route, 4-10 p.m..

In addition, portions of Fourth, Third, Second and Florence street be closed for the Winter Wonderland.

“As in years past,” the staff report for the council says, “Winter Wonderland activities will include a Visit with Santa program that features a picture with Santa and assorted activity stations. 

“Also planned in this area is an ice skating rink for children and entertainment, craft area, and food booths.”

Miller named Arizona Fire Chief of the Year

(Posted Nov. 18, 2019)

Casa Grande Fire Chief Scott Miller holds the axe representing the Arizona Fire Chief of the Year Award, presented to him during Monday night’s City Council meeting by Arizona Fire Chiefs Association president Scott Freitas, left. 

(Casa Grande city photo)

CG joins Pinal Third Grade Reading Initiative

                      Staff report         Presentation

878 CG Fire Department calls during October

(Posted Nov. 1, 2019)

The Fire Department issued this today:

The Casa Grande Fire Department answered 878 calls for the month of October 2019. 

Of those, 533 were medical related emergencies, 11 were fire related incidents, and 334 were other types of emergencies.

Clint Wilhite named communications supervisor

(Posted Oct. 10, 2019)

The Casa Grande 911 Dispatchers group posted this announcement:

We are proud to announce the promotion of one of our senior dispatchers, Clint Wilhite, to communications supervisor.

Clint began his career with the city as a dispatcher in October 2007. Since then, he has taken on a variety of new roles outside line-level dispatching. He is a certified communications training officer, learned to provide technical support to the radio system, and has taken on countless other projects which led to his unofficial role of peer leader in the communications center.

We are excited to see how his natural leadership qualities and innovative ideas impact our division under his new title. Congratulations, Clint.

Some streets closed Nov. 2 for Veterans Day Parade

(Posted Oct. 9, 2019)

The parade route map is HERE

Parts of several Casa Grande streets will be closed Nov. 2 for the annual Veterans Day Parade.

Approval was given by the City Council during Monday night’s meeting.

Affected are portions of Florence Boulevard, Florence Street, Brown Avenue, Marshall Street, Sixth, Fifth, Fourth, Third, and Second streets.

The closings will be from 7 a.m. until noon.

“The parade committee plans to notify the general public by printing news releases within the Casa Grande Dispatch, along with a route map,” the staff report says. “Signage along Florence Boulevard will alert motorists several days ahead of the parade.”

Peart/McCartney traffic signals project approved

(Posted Oct. 8, 2019)

The project plans are HERE

Approval was given Monday night for traffic signals at McCartney and Peart roads, now controlled by 4-way stop signs.

The present situation is also a traffic backup nightmare at times.

“McCartney Road is one of the city's major accesses to I-10 and Peart Road is a major north-south arterial,” Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council prior to Monday night’s approval of the up to $350,000 project. “There is major congestion both during the morning traffic peak and in the afternoon, as well as all the school traffic. This installation of the signal will improve the traffic flow.”

According to the staff report, the signals will use cameras and radios, “which will allow both real-time monitoring of the intersection and the ability to adjust the signal timing from the Public Works headquarters.”

$50,000 approved for traffic safety, DUI operations

(Posted Oct. 8, 2019)


The Police Department is getting two grants of $25,000 each to help with both general traffic safety enforcement and for DUI operations.

Permission to accept the grants from the Governor’s Office of Traffic Safety was given Monday night by the City Council.

According to the staff report, the first grant will be used for “overtime expenses to deploy officers during times of the year known for the need for the enhanced patrols, such as the start of the school year in school zones, enforcement of seat belt and child seat use, roadway areas known to be problematic and to increase patrols in areas identified through citizen complaints/concerns.

The second grant is for DUI operations “overtime expenses to deploy officers certified in SFST’s (standardized field sobriety tests), HGN (horizontal gaze nystagmus), ARIDE (advanced roadside impaired driving enforcement) and phlebotomy during special enforcement periods.”

Both grant staff reports add that “there are no matching funds required for this grant, however, the grant only pays for 40 percent of employee related expenses. The department is required to cover the remaining cost from its budget. 

“Due to the difference in hourly wages, we cannot provide an exact number on what the expense will be this year but the Police Department does not expect the expense to exceed $3,500 and can cover this amount through its operating budget.”

Street closings Nov. 3 for Casa Grande Mosaic Festival

(Posted Oct. 7, 2019)

The closings and events map is HERE

Some downtown streets will be closed Nov. 3 for the Casa Grande Mosaic Festival.

Approval was given Monday night by the City Council.

The streets are:

• Sacaton Street from Florence Boulevard to Third Street.

• Third Street between Sacaton and Maricopa streets.

The closings will be from about 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

“These streets form a small triangle around the Woman's Club area where the event will be held,” the staff report says.

“The Mosaic Festival planning committee is working with the special events committee of the city to feature this art-centric event in the Art District of downtown Casa Grande.”

Casa Grande primary election set for Aug. 4, 2020
Orientation for office hopefuls on Oct. 24

(Posted Oct. 7, 2019)

The formal call for election notice is HERE

The updated link for election information is HERE

Casa Grande’s primary municipal election will be Aug. 4, 2020, the City Council decided Monday night.

Mayor Craig McFarland is eligible for re-election as are councilwomen Mary Kortsen, Lisa Navarro-Fitzgibbons and Donna McBride.

Any candidate receiving a majority of votes cast during the primary is automatically elected. If a majority is not reached, the candidate must run again in a general election, which would be on Nov. 3, 2020.

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, “The majority of all the votes cast as required by the city's charter and ordinance will be determined by utilizing the below methodology:

“1. Calculating the total number of actual votes cast for all candidates for an office whose names were lawfully on the ballot for that office.

“2. Dividing the sum reached above by the number of seats to be filled for that office.

“3. Dividing the number reached pursuant to paragraph 2 by two and rounding that

number to the highest whole number.

“If not all seats are filled at the primary election, then the primary election is deemed a nominating election and those candidates receiving the highest number of votes proceed to the general election. 

“The number of candidates to proceed to the general election is two times the number of available seats. For example, if two council seats are not filled in the primary election, up to four candidates would proceed to the General Election.”

Candidate packets should be filed at the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m., April 6.

Candidates for mayor must be 25 years of age or older, and candidates for council member must be at least 21.

The deadline to register to vote in the primary is July 6, 2020. The deadline to register for a general election is Oct. 5.

Meeting for council, mayor hopefuls

The City Clerk’s Office will present a public overview of the election process on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall, 510 E. Florence Boulevard.

According to the staff report, “All persons interested in running for mayor or council are invited to attend the session. 

“Nomination packets will be available for distribution at this session and will be available electronically on the city website. 

“Candidates seeking nomination for mayor and council will be required to obtain at least 313 and not more than 625 signatures of qualified registered voters of the city. 

“A new election process requires candidates to file a statement of interest form with the City Clerk’s Office prior to collecting signatures on nomination petitions.”

Lucid Motors CG plant major site plan approved

(Posted Oct. 4, 2019)

Concept views of the plant are HERE

The brief meeting staff report is HERE

The Planning and Zoning complete staff report with details is HERE

The site plan is HERE

The major site plan for a $700 million Lucid Motors electric vehicle manufacturing plant near the southwest corner of Thornton and Peters roads was approved unanimously Thursday night by the Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission.

It was previously announced that up to 2,000 workers could be employed when the plant is completely built out, with about 750 in the initial operation, expected by late 2020.

The first phase of the project, the staff report says, will be two buildings totaling 820,000 square feet and structures of utilities, waste management, security and storage. The report adds that future phases will expand all uses and add a customer experience center.

812 CG Fire Department calls during September

(Posted Oct. 4, 2019)

The Casa Grande Fire Department posted these statistics:

• September calls total — 812

The breakdown is:

• Medical-related emergencies — 529

• Fire-related incidents — 18

• Other types of emergencies — 265

$62,554 for replacement roll-out trash containers

(Posted Sept. 22, 2019)

The staff report is HERE

Those trash containers you roll out to the curb twice a week for collection don’t last forever.

Thus, Casa Grande’s Public Works Department is requesting to spend up to $62,554, including tax and shipping, for 1,286 replacements.

The City Council gave initial approval during last Monday’s meeting, with final approval expected during the next session.

Councilman Bob Huddleston asked if these are the alley pickup models.

“No,” replied Public Works Director Kevin Louis. “These are the 96-gallon containers, the ones that are individually rolled out. The ones in the alley are 300-gallon containers.”

Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons asked if homeowner damage was part of the reason for the replacements.

Louis replied that, “There’s a line that someone could cross to say that’s negligence and we’re going to charge you for a new container, but typically we find that the containers have either cracked or broken through wear and tear. But if we see that somebody has abused it we will try to get the cost of container.”

The containers have a 10-year warranty, Louis said, “and last year I believe we had 250 replaced by the company, the ones that had fallen apart prematurely through no fault of anybody.

“We encourage anyone who finds any issues with these to let us know so we can work through some of those problems.”

According to the staff report, the containers are rotationally molded and are projected to have a longer life and lower life-cycle cost than the injection molded containers. 

A definition of rotationally molded is when “resins are added into a mold that’s heated and rotated slowly, both vertically and horizontally. The simultaneous heating and rotation distributes and fuses the resin on the inner surfaces of the mold. The result is a product that contains seamless parts with a uniform wall thickness with more material in corners to absorb shocks and stresses where they occur most.”

Injection molded is when the material is injected into a mold, allowed to cool and then removed. There is no rotation.

The containers being purchased are also stackable, requiring less storage space.

According to the staff report, the Sanitation Division currently has approximately 500 of the 96-gallon containers in inventory. 

“Last fiscal year approximately 757 containers were delivered for replacement and new service,” the report continues. “The requested containers will be purchased in two phases. The first-phase containers plus existing inventory represents a projected 18-month supply of containers based on previous replacement rate. The second truckload of containers will be ordered after the total inventory is depleted to 500 containers. 

“This phased approach to purchasing the containers minimizes the need for container storage space, provides for improved inventory management and allows the department to postpone ordering containers until needed, based on container depletion rate.”

The vote on initial approval was unanimous, with Councilwoman May Kortsen on excused absence.

Thornton/Peters traffic signals a step closer

(Posted Sept. 19, 2019)

The application is HERE

The agreement is HERE

A diagram of the work is HERE

Initial approval has been given by the City Council for accepting a $500,000 state grant to be used as part of a traffic signal at Peters and Thornton roads.

The money is from the state’s Economic Strength Projects Grants Program (ESP) and is targeted for upgrades to handle traffic expected from the pending Lucid Motors manufacturing complex in the area.

As the staff report points out, “The ESP is a competitive grant program designed to enhance the economic strength and competitiveness of Arizona Rural communities by providing funding for highway projects that foster job growth. 

“The ESP grant will reimburse specified costs of qualifying projects that are projected to significantly increase the number of new jobs, or make a significant contribution to the regional economy, particularly in base industries.”

The city has estimated the total cost of the project at $1,130,880, leaving $630,880 to be paid from city funds already set aside.

Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council during Monday night’s meeting that “it seems to be a lot of money for a single signal because it will not be roadway improvements at that intersection, but if you take a close look at that intersection you’ll see the conflicts with the utilities in that area. We’ve got to acquire some right of way, move some irrigation ditches, possibly move some large utility poles in that area, and that’s what’s driving the cost of the project up.”

It’s the second time for receiving a state grant.

“Originally we had received this grant once before,” Louis said, “but it was tied to the Selma Highway improvements and then the Lucid site plan changed to try to focus on Peters. That’s why we gave that grant back when they reapplied.

“I’d like to thank Duane Eitel, our traffic engineer, for really pushing this through the state getting it to this point.”

Councilman Matt Herman said, “This one is not taking the place of any other street lights in town because it’s for economic development projects. I know some people in the city were concerned that we were taking this for another street light project or something, but it’s a specific grant from the state for economic development. 

“I can say that it’s needed at that intersection, especially with Walmart and Tractor Supply and now Lucid.”

Monday night’s initial action was only to accept the $500,000 grant. 

Final approval is expected during the Oct. 7 meeting.

Public Works staff will come back to the council later for authorization to complete the design and construction details.

Council approval was unanimous, with Councilwoman Mary Kortsen on excused absence.

3 bids for signals at McCartney/Peart intersection

(Posted Sept. 18, 2019)

The full request is HERE

The bids list is HERE

Casa Grande has received three bids for work to install traffic signals at the McCartney Road/Peart Road intersection.

The low bid was $299,580 from a Phoenix company, with the highest bid being $439,500 from a company in Mesa. No bids were from Casa Grande.

According to the bid request packet, the City Council is tentatively scheduled to give initial approval of the project on Oct. 7, with bid award on Nov. 21. The construction completion estimate is June 2020.

According to the request for bids, the work includes:

• Traffic signal poles.

• Mast arms.

• Span wire system.

• Electric conduit, conductors, and junction boxes.

• Traffic signal heads/assemblies.

• Video detection system.

• Emergency vehicle preemption (turning light green for approaching emergency vehicle).

• Pedestrian push buttons and signs.

• Signal controller and cabinet.

• Power supply (primary and battery backup).

• Illuminated street signs.

• Miscellaneous items of work to make a fully functional and operational traffic signal.

Developers sought for two vacant city properties

(Posted Sept. 17, 2019)

The full city request is HERE

Casa Grande is looking for persons or companies interested in acquiring and developing two city-owned properties.

The first is 3.92 acres at Florence Boulevard and Picacho Street, just west of City Hall, now housing the old high school auditorium, the former Boys and Girls Clubs building and vacant property to the north of there.

The second is at 412 N. Florence St., formerly housing The Ale House. That building is owned by the Industrial Development Authority, a part of the city government.

According to the city’s request for interest, Casa Grande “will accept expressions of interest for mixed use developments, including retail, entertainment, conference center, and business uses consistent with current zoning or a rezoning consistent with the General Plan. 

“One of the city’s goals is to continue and accelerate the revitalization of its historic downtown and therefore stimulate further investment. 

“The city’s vision for the projects would include entertainment/restaurant/pub on the Florence Street location and retail, conference center or business uses for the 3.92 acre parcels. 

“However, if a developer or development team submits a plan with a scale that makes sense and is deemed to benefit the downtown area, it will be welcomed. This is being allowed in an effort to not stifle creative thought on the behalf of the developer or development team.”

The deadline for statements of interest is Oct. 7.

Casa Grande Roller Derby lease with city delayed

(Posted Sept. 16, 2019)

The proposed lease terms are HERE

A request by Casa Grande Roller Derby to lease the former Boys & Girls Clubs building at 798 N. Picacho St., west of City Hall, was delayed Monday night by the City Council.

City Manager Larry Rains gave no reason when he asked that the agenda item be removed.

The Boys & Girls Clubs operation has moved to the new community center.

According to the proposed lease, the derby will pay $300 a month in rent and be responsible for all maintenance, repairs and utilities.

“As landlord, the city would have no responsibility to maintain the building and if the building is no longer suitable for use by the tenant the lease would terminate,” the staff report says.

Carr McNatt Park reopening Sept. 26, 4-6 p.m.

(Posted Sept. 7, 2019)

The city issued this announcement:

The City of Casa Grande Community Services Department is thrilled to announce the grand opening of the newly renovated Carr McNatt Park located at 1115 N. Brown Ave. 

The community is invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 4-6 p.m.

Following the ribbon cutting, the community is invited to celebrate the park opening with music, free hotdogs and shaved ice while enjoying the many new park features, including the city’s first ever splash pad! Recreation staff will be hosting a free throw contest on the new basketball court and a walking challenge at the new track.

Renovations to the park include four tennis courts, a new basketball court, additional ramadas, five full size multipurpose sports fields, a large shaded play structure, a walking trail and expanded parking. 

Measles exposure locations announced by county

(Posted Aug. 27, 2019)

Pinal County issued this announcement today:

FLORENCE –Pinal County’s Public Health Services District is alerting residents to a possible measles exposure that occurred during the dates of August 9-11 at multiple locations in the Phoenix area. An international traveler tested positive for measles after participating at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships at the Arizona Grand Hotel.

The potential exposures occurred at:

• Aug. 9

- Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, 8000 Arizona Grand Parkway, Phoenix (whole day)

• Aug. 10

- Arizona Grand Resort & Spa (whole day)

- Arizona Mills Mall, 5000 South Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

- Gila River Arena for World Hip Hop International Dance Championships, 9400 West Maryland Ave., Glendale, 6:30 p.m.

• Aug. 11

- Arizona Grand Resort & Spa (until 7 p.m.)

- Arizona Mills Mall, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

- Harkins Theatre at Arizona Mills Mall 12:45-6 p.m.

  Includes “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” showings at 1:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

- Sky Harbor Airport, Terminal 2, 5-10 p.m.

Pinal County Public Health Services District would like to speak with all residents who were at either of these locations during this time frame. If you or someone you know, were at these locations during this time please call our Pinal County Citizen Contact Center at 520-509-3555, toll free 1-888-431-1311, or 311 if you are in Pinal County.

“We are taking precautions in case any Pinal County residents may have been exposed at- either of these locations,” stated PCPHSD Director Dr. Shauna McIsaac. “Measles is highly contagious and because of this it is important that anyone who was at either of these locations, be monitored for 21 days following their exposure.” 

Symptoms of measles begin 7-21 days after exposure and may include:

• Fever (101 F or higher), red, watery eyes, cough and runny nose

• The fever is followed by a rash that is red, raised, and blotchy. The rash typically begins on the face at the hairline and moves down the body. The rash may last for five to six days and may turn brownish.

Anyone who was at one of these locations during these times and develops symptoms is encouraged to call their provider and let them know they may have been exposed to measles.

Measles is a highly-contagious, vaccine-preventable viral illness spread through coughing and sneezing. You are considered protected from measles if you:

• Have received two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine

• Have previously had measles.

• Have laboratory evidence of immunity

Please visit for more information.

“We are paying close attention to this possible measles exposure in Maricopa County and will update the public with information as it is made available. We strongly encourage anyone who has not received two MMR vaccines to be vaccinated now,” Dr. McIsaac said.

Check with your provider or visit PCPHSD clinics for vaccinations. PCPHSD clinics will provide MMR vaccine at no cost to you.


For a list of our clinic locations, please visit:

$1,136,432 for new equipment at Public Works

(Posted Aug. 22, 2019)

It takes big bucks to run a city, especially when it comes to Public Works.

During two meetings this month, the Casa Grande City Council has authorized spending $1,136,432 for the Public Works Department to replace aging or broken equipment used in picking up trash and at the city landfill and wastewater operation.

Chassis replacements

The largest expenditure is $401,068 to replace the chassis on two vehicles for the Sanitation Division.

The cost breakdown is $184,893 for each unit and $15,641 for sales tax and fees.

“This is part of our replacement program,” Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council.

“The units being replaced are a 2010 Autocar, which suffered a massive failure of its engine and has been out of service since last year. 

“Actually, we just sold that vehicle at auction for $40,000, which is the highest we’ve gotten for a vehicle like that in awhile, so that was good news.

“And then a 2009 Autocar with over 175,000 miles on it.”

Answering a question from Councilman Bob Huddleston on what the units are used for, Louis said, “for our roll-outs, the large dumpsters that we leave on construction sites around town. A lot of our businesses use the larger compaction devices and then we use those to haul it out to the landfill.”

Several years ago, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill saying that cities had to open their trash collection operations to private haulers,

Councilman Matt Herman asked, “Are we still getting a lot of competition with these, still staying in there pretty good?”

Louis responded, “We’ve stayed very competitive, business has not slowed down with our roll-off activity, we’ve not seen any decline.

“As a matter of fact, with the one truck being down we’ve actually had to flex our schedules with some of our employees so we could use that one truck longer periods of time, not just during our normal working hours. It’s been a challenge.”

Herman then said, “I didn’t know if you needed the two, but it sounds like it.”

As an aside, Louis said, “I did want to note that on these two trucks, both of their upfits are going to be done here in Casa Grande at a new business, Spartan Truck Center, located on VIP Boulevard.  For these trucks, that equates to about $41,450 worth of work here locally, so good news.”

Landfill grader

The second biggest cost is $340,902 to replace a landfill Caterpillar all-wheel-drive grader.

The sales price was $338,826, with $77,500 then taken off for trade-in for the 2003 grader now being used. Sales taxes (yes, the city also pays those) of $21,168 and a seven-year/5,800-hour service agreement at $58,408 brought the total to the $340,902.

According to the staff report, “The existing motor grader was placed into service in 2013. In 2017 after 4,990 hours of service the machine had a catastrophic failure and the engine had to be rebuilt. The unit now has over 7,028 hours and has continued to show an increase in repair costs since the engine was rebuilt. 

“Based upon the age and operating hours of the machine, increasing trends in operation and maintenance costs, the unit needs to be replaced based upon evaluations by Fleet services and the trends this machine is showing. This piece of equipment is not being considered for any second life rebuild options due to performance.

“The Sanitation Division currently uses a 2013 John Deere 772GP Motor Grader to provide essential operations to both the landfill and wastewater treatment plant. The function of this unit is to adequately disperse and blend imported soil over the bio solids received from the treatment plant. This machine is critical to landfill and wastewater operations and has to be fully functional six days per week. 

“Both wastewater and landfill operations could be adversely affected and interrupted, causing potential health and safety issues at both sites. 

“Wastewater has seven digesters that their bio-solid plant dumps into, these digesters are emptied daily to ensure continued operations. Bio-solids are then hauled to the landfill on average of five to six loads per day with an average of 23 tons per load. 

“Using the motor grader the landfill then does a 3:1 mixture with three loads of soils to one load of bio-solids. The landfill uses the mixed material as part of its daily cover requirement.”

Refuse body

The council authorized spending $296,112 for a front-end trash loader for the Sanitation Division, including $22,943 in sales tax and fees.

“These front-loads are the vehicles that we use to service to service the six- to 12-yard front load dumpsters that a lot of our businesses use,” Louis said. “Those are the trucks that lift it over the top and into the hopper.”

“It replaces a 2007 model, had 134,000 miles on it and it definitely meets all the criteria for replacement.”

The upfit will also be handled by Spartan Truck Center, Louis said.

Landfill loader

The final spending is $98,350 for a loader for the landfill, including $6,075 in sales tax and $17,295 for a maintenance agreement. The sales price was $80,980, but the city receives $6,000 for trade-in of the present equipment.

According to the staff report, “The Sanitation Division currently uses a 2007 Wrangler 4510 loader to perform many daily tasks associated with the landfill. A refurbishment was performed on this unit in 2014 and now reached the end of its ‘second life’ and due for replacement.”

I-10 delays between Casa Grande and Phoenix

(Posted Aug. 16, 2019)

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced this today:

Drivers who use westbound Interstate 10 between Casa Grande and Phoenix should expect continued overnight delays the week of Aug. 25 while crews complete shouldering work.

Westbound I-10 will be reduced to a single lane each night from 9 p.m-5 a.m. starting Sunday, Aug. 25. 

Work is expected to take about one week. Crews will work in 4-mile segments .between Casa Blanca Road and State Route 387 (mileposts 175 to 187).

There will also be overnight delays the nights of Wednesday, Aug. 28, and Thursday, Aug. 29, while crews complete shoulder work.

Eastbound I-10 will be reduced to a single lane each night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Crews will work in 4-mile segments between Casa Blanca Road and State Route 387 (mileposts 175 to 187). 

Please proceed through the work zone with caution and watch for construction personnel and equipment.  

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Bilingual Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or go to and select Projects from the drop-down menu. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

CG tightening rules about parking in residential areas

(Posted Aug. 7, 2019)

The staff report is HERE

The city memo about the situation is HERE

The proposed ordinance change is HERE

How the ordinance is being changed is HERE

Casa Grande is tightening rules for parking in residential areas.

The City Council was told Monday night that a review of the present parking ordinance allows parking of boats and certain trailers on a residential street.

The staff report given to the council says:

“Staff has identified a gap in the City Code in regards to on-street parking in residential zones. Currently, the code states, no person shall stand or park a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 12,000 pounds, or a tractor, semi-trailer, recreational vehicle or bus on a local or collector street in a residential zone...

“Staff has been made aware that, as written, this does not include boats nor certain types of trailers. 

“Additionally, because the current restriction is only for local and collector streets, there is a gap which could be read to allow parking of these vehicles in the right of way off of the paved arterial streets in residential zones.  “As a result staff is proposing an amendment to the City Code to modify the provisions to specifically also include boats and trailers designed to be towed by a motor vehicle.” 

The staff report, presented by Steven Turner, assistant to the city manager, also says, “At this time, staff is not recommending any changes to the time frame stated in this code. Semi-trailers and other vehicles providing delivery services are permitted to stop and park for the purposes of loading and unloading or providing the service. Vehicles owned by a person living in a residential area may also park a vehicle for the purpose of unloading or loading OR for up to two hours for any other purpose.”

That brought a question from Councilman Matt Herman.

“Are these specifically when they are loading or unloading and could be there for overnight or as long as they’re getting ready for a trip?” Herman asked.

Turner responded, “If a person rents a U-Haul to move, that could be more than two hours. If it’s actively being loaded or unloaded and takes place over a couple of days, we understand that.”

Another change in the proposed ordinance is to allow dual enforcement by both the Police Department and code enforcement officers.

The staff report says that “gives city staff more ability to provide a timely response to complaints, as well as provide additional options to obtain voluntary compliance and, if necessary, serve violators with a notice of violation or civil complaint to secure compliance.”

Initial approval of the proposed changes was unanimous.

Final action is scheduled during the Aug. 19 council meeting.

I-10 lane closures north of Casa Grande begin Aug. 4

(Posted Aug. 1, 2019)

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced this:

Drivers who use westbound Interstate 10 between Casa Grande and Phoenix should expect continued overnight delays the week of Aug. 4 while crews complete shouldering work.

Westbound I-10 will be reduced to a single lane each night from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. starting Sunday, Aug. 4. 

Crews will work in four-mile segments between Casa Blanca Road and State Route 387 (mileposts 175 to 187). 

The shouldering work is expected to take about a week

Please proceed through the work zone with caution and watch for construction personnel and equipment.  

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Bilingual Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or go to and select Projects from the drop-down menu. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Sept. 2 deadline for senior property tax value freeze

(Posted July 31, 2019)

Pinal County made this announcement today:

FLORENCE – Pinal County senior citizens have until Monday, Sept. 2 to apply for the senior freeze on their property values for property tax purposes.

“The purpose of the program is to assist seniors (65 and older) with lower incomes to freeze the taxable basis value of their primary residence. It does not freeze the property taxes,” said Assessor Douglas Wolf.

The program has income limits, for a single owner $37,008 and $46,260 for two or more owners. The limit is set in accordance with the Arizona Constitution and generated by the Arizona Department of Revenue.

In order to apply, taxpayers must submit their gross income and age verification at either the Florence Assessor’s office 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday or in Casa Grande at 

820 E. Cottonwood Lane

Building A

Casa Grande,            

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday

9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Closed from 12 to 1)

CG implementing new way to contact departments

(Posted July 31, 2019)

The city announced this today:

Online Service Request Transition

Beginning Aug. 1, the city will be transitioning to a new online system that will include a mobile app. 

This will provide citizens with a new and improved way to submit service requests, track ticket progress, and submit additional feedback directly to city departments.

During this transition period, residents who wish to report a non-emergency issue should send an email to the specific city department. 

A list of common issues and related city departments can be found on the City's website at:

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Dog Park closing Aug. 5 to begin upgrades work

Posted July 30, 2019

Casa Grande Parks & Recreation made this announcement today:

The Leash on Life Dog Park will be closed beginning Aug. 5 to allow crews to trench new electrical lines and install new light poles. 

Work will take about one week to complete. 

Call the Recreation Division office with any questions: 520-421-8677.

Laura Martinez named city communications manager

(Posted July 29, 2019)

The Casa Grande 911 Dispatchers group posted this today:

Twenty-two years ago, Laura Martinez (above) started as an entry level dispatcher. Now, it is with great pride that we applaud the promotion of one of our own to the position of communications manager. 

This woman is proof that with enough perseverance, a strong backbone and a willingness to work you can make yourself an invaluable asset to your employer and your community.

Of the 33 applicants, she was one of the final seven chosen to interview. It was definitely not easy but her hard work has finally paid off. 

Congratulations Laura Martinez, we have no doubt that you will not only make a positive impact on our blooming dispatch center but on the City of Casa Grande, as well.

Permit for day care center on Pinal Avenue OK'd
     Initial staff report and application         Final staff report

A step forward for manufactured home community

(Posted July 21, 2019)

The developer guide, with examples of homes and other details, is HERE

The City Council staff report is HERE

The Planning and Zoning staff report, with numerous details, is HERE

The recreation area site plan is HERE

A favorable recommendation for a zone change allowing a 203-lot, 55-plus manufactured home community at the northeast corner of Casa Grande Avenue and O’Neil Drive has been sent to the Casa Grande City Council.

The action, along with approving the major site plan, was taken during Thursday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

According to staff reports, 

The project, to be known as Spanish Trails West, would be on 42 acres and would curve around the north side of the existing Safari mobile home and RV park to the west.

According to staff reports, “A community center of approximately one acre would be located in the central portion of the community and provide active and passive recreational amenities for the residents. 

“Homes are anticipated to be sold in the range of $125,000 to $250,000. 

“This proposed community would help meet the current demand for this type of housing in the Casa Grande area.”

The project would be gated, surrounded by a block wall, have landscape buffers along Viola Drive, Casa Grande Avenue and O’Neil Drive and would have an 8-foot-wide multiuser path through it connecting College Park and O’Neil Park. 

The area streets often run high with water during heavy storms, leading the developer to include retention basins throughout the project.

There are still several steps before construction could begin, although an estimate is that work could start around the end of the year.

One question raised during the meeting was why would this be an age-restricted community when there is a need in the city for low income housing.

Joseph Horn, a city planner, responded that both the applicant, Rancho Val Vista MHP of Gilbert, and city planning staff held a neighborhood meeting to show concepts of the project and to take comments.

“The meeting ended up being very productive,” Horn said, “with most of the residents that attended in support of the project. They were relieved that it would be an age-restricted neighborhood and would help reduce some of the crime by providing on-street lighting, new sidewalks and more manicured grounds.

Commission member David Snider said, “I’m a little concerned about the age-restricted nature. The staff report makes a great deal of mention of affordable housing and I’m not sure why the applicant feels compelled to do this as an age-restricted. I look at the housing units in the neighborhoods to the north and east and south, they’re general population, and having an age-restricted development like this kind of sticks out at me.”

The applicant specializes in age-restricted communities, it was pointed out.

Horn added that, “I think that original neighborhood meeting was super content with this original site and think that’s what brought out most of the people to that neighborhood meeting. I think when they learned it was an age-restricted community I think that relieved a lot of stress from them. I think they were very welcoming of that proposal. I think if it would not be age restricted they wouldn’t have felt that way. That was one of the really big zoning points for the surrounding residential. I think that’s part of the reason.”

Another question was about access to the project being from Casa Grande Avenue and O’Neil Drive but not from Viola Street on the north side.

Rob Longaker, representing The WLB Group planners, responded that, “We did originally look at an access point onto Viola. During the neighbor meeting, one of the issues was traffic. Right now it’s pretty narrow if cars are parked on the side of the road, two-way traffic is pretty tight. Driveways also access that road directly.

“It actually has a different feel that Casa Grande Avenue and O’Neil. On those roads, driveways don’t access it directly, so we got a sense from the residents that were in attendance at the meeting to the north that they wanted to protect that neighborhood and minimize the amount of traffic going through there. People do drive quickly through there, as well. 

“Based on that, primarily, we decided to not run the traffic from the project out to the north. We also felt that the access point on Casa Grande Avenue, which is a major collector, it’s a larger road, and to the south to O’Neill which is direct access out to the west was a better solution. So despite the fact that they are somewhat close in the southeast corner of the site, those are the primary reasons.”

I-10 delays between Early Road and I-8

(Posted July 26, 2019)

The Arizona Department of Transportation made this announcement today:

Drivers who use Interstate 10 near Casa Grande should plan for overnight lane closures and possible delays while the Arizona Department of Transportation does lane-striping work in conjunction with the current widening project.

ADOT urges drivers to slow down and use caution around construction personnel and equipment while the following restrictions are in place along five miles of I-10 between Interstate 8 and Earley Road in Pinal County:

East- and westbound I-10 will be narrowed to one lane nightly from 8 p.m.-6 a.m. beginning on the evening of Sunday, July 28, and ending on the morning of Friday, Aug. 2. 

The lane closures in each direction will alternate, so drivers should be prepared to merge into the open travel lane.

Lane striping is occurring in conjunction with the project to add another travel lane in each direction of I-10 between I-8 and Earley Road. 

Learn more on the project website.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Bilingual Project Information Line at 855-712-8530 or go to and select Projects from the drop-down menu. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

New members for CG Youth Commission

(Posted July 9, 2019)

Additions to the Casa Grande Youth Commission and reappointment of some members were approved Monday night by the Casa Grande City Council.

The terms will expire June 30, 2020.

According to the city, the commission was established on Dec. 6, 2004.

“The organization’s mission is to represent the youth of our city, making it a better place through dedication, leadership and creativity.” the staff report accompanying the agenda item says. 

“Commission members are Pinal County residents who are actively enrolled in a public or private school (including charter schools, virtual schools and home schools) in grades eight through 12 (including up to two members at-large from a lower or upper grade level of education)."

North end of Friar Road will be closed

(Posted June 17, 2019)

Because of ATV noise and dust complaints, along with illegal dumping, the city will close off Friar Road from its intersection with Arizola Road to its northern end.

The approval was given during Monday night’s City Council meeting, but no date was given for implementation.  

The closure will remain until Friar Road needs to be extended when future development happens.

“Mission Valley residents have lodged complaints regarding the illegal dumping that occurs at the northern terminus of Friar Road,” the staff report says. “These residents have also complained about the ATV use in the desert area north of Friar Road that creates problems of dust and noise. 

“Although Code Enforcement has taken action to clean up the illegal dumping on a number of occasions over the past year, and the Police Department has installed a surveillance camera in the area, the activity continues to occur. 

“Staff proposes to install a barricade on Friar Road north of its intersection with Arizola, as well as its terminus at the open desert area in an effort to further reduce any illegal dumping activity.”

The staff report says the barricades will cost about $8,000 and will be made and installed by the Public Works Department. The Planning and Development Department will repay Pubic Works using money from the code enforcement abatement fund.

The report notes that there is the approved planned area development for Mission Park, north of Mission Valley, that will eventual need Friar Road for access.

“These barricades would be removed when the Mission Park PAD submits final subdivision plats and is ready to extend Friar Road,” it adds.

First West Nile Virus mosquitoes found in Pinal

(Posted June 11, 2019

Pinal County issued this announcement today:

(NOTE: The county has not announced the area in which the mosquitoes were found.)

FLORENCE – This week, during seasonal mosquito surveillance, the Pinal County Public Health Services District detected the first West Nile Virus positive mosquitoes in the county. 

Mosquito surveillance is done throughout Pinal County in order to determine the relative risk of mosquito-borne disease to the community. Vector control specialists hang traps to catch mosquitoes, identify the mosquitoes to determine if they are the type that carry disease, and check if WNV is present in the mosquitoes caught. This data is used to help determine the risk of mosquito borne disease to Pinal County residents and visitors and it guides PCPHSD’s disease prevention efforts.

Chris Reimus, who manages Pinal County’s vector control program said, “This is a good time to remind people that the best ways to prevent mosquito-borne illness are for residents to stop mosquito breeding on their property by checking for and emptying any standing water. Even a short time outdoors can be long enough to get mosquito bites, so take care to wear protective clothing and use an effective insect repellent.”

Other ways to help prevent mosquitoes and mosquito bites:

• Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Check for items outside the home that collect water, such as cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old tires, drums and other containers and get rid of them.

• Change water in flower vases, birdbaths, planters, troughs, and animal watering pans at least twice a week. Be sure to scrub them out when changing water.

• Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently to prevent standing water.

• f you have a swimming pool or backyard pond, keep it operational. If you must keep it out of use, make sure you remove the standing water, keep it chlorinated, or run the filter daily.

• Keep mosquitoes outside of your home by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors.

• When using an insect repellent, make sure it is proven effective. EPA-registered and CDC recommended insect repellents include: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and 2-undecanone.

• When using sunscreen, always apply the sunscreen before you apply the insect repellent.

West Nile Virus is spread through the bite of certain mosquitoes and is now common in Arizona. Other mosquito borne diseases, including Zika virus, are emerging into North America, but have not yet been spread locally in Arizona. Pinal County’s mosquito surveillance program specifically looks for mosquitoes associated with human disease.

Not everyone who gets mosquito-borne diseases has symptoms, but for those who do, some may experience lasting or permanent effects and in the worst cases, the diseases can be fatal. 

Pinal County also investigates complaints related to disease causing mosquitoes, such as permanent standing water, green pools, or other reports of mosquito activity. 

If you would like information on mosquito prevention and control, or to file a complaint, visit the Pinal County Environmental Health Services webpage at, or call 866-287-0209.

Landscape care contract approved
       Staff report              Maintenance areas

Non-critical medical calls vehicle on hold a year

(Posted July 24, 2017)

A request from the Casa Grande Fire Department for a vehicle for noncritical patient calls rather sending a large fire engine won’t be in this year’s municipal budget, the City Council was told as part of discussions during the last meeting.

It’s basically money and a situation of waiting to see what a financial evaluation of the city entering the ambulance business determines.

Whatever, it’s something a majority of the council don’t want to see lost in the shuffle.

“I know this is something that Chief (Scott) Miller has been advocating for a couple of years to ultimately send  out what would be a two-person crew to respond in an ambulance, for lack of better words, for basic life support calls and to do some level of transports,” City Manager Larry Rains told the council.

“The cost that we’ve estimated to hire the staff and the ongoing annual cost is about $800,000 a year.

“From a management perspective, we see this being a perfect incremental step as we begin to evaluate new stations and the personnel that goes to that. Ultimately, what it does is it allows us to achieve some level of reduction in the calls loads to the two busiest stations, Station 501 (on Florence Boulevard downtown) and 502 (Ninth Street at Peart Road), and it also allows us to recognize better response times and the like.

“It’s something that I think is certainly a very important proposal that was submitted.”

The economics was one reason for delaying the request, Rain said, adding that, “but the second thing that I believe is important for the council and for our citizens to understand is that our mayor and council has recently approved for a consultant to do a financial analysis on us getting into the ambulance business.

“And from management’s perspective, going through that evaluation and determining whether or not that’s something we would like to do, where we apply for a certificate of necessity (for operating ambulances), it’s prudent that we do that before we start making any decisions regarding these levels of services, primarily when a decision of that magnitude with the CON could be a revenue stream to us, as well, that could cover these costs.

“It’s something that will obviously stay very active in our discussions of this particular proposal, but one that ends up I’m recommending that we defer at least for a year.”

Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons said she supported the proposal when it was first made.

“I think it’s a great program and the data that came from it. but I’m struggling to find $800,000 also,” she continued. “So I understand it, but I really hope we kind of keep this on the top two of the priority list and see if there’s anything we can do.

“I even in the budget session talked if we could do it on one shift, I think that would be something that we can maybe look at.”

Councilman Matt Herman said he has been an advocate for the proposal.

“I’m just disappointed,” he said. “I always thought of it as a cost-saving way to really increase service and save costs. Unfortunately, no one seems to be able to do that for us, so we’re stuck.

“The other thing to realize is it’s not just $800,000. It’s per year going forward and I’ve never seen government expenses go down over the years.

“I’m really disappointed, I thought this would be a great way to serve our community and a great rapid response to relieve calls on our big fire trucks. I want to keep it number one priority, personally for myself.”

Councilwoman Mary Kortsen said she also wants the request to remain as a top priority.

“From the information that I’m getting as far as having that revenue stream and being able to balance the cost with being able to have some kind of revenue coming in,” she continued, “I think it is well worth the wait and hopefully we stay on top of it. I’m seeing that that would happen within the next 12 months and then maybe next budget year is being able to bring the two in.

“I’m just feeling like that we don’t have a good reliable service for our community and if anything one of our core principles is for the city to provide a safe community and that means response.”

Councilman Ralph Varela said he also supports the proposal and “I think maybe we can get a three months review or a six months review to make sure it comes back to us.”

Mayor Craig McFarland said, “I concur with all of my board members up here.”

Part of Val Vista to be closed for culvert work

(Posted July 21, 2017)

The city issued this announcement today:

Starting on Saturday, July 29, the Casa Grande Streets Division will be closing Val Vista Boulevard from Papoose Road to Maricopa Casa Grande Highway for culvert installation. 

This closure is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. on Saturday July 29, 2017 and the road is expected to reopen at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 31.

Please note that during this time, there will be no direct access to or from Maricopa Casa Grande Highway and Val Vista Boulevard.

The closure area map is HERE

Senior meals program to continue another year

(Posted July 19, 2017)

A contract with Pinal Gila Council for Senior Citizens to continue the senior meals and transportation program for Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center for another year has been approved by the Casa Grande City Council.

Under the agreement, the Pinal Gila council will provide $141,683 in funds from the Area Agency on Aging and The Arizona Long Term Care System.

Casa Grande will provide $128,000 in in-kind services and $7,776 in cash.

The renewed program will provide 33,000 meals.

$281,650 in community partnership grants OK'd

(Posted July 17, 2017)

Community partnership grants totaling $281,650 were approved Monday night by the Casa Grande City Council.

They are:

• Access Arizona, ­$25,000.

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Arizona, ­$120,000.

• Casa Grande Main Street, ­$39,150.

• Casa Grande Valley Historical Society, ­$34,000.

• Chamber of Commerce, ­$43,500

• Pinal County Water Augmentation Authority, ­$20,000.

The staff report accompanying the agenda item says, “The FY18 budget contemplates funding the various service organizations requests shown below. Each of these organizations provide 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.

“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.

“The funding composition for this request include $161,650 from the General Fund and $120,000 from the Promotion and Tourism Fund.”

The application packages from organizations, with reasons for the requests, are below:

Access Arizona

Boys & Girls Clubs of Arizona

Casa Grande Main Street

Casa Grande Valley Historical Society

Chamber of commerce

Pinal County Water Augmentation Authority

City Council regular meeting agenda, July 17

You can watch the 5:30 p.m. study session and the 7 p.m. regular meeting on-line at 
Or watch them on the city’s Cox channel 11.

Openings on three Casa Grande city boards

(Posted July 7, 2017)

The city posted this announcement today:

Casa Grande is accepting applications for the following boards:

• Board of Adjustment, one opening.

• Board of Appeals, two openings.

• Police Advisory Board, one opening.

Application and information may be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office at 510 E. Florence Blvd. or at the city’s website at

Application deadline is July 20 at 4 p.m.

For further information, contact Anna M. Guerra, deputy city clerk, at 421-8600.

Grande Innovation Academy expansion plans
    (This report was prepared for the Planning and Zoning Commission's       meeting Thursday night)

City budget, fees hearings scheduled
              (Proposed fees schedule is HERE)

$178-million tentative budget, lower property taxes

(Posted June 19, 2017)

The proposed property tax rates are HERE

The complete tentative budget is HERE

A simplified explanation of budget is HERE

Video of the budget presentation is HERE

A tentative city budget of $178,334,615 for the fiscal year beginning July 1 was approved Monday night by the City Council.

It is a prelude to initial approval of a final budget during the Aug. 7 meeting.

Once a tentative budget is approved, it can be lowered but cannot be increased.

“The proposed budget focused almost exclusively on maintaining current operations and service levels, as well as one ­time capital expenses which meet council’s adopted priorities and legal mandates,” the staff report says.

Next City Council meeting will be on June 26

(Posted June 20, 2017)

The next City Council meeting will be on Monday, June 26, rather than July 3, it was decided during Monday night’s meeting.

The staff report on the items said “it appears there will not be a quorum of the council at the regular meeting of July 3” because of the Fourth of July holiday.

Rather than cancel the meeting, it was decided to move it up a week to June 26.

City Council resolution supports I-10 widening

(Posted June 19, 2017)

The complete resolution is HERE

A resolution supporting widening of I-10 between Casa Grande and Chandler was approved Monday night by the City Council.

The staff report accompanying the agenda item says, “The Sun Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) along with county and municipal officials and planning staff has identified the importance of this corridor with the expected growth of Pinal County. 

“Identified as the ‘key commerce corridor’ and the bridge to the Sun Corridor, by the Arizona Department of Transportation, the I-­10 connects Arizona’s two largest metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson. Therefore, this is one of the primary transportation corridors for movement of freight between Pinal County and other metropolitan areas.”

The report says Pinal County is expected to increase its population by 29 percent within the next 10 years, “which is projected to be the largest growth increase of any county in Arizona, while the employment growth rate is anticipated to increase by 18 percent over the next 10 years.

“It is the determination of the Sun Corridor MPO that the acceleration of the I­-10 widening project is in the public’s best interest. This is based on concern over the increasing amount of crashes on I­-10 causing shutdowns of the I­-10 corridor which affects freight mobility and traveling visitors.”

The report said the MPO will work with state and local leaders “to explore additional funding, creative financing, and additional statutory flexibility in order to advance the construction of the I­-10 widening project into the ADOT Five­-year Transportation Facilities Construction Program.”

Local Interstate 10 widening projects approved

(Posted June 16, 2017)

The Arizona Department of Transportation made this announcement today:

Casa Grande area improvements to Interstate 10 were among projects approved Friday by the State Board of Transportation as part of the annual update to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program.

The local projects are:

Interstate 10 widening

• State Route 87 to Picacho: This $109 million project (combined with the dust detection and warning system) was accelerated to Fiscal Year 2017 and will continue to construction in FY 18. The highway will be widened to three lanes in each direction and traffic interchanges will be improved.

• Earley Road to Interstate 8: This $40 million project was accelerated to FY 2018. The project will widen the highway to three lanes in each direction and improve traffic interchanges south of Casa Grande. Upon completion, the entire stretch of I-10 from Casa Grande to Tucson will have been upgraded to a six-lane highway.

Interstate 10 safety improvements 

• Sunshine Boulevard to Picacho Peak Road (dust detection and warning system): The construction for this project will be combined with the I-10 widening project from  SR 87 to Picacho ($109 million total for the two projects). The project was accelerated to FY 2017 and will advance to construction in FY 18.

City's sewerlines cleaning program to continue

(Posted June 8, 2017)

Casa Grande will continue its sewer cleaning program, the ongoing effort to prevent corrosion of pipes and the resulting odors, that was begun six years ago.

Initial approval was given by the City Council during Monday night’s meeting for as-needed contracts with Ancon Service Co. and Hoffman Southwest Corp. (doing business as Professional Pipe Services). Both have offices in Phoenix.

The annual cost is estimated at $250,000 to $350,000, depending upon the amount of work to be done.

“These contracts are not guaranteed to any one amount, but for us to decide how best to use that throughout our sewer efforts as we go and address the H2S levels in our system, as well as the affect of the odors that come from that H2S,” Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council.


The staff report accompanying the agenda item gives this description:

“This routine cleaning reduces hydrogen sulfide (H2S) levels within the collection system, which reduces

corrosive effects and helps reduce complaints from residents regarding sewer odors throughout the city.”

The staff report points out that the city has a wastewater collection system of approximately 260 miles of sewer pipelines, 4,500 manholes and eight lift stations.

“This program has been very successful,” Louis said.

“Each year, we clean on average about 25 percent of our system, but there are those areas that we clean on an annual basis or sometimes twice a year, some of those larger trunk lines like the Kortsen (Road) line from Pinal Avenue out to the treatment plant. Those lines get done on a more frequent basis, as needed.”

Initial approval of the contracts was unanimous. Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.

Casa Grande moving to self-insured program

The ordinance was passed Monday night as an emergency action, putting it into effect immediately

Appointments to three boards, one commission

(Posted June 5, 2017)

Appointments and reappointments to three Casa Grande boards and one commission were approved Monday night by the City Council.

They are:

• Reappointed Gene Lehman to the Part-Time Firefighters Board of Trustees.

• Reappointed John Ontiveros to the Police Advisory Board.

• Appointed Carol D’Souza to the Personnel Advisory Board.

• Appointed Lynette Butron, Dylan Goodsell, Adrianna Guerra, Mackenzie Lopez, Thalianna Mercado, Jasmine Moreno, Lincoln Opara, Madison Reeves and Henry Scholes to the Casa Grande Youth Commission and reappointed Alexandra Chaparro, Sheyenne Donlay, Ackela Eldridge, Nathan Harris, Gloria Holt, Alex Shawn Johnston and Simarah Smith.

Sewer rate hikes do not affect residential

JUNE 5 UPDATE: The notice of intent to increase was approved Monday night by the City Council

(Posted June 3, 2017)

The staff report is HERE

The presentation is HERE

Before the rumors and the “I know what I’m talking about” postings begin running rampant on local social media, the proposed increases in some sewer rates in Casa Grande do not affect residential users.

Repeat: Do not affect residential users.

A routine action during the City Council meeting on Monday night is for a notice of increase, setting the stage for further actions and a public hearing on Aug. 7.

As the staff report for the agenda item puts it, “It should be noted that the proposed fees will only affect non­domestic users regulated by the city’s pretreatment program. These fees cover the permitting and oversight of these users. 

“Additionally, surcharges are proposed for industrial dischargers that exceed permitted limits for BOD & TSS. “These fees and surcharges are not applicable to domestic, residential users.”

BOD and TSS?

A BOD definition is given as “biochemical oxygen demand is supposed to measure the amount of food (or organic carbons) that bacteria can oxidize.”

A TSS definition is given as “total suspended solids (TSS) is the dry-weight of particles trapped by a filter. It is a water quality parameter used for example to assess the quality of wastewater after treatment in a wastewater treatment plant. It is listed as a conventional pollutant in the U.S. Clean Water Act.”

The presentation set for the council identifies both as, “These contaminants are essentially solids which must be removed from the waste stream. Excessive and uncontrolled discharge of these can greatly affect the efficiency of the treatment processes.”

A full explanation of proposed rates and reasons is given in that presentation, linked above.

It's the time of year that we begin hearing about needless drownings of children in unsafe or unattended pools.

The Casa Grande Fire Department has a page for pool safety tips -- with video -- at

You can watch video of both meetings at  

Lane restrictions on McCartney and Peart Roads

(Posted May 26, 2017)

The city issued this announcement today:

The Casa Grande Streets Division, along with contractor Southwest Slurry Seal, will be performing micro seal resurfacing on McCartney Road from Peart Road to Pinal Avenue, and on Peart Road from McCartney Road to Rodeo Road from May 30-June 2, 2017. 

These streets will remain open with lane restrictions.

Drivers should expect delays until the work is completed, and are encouraged to drive cautiously.

For additional information or questions, contact the Streets Division at 421-8625.

Proposed city fees schedule

(contingent upon approval by City Council after budget sessions)

Chavez scholarship raffle has baseball package

(Posted May 18, 2017)

The Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Committee of Pinal County is holding a raffle to raise funds for local college scholarships.

According to Chairperson Ralph Varela, Arizona Public Service is donating its baseball suite for the June 24 Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies game.

Varela said the winner will get 12 seats in the APS suite behind home plate, two parking passes, food and soft drinks.

Only 250 of the $20 raffle chances will be sold, he added. The purchase deadline is noon on June 9.

They may be purchased by calling him at 520-466-7765 or by email at

“Thank you for any consideration,” Varela said. “I’ll make sure tickets are delivered to you.”

The drawing will be June 9 at Eva’s restaurant, he said.

This year, the 11th for the program, the committee awarded $45,000 in scholarships to 51 Pinal County students.

Added work, minimum wage increase are factors
in $100,000 increase for city cleaning expenses

This schedule is taken from the call for bids document:




A. Animal Control

Square footage 1,168

After 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding city holidays)

B. CityHall (main building)

Square footage 34,500

After 6 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding city holidays)

C. City Hall (annex fronting Florence Boulevard) 

Square footage 13,050

After 7 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding city holidays)

D. Dorothy Powell Center

Square footage 10,200

After 10 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding city holidays)

E. Len Colla Center

Square footage 12,800

6-8 a.m. Monday-Saturday (excluding city holidays)

F. Main Library 

Square footage 16,050

After 7 p.m. seven days a week (excluding city holidays)


G. Landfill scale house 

Square footage 1,500

Must start at 1 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding city holidays)

H. Municipal Court 

Square footage 10,150

After 6 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding city holidays)

I. North Operation Center 

Square footage 12,000

After 6 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding city holidays)

J. Peart Center 

Square footage 2,100

5-8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding city holidays)

K. Police Communications Building (former Police Department on Marshall Street)

Square footage 7,764

After 3 p.m. seven days a week (holidays included)

L. Public Safety Building

Square footage 48,400

8 a.m-8 p.m. seven days a week (holidays included). Four hours each on Saturday and Sunday.

M. Teen Center 

Square footage 4,317

After 11 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding city holidays)

N. Women’s Club 

Square footage 3,461

After 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding city holidays)

O. Golf Course Pro Shop 

Square footage 2,397

After 8 p.m. seven days a week (holidays included)

P. Waste Water Treatment Plant 

Square footage 3,000

After 4 p.m. Monday-Friday (excluding city holidays)

Q. City parks restrooms 

Square footage 3,510 total of all eight

10 p.m.-6 a.m. seven days a week (holidays included)

R. Parks and Recreation Building 

Monday-Friday (excluding city holidays)

(Posted May 17, 2017)

The staff report is HERE

The $100,000 increase in the cost of cleaning city facilities stems from additional work required, who provides supplies and the impact of the minimum wage hike to $10 an hour.

That was part of the presentation by Public Works Director Kevin Louis during Monday night’s City Council meeting. The council gave initial approval to the contract, with final approval expected during the next meeting.

This year’s cost will be a minimum of $319,800, with another $15,990 set aside in case of additional work, such as emergency situations, by New Image Building Services.

“Each of the buildings have been evaluated and determined how many days per week, whether Monday, Wednesday, Friday, every day of the week, what type of cleaning services need to be provided,” Louis said.

“We’re looking at an increase of about $100,000 between last year and this year.

“Some of the big items that I identified, we have changed how we’re cleaning our facilities.

“We’re cleaning some facilities that were being five days a week are now being cleaned seven days a week.

“Another ticket item that we identified was the parks restrooms. Last year we were cleaning those for right around $22,000 for the year and this year it’s about $48,000.

“And again, we’re increasing the level of service based on what we feel the necessary cleaning levels are.

We wanted to increase that service level in those facilities.”

The minimum wage hike was also factored in, Louis said.

“That  had a huge impact on these types of companies,” he continued. “They went from $8.05 to $10 an hour, plus sick time.”

Providing cleaning supplies will now be the responsibility of the contractor rather than the city, Louis said.

“In the previous contracts, we had provided all the cleaning supplies and all the materials, hand wipes, this types of things. Last year, we spent just over $32,000 on those materials.”

The new contract is in line with other areas of the country, Louis said.

“We did look at the cost of this contract versus the standards that are out there for cleaning services of buildings of our age and type,” he added. “The national average is $1.61 per square foot and we’re at $1.63 with this contract, so we’re right in the ball park of what the national average is.

“The last three years of contracts we thought we had a great deal. They were the low bid three years ago and it was like ‘wow.’ Didn’t get quite as good a price this time but they’re still the low bid.

“We think we are getting good value, and they’ve done a great job for us. It should be noted that New Image has been our contractor for several years now and we’ve been very happy with their performance.

“Any time we’ve an issue with this company, from our monthly inspections that we do with their supervisory staff to all of the annual trainings that they perform with their staff. We actually let them use the North Operations Center and they bring all their staff in to do their annual trainings, which ensures that they meet those standards, as well.”

As Councilman Dick Powell sees it, “I think that’s key, if you have somebody that’s been working for you and they've

done a good job and they end up being the low bid for the next year.”

Louis responded, “We’ve had some challenges in the past with some contractors, so this has been a great relationship and if we get to keep it, that’s wonderful.

“I guarantee you, if I had to hire the employees and do it in-house, it would be much more expensive.”

The question was raised about safety of the supplies the contractor will use, such as environmentally.

Louis responded that, “We specify all of the hand towels, toilet paper, those types of consumables. We also require green chemicals. So, all of our chemicals the are used in our facilities are environmentally safe. We do set those specifications and they must follow those.”

The council vote for initial approval of the ordinance was unanimous.

New CG location for county public health clinic

(Posted May 11, 2017)

Pinal County made this announcement today:

To better serve a growing population, Pinal County's Public Health Department is moving its Casa Grande  clinic to a new location, going from the Pinal County Administrative Complex at 820 E. Cottonwood Lane to 1729 N. Trekell Road.  

To help facilitate the move, the Casa Grande Public Health Clinic will be closed for one week from Monday, June 3, until Friday, June 9.

There will be a grand opening ceremony for the new clinic on Trekell Road on Wednesday, June 14, at 1 p.m.

The new clinic will be open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, call 1-866-960-0633 toll-free Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The clinic will continue to provide Community Health Nursing and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) services, as well as offer a new Vital Records Office for birth and death certificates.

As the Pinal County population exploded in recent years, including more than 10 percent growth from 2010 to 2016, Pinal County Public Health quickly outgrew its clinic space in Casa Grande. The Casa Grande clinic currently serves over 7,200 nursing patients annually, as well as provides over 31,200 WIC visits and 4,000 immunizations each year.

After extending clinic hours to include Saturdays in 2008, Pinal County Public Health is expanding to more than 8,000 square feet of new clinic space in Casa Grande with multiple exam rooms, a larger waiting room, nutrition counseling rooms, and vital records area.

The clinic was chosen as the first pilot site in Arizona for the eWIC program, which allows WIC clients to purchase their prescribed food benefits with a more efficient card system rather than the older check payment method.

WIC provides nutrition education, supplemental food packages, and breastfeeding support to pregnant mothers and children up to age five.  The new card payment system is preferred among grocery stores and clients for its ease of use.

"We are looking forward to bringing eWIC to Pinal County to help kids get access to healthy foods," stated Rosanna Ringer, Public Health manager

The clinic will also provide free childhood immunizations, family planning, birth control supplies and education, pregnancy testing, HIV and STD testing, and Well Woman HealthCheck for cancer screening. Furthermore, anyone born in Arizona may obtain a birth certificate at the clinic.

Pinal County Public Health accepts most insurance plans. Most nursing services are available on a sliding fee scale based on family income and number of household members. No one is refused service due to inability to pay. Payments and donations are accepted in cash, credit or debit.

For more information about Pinal County Public Health, visit

City Council regular agenda, May 1
You can watch video of the 6 p.m. study session and the 7 p.m. regular meeting on-line at 

Economic development strategic plan sought

(Posted April 26, 2017)

Casa Grande is looking for economic development consultants to submit proposals for a five-year city economic development strategic plan.

The deadline for submittals is May 26, with the winning company expected to have the plan completed by March 2018.

According to the request for proposals, the selected firm will:

The selected firm will be required to perform the following:

• Meet with city management and Economic Development Division staff to learn top overall economic development priorities, past economic development plans, targeted industry sectors and current services, such as business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneur assistance, and marketing strategies.

• Initiate a public input process that will engage community and business leaders to identify issues and opportunities that must be addressed within the strategic plan.

• Conduct individual interviews with elected leadership, city manager and primary economic development stakeholders including Central Arizona College, Arizona @ Work Pinal County, Pinal County, Access Arizona, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority to develop a custom strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis.

• Asset mapping of the community to provide local stakeholders a site selector’s perspective of Casa Grande.

• Collect data from a variety of qualitative and quantitative sources in order to provide an understanding of current global, national and regional economic conditions and trends.

• The market analysis will evaluate the current and future trends of the local economy and provide an analysis of the issues, which are most critical to the success of existing businesses and the attraction of new jobs and capital investment.

• The community will be analyzed on various factors, but not limited to, such as business climate, workforce development and education, marketing and economic development efforts, sites and infrastructure, quality of life, tourism, etc.

• The plan will survey strategic assets such as major employer sites, educational institutions, workforce development organizations, significant commercial development sites and quality of life infrastructure.

• Assess the future impact of current development projects including the PhoenixMart, Lucid Motors, Attesa, Dreamport Villages and the proposed new recreational center.

• Propose an alignment among elected officials, city management and regional economic development organizations as to the major opportunities and challenges confronting economic development in Casa Grande.

• A consensus on the guiding principles for the City of Casa Grande Economic Development Strategic Plan.

• A framework for implementation of the strategic plan, including assessment of the city’s employment attraction potential, priorities for Casa Grande's economic development efforts and recommended priorities for the City of Casa Grande's Economic Development Division.

• Identify areas in which increased collaboration would encourage economic growth and empower all parties and community partners to achieve strategic objectives. This could include key partnerships (government, private and nonprofit) that will improve the success of the plan. Provide recommendations as to the appropriate level of involvement from each party.

• Identify marketing strategies to inform and influence site selection decision makers and consultants to attract targeted industries.

• Identify local incentive programs that will help attract new job growth in targeted industries, as well as programs that will help retain existing jobs in targeted industries.

• Identify changes in land use and/or zoning as well as other city policies or procedures that could facilitate achievement of the desired economic development objectives in relationship to the identified target industries and potential locations.

• Develop outcome measures to assess, monitor and improve the action strategies on an ongoing basis.

• A presentation and summary of all work is to be given at two public meetings. The presentation will detail the methodology employed in creation of the plan and long term strategies for the future.


Casa Grande meeting May 10 on proposed I-11

(Posted April 21, 2017)

The Arizona Department of Transportation made this announcement:

As the Interstate 11 environmental study progresses and new proposed corridor alternatives have taken shape, the Arizona Department of Transportation is once again looking to the public and agencies to get involved and comment on the work that’s been done over the past year.

Six public meetings, including in Casa Grande, have been scheduled in May as part of ADOT’s commitment to study and get input on a 280-mile-long corridor stretching from Nogales to Wickenburg.

The Casa Grande meeting will be Wednesday, May 10, in the dining room of the Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center, 405 E. Sixth St.

The other five public meetings will be in Tucson, Marana, Nogales, Wickenburg and Buckeye.

All meetings, which will have an open house format, run from 5-7 p.m., with presentations beginning at approximately 5:15 p.m. Following the presentations, study team members will be available to answer questions. The same information will be presented at each meeting.

During the first year of this three-year study that began in March 2016, ADOT evaluated a wide range of alternatives — or possible routes — in order to narrow the choices to the recommended range of reasonable alternatives to be evaluated further in the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement. These alternative corridor options will be available for review and comment at the public meetings and during a 30-day public comment period.

The final set of corridor options, which will be determined after the public comment period, will be subject to further analysis as part of the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement. A no-build option will also be evaluated.

I-11 is envisioned as a multimodal corridor connecting Arizona with regional and international markets while opening up new opportunities for mobility, trade, commerce, job growth and economic competitiveness. While the planning phase for this high-priority corridor is well underway, funding for further studies, design and construction has yet to be identified.

The alternative corridor options that will be presented for review were developed from several factors: input from last year’s public and agency scoping period, technical analysis, findings from previous studies, and public comment through emails, calls, mail and the study website.

The public comment period will begin on April 28. That’s when the latest study and meeting materials will be posted to the Interstate 11 website at and an online mapping and comment tool will be activated. The comment period runs through June 2. 

The recommended I-11 corridor would likely follow US 93 from the Hoover Dam bypass bridge south to Wickenburg. The 280-mile corridor that is the focus of the current environmental study begins in Wickenburg and runs west of the Phoenix metropolitan area, south to the Tucson area and then to Nogales.

Throughout the course of the study, the public, communities and other stakeholders will always have the opportunity to comment and help shape the proposed I-11 corridor. All comments are entered into the project record. Comments can be sent to:


Toll-free bilingual telephone hotline: 1-844-544-8049


Interstate 11 Tier 1 EIS Study Team

c/o ADOT Communications

1655 W. Jackson St., Mail Drop 126F

Phoenix, AZ 85007

 Visit the I-11 Study website at  for more information.

You can watch video of the 6:30 p.m. study session and the 7 p.m. regular meeting on-line at 

Council study session agenda, Monday, April 3
       (A brief update on proposed community recreation center)

Work resumes on Florence east of I-10

(Posted March 29, 2017)

The Arizona Department of Transportation issued this announcement this afternoon:

Work has resumed on State Route 287 (Florence Boulevard) east of Interstate 10 in Casa Grande, following a stop in work until temperatures allowed for paving.

SR 287 will have lane restrictions between I-10 and Hacienda Road from 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, to 5 a.m. Thursday, March 30, for paving. 

Traffic will be alternated to the open lane and guided through the work zone by a pilot vehicle, work crews and traffic devices.

SR 287 will be narrowed to one lane in both directions between SR 87 and La Palma Road from 4 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays beginning Thursday, March 30, through mid-April for paving.

The $2.2 million improvement project includes milling and replacing existing pavement, applying a double chip seal coat, crack sealing shoulders and replacing pavement markings on a 10-mile stretch of road that extends from I-10 to State Route 87 (Arizona Boulevard) at La Palma Road.

For more information about this project, call Paki Rico, ADOT senior community relations officer, at 520-388-4233 or email

Initial approval for Arizola/Kortsen right-turn lane

(Posted March 20, 2017)

The staff report, with additional details, is HERE

Initial approval was given Monday night by the City Council for a contract to construct a right-turn lane on southbound Arizola Road at Kortsen Road, a major bottleneck.

Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.

The cost will be $77,722, with a 20 percent contingency for unexpected problems, for a total of not more than $93,267.

“Everyone’s well aware of the congestion at that intersection and the trouble with vehicles trying to turn right off of Arizola,” Deputy Public Works Director Terry McKeon told the council.

“We had hired Rock Engineering to do an analysis of the intersection and design an appropriate remedy,” he continued.

“Originally, this was considered for a full traffic signal at this intersection.

“At this time, that’s not warranted, so the intent is to construct a right-turn lane to free up that traffic so that not everybody’s backed up by people trying to go straight or left.

“This project will construct that right-turn lane, relocate some of the existing infrastructure and landscaping in that area.”

No construction start date is listed, but the contract says, “Time is of the essence for this contract. The contractor agrees to commence work … within 15 calendar days after the date of authorization specified in the Notice to Proceed and to diligently prosecute the same, day to day, to completion within 90 calendar days.”

Three appointed to city boards and commission

(Posted March 20, 2017)

Appointments to three Casa Grande boards and commissions were made by the City Council during Monday night’s meeting.

They are:

• Anthony Estrada and Dennis Dugan to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

• Charles Wright and David Snider to the Board of Adjustment.

• Terry Filson to the Board of Appeals.

Pavement repair, striping projects move ahead

(Posted March 20, 2017)

The pavement staff report is HERE

The striping staff report is HERE

The Main/VIP work map is HERE

The paving micro seal work map is HERE

The Public Works Department has received final City Council approval to continue its streets maintenance and striping programs.

Included in the pavement maintenance program are asphalt chip seal, micro surfacing, slurry seal, fog seal and crack seal.

“One project is our Main and VIP projects,” Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council, “and that’s Main Avenue between VIP and Thornton, as well as VIP from Main Avenue down to Gila Bend Highway.

“It should be noted that this project was downgraded as an effort to save some money. We had originally planned on reconstructing both of these roadways at a cost of about $2.5 million. This cost is obviously much less with the cape seal, which a chip seal and a slurry seal combination, very similar to the project we used on Thornton Road when we tried to extend the life of that before we reconstructed it. We’re doing the same thing here.”

The pavement work has a limit of $1.5 million and the striping at not more than $200,000.

According to the street striping staff report, “The contract would provide for pavement striping of various city streets, including center­line (double and skip), edge lines, turn lanes, crosswalks, stop bars and turn arrows. On average, street striping is replaced every three to five years with heavy traffic areas requiring shorter increments.”

Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons asked if the striping work is as needed or if some streets received priority.

Louis responded that, “We first focus on the high traffic areas. Anywhere around a school we try to identify, some of those we do on an annual basis. Again, it really depends on the amount of traffic in those areas.

“But they’re on an as-needed basis, as well as all of our striping.

“There’s still no good estimate unless you go out and drive and do the measuring yourself, so we do that.”

Louis said he believes there is a link between striping conditions and accidents.

“It’s obviously a factor that would contribute to increasing accidents in an area,” he continued.

“Right now, there are no standards we have to adhere to … so we try to keep the roads in as good a condition as we can.”

$8.98 million in Gila River casino grants sought

UPDATE: Approval of sending all requests was given during the March 30 council meeting.

(Posted March 16, 2017)

Approval of submitting requests from area civic and government organizations for $8.98 million in Gila River Indian Community casino money grants is on the agenda when the City Council meets Monday night.

The staff report listing organizations and their requests is HERE.

Click on names in blue at bottom of page for explanations of each request.

City wants updated flooding, drainage plan

(Posted March 7, 2017)

The full request for qualifications, with area maps, is HERE

Casa Grande is seeking professional engineering help in preparing a citywide drainage master study and plan, replacing an outdated one last revised in 1987.

According to the request for qualifications, the study and plan “will help the city to identify and characterize existing drainage and flooding problems within the city’s annexed and planning limits. 

“The deliverables will include, but may not be limited to, a drainage master study and plan listing the immediate, intermediate and long-term drainage infrastructure projects, potential drainage improvement districts and guidelines for future developments.”

The request add that if funds are available, the city could award another contract “to provide conceptual design alternatives and cost estimates of immediate stormwater drainage infrastructure capital improvement projects for the city’s short term and long term needs and potential Federal Emergency and Management Agency  floodplain delineations.”

Under today’s conditions, the request notes, “there are potentially four major offsite flooding sources that pass through the city limits: the North Branch of Santa Cruz Wash, Santa Cruz Wash, Greene Wash, and Santa Rosa Wash.”

It is pointed out in the request that Casa Grande present master drainage study and plan was prepared in 1985 and updated in 1987. It used hydrological methodology from the Arizona Department of Transportation, which is now outdated.

“Unfortunately, this plan was not fully implemented,” the request says. 

“There is a need to verify infrastructure built based on the recommendation of that master plan. In addition, the city has grown substantially in size during the real estate boom of 2005.”

The deadline for submitting qualifications is April 14, with the City Council choosing a firm on July 3 and work on the documents beginning 30 days later.

Completion is expected by June 30, 2018.

Final approval of engineering for improvements
at Trekell, Arizola intersections with Florence

(Posted March 6, 2017)

Scroll down in SPECIAL ARCHIVE for major report from October 2016, including charts and explanations)

The scope of work is HERE

Final approval was given Monday night to hire an engineering company to design major improvements to the intersections at Trekell Road and Florence Boulevard and at Arizola Road and Florence.

Although a Casa Grande Dispatch story said approval was given at the Feb. 21 meeting, that was not the case. The action comes under an ordinance, which requires two hearings before the City Council.

The cost is not to exceed $150,000, including a contingency of $12,200.

Rick Engineering Co. was selected for the design following review of proposals from nine companies.

“Through negotiations with the city, an appropriate scope and fee was negotiated for the design and construction of street, signal, signing/striping and related improvements for the Trekell Road/Florence Boulevard Intersection (including the restriping of Trekell Road from Doan Street to

Eighth Street) and for the Arizola Road/Florence Boulevard Intersection …,” the staff report says.

“Improvements will include new curb/gutter, street widening where needed, sidewalks, sidewalk ramps, signal upgrades and traffic control signage and markings.”

The work will include two left-turn lanes from northbound Arizola to westbound Florence, long a bottleneck.

“This project will provide improved capacity and safety for both intersection and includes the ‘road diet’ narrowing of Trekell Road from a four-lane cross ­section to a three-lane plus bike lanes on each side … A southbound left turn lane will be included for the shopping center located at the southeast corner of the intersection,” the report says.

During an explanation to the council at the first hearing, Public Works Director Kevin Louis reminded the council that, “this does not include construction. That contract will come back to you at some point in the future. But it will design the street signals, any striping or signage improvements, road widening, turn lanes and whatever else is determined to improve the performance of those two intersections.

“You’ll recall … we did discuss the striping work that we had proposed south of Trekell. This will also include that work, as well.”

Councilwoman Mary Kortsen said that since the initial presentation about Florence/Trekell last October, “I’ve made even more observations. There’s going to be that time lapse of people getting used that. Maybe we can put up some temporary signs to make people slow down, take a look and see where those lanes are.”

Kortsen said she believes one area taking getting used to would be on Trekell near the Len Colla center.

Louis responded, “With any traffic control change, we’re required to notify the motoring public. When we typically do that I think you’ll see the diamond, yellow diamond construction signs that say traffic change. Any time we do a signal change, speed limit change, the signage that we have out there we may decide to use the orange plaques to bring attention to those.

“But there will be variable message signs for each of the projects notifying the public of the coming changes and then the new changes.”

Councilwoman Lisa FItzgibbons said, “My concern when I saw the design (at the October meeting) was I saw that you have a turn lane pulling into that little strip mall. I don’t know how it’s going to go (work) because you’re going to have a turn lane going left onto Florence, west onto Florence but then you’re going to have a lane going into the southeast into that mall. You’re the experts, I’m sure they know how to design it, but I can’t visualize it.”

Louis responded, “I’ll say this, and I don’t know if our traffic engineer will agree with my answer — but if we were starting from scratch we could design somethings perfect. We are not starting from scratch. We are going to make as many improvements to improve the safety as we can but it will never be perfect.”

Kortsen said, “ I did see in the last week two occasions where the way it is now you have people over here trying to go in here, you have traffic queuing up here, you have the lights changing and that. I just can’t see that it’s not going to be at least some improvement, maybe not perfect.”

Councilman Ralph Varela asked if the design will come back before the council.

“I drive that every day,” he said, “and I’m just trying to visualize how it’s going to work. As it is right now, it creates a problem when you’re passing south beyond Florence, going south on Trekell. You have folks that are coming into (the center) and it backs up everybody. I guess what my concern is, I’m just trying to visualize how it’s going to work to help mitigate that situation.”

The design work will be back before the council for approval and notifications will be made.

“We haven’t identified every public outreach effort that we’re going to make throughout this project,” Louis said, “but I envision us having some type of an open house for that neighborhood so that people can come look at those plans. We could also bring a study session back (to the council) and maybe follow that with the open house.” 

“When we get the final design we can definitely bring that back to council prior to us putting it out on the street for a construction contract.”

City Council agenda for Monday, March 6
     You can watch video of the 6 p.m. study session and the 7 p.m. 
    regular meeting on-line at 

Gloria Leija confirmed as Casa Grande city clerk

Gloria Leija, left

(Posted Feb. 21, 2017)

Gloria Leija, who was Casa Grande city clerk for 19 years before retiring in January 2012, is back in the position.

Her hiring was unanimously confirmed by the City Council during Tuesday night’s meeting.

After retiring, Leija entered teaching but in 2013 took the position of clerk for the town of Wickenburg.

When the agenda item came up near the end of the meeting, Councilman Dick Powell said, “It would be my honor to move that we accept her. She was the one that brought me onto council to begin with. We certainly welcome her back and she’s very, very talented. If you haven’t worked with her, you’ll be very happy.”

Councilman Ralph Varela added, “It would be my honor to second that, because she kept me in line for all those years.”

When Leija retired, she was replaced by Remi Miller, who has since moved on to be town clerk of Pinetop-Lakeside.

Since Miller’s departure, Deputy City Clerk Anna Guerra has been filling in.

Noting that, Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons said, “I just wanted to thank Anna for your work with us. You’ve taken a lot of time from your family and everything and we really, really appreciate everything you’ve done. Gloria and you are going to be a great team and we look forward to it.”

Mayor Craig McFarland added, “I will echo Lisa’s comments, too, Anna. Nice job. Thank you for all your hard work.”

Leija spoke briefly to the council, saying, Thank you, mayor and council and staff for giving me the opportunity to come back and to serve you. I’m looking forward to work with the city clerk staff. I’ve had an opportunity to meet with them and they certainly are awesome.”

Leija has a bachelor of arts from University of Phoenix and a masters in education from Northern Arizona University. She is also a certified municipal clerk, certified municipal election official and certified Arizona election official.

In brief, the city clerk is responsible for planning and coordinating city elections, keeping the city records management program in compliance with Arizona statutes, managing the publication of official notices, agendas, ordinances, and resolutions and managing technical bidding processes and city contract approvals.

New lease changes Teen Center programming 

(Posted Feb. 21, 2017)

(Scroll down under COMMUNITY for initial report and City Council discussion on Teen Center problems and alternatives)

The City Council, acting Tuesday night, has given initial approval to an amended lease with Central Arizona College for the Casa Grande Teen Center building at 520 N. Camino Mercado, south of Florence Boulevard just west of Interstate 10.

Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, “The stated use of the building will be modified from a Teen Center to a site for family, youth, and teen programming. 

“As discussed with council, the attendance and use of the Teen Center has steadily declined to the point that there are many days with no participants visiting the facility. With this change in use the city will be able to program a wider variety of activities from the center.”

The report says phasing out the Teen Center will save $19,000 yearly in part-time staff costs at the facility.

Dreamport entertainment complex     
    The complete proposal is HERE
    The north and south area staff reports in one document, with maps,       charts and explanations HERE
    (A favorable recommendation was sent Thursday night, March 2, to the
    City Council, which has final say)

City Council regular meeting agenda, Feb. 21
    Watch video of the 6 p.m. study session and the 7 p.m. regular meeting on-         line at 

Special interest bill favoring contractors over city 
crews for streets work more than $25,000 opposed

(Posted Feb. 8, 2017)

The staff report is HERE

The City Council resolution is HERE

The full bill is HERE

The City Council is opposing what appears to be a special interest bill in the Legislature that favors civilian contractors over city maintenance crews, limiting local work to projects under $25,000.

As Mayor Craig McFarland said during Monday night’s council meeting, “You can’t pave a parking lot for $25,000.”

So far, the bill has gone nowhere in the Legislature.

According to the council staff report, the bill, HB2143 by District. 11 Rep. Vince Leach, R-Saddlebrooke, would require that “the construction, reconstruction, or maintenance of any street, road, bridge, water or sewer work may be performed either with or without the use of the agent's regularly employed personnel without advertising for bids if the total costs of the work does not exceed $25,000. This is a substantial decrease in the current threshold, which had a baseline of $150,000 and is currently just over $200,000 per year.

“Rural communities already face a difficult task in securing competitive bids for this type of work as compared to urban areas. The cost of mobilization alone is much higher in rural areas which impacts the bids that the city receives for its projects. This would prevent the city's crews from doing any street work or maintenance which would negatively impact the city's budget. As a result, the burden on taxpayers would increase or the city would be unable to complete as many roadway projects annually, resulting in additional deterioration of city infrastructure.”

Senior Management Analyst Steven Turner told the council that, “The way the bill is worded with the construction, reconstruction or maintenance, we are to assume this includes street sweeping, traffic signal repairs, grading, anything that can be easily done with our city crews using our city equipment, which would save our taxpayer dollars, would not be able to completed if this House bill was able to be put into effect.”

The staff report gives three local examples of how the bill requirements would have raised the costs for Casa Grande taxpayers:

• Early Road prep work for double chip seal:

­Cost through city resources, ­$45,499

­Cost through third party contractor, ­$192,385

• First Street paving project:

­Cost through city resources, ­$77,536

­Cost through third party contractor, ­$161,699 

• Crack sealing project:

­Cost through city resources­ $132,025

­Cost through third party contractor ­ $390,150

“In each of these projects, we see a significant increase if they would have been completed through a third party contractor,” Turner said.

“Staff believes that this is a bad bill and as a result would increase the burden on our taxpayers to maintain our city infrastructure.

“And as Public Works Director Kevin Louis Kevin spoke about at last council meeting about city infrastructure, if we don’t do the continual maintenance the deterioration of our city infrastructure would increase exponentially.”

Answering a question from Councilwoman Donna McBride, Turner said the local costs of the three examples include employee wages and wear and tear on city equipment. 

Turner said city staff is following the bill weekly with the Arizona League of Cities and Towns.

Councilman Dick Powell said, “That is really, really good, because a lot of times things happen to us and we were blind to it and didn’t get the input.

“And this one is certainly bad medicine and a huge expense to the community and the taxpayers who ends up paying it.

“I just want to compliment your doing that and bringing that forward.”

Councilman Matt Herman, using sarcasm, said, “It’s no secret how I feel about the state telling us how to run our city.

“Once again, I’m glad we’re bringing this forward and I really want to make it known that we vehemently oppose this, because it just makes no sense.

“I know they’re very responsible at the state level with our money and their budget and infrastructure, so I’m glad that they like to tell us how to do ours, because I think the city of Casa Grande is in much better shape than most. That’s my two and a half cents.”

Another factor, Mayor Craig McFarland said, is “the one thing that happens when you go with a outside vendor, they charge you for transportation of the equipment, they charge for all of that transportation costs. We don’t have that transportation cost and we have the equipment. So that grader that chews up the blacktop that you bought last year, we couldn’t use it if this bill passes, basically. You can’t pave a parking lot for $25,000. It’s a huge difference.”

Councilwoman Mary Kortsen said she feels that historically “just because cities, most particularly rural cities, express their dislike for these bills, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of effect on the leadership at the Legislature.

“What I would really to see is the numbers. That’s what our elected officials look at: how many calls did I get on one issue? If it’s from somebody like the League of Arizona Cities and Towns or if it’s from a city, that’s one thing. But if they get 10 calls from somebody in their area, just private citizens, that’s huge.”

Local residents need to call state representatives and voice their opposition, she said.

Councilman Ralph Varela asked if the city is working with the local representatives to see where they stand on the bill.

“I’ve been in contact with all of them,” Mayor McFarland said. “I’ve send emails personally to all of them.

“They say it won’t pass, but we just want to make sure.”

Turner told the council that, “ Currently, the bill is being held in committee. The League feels good about our chances, but still is encouraging us to pass resolutions.”

McFarland said Coolidge has already approved such a resolution.

The vote approving the Casa Grande resolution was unanimous.

Proposals sought to rehab historic Shonessy House

(Posted Feb. 1, 2017)

The request for proposals, outlining needed work, is HERE

An earlier presentation on structural problems with the house is HERE

Years of talk about restoring the historic Shonessy House south of the railroad tracks next to the old Casa Grande Hotel is taking a step forward with Casa Grande issuing a request for proposals for a certified historical architect.

Proposals are due to the city by Feb. 22. The beginning of the project is to be in early April, with completion in June, the RFP says.

According to the request, “The Shonessy House (115 W. Main Ave.) is one of the oldest adobe houses in Casa Grande. The Shonessy House is part of the "Life on Main" master plan that provides a blue print for redeveloping approximately 15 acres of vacant land that the city owns south of the Union Pacific Railroad in downtown Casa Grande. The main component of the master plan is the “historic plaza” which features the Shonessy House and will be the focal point as the city implements its recently approved master plan for the area.

“The house was built in 1890 and is in need of significant structural repairs to ensure the long- term stability of the building. As such, the City of Casa Grande seeks a qualified historical architect meeting appropriate federal professional qualification requirements as published in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation to work with the City of Casa Grande to rehabilitate the Shonessy House to restore its structural integrity.”

In an earlier presentation about the Life on Main proposal, Planning and Development Director Paul Tice said, “The Shonessy House is really an important structure within the Life on Main area. It’s probably one of the oldest, if not the oldest, adobe residential structures in Casa Grande. 

“The city owns it. We’ve been able to secure it from trespass, but it still is not secure from the elements. Part of the roof is peeled back on one corner. We still have some work to do to secure it from the weather, from deterioration. There’s some cracks in the adobe wall that need to be stabilized. 

“We intend to do that to stabilize the structure and then long term totally rehab it for some kind of adaptive reuse. The intent of the city is to retain ownership of that and to rehabilitate it and to find adaptive reuses that might be compatible with that structure.”

According to the local historical society, “Rancher-businessman William Shonessy arrived in Casa Grande around 1900, at age 65.

“This house, which retains its original configuration except of a shed-roofed addition on the back and the enclosure of a rear screened porch, was built some time before 1890 and is considered an outstanding example of Casa Grande's settlement period homes.

“It was once the home of W.C. Smith who owned one of the first stores on Main Street during the 1880's.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Fisher lived here for awhile in the 1920's and used the back porch for a mortuary. Harry was killed crossing the railroad tracks coming home one day.

His wife handled the burial arrangements. She later married Bill Plenz and had a mortuary on the corner of N. Olive Avenue and Eighth Street.

“Between 1933 and 1943, the Don Chun Wo family lived here and operated the store and rental apartments next door.” 

City financial disclosure requirements updated
         Staff report     Rules     Resolution     Ordinance     Form

Modernizing Fire Department radios approved

(Posted Jan. 20, 2017)

The detailed staff report is HERE

Motorola’s description of the radio, plus fact sheet and other information HERE

Final approval has been given for the Fire Department to begin a three-year process of modernizing its hand-held radios, giving the capability of communicating with area departments that operate on a different frequency system.

At the moment, the staff report says, “Casa Grande, Eloy, and Arizona City currently utilize the VHF band for radio communications while Gila River, Maricopa and all of our partners in the Phoenix area use the 800 MHz band. Pinal County is in the build­out phase of implementing a county­wide 800MHz system. 

“If this system is offered to Casa Grande as part of a regional wireless communications system, these new radios will already have the capability to access the system. The APX radio has multi­band capabilities, which will allow all personnel to seamlessly manage and use one radio throughout all radio systems.”

The ability to communicate is critical when Casa Grande firefighters call for mutual aid from area departments.

As Mayor Craig McFarland said during the last City Council meeting where the final approval was given for the first-year $166,759 purchase (or about $500,000 over the three years), “I talked to several of the firefighters and one of the biggest complaints they had was that their radios won’t talk to everybody else. They can’t talk to Maricopa. They’re all people we use and help us fight fires.

“This last summer, I think maybe in June, when we had those two houses to up at once and there was a lot of help coming from everywhere else they couldn’t communicate with some of those fire departments.”

Addressing Fire Chief Scott Miller, McFarland added, “One thing I would ask you to do is make sure when you go back to your team to make sure they understand that we heard them and that that was an issue and we’re going to take care of it for them.”

As Miller told the council, “This is our lifeline for the Fire Department, this is our communications. And it’s one of the biggest items out there that’s important to us, because we want everyone to go home.”

The first year of the upgrades, 20 radios would be purchased. Miller said the $166,759 cost also includes “also purchasing the batteries, the vehicle chargers which have to be mounted in the vehicles to charge each of those radios, the adapter kits which go into our fire stations and into the current existing chargers that we have so it was accept those radios, remote speaker, microphones that we have on our lapels and in order for us to do our own programming staff will provide the cable in order to be able to program our radios.”

Each radio, expected to have a life span of 10 years, comes with a five-year warranty.

Councilman Dick Powell asked how much repairs to radios would cost after the warranty expires.

Miller replied, “Currently, when I send in a portable for repair I’m looking a minimum of $500 to $1,000. I don’t have history on where these new ones are projected to be. Obviously, for the first five years we won’t have any. After that, hopefully it won’t be as expensive.”

Most of the present radios have been in use since 2008, with some older than that, Miller told the council.

Initial approval for new water tender/pumper

(Posted Jan. 19, 2017)

The detailed staff report is HERE

Video of the presentation is at

Initial approval has been given by the City Council for the Fire Department to purchase a new Pierce Freightliner water/pumper at a cost of $505,506.17.

It’s the second time around for the Fire Department to try to purchase the vehicle.

The council had given approval in October 2015 for buying one, but the company chosen later said it could not meet the required specifications and asked for changes$505,506.17. The department said that was unacceptable, touching off a lengthy process of getting that company to refund the city’s money.

(Details of the process are in the staff report, above.)

This time, purchase will be made from Pierce, with paying in advance saving the city $22,407. By purchasing now, the city will also save about $16,000 from scheduled price increases.

According to the staff report, the purchase will replace a 1989 pumper/tender that had reached it 25-year life span and had been removed from service.

Federal regulations and the fire response rating service, which includes the Casa Grande Fire Department, both require replacement at 25 years.

The equipment, which includes a compressed air foam system, will take about 11 months for Pierce to build, Fire Chief Scott Miller told the council.

Councilman Dick Powell asked how the foam system would help fight a fire.

Miller replied that the foam can be made “as soapy as your dish soap kind of soapy water or you can make it all the way into a shaving cream, depending upon how much air and how much foam you put and mix in with the water.

“In theory your 2,500 gallons of water (on the truck) will increase at least four to five times its capacity when you utilize air and foam into the system, so that 2,500 gallons is really like 10,000 gallons of firefighting water system out there for us.”

Regular fire trucks carry 750 gallons of water, the chief said.

Miller said the equipment will initially be housed at the fire station on McCartney Road to be able “to shoot down the freeway into the areas that we need to be at.

“The main reason is to take care of those non-hydranted areas or situations that may occur out on the freeway that you need to bring water to.”

The initial approval was unanimous. Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.

O'Neil reappointed as City Court magistrate

(Posted Jan. 18, 2018)

Video of the interviews of O’Neil and Smith is at

Incumbent Casa Grande City Court Magistrate Christopher O’Neil was unanimously reappointed Tuesday night by the City Council.

The position runs concurrent with the term of the mayor, requiring an appointment every two years.

It was pointed out during the special council meeting that there were 28 applicants, which the selection committee pared down to two: O’Neil and Scott Smith, who oversees the Casa Grande Drug Court for the Pinal County Probation Department. 

O’Neil’s salary was set at $107,736 yearly. The council vote on that was 6-1, with Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons saying her opposition to the amount was because she would like to see performance evaluations before raises are given.

Video of the meetings and study session on-line at 

Right-turn lane sought at Kortsen and Arizola

(Posted Jan. 12, 2017)

Casa Grande is calling for bids to construct a right turn lane from Kortsen Road onto Arizola Road.

Bids will be opened Feb. 7, the city said, with a contract awarded April 7.

The work is expected to be completed by mid June.

The bids request lists says the work “involves the widening of Arizola Road on the west side to provide a right turn lane for southbound traffic.”

It says the work will include:

• Remove existing pavements, curb and gutter sections and landscaping.

• Excavate for the proposed street widening to accommodate the right turn lane.

• Prepare the subgrade for the new street pavement.

• Place, install and compact aggregate base course.

• Construct new asphaltic concrete pavement.

• Construct new curb and gutter sections.

• Construct new decorative brick paver street pavement.

• Construct new sidewalk and sidewalk ramps.

• Install new traffic control signing and striping.

• Adjust catch basins and utility fixtures to finished grade.

• Restore the landscaping.

• Other miscellaneous and contingent work needed to complete the project.

Cold weather halts paving on Florence, east of I-10

(Posted Jan. 6, 2017)

The Arizona Department of Transportation issued this announcement today:

An Arizona Department of Transportation project on State Route 287 (Florence Boulevard) east of Interstate 10 in Casa Grande has been stopped until temperatures allow for paving. 

Work is expected to resume in March.

Work began in November 2016 on SR 287 between SR 87 and La Palma Road for paving and from Promenade Way to Mission Parkway for sidewalk work.

The $2.2 million construction improvement project includes milling and replacing existing asphalt concrete, applying a double chip seal coat, crack sealing shoulders and replacing pavement markings on a 10-mile stretch of road that extends from I-10 to State Route 87 (Arizona Boulevard) at La Palma Road.

For more information about this project, call Paki Rico, ADOT senior community relations officer, at 520-388-4233 or email

Jack in the Box proposed for Pinal-Cottonwood

(Posted Jan. 6, 2017)

The staff report is HERE

Scroll down in report for developer’s letter and building sketches

A major site plan and conditional use permit for a Jack in the Box fast food restaurant at the southeast corner of Cottonwood Lane and Pinal Avenue were approved Thursday night by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The proposal is for a 3,390-square-feet building with drive through.

There would be one entrance off of Pinal and a second from Cottonwood by utilizing the present 20-foot alley.

According to the staff report, “Approximately 33,000 square feet of this lot will remain undeveloped to the south of the proposed Jack in the Box. The major site plan associated with this proposed development provides conceptual detail of a future building to be used as retail and restaurant space.”


Better sports lighting set for Carr McNatt Park

(Posted Jan. 6, 2017)

Casa Grande will spend $272,000 to improve part of the sports lighting at Carr McNatt Park.

The initial approval Tuesday night follows final approval of spending $584,900 for better lighting at the Little League field. Final approval for Carr McNatt is expected during the next City Council meeting.

The work is part of a phased improvements plan for the park.

According to the staff report accompanying Tuesday night’s agenda item, “The area of the existing sport field lighting is over 20 years old and is need of an update to increase lighting quality and enhance park's safety. The cost includes demolition and removal of old light system, supply and installation Musco's Light­Structure Green, underground wiring and conduit, service entrance panel, controls installed by a licensed contractor, delivery and warranty. The Musco Sport Field Lighting frame comes with an unmatched product assurance and warranty program that includes materials and on­site labor, eliminating 100 percent of the city of Casa Grande maintenance costs for 10 years.”

Councilman Dick Powell asked where the lighting will be located.

“The middle use field,” Interim Community Services Director Jim Burke replied. “They’re really old lights, really just there as security lights but they’ve been using them for practice. This will give them quality lighting for that event space. The rest would come at a later phase.”

Powell also asked if the new lighting will last the same 20 years.

“That’s an excellent question,” Burke responded. “This is the new LED lighting, so I believe the life span is expected to be longer, but the proof will be in putting them out there. This is the first time we’re using them here in Casa Grande.”

Burke said the contractor will be asked for an analysis of how much money would be saved on maintenance with the new system, given the 10-year warranty.

Mayor Craig McFarland, noting the $272,000 for McNatt and the $500,000-plus for the Little League field, said the public needs to be made aware of the improvements.

“Is there any way we can get that information out to our citizens?” he asked.

“Certainly,” Burke replied. “We can do email blasts, we can post the properties, we can do a variety of things.”

During gathering of public comment on the park’s master plan, signs were put up informing the public, he said, adding that the same could be done in this case.

Councilwoman Mary Kortsen said a sign could be put at the park’s main entrance, “to let them know construction is going to be happening, just to point that out and just say these are monies being spent towards our youth.”

Burke responded, “That’s a great idea, that’s a good idea.”

Perhaps the signs could include before and after pictures, McFarland said, adding, “I just think that there’s a lot of investment, there’s a lot of infrastructure investment that people don’t see and I think that somehow we need to make sure that the public understands where we’re spending their money and that they’re getting something for it.”

Fourth Street repairs begin Tuesday, Jan. 10

(Posted Jan. 5, 2017)

The closure map is HERE

Fourth Street will be closed between Marshall and Florence streets for maintenance beginning Tuesday, Jan. 10.

The city announcement said the work, expected to be completed by Friday, Jan. 13, is to remove and replace part of the pavement.

The city said additional information is available from the Public Works Department at 421-8625, ext. 4820.

You can watch video of the meetings on-line at 

Kortsen/Pinal sewer repair project on the way

UPDATE: FInal approval was given during the Jan.3 City Council meeting

(Posted Dec. 24, 2016)

“We don’t want to find out what happens if that line collapses,” Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the City Council before initial approval was given for repairs to an 18-inch sewer line at the intersection of Kortsen Road and Pinal Avenue.

As the staff report accompanying the agenda item during the Dec. 19 council meeting put it, “During routine cleaning and video inspections of the existing 18-­inch sewer line … multiple cracks (longitudinal, spiral and circumferential) were observed. 

“Staff recommends rehabilitation of the sewer line utilizing an ultraviolet light cured­-in-­place pipe method. This method provides a reinforced liner with minimal pipe diameter reduction to maximize the existing capacity of the pipe.”

The project by Achen-Gardner Construction will cover rehabilitation of 530 feet of sewer line and will include sewer cleaning, pre/post videos, bypass pumping, liner installation, traffic control and permits from the Arizona Department of Transportation, which controls Pinal Avenue.

The initial approval (with final approval expected Jan. 3) was for a cost of not more than $188,135, broken down as $179,175 for the work and $8,960 for a 5 percent contingency fee for additional work if needed.

“We’re looking at an interim solution,” Louis told the council. “This is a Band-Aid solution, not an ultimate solution, but it’ll get us to the point where once we finish our detailed study of that area and come up with our future recommendations for the sewer lines in that part of the city to serve both the southeast and the east portions of the city, it’ll get us to that point where we can then look at removal and replacement of that section.”

Louis said Achen-Gardner had done a demonstration project of the ultraviolet method about a year and a half ago.

“We picked one of the nastiest sections of pipe that we have — we call it Restaurant Row — and it runs just on the south side of Florence right in front of City Hall,” he said.

“They did about a 250-foot section, we were able to get all of our engineers out there and our inspectors to watch this process and we’re very impressed with not only the product but the technique that they use, so we feel very comfortable with the scope of this project that they’ll be able to get us to the finish line.

“They basically insert this material, inflate it and then use an ultraviolet system that cures it in place.”

Under the contract, Achen-Gardner will bypass sewage from the line, connecting on the other side of Pinal.

“A complicated process, but it’s much better than digging up the intersection,” Louis said.

He said he had not taken a close look at impact on traffic during the project, “but the contractor’s in charge of applying for that permit through ADOT and I guarantee you if that traffic is going to be challenged they won’t issue a permit, so I think we’re going to be able to manage traffic through that intersection without too much impact.

“And we’ll work very closely with the grade school district, as their bus barn is right there and that’s their main in and out road, so we’ll make sure we take into all those considerations.”

According to the request documents, the project is to be completed within 30 days. No start date was given.

New lighting for Little League field gets initial OK

UPDATE: Final approval was given during the Jan.3 City Council meeting

(Posted Dec. 23, 2016)

2017 Little League registration now open  HERE

Initial approval has been given to spend $584,900 to replace the 30-year-old lighting at the Little League field on Amarillo Street between Evergreen Elementary School and Food City.

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item during the last City Council meeting, “The cost includes demolition and removal of the old light system, supply and installation of Musco's Light­Structure Green, underground wiring and conduit, service entrance panel, controls installed by a licensed contractor, delivery and warranty. 

“The Musco Sport Field Lighting frame comes with an unmatched product assurance and warranty program that includes materials and on­site labor, eliminating 100 percent of the city of Casa Grande maintenance costs for 10 years.”

Answering a question from Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons on why the lights are being replaced, Interim Community Services Director Jim Burke said, “It’s just really old lights and the standard and the field level lighting is no longer being able to hold the condition that the kids are expecting to play for.

“These new lights will have two benefits: the light across the field will be really smooth so you won’t see the difference between the infield and outfield when you’re playing and the cutoff at the property line will be excellent, so the neighborhood will see darker lighting, less lighting, actually, a darker sky. And they’ll be much more efficient electricity use for us long term.”

Councilman Matt Herman asked how much electricity would be saved.

Burke responded that, “They expect this will pay back in 10 years time. I don’t have the exact number and the utility costs by hour of service, but we expect to see quite a significant savings.”

The vote for initial approval was unanimous. Final approval is expected during the Jan. 3 council meeting.

Video of the 7 p.m. meeting is HERE

Video of the 6 p.m. study session is HERE

Switch to LED streetlights begins next Monday

(Posted Dec. 12, 2016)

The schedule for weeks two and three is HERE

Scroll down in SPECIAL ARCHIVE for comprehensive story about the entire program

Casa Grande will begin changing 3,867 of its street lights to light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures on Monday, Dec. 19, the city announced today.  

The area is bounded by Villago Parkway, McCartney Road, Thornton Road and Summer Lane. 

“There are many benefits resulting from the conversion to LED fixtures, such as lower energy use, decreased energy costs, and significantly less maintenance,” the announcement said. 

“The new fixtures are expected to last almost 24 years and are anticipated to reduce energy consumption by almost 70 percent and utility costs by 40 percent.

“The potential savings over 20 years is over $3 million, with a majority of those savings coming from maintenance. The total cost of the project is $1,689,249. 

“Casa Grande is following the recommendations of the International Dark Sky Association and the American Medical Association in using LED fixtures with a warmer color temperature of lighting (3000k). The end result is a reduction in light pollution and a better overall quality of light.”

In order to minimize traffic disruptions, crews will be installing the fixtures in residential areas during the day, and high traffic areas during the night. 

Craig McFarland, upper right, is sworn in as Casa Grande's new mayor during Monday night's City Council meeting. Administering the oath is City Magistrate Christopher O'Neil. Below, council members Lisa Fitzgibbons, Mary Kortsen and Donna McBride are sworn in. Councilman Ralph Varela was selected as mayor pro tem.
(City of Casa Grande photos)

Mayor's Committee on Disability Issues dissolved

(Posted Dec. 6, 2016)

The video of the discussion is HERE

It was a case of lack of interest and lack of participation.

Ending the Mayor’s Committee on Disability Issues was approved by the Casa Grande City Council during Monday night’s meeting.

“It’s been a committee we’ve had for a number of years, always had trouble staffing it and getting them to attend the meetings,” outgoing Mayor Bob Jackson told the council.

“About a year and a half ago, we invited them into a strategic planning retreat because we thought maybe that would help focus them a little bit, identify what items they wanted to do. We had less than half of them go to the strategic planning session, even though we tried to coordinate that weekend for everybody to go to.

“And since then, we continue to struggle having any kind of quorum. Sometimes we have nobody show up for the meetings.

“It’s been that way for probably six or seven years and so the feeling was, if we can’t get a quorum, we can’t get members, it’s a committee that has to be dissolved by a council action. So that’s where we are.”

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, the committee was formed in 1987 to be a clearing house for groups working to end the unemployment and underemployment of handicapped persons. Three years later, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, taking over the reasons the committee was formed.

“Over the years the scope of this committee has changed until the past several years when they met only to help coordinate two events — the Halloween Dance and Disability Awareness Day,” the staff report says. “The Halloween Dance is overseen by the Community Services Department and the school district has taken the lead on Disability Awareness Day. 

“The Mayor's Committee on Disability Issues has not met in nearly a year and the few remaining members can still be involved by working as a volunteer for the two events with which they have stayed active. Should the need arise, the committee could be formed again in the future.”

The vote to dissolve the committee was unanimous, with Councilman Dick Powell on excused absence.

Work continues on Florence Boulevard east of I-10

(Posted Dec. 2, 2016)

The Arizona Department of Transportation made this announcement today:

State Route 287 (Florence Boulevard) east of Interstate 10 in Casa Grande continues to have restrictions for a construction improvement project on a 10-mile stretch of road that extends from I-10 to State Route 87 (Arizona Boulevard) at La Palma Road. 

The $2.2 million construction project includes milling and replacing existing asphalt concrete, applying a double chip seal coat, crack sealing shoulders and replacing pavement markings.

The work will occur as follows:

SR 287 will be narrowed to one lane in both directions between SR 87 and La Palma Road from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, through Friday, Dec. 9, for paving. A pilot vehicle will escort drivers through the work zone.

Sidewalk restrictions are in place around the clock along Florence Boulevard from Promenade Way to Mission Parkway through Friday, Dec. 9, to allow crews to work on the sidewalk ramps.

When posted, you can watch video of the meetings on-line at 

Electric car company coming to Casa Grande

(Posted Nov. 29, 2016)

Video of the announcement in Casa Grande is HERE

A story from the  Phoenix Business Journal is HERE

A video of the ceremony at the state Capitol is HERE 

There were difficulties in getting the video to stream, causing a black-screen delay. The ceremony starts at 9:25 minutes. Casa Grande Mayor Bob Jackson’s statement is at 28.40 minutes.

The company announcement is HERE

The governor’s announcement is HERE

Lucid Motors, a California company that has transitioned itself from a battery maker to electric car manufacturer, announced Tuesday that is is building a car manufacturing facility on 500 acres near Peters and Thornton roads on the west side of Casa Grande.

The announcement was made at both that state Capitol in the morning and at Casa Grande City Hall in the afternoon.

The facility, projected to cost $700 million, will break ground in the first half of 2017, the company said, with initial hiring of about 400 people, starting a training process involving Central Arizona College and technical and community colleges in Maricopa and Pinal counties. 

Lucid said that by 2022 it hopes to have more than 2,000 full-time employees.

The first cars should be in production toward the end of 2018, the company said.

Casa Grande Mayor Bob Jackson was one of the speakers at the announcement in Phoenix.

“This is truly an exciting moment,” he said, “exciting for our state, exciting for the region, and particularly exciting for the city of Casa Grande.

“I feel enormously proud to stand here on behalf of Casa Grande and express how pleased we are welcome Lucid Motors to our community.”

Jackson said the announcement “comes as a result of a strong, collaborative partnership among Lucid Motors, the office of Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona’s federal delegation, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Pinal County and the city of Casa Grande.

“Countless days and hours have been invested by our state, county and local stakeholders to see this exciting prospect come to fruition.

“Poised with vital infrastructure, talented workforce and key proximity to the regional supply chain, Casa Grande has proven to be the ideal site for the future success of Lucid Motors.”

Jackson said the $700-million capital investment and eventually hiring of more than 2,000 workers will be a significant impact felt in Casa Grande, the region and the state.

“In the past five years, Casa Grande has worked diligently to attract companies that can serve as economic drivers for our entire region,” he said.

“This strategic investment to Lucid Motors continues to demonstrate the many attributes that define Casa Grande as a promising area for longterm growth and success in economic development.

“I look forward to seeing the arrival of Lucid Motors impermeably change the landscape of Casa Grande and to see it propel us forward to the regional leader for technology and innovation and distinguish us as a premiere place for manufacturing and distribution.

“On behalf of the Casa Grande City Council and our entire community, we welcome you and look forward to sharing in your success.”

City seeking bids for annual pavement work

(Posted Nov. 28, 2016)

Casa Grande spends big bucks each year on pavement maintenance, between $1.3 million to $1.5 million.

Bids are being sought for next year’s work.

According to the request, “The city typically alternates the classifications of streets receiving surface preservation treatments each year. One year arterial and collector streets will be completed while the next year residential streets will be completed.

“Arterial and collector streets are typically maintained by the application of microsurfacing or rubber chip sealing. Optionally, the city may specific the use of a rejuvenator treatment using emulsified asphalt fog seal.

“Other surface treatments that may be specified in any given task assignment include double chip seal of unimproved (native dirt) roads and cape seal, a combination of the chip seal and slurry seal (sometimes microsurfacing) applications.

“The task assignments will include restriping to replace existing traffic control striping and markings that are obliterated by the new surface treatments.” 

Bids will be opened on Dec. 20.

City confirms that study sessions will be televised

(Posted Nov. 22, 2016)

It was confirmed today by Casa Grande that City Council study sessions will be aired on the city’s Cox cable channel 11 starting with the Dec. 5 meeting.

Councilwoman Mary Kortsen had posted on Facebook on Oct. 21 that the sessions would be broadcast, but there was no official announcement.

While Casa Grande City Council meetings have been televised for a long time, study sessions have not.

The study sessions are held to hear details about various situations, such as the community recreation center proposals, Grande Sports World financial problems, etc.

The council cannot take action during study sessions. 

The study sessions, which are usually held just before the regular City Council meetings, will be on the city’s Cox cable channel 11, as will the regular session.

They will be simultaneously streamed on the city’s website,

The regular council meetings may also been seen at that link.

The city announcement said the study sessions will be rebroadcast on channel 11 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at noon and 8 p.m. 

City Council meetings will be rebroadcast on channel 11 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. 

The announcement added that the agendas for each council study session and meeting can be found the Thursday prior to each meeting at

(CG NEWS note: The agendas are also posted on this website under NEWS.)

Monday night's CG City Council actions

           You can watch video of the meeting on-line at 

(Posted Nov. 21, 2016)

The Casa Grande City Council took these actions during Monday night’s meeting:

Approved an agreement with nFlux Energy Products to provide 300 acre feet (97-plus million gallons) of reclaimed sewer plant effluent, rated a A+ quality, for nFlux’s proposed energy greenhouse facility near Burris and Rodeo roads.

According to the staff report, the facility would “produce low cost clean energy, increase food crop yields by up to 40 percent and with 10 percent of the water usage. They plan to use a CO2 fertilization process and heat from a generator, along with water from the water from the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

In turn, nFlux would sell electricity generated from the facility’s combined heat and power facility to the city for use at the sewage plant.

Under that agreement, also approved Monday night, nFlux would sell up to 7.5 gigawatt hours of electricity at a price of 5.25 cents per kilowatt hour, almost half the present market rate of 10.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

In other actions:

• Delayed consideration of a contract for repairing the 18-inch sewer line at Pinal Avenue and Kortsen Road.

• Delayed a public hearing and zoning ordinance regarding changes in terminology for the Evergreen Historic District and other historic designations.

• Appointed Allison Catalina to the Police Advisory Board and Terry Emig to the Airport Advisory Board.

• Approved a contract for technical support for heart monitors used by the Fire Department, with a cost of $13,235 for the first year.

• Certified the general election voting showing incumbent Councilwoman Mary Kortsen, with 7,059 votes, and Donna McBride, at 6,509 votes, as winners of the two open seats. Runners-up were Bob Huddleston at 5,620 and David Snider at 4,232.

(AMENDED) Casa Grande City Council agenda, Nov. 21
You can watch the 7 p.m. meeting on-line at 
     Or watch it on the city’s Cox channel 11.
     The city does not yet televise study sessions.

CG advertising for replacement city clerk
   Background and information  HERE

Council creates judicial selection committee

(Posted Nov. 7, 2016)

The City Charter section relating to City Court is HERE

City Court website with court information and links is HERE

The City Council has created a judicial selection committee to recommend a magistrate for City Court.

It is not a move to oust present Magistrate Christopher O’Neil, appointed in July 2013.

A section of the City Charter mandates that the magistrate’s term of office is the same as that of the mayor, requiring appointment or reappointment each time a mayor is elected or reelected.

Acting during Monday night’s meeting, the council appointed David Fitzgibbons as selection committee chairman and Carmen Auza, Dennis Dugan, Robert Tapia and Debby Yost as members.

Mayor Bob Jackson said those names came from mayor-elect Craig McFarland.

“I asked him about a month ago to give me the names that he wanted,” Jackson said, “so even though I’m identified as the person that made the appointments, they’re actually Craig’s.

“I only offer that up so that you don’t think we are doing something that is unethical or illegal or something.”

The committee will recommend two candidates to the council, acting within 30 days. Once the council makes a selection, the committee will be disbanded.

The appointments were made under an emergency clause, meaning they go into effect immediately, but City Attorney Brett Wallace told the council that, “we normally did two readings at two separate meetings, so it’s my recommendation that even though we are doing it with an emergency clause, the effective date will actually be the next meeting on (Nov. 21).

The council appointed O’Neil as interim judge, effective Dec. 5, the date the new mayor and council are sworn in.

“Since there is a time lag between the swearing in of the mayor and the time necessary for the judicial selection committee to do its work,” the staff report says, “it is recommended you appoint the incumbent judge as interim city judge for this time period. This would eliminate any question regarding the status of the judge or his legal standing.

“… he shall remain interim city judge until such time council selects the next city judge, at which point this appointment shall terminate, but in no event shall the appointment exceed 90 days.”

In other action Monday night, the council:

• Gave initial approval to a $74,040 contract for construction administration of the reconstruction of Thornton Road from Gila Bend Highway to Cottonwood Lane.

• Gave initial approval to purchase of a 4,000-gallon water truck for $159,594.

• Gave initial approval for changing zoning to general industrial generally south of Cottonwood Lane west of Lewis Street.

You can watch video of the 7 p.m. meeting on-line at 

The city will begin televising study sessions on Dec. 5

Tell ADOT your priorities for Arizona highways

(Posted Oct. 26, 2016)

The Arizona Department of Transportation issued this announcement today:

Interactive online survey available until Nov. 11 lets you rank what’s most important.

Got five minutes? That’s all it takes to get involved and help shape the future of transportation in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is in the process of updating our Long-Range Transportation Plan, also known as “What Moves You Arizona.” This allows us to look ahead 25 years and plan for transportation needs throughout our state. It also helps us determine how we distribute funding to balance the many needs of our state highway system.

MetroQuest survey

That’s where you come in. We’ve created an easy and engaging interactive online survey, so you can tell us what’s most important to you when it comes to how we travel to get to work, school, appointments, activities and so much more.

The survey is available at It can be completed on a computer, smartphone or tablet. A Spanish-language version of the survey is also available via the link.

The survey gives you the opportunity to rank six transportation priorities: preservation, expansion, safety, technology, accessibility, and maintenance and operations. You get a budget and determine how much of it you’d allocate for each priority. Then you’ll decide tradeoff scenarios that further define your priorities. It’s that simple.

Take the survey today and then share the link with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. 

ADOT will summarize and share the results of the survey and will have an updated plan in place in early 2017.

ADOT’s Long-Range Plan is updated every five years and is not project-specific. It’s up to the public, policymakers and communities to tell ADOT what’s important to them throughout the long-range planning process and to prioritize projects and funding.

For more information, visit our project website at

The city has its own household bills to pay

(Posted Oct. 24, 2016)

The complete payments list is HERE

As with your own household, Casa Grande has its bills for utilities, insurance, retirement and loans.

What you don’t have, though, are payments to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office to house city prisoners in the jail.

The list of billings payments for Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 3, 5 and 6 approved during the last City Council meeting includes:

• $76,016.26 to the sheriff for jailed prisoners from Casa Grande, broken down as $33,770.70 for July and $42,245.56 for August.

• $73,944.21 for electricity, with $64,611.85 to Arizona Public Service, 6,357.38 to Electrical District 2, $2,643.62 to ED 3, $331.36 to San Carlos and $160.56 to Hohokam.

• $29,949.49 to Arizona Water Co.

• $653.52 to Southwest Gas Co.

• $15,601.11 for wireless and landline phones.

• $50,583.95 for employee retirement accounts.

• $124,821.87 for solar panels loan.

• $881,076.36 for sewer expansion loan.

• $367,437.11 for employee health, life, dental and disability insurance.

• $20,940 to renew 500 Microsoft Office 365 licenses for one year.

City sewage treatment plant filters being repaired

(Posted Oct. 22. 2016)

Casa Grande is spending $134,968 for repairs to the tertiary filtration system at the city’s sewage treatment plant.

The work will not affect services to residents and businesses.

“This is a normal repair-and-replacement,” Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the City Council during Monday night’s meeting.

In brief, tertiary filters are for filtering the liquid effluent from a secondary wastewater treatment system, removing additional solids and chemicals.

“As part of our plant design, we currently produce A+ water,” Louis said. “One of the key components to that is our tertiary filter system.

“The system is starting to see signs of failure in almost each one of the components that are being replaced through this purchase.”

The filters, a proprietary design, are being purchased from Aqua­Aerobic Systems, Inc., the equipment manufacturer.

“The best way to explain it is you wouldn’t want someone who specializes in Volkswagens working on a Mercedes,” Louis said. “This is their system, they’ve come up with new design for the equipment we need to replace, which are valves and the actuators for the backwash system.”

Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons said, “When you say each valve has experienced failures, it just got me a little nervous. Is there like a backup? If one’s failing, is there something that’s helping it, it’s not affecting the system at all, is that right?”

The system was built to have redundant processes, Louis answered.

“We are currently sitting with the capability of doing 12 million gallons a day,” he continued. “We’re currently processing just over six million gallons a day, so we have over half of our units that we’re not using.

“Even if we had all 12 million going through that plant, we still have redundant pieces of equipment. So as we see those failures what we do is we go in and we take one of those 42 filtration modules out of service and do the repairs. 

“But what we’ve found now is the manufacturer will no longer support the components from the original construction, so we’re upgrading those parts of that piece of equipment.”

Louis said he did not have an exact timeline for the repairs.

“It’ll probably take us six to 12 months to go through the entire system,” he said.

Initial approval of the purchase was unanimous, with Councilman Matt Herman on excused absence.

Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.

City will begin televising council study sessions

(Posted Oct. 21, 2016)

Councilwoman Mary Kortsen posted this today on Facebook. 

While Casa Grande City Council meetings have been televised for a long time, study sessions have not.

The study sessions are held to hear details about various situations, such as the community recreation center proposals, Grande Sports World financial problems, etc.

The council cannot take action during study sessions. 

The study sessions, which are usually held just before the regular City Council meetings, will be on the city’s Cox cable channel 11.

They will be simultaneously streamed on the city’s website,

City saving $192,000 by rebuilding problem grader

(Posted Oct. 18, 2016)

Casa Grande is saving $192,000 by having a Caterpillar grader rebuilt rather than purchasing a new model.

As Public Works Director Kevin Louis explained to the City Council during Monday night’s meeting, the grader, purchased in 2007, has logged more than 9,200 hours of operation and has been having mechanical problems. He said $14,000 has been spent on repairs and the grader has been out of services for 13 days.

Louis said the department first looked at replacing the grader under Caterpillar’s recommendation of 10,000 hours of useful life,

That would have cost $340,000 versus the rebuild by Empire Southwest for an estimated $147,835.

Public Works had budgeted for the full replacement, Louis said, adding that after considering the cost, “we just saw the benefit of taking this grader — which is still in pretty good shape structurally, we’re just starting to have some mechanical problems with it — and have the rebuild,.

“They’ll go through and replace the entire power train, hydraulics, cab so it’ll be a certified power train-plus rebuild for this second useful life.”

According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, the certified rebuild is projected to provide an additional 10,000 hours of operation, coming with a one-year warranty.

The staff report adds that, “The actual cost of the certified rebuild will not be determined until Empire Southwest disassembles the grader and assesses what parts can be reused for the rebuild.

“The requested expenditure authority (up to $147,835) includes a 10 percent contingency to cover costs in the event the majority of parts need replacement. The request also includes a two-month rental fee for a replacement grader to use while the city’s unit is being rebuilt. Empire Southwest has agreed to cover any rental cost beyond the two-month period if needed.”

The report adds that the Caterpillar 140H grader is a primary piece of equipment used by the Street Division for maintaining 64 lane miles of unpaved roads, roadside drainage maintenance, street construction projects, grading of city owned properties and maintaining the Rodeo grounds for special events.

Councilwoman Mary Kortsen said, “I want to compliment you on making the decision. You were sitting there and saying, hey, I have $340,000 to spend … and you made a decision to go ahead and do the repair instead.”

Initial approval of the request was unanimous, with Councilman Matt Herman on excused absence.

Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.

Dirt is dirt, right? When it for the landfill, not quite

(Posted Oct. 18, 2016)

Dirt is dirt, right?

Not quite.

When it comes to the Casa Grande city landfill, just any old dirt won’t do.

The question came up during Monday night’s City Council meeting as Public Works Director Kevin Louis was explaining a request for authorization for the city to buy up to 43,000 tons of cover dirt, at a maximum price of $167,270.

Why go out and buy dirt?

As the staff report accompanying the agenda item explains, “State and federal law requires that all waste in a municipal landfill be buried with a minimum of six inches of soil at the end of each operating day. The Casa Grande landfill has a limited soil reserve and must import off­site soil on an annual basis to meet cover material requirements.”

This year, Age General Engineering Co. bid $3.89 per ton The last contract, just expired, was $4.22 per ton.

Councilman Karl Montoya had the only questions about buying dirt.

“Just how unique is the dirt that’s coming in?” he asked. “I mean, what kind of specifications?”

The main specification, Louis answered is “as long as we can put it down and it doesn’t blow away, so it does have to have some moisture content so that we can keep it on the site.

“It needs to have nothing over a certain aggregate size. There can’t be any other contaminants, so there can’t be any construction debris or anything like that. If somebody was to scrape a construction site we would look at that load and say we’re not accepting that load. That’s really the only qualifications.”

Montoya asked if Public Works has ever looked at using soil from projects such as cleaning out washes for flood control.

“Right now, through our other efforts we can typically get about one-eight of our total supply that we need through other avenues at no cost to us,” Louis responded. “We do find opportunities to take advantage of folks that will bring us dirt, their topsoil. We do accept soil that meets our specifications at no charge to anyone in the city.

“As a matter of fact, (Planning and Development Director) Paul Tice is working on a plan right now to encourage when people get permits to bring their topsoil out to the landfill.

“We also use our solids from the wastewater plant, that sludge. We are able to use a one-third mix to topsoil, which also extends the useful life of the amount of topsoil that we bring onsite.”

Initial approval of the purchase was unanimous, with Councilman Matt Herman on an excused absence. Final approval is expected during the next council meeting.

All items on the 7 p.m. agenda were approved.
You can watch video of the meeting on-line at 
The city does not television study sessions.

City clerk taking job in Pinetop-Lakeside

(Posted Oct. 12, 2016)

Casa Grande City Clerk Remy Miller is leaving to take a job as town clerk of Pinetop-Lakeside, it was  announced today.

Miller, who became city clerk in 2012, has worked for Casa Grande for 19 years, the announcement by City Manager Larry Rains said.

The announcement said Miller’s last day with the city is Nov. 11. The city will appoint an interim clerk and will conduct a search for a replacement.

"During her career, Remy has demonstrated a strong commitment to the community of Casa Grande," the announcement quotes Rains as saying. "While her knowledge and experience will be missed, her contributions will continue to benefit our community and organization. We wish her the absolute best in this new endeavor."

The announcement quotes Miller as saying, “It has been a pleasure working for the city of Casa Grande. There are so many highlights of my career and I'm very proud to have been part of our growing community.

“I am also thankful for the confidence that the City Council, city manager and all of the directors have placed in me to serve as the city clerk. I had the pleasure of working with several mayors, numerous council members, multiple city managers and various department directors. I'm sad to leave but proud to have served the city for 19 years."

According to the announcement, the city clerk position is responsible for “performing the technical, legal and administrative duties in managing the official records of the city, maintaining the required historical municipal data, and conducting municipal elections.”

Caliche sign before Board of Adjustment
    Staff report, recommendations are HERE

The only action item on Monday night’s (Oct. 3) City Council agenda, a public hearing and ordinance on a request for changes in the land use plans for the Casa Grande Regional Shopping Center Planned Area Development north of the present Promenade mall and south of Kortsen Road, was tabled until a study session is held to gather more information for the council.

City Council agenda, Monday, Oct. 3

You can watch video of the meeting on-line at 
The city does not television study sessions.

City Council study session agenda, Oct. 3

Morris named permanent city finance director

(Posted Sept. 12, 2016)

Interim Casa Grande Finance Director Celina Morris has been appointed to the job permanently, the city announced today.

"Celina possesses the perfect combination of financial acumen and leadership skills that are essential for filling this critical position," the announcement quoted City Manager Larry Rains, who made the appointment. "Her qualifications, combined with the strong relationships she has already established with City staff and leadership, will prove to be extremely valuable as we move forward to serve our residents."

Morris will oversee the city's financial reporting and budgeting functions, which include monitoring the analysis of budget and financial variables, revenue cycles, and financial planning activities. She will also serve as the principal advisor to the city on information technology programs.

"It is truly an honor to serve Casa Grande in this capacity" the announcement quoted Morris as saying. "The city is in such a strong financial position to succeed and I am excited for the opportunity to complete the many initiatives currently underway and guide us into a successful, fiscally responsible future."

The announcement said her tenure with the city began in 2014 when she was hired as a budget analyst and later became the accounting manager. She has been serving as the interim finance director since May when Doug Sandstrom resigned to accept a position in Goodyear. 

Morris has more 25 years of finance and accounting experience in the public and private sectors, 10 of which include positions with state and local governmental entities and financial institutions. 

She holds a bachelor of business administration, accounting from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and is currently enrolled in a masters of accountancy program from Saint Joseph's College of Maine.

Lack of quorum cancels parks and rec meeting

(Posted Sept. 7, 2016)

Because only three members -- one less than the required quorum -- showed up, Wednesday night's Parks and Recreation Board meeting was canceled. The main item on the agenda (HERE) was an update on the community recreation center. That is expected to go before the City Council on Sept. 19. The previously scheduled meeting of the parks board, with a rec center update on the agenda, was also canceled because there was no quorum.

City Council actions, Monday, Sept. 6

You can watch video of the meeting, item by item, at

Because of technical difficulties, the first 17 minutes are missing.

(Posted Sept. 6, 2016)

These actions were taken by the City Council during Monday night's meeting:
• Granted a time extension for the final plat for Santa Cruz Crossing at Trekell and Rodeo roads.
    The staff report is HERE       The new phasing is HERE
• Appointed Jim Sommers to the Historic Preservation Commission and Danielle R. Delsi to the Board of Appeals.
• Approved renewing membership in the League of Arizona Cities and Towns at a cost of $28,230.
• Approved purchase of a monitor/defibrillator system for the Fire Department at a cost of $34,815.
• Approved purchase of streets crack sealing material at a cost of $100,000.
• Approved purchase of two dump trucks at a cost of $309,945.
• Approved purchase of a pickup truck with body installation at a cost of $31,097.
• Approved refurbishing of a collection rolloff truck at a cost of $81,496.
• Gave final approval to changing zoning at the intersection of Rodeo Road and Pottebaum Avenue to general business.
• Delayed until more information is available a zone change to general industrial south of Cottonwood Lane, west of Lewis Street.
• Gave initial approval to changing zoning to community services and multifamily residential south of Cottonwood Lane, west of Lewis Street.
• Approved the route and street closures for the Veterans Day Parade.
    The route map is HERE         The closures list is HERE

Sept. 6 Casa Grande City Council agenda
    You can watch the 7 p.m. meeting on-line at 
    Or watch it on the city’s Cox channel 11

Comments sought on block grant improvements

(Posted Sept. 1, 2016)

A copy of the report is HERE

The announcement, with comment information, is HERE

Casa Grande is asking residents to review and comment on its 2015 community development block grants accomplishments and spending.

Comments and suggestions will be taken through Sept. 15.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the report during its Sept. 19 meeting.

Contractor sought to repair Kortsen sewer line

(Posted Aug. 29, 2016)

The full request, with technical details, is HERE

Casa Grande is seeking a qualified contractor to replace 530 feet of deteriorated sewer line on Kortsen Road east and west of Pinal Avenue.

The deadline for submittals is Sept. 20. 

According to the request, if the contract is approved by the City Council in November, work could being Dec. 8, with 30 days allowed for completion.

According to the request, the work will require permits from the Arizona Department of Transportation for work within its Pinal Avenue right of way and a permit from Arizona Water Co. for any use of water hydrants.

Permits will also be required for after-hours noise and closing of any lanes for work.

A traffic control plan approved by ADOT and by the city will also be required.

Shopping center addition, Tanger before P&Z
                 Center staff report       Tanger staff report
          Thursday, Sept. 1, update: All items were approved

You can watch video of the 7 p.m. regular meeting on-line HERE
The city does not television study sessions.

City investments report on study agenda
                               The report is HERE

Major reconstruction of Thornton Road set

(Posted Aug. 5, 2016)

The initial OK has been given for reconstruction of Thornton Road between Gila Bend Highway and Cottonwood Lane, upgrading the major truck route.

Final approval is expected during the Aug. 15 City Council meeting.

The staff report puts it plainly:

“This segment of roadway has significant heavy truck traffic primarily to and from the distribution facilities and other industrial businesses in the area. The street has been steadily deteriorating over the past few years.  Consequently, we are continually repairing pot holes and soon the entire road could turn into more of a dirt road than paved.”

The project will reconstruct the road to the existing width, improve the grade for better drainage and remove and replace the pavement and curb sections.

The contract is for a base cost of $1,129,475, with a 20 percent contingency if needed, for a total of $1,355,370. Contingency funds are routinely added to contracts to cover any unforeseen problems.

Work is expected to begin in mid to late September, with the contractor estimating completion in less than three months.

Thornton Road as a detour route was discussed several years ago when the Walmart Distribution Center opened. The fear was that heavy trucks coming from the north would go down Pinal Avenue into downtown and then down Chuichu Road to Peters Road, turning west to where the center is located. During the following years, more industry has located in the western industrial area.

The reconstruction project was originally designed to be done in two sections — north from Gila Bend to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and then from the tracks to Cottonwood Lane. It was a matter of available money.

The Public Works Department staff then made some design changes to lower the projected cost.

“Based on the bids that we received for both sections, which we did as a bid alternate, we’re able to put it all underneath the spending authority that we have in this fiscal year,” Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council.

The reconstruction work will cause traffic problems.

Councilman Matt Herman asked, “While we’re doing this, are we going to have a good detour set up or at least let these businesses know to have their trucks go down the I-8 and come up Thornton that way. I can see a lot of trucks going around and coming the other way down Gila Bend and possibly getting stuck under our favorite underpass, so I think we should be proactive on that.”

City Traffic Engineer Duane Eitel responded that, “We’re going to build it under traffic, so there’ll be times when it will be just one lane going one direction. There’ll be flagging, pilot cars, those kind of things.

“We already have visited with all the businesses telling them about the project, so we’ll want to encourage Walmart and the distribution centers to go down to I-8.

“There’s no other real good detour, there’s something wrong with every other way to go — the underpass on Florence (just west of the Holiday Inn), Peters Road pavement isn’t that good — so they decided to build it under traffic. I’ve talked to the contractor, they don’t feel that there’s any real issue with doing that.

“And I hope that when it gets to one lane, in time the trucks will go somewhere else.”

Councilman Karl Montoya asked if the project could be completed quicker by shutting down the entire road.

Eitel responded, “There’s no doubt that it would, but we couldn’t figure out a reasonable detour. You can’t go down Florence Boulevard because of the underpass there is too low. There just isn’t another really good detour that we were comfortable with.”

Herman also asked if something will be done about the roughness when crossing over the UP rail tracks.

“I’ve honestly had a lot of complaints about the transition over the railroad tracks there,” he said. “Will that be addressed? Can we make that better, smoother? I know that we’re dealing a lot with UP and everything there but is it possible?”

Councilman Dick Powell added, “I’ve had different industries call me that are concerned about the crossings and what it does to the loads that are coming in and can’t we do anything about it.”

Eitel said Union Pacific has approved an agreement to do reconstruction work right up to the tracks, crossing into railroad right of way.

“I don’t have the final official agreement of that,” he said, “but we are going to try to improve the asphalt all the way up to the tracks.”

Corps of Engineers gets Villago expansion request
                Sketches of work areas are on the last pages

Board of Adjustment hearing on PhoenixMart signs
              The Aug. 9 agenda and staff report

City property tax rates will remain the same

(Posted Aug. 1, 2016)

The taxes chart is HERE

The taxes ordinance is HERE

Casa Grande’s primary and secondary property tax rates will remain the same this fiscal year, the City Council decided Monday night.

The primary tax is 99.99 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The secondary rate is 63.08 cents per hundred.

The estimated amount to be raised by the primary tax is $3,446,500, used for general government operations.

The secondary tax will bring $2,110,300, used for paying principal and interest on general obligation bonds.

You can watch video of the 7 p.m. meeting on-line HERE
The city does not television study sessions.

Studying ways to relieve the Kortsen sewer lines

(Posted July 24, 2016)

The staff report is HERE

The scope of work is HERE

The first thing to be clear on is that this sewer proposal is not the projected large line running east to the area of future site of PhoenixMart.

This concerns the lines down Kortsen Road and how that system is nearing capacity.

The only way PhoenixMart ties in is if nothing is done about Kortsen, the future flow coming from PhoenixMart and linking to Kortsen will cause major problems.

That’s why, perhaps belatedly, the city is paying an engineering company $499,700 to figure out what would be the best alignment for one of the three reliever line routes studied. 

Initial approval was given during the last City Council meeting, with final approval expected at the next meeting.

“Currently, the existing sewer lines within Kortsen serve approximately half of the city’s wastewater service area,” Deputy Public Works Director Terry McKeon told the council.

“The capacity available in those lines, it’s getting close to full, is the simple way to put it. We need to put together a plan for providing relief for those sewers to be able to continue to serve and develop within the area.”

The evaluation by Sunrise Engineering will determine which of three corridors would be best for a replacement sewer, McKeon added, “where here can we get the most bang for our buck, what can we afford to build that provides us the most capacity we can afford without having a ridiculously large sewer.”

McKeon said the city has worked with Sunrise to do that evaluation and provide a conceptual design.

“Not full design plans,” he added, “but conceptual vertical and horizontal alignment to identify constraints, challenges and, most importantly, cost estimating. At the end of the day we need a reliable cost estimate that we can then carry forward and budget and be able to find the money and build it.”

Councilman Matt Herman, calling the project “very unglamorous, but very necessary,” asked how long it might be before the Kortsen system is full.

“I know it is a bit of a moving target, but what are you anticipating?” he asked. “Are we going to have to be ready for this next year or five years?”

McKeon replied that, “Unfortunately, we haven’t budgeted crystal balls yet. A lot of it, really, obviously all depends on development.

“When this project was conceptualized, if you will, or put into the budget process, we were in the process of determining the needs for the PhoenixMart development and adjacent area.

“The short answer is essentially when and if the first phase of PhoenixMart is built, that is probably going to take up every drop we have available in the existing system.

“So in some ways we might be a little bit behind the ball on this one, but we need to get this project ready to roll forward and make it shovel-ready for whenever that time comes.”

Herman said he wanted to make clear that this is not the PhoenixMart sewer line project itself.

“No, it is not,” McKeon replied. “This is not just to accommodate PhoenixMart. It would be almost as complicated as this, but it would be kind of pointless. We’re looking for much more than that, to be able to support much more future development that simply PhoenixMart or even the east area.”

Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons asked if it is common that sewer lines need to be expanded, adding, “How are we here?”

McKeon said, “Well, I think the nature of development is, you can master plan, we have a number of master plans, we’ve had many over the years that show you ultimately this is what you need. But you’re a small community, you can’t afford a 60-inch diameter, 12-mile-long sewer that’s going to sit there for 40, 50 years, so you develop interim solutions, sizing that fits the need.”

City Manager Jim Thompson said that about 10 years ago, before the TransWestern gas line came through the community, the city talked about putting a sewer line along the north branch of the Santa Cruz to help service the area, plus talked about going to Rodeo Road to catch everything from the north.

“Eventually, they all ended up on Kortsen, because that’s where the (treatment) plant’s located,” Thompson continued.

That plant would eventually handled 50 million gallons of sewage a day, Thompson said, noting the city has acquired additional land for expansion.

“We know eventually Kortsen’s going to have to service a lot or we have to come from different directions,” he continued.

“We’ve looked at different alternatives but we’ve never sat down and done a master plan to really give us all the numbers and all the information. We’ve talked about alternative lines, we’ve talked about picking some additional up south of it down on Casa Grande Avenue and other locations and bringing it closer to the plant, then putting it back into Kortsen, but we’ve never sat down and talked about the final portion on this side of the interstate.”

On the east side of Interstate 10, Thompson said, “we’ve designed the entire system through the master plan and then in relationship with our partnership with PhoenixMart where they’re going to pay for that portion of the engineering — which they have done.

“But on this west side we know that we needed some additional alternatives.

“So I think right now the biggest issue for us over the history of it is to find out what of those alternatives is the best.”

A major challenge for upsizing the Kortsen lines, Thompson said, “is that Kortsen is so heavily used and we have multiple schools now located off that roadway and when you put a major sewer line into Kortsen you start tearing up the road. 

“That’s why we looked at the north branch of the Santa Cruz back then, but that was somewhat inefficient and then when TransWestern came in and took some of that area that we would have otherwise used, we talked about concerns over if we do have a large (flood) event how much of the soil is going to be scoured away, will it expose pipes? There’s other concerns. So then we started talking about Rodeo. We pick up almost everything from the north if we we put a larger lateral down Rodeo and then drop into the plant that way, as well.

“That’s where we kind of gravitated towards over the years, but now we want to really know what’s the best alternative, what the costs are associated with that. But we have been talking about it for 10 years, so it isn’t something that we’ve ignored, it’s just a matter of this is a sewer project, so whenever we go to spend money it impacts rates. And we know our concerns over the rates over the rates over the years, we’ve tried to have been as frugal as we can, and as Terry’s mentioned we found other ways to divert flows, to do other things, but now we’re to the point that we need to start doing something and move the project forward, so that’s why we’re here this evening.”

Mayor Bob Jackson said the situation is similar to the southwest area of the city, where the Burris Road sewer line was upgraded to handle more flow from the industrial area.

Councilwoman Mary Kortsen said, “I like the timing on this because my concern has been that we have that Kortsen interchange (on I-10) coming up, we’re trying to encourage Arizona Department of Transportation to come in and expand and add those lanes in there. I’d like to have this in place and done before they come in to do it because I think it’s going to be cheaper than them putting everything in and then us trying to dig under. So the timing, I believe, is just critical in that area in addition to capacity.”

McKeon replied, “Just to note, as Jim mentioned, the city’s east area sewer expansion project, which is currently under design and that PhoenixMart is actually paying for, goes from the west side of I-10 all the way over toward PhoenixMart. That project actually accommodates the footprint of that overpass.”

Deputy city manager job opening posted
               The announcement        City jobs link

Council approves updated CDBG action plan
            The staff report is HERE     The plan is HERE

You can watch video of the regular meeting on-line HERE

A brief update about PhoenixMart construction 

(Posted July 15, 2016)

A brief update on progress with PhoenixMart was given during Thursday night’s meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“They are currently installing under-slab utilities — plumbing, electrical that goes underneath before they pour the slab,” Planning and Development Director Paul Tice said. “That, of course, has to be in place.”

Tice added that, “My building inspector tells me that they tell him they’re going to start pouring slab in about 30 days or so. It’s essentially a 35-acre slab and it will take awhile for that concrete to flow, quite awhile.

“And then they’ll at some point start going vertical with the walls.”

Tice said he was contacted Thursday by the development CEO “regarding a proposal to file a condominium plat for the building itself. They are preparing a condominium plat that will allow them to sell vendor suites as condos, versus lease them. 

“That will be before you probably in your September meeting.” 

School building use, zoning request acted upon

(Posted July 15, 2016)

The staff reports on both requests are HERE

A conditional use permit for PPEP TEC charter high school to use a building near the southwest corner of Pinal Avenue and McMurray Boulevard was approved Thursday night by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission sent a favorable recommendation to the City Council on a request to change zoning to general business on a half-acre parcel on the south side of Rodeo Road, generally south of where Pottebaum Avenue ends.

If the council approves, the developers must come back before P&Z with a request for a major site plan outlining any project in detail.

You can watch the regular meeting on-line at

or on the city's Cox channel 11

Modified approval for car wash variances

(Posted July 12, 2016)

Scroll down to original story for other details and link to the staff report

A request for zoning variances to turn a boarded up former gas station/convenience store at the southwest corner of Pinal Avenue and Cottonwood Lane into an automated car wash was approved Tuesday night by the Casa Grande Board of Adjustment, but with a modified condition.

As a rule, variances go with the land, meaning they are legal any time in the future not matter what kind of project. In this case, however, board member Mark Zeibak asked that the variances approval be only for the car wash proposal. If that falls through, the zoning reverts to its original status.

Approval was 5-1, with Chuck Wright voting against the modified approval. Member Debra Shaw-Rhodes was absent.

Board of Adjustment approval of the variances does not mean the project will start immediately.

The proposed development, to be known as Trejo Express Car Wash, would require a major site plan and conditional use permit to be reviewed by city staff and considered for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission.  in accordance with development within the B-2 zone district.A traffic impact analysis, drainage study, and water and wastewater reports will be required as part of that submittal.

Variances would allow for automated car wash

(Posted July 9, 2016)

The staff report is HERE

A request for zoning variances to turn a boarded up former gas station/convenience store at the southwest corner of Pinal Avenue and Cottonwood Lane into an automated car wash is the only agenda item when the Casa Grande Board of Adjustment meets Tuesday night.

The meeting, open to the public, begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 510 E. Florence Blvd.

At issue is that under revised city codes, the property does not provide the required right of way along both Cottonwood and Pinal.

If that right of way is dedicated as part of the project, the city says, the property would not meet present zoning requirements for the property. The city recommends that the variances be granted, which would allow the widening of the streets.

According to the staff report, “As a minor arterial road classification, Cottonwood Lane is to be 55 feet from its centerline to the property. Presently, 42-foot of right of way exists. As part of the development process, the applicant will be required to prepare a map of dedication that would dedicate an additional 13 feet.

“Similarly, the Arizona Department of Transportation is requiring an additional five feet of right of way for Pinal Avenue. 

“If these right of way dedications were not required as part of redevelopment, the proposed site layout would meet the Business 2 zoning setbacks. 

“The existing lot width is shy of the required 200 feet for corner lots. The right of way dedication, however, will reduce the lot width even further; thus necessitating a variance to corner lot width as well. As it is, the currently developed parcel is comprised of five platted lots, and does not conform to the 200 feet corner lot width requirement. The additional feet to be dedicated for right of way makes the parcel even less compliant.” 

Opposition to the requests came from the owner of a nearby car wash at 332 E. Cottonwood Lane.

According to the staff report, “The concern was that development closer to the property line than which is ordinarily allowed could be a visibility hindrance and public safety threat. 

(The opposition email is included in the staff report, linked above.)

“Staff and the applicant contend that the additional right of way for Cottonwood and Pinal will, conversely, increase safety because new development will ensure the roadway will be at its fullest required width to allow any improvements necessary for traffic both related and not related to this development.”

As part of the proposed project, the present building and canopy would be demolished.

City budget, revised fee schedule approved
     Action taken during Tuesday night's City Council meeting

              The budget            Fee schedule

City getting paving machine for larger projects

(Posted July 4, 2016)

UPDATE: Unanimous final approval was given Tuesday night

A paving machine that will allow the Public Works Department to do larger projects is up for final approval when the City Council meets Tuesday night, a day later than normal because of the July 4 holiday.

The $145,627 machine received initial OK during the last council meeting, but not without questions.

According to the staff report from Streets Supervisor Pedro Apodaca, the paver the department now has “is a small entry level paver that was used to pave many of the city-owned parking lots in the past but it is undersized and underpowered for our current needs. 

“The replacement unit is a midsize paver that has the ability to do parking lots as well as larger street paving projects. It has a larger paving path, a self ­feeding hopper and it is able to push a loaded truck for continuous paving operation producing smoother finished pavement surface. 

“Used in conjunction with our new milling machine, this paver will increase the division’s ability, efficiency and performance, allowing them to replace larger road sections with new asphalt.”

Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council that, “The paver that we’re going to be purchasing is mid sized paver and it will really allow staff to take advantage of doing some larger projects. In the past, we’ve done smaller projects, parking lots. We’ll be doing large projects in conjunction with the purchase of our asphalt zipper, which is is our milling machine that we were currently doing projects with.”

Louis said the present paver, a 1998 model with 914 hours of use on it, will be traded in on the new purchase.

Only 914 hours is what brought questions.

“It says 914 hours on it, on an 18-year-old machine,” Councilman Matt Herman said. “We’re using it about an hour a week, then?”

Louis responded that paving is not done every day.

“Our paving operations are very limited,” he continued, “and that piece of equipment gets used for about 10 minutes and then you wait for the truck to come. It’s a very slow operation. The hours are not tied to how many hours we actually had that piece of equipment on projects. It’s one of those pieces of equipment that sits around 90 percent of the time doing nothing until we actually need it.”

Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons asked, “But now this new equipment has the capability of doing other things, so you’ll probably use it a little more, is that correct?”

That is the plan, Louis said, adding that, “As long as we have funding to pay for the materials we’re definitely going to use it as much as we can.”

Councilman Karl Montoya asked if the department has a budget for materials for the paver.

“Yes,” Louis responded. “Each year we program materials into our operation budget. I believe this year it’s $165,000 was identified for maintenance materials. So that’s what is used to cover the cost of the asphalt to supply this piece of equipment.”

If the paver is used only for a small amount of time, would it be better to hire projects done? Herman asked.

“I mean, what justifies us owning this paver if we’re only using 10 percent of the time?” he continued. “I understand how pavers work, you just use it for a little bit and you have to wait for it to fill up.”

It comes down to the size of the project and whether it makes financial sense to hire it out, Louis responded.

“We can typically do a small project for about $50,000,” he said. “If we were to contract that out, $50,000 probably wouldn’t even cover the cost of mobilizing a contractor to come out.

“So we use these pieces of equipment sparingly on smaller projects — alley paving, small sections of pavement, those types of things — not large projects.

“We still have our capital improvements projects budget that we use to do the larger projects and get that economy of scale.”

You can watch the regular meeting video on-line at