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.
(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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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."
(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."
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.
(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
(Posted July 8, 2021)
Four appointments to city boards were made by the City Council during Tuesday night's meeting.
• 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.
(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.
(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 email@example.com.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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
(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.
(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."
(Posted June 10, 2021)
Four appointments to a Casa Grande board and a commission were made Monday night by the City Council.
• 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.
(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).
(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.
(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.
(Posted May 18, 2021)
Casa Grande posted this press release today:
CITY TO ADJUST TRAFFIC SIGNAL AT BUSY FLORENCE BLVD AND PEART RD. INTERSECTION
Process Improvement Set to Begin June 1
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (520)280-4060.
(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.
820 East Cottonwood Lane Bldg D
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.)
(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.
(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, 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.
(Posted July 7, 2020)
The CG Fire Department announced this today:
The Casa Grande Fire Department answered 844 calls during June 2020.
• 536 medical-related emergencies.
• 34 fire-related incidents.
• 6 hazmat related incidents.
• 268 other types of emergencies.
(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.
(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 http://destinyhosted.com/agenda_publish.cfm?mt=ALL&get_month=6&get_year=2020&dsp=ag&seq=660&id=22724
(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.
(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."
(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."
(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.
(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.
(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 azdot.gov/contact and select Projects from the drop-down menu.
For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.
(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
• cleaning wipes of any kind
• disposable diapers
• tampons and tampon applicators
• sanitary napkins
• cotton balls and swabs
• mini or maxi pads
• bandages and bandage wrappings
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
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.”
(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 email@example.com
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:
(search for Casa Grande)
(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.
(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.”
(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 CasaGrandeAZ.gov/city-manager/leadership-academy/.
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 CasaGrandeAZ.gov/vacant-boards-and-commissions/.
(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.
(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.”