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 April 28, 2020)
The Arizona Department of Transportation made this announcement today:
Westbound I-10 ramp to State Route 387 scheduled to close overnight Wednesday, April 29, and Thursday, April 30
Drivers on westbound Interstate 10 bound for Sacaton, Casa Grande and other nearby communities should plan ahead for overnight closures of the exit ramp to State Route 387.
The westbound I-10 exit at SR 387 will be closed from 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, to 5 a.m. Thursday, April 30, and again from 8 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday, May 1.
Detour: Drivers can detour by continuing west on I-10 and exiting at SR 587/Casa Blanca Road, then using the SR 587 ramp to enter eastbound I-10 and return to the exit at SR 387.
Work is occurring in conjunction with the I-10 improvement project from SR 587 to SR 387 which began in March and is scheduled to continue through fall/winter 2020.
(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.”