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Mayor Gameros talks about new funding and Discover Arizona

Photo by LCGross

By Mayor Al Gameros

WASHINGTON DC TRIP: On March 6th a delegation from our city went to Washington DC to meet with our Congress representatives prior to the annual National League of Cities conference. This delegation included Councilman Leetham, Councilman Gonzales, Economic Director Linda Oddonetto, and myself. Our Washington lobbyist arranged these meetings over a three-day span with Senator Sinema, Senator Kelley, Congressman Gallego, Congressman Staton, USDA, Army Corp of Engineers, and the Railroad. 

We presented numerous projects with a funding request of $9,850,000.00 in appropriations to help bring these projects to fruition. We want to thank our staff for their hard work in preparing the documents used in the presentations. These projects included funding for the McCormick Wash project, our new fire station, our aging water infrastructure, a community kitchen project, and the Besh Ba Gowah project. The meetings were very productive as we spent time with staff at each meeting and explained our city needs. 

We were then joined on the weekend by Councilman Shipley and City Manager Jepson for the beginning of the 2024 National Congressional City Conference with President Biden as the keynote speaker. This three-day conference provides the opportunity to gather vital information on numerous issues that affect many cities throughout the United States. The conference also provides important information on the many grant funding opportunities and how to access and apply for them properly. Another critical part of the conference is the opportunity to network and hold discussions with other elected officials from across the United States who have similar issues to deal with.

ALTERNATIVE EXPENDITURE LIMITATION (HOME RULE): A second public hearing was held on March 26th as law requires to allow public comments on this topic. There were no comments received and the council then approved Resolution 1887 to put AEL on the primary ballot on July 30, 2024. Home Rule has been on the ballot every four years since 1979 and has never failed. If it were not to pass, it would be detrimental to the services the city now provides to our residents. A Yes vote allows the city to continue to set its budget as presented and spend the money it collects. 

FLOW MONITORING SERVICES: Council approved a contract for $25,040.00 with RDH Environmental Services to install six flow monitors at various locations throughout the city. This project follows up on our recent Northeast Corridor study and measures the city’s wastewater flow and actual capacity as we plan for future growth in that area.

CONNIE’S BRIDGE UPDATE: On March 26th, Council was given an onsite tour of the Connies Bridge project during the day. At the Council meeting that night, an updated presentation was presented by Project Manager Shay More from Meridian Construction and Lead Project Design Engineer Matt Truitt from the EPS Group. Shay explained some of the delays that have occurred on the project. One of the delays of four months was a quality control issue regarding one of the underground shafts that had some voids and had to be remediated to pass inspection. Other delays are attributed to the supply chain and the Railroad process for inspection and approvals. The public has commented about the height of the bridge. Design Engineer, Matt Truitt, explained that the bridge was designed more efficiently for water to flow with a longer span under the bridge and the pier design are more in line with the flow of the water compared to the original design of 102 years ago. The top of the bridge will be three lanes wide with a walking path and the bridge will also have lighting for better visibility at night. They plan to pour the deck at the end of April with an anticipated completion date of June, pending passing all final inspections, which include approval from the Railroad Company. 

DISCOVER ARIZONA: On March 22nd, the Discovering Arizona Campaign staff and the Tourism office came to Globe and conducted an interview session. The campaign is focused on providing a voice that is heard from different communities as we shape the future of Arizona’s story. 

The 1.5-hour video interview was held at Bravo Americano.  John Wong, Tracy Quick with the Huddle Sports Bar , John Daniel with Dominion Cutting Company,  Adrianne Villalobos with La Casita Downtown , Linda Oddonetto, and I was invited to the interview, which will be aired soon on #DiscoveringArizona. 

FIRST FRIDAYS: First Fridays have become a monthly signature event and continue to grow each month with more participation from downtown businesses, vendors, and cruisers. This event is not only enjoyed by our residents in the community, but by many more people now coming from out of town on this day to enjoy the event. Everyone is invited to participate in the downtown cruise that begins at 5:30 pm starting at the Active Adult Center. We invite the community to support the participating businesses downtown and enjoy live music, food trucks, and vendors. Anyone needing more information or wanting to set up a vendor booth during any First Friday event may contact Melissa Steele at 928-425-7146. 

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