Along the Gila: Copper Corridor Hears Presentation on Proposed Tax Increase

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I have the privilege of serving on the Board of the Copper Corridor Economic Corridor Coalition (the CCEDC). Last week, after the regular meeting, Andy Smith and Kathy Bourquez, who are planners with Pinal County’s Public Works department, made a non-political presentation on Propositions 416 and 417. These propositions, working together, would fund 20 years of road improvement in Pinal County with a half-cent increase in the sales tax.

Kathy Bourquez (pictured), a transportation planner with Pinal County’s Public Works Department, and planner Andy Smith presented the  plan for Pinal County’s transportation system to interested people at a meeting at Central Arizona College, Aravaipa, on Friday, September 15.

  A regional transportation authority (RTA) has been established for Pinal County. The directors include the mayors of Mammoth, Kearny, and Superior. If the propositions pass (and both must pass to be put in effect), a series of highways will be built over the years to connect Pinal County two ways: from East to West, and from North to South. These will provide access throughout the county to the interstate highways and connect less-developed parts of the county with the urbanized areas. The towns of Eloy, Kearny, Superior and Mammoth would each receive $300,000 a year for their transportation budgets.

  I’m telling you this because the election is in November, and new voter registration must be made by Tuesday, Oct. 10. Voter registration forms are available at all town halls. This will be the first vote on propositions conducted entirely by mail! I have a map and brochures provided by the RTA, and will gladly make a brief presentation to any group.

  A group of Eastern Pinal County people is considering setting up a drug education alliance. I heard a presentation by Cenpatico, which works through much of Arizona with such alliances. They spoke about drug statistics on youth drug use in our region.

  Let me personalize this. The use of prescription drugs by young people is rising quickly, and most young people get these drugs from their own homes, or from other young people who got them the same way. Powerful pain killers are in many of our homes. Most are leftovers from painful episodes long gone. I have 60 such tablets in my own home, worth more than $1,500 on the street, maybe more. I’m taking them to the drug box at the Kearny Police Department, a safe depository outside the door for receiving all leftover prescriptions. I urge you to do the same.

Kelley Towne, Ginger Chester, and Belinda Ortiz Rodriguez. Taken at Copper Basin Chamber ice cream social on Friday, September 15, 2017

  The Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce has a new President of the Board, Ginger Chester. She and the Board sponsored an Ice Cream Social on the porch of the Pinal County Courthouse in Kearny to welcome the chamber’s new director, Kelley Towne. Belinda Ortiz Rodriguez, a former Copper Basin resident who is assisting the chamber with some projects, was also present… and so were lots of people, including some very happy children. Good things are coming down the pike.

  If you haven’t been to Kelvin recently, go take a look at the construction on the new bridge across the Gila. It’s pretty impressive. The old bridge will, thankfully, remain as a walkover and viewpoint on the river.

Sam Hosler (69 Posts)


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