The year 2019 is flying by! Our snowy and wet winter turned into a super bloom of wildflowers this spring and we are now fully engaged in summer. July 1 was the first day of the 2019-20 Fiscal Year and this year’s budget includes funding for the advancement of many key projects in Superior.
Multi-Generation Center: The first installment of the Resolution Copper funding for the Multi-Generational center has been received. This first phase of funding will go towards the architectural design-build phase of the project. A portion of the funding will also go toward improving the air conditioning and windows in the Town Hall complex and build out a space for the Superior Senior Center. We anticipate that the Senior Center relocation will happen within the next six to eight months. We are working directly with Resolution Copper and our other economic development partners to raise the $2 million which will allow us to complete the construction of the Multi-Gen center within the next four years. The new building will include a new library, gymnasium, multi-use rooms for events and activities, as well as a dedicated entrepreneurship center.
Park Improvements: The US 60 Park will be receiving a significant improvement with $200,000 in playground equipment that will be installed. The funding for this improvement has come from Resolution Copper as part of its community investment following the demolition of the Smelter Complex. The Swimming Pool park will have $50,000 in new playground equipment installed and the Besich Park on Main Street will be expanded into Neary Avenue this year. The Besich park expansion will include a stage, amphitheater style seating area, dance floor and shade structure. These improvements are being funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds. Neary Avenue will be converted into a cul-de-sac to allow for the park expansion. There will be two public hearings regarding this project. The first public hearing is this week, Wednesday, July 3, 2019 and the Town Council will host the final public hearing during their July meeting on July 11. The Town Council will need to approve the final design and permanent street closure of Neary Avenue at their July 11 meeting. The Town is also filling a dedicated groundskeeper position in the Public Works Department to ensure that maintenance of the parks is kept up. The Town also will be looking for additional funds to build new baseball/softball fields at the US 60 park and make additional upgrades as the park expands over the next few years.
Waste Water Treatment Plant: After many years of make-shift fixes to our Waste Water Treatment Plant, several engineering studies and a rate study, the Town has finally secured the funding through the United States Department of Agriculture to rebuild our Waste Water Treatment Plant. The rebuilding of the Waste Water Treatment Plant also will include replacement of the sewer main on Terrace Drive, which has become a major infrastructure problem for the residents in that neighborhood. The grant also provides funding to build the sewer and water infrastructure at our municipal airport. Once the utilities at the airport are installed, we can begin promoting our airport to aviation-related and other commercial firms. Already, there are several such enterprises considering Superior as a location once this critical infrastructure is built. New businesses help to increase local property and sales tax revenues, and the increased revenues help us advance other important community projects and generate direct economic benefits for the entire community.
Water & Trails: During 2019, the Town has been working with the Legends of Superior Trails Inc. (LOST). LOST is a local 501c3 non-profit that has been working on trail development, marketing and maintenance. After many years of discussions and planning, the Town has acquired all of the necessary easements from BHP and Mr. and Mrs. Manny Ruiz to build the trail from the airport to the US 60 Park. Just last month, Ms. Marguerite Clark donated a piece of her property to the Town to complete the trail alignment from the US 60 Park to the Sonora Street Bridge. By the end of 2020, you will be able to walk on a designated trail from Picket Post to the old Miami-Superior Tunnel. In 2019, the Town also received a “Waters and Trails” grant from the National Parks Service to further study the Queen Creek Watershed to develop trails and to determine what mitigations and infrastructure are needed to have water flowing through Queen Creek. The committee working on this project has been studying the 1999 Queen Creek Watershed Plan, which called for riparian habitat restoration, including water running through the creek and a lake. Some of the immediate ideas that you may see happen soon, are: making repairs to the Sonora St. and Lobb Ave. foot bridges, removing invasive species from the creek and also developing a small park below the Rails Park on Stone Ave. aka “The Dip”.
The Town continues to work with BHP and other commercial property owners to find and promote lands available for a new, brand name hotel. A recent hotel feasibility study has proven that Superior can support a sixty room co-branded hotel with five hundred square feet of meeting space. Also this year, the Town will also be reviewing and updating our General Plan. The General Plan is a state mandated plan which will guide us, as our community continues to grow and thrive. With support from Rebuild Superior Inc. we also anticipate that our Economic Development Strategy will be complete, which will be invaluable in guiding our efforts to retain our existing businesses and attract new firms to our Town.
As the summer heat presses on, remember to keep an eye out for our elderly residents, pets and young children. Wishing everyone a safe and happy Independence Day!
Together, WE are Superior!
/s/ Mayor Mila Besich