Mayor’s Minute: Time to Ring in a New Year and New Opportunities

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Where did the 52 weeks of 2018 go?  Seems like the years move faster and faster with each passing day.  I am always amazed at the generosity within our community. Together we filled the shelves at the Food Bank and the Christmas food boxes went out with an abundance of food.  The Fire and Police Department toy drives collected toys from all over the state including the annual toy donation by the O’Donnell family Christmas party.  This ensured every child in Superior received a gift from Santa.  These are the characteristics of Superior that make us the best Town in Arizona; this is the Superior sprit that cannot be replicated.

  In my November letter, I recapped the many things we have accomplished to improve our beautiful community.  With my December letter, I would like to share some of the exciting projects that will be coming our way in 2019.

  During 2018, Town Staff and the Town Council worked on many grants and partnerships to help move our projects forward.  One of those key projects is development of the airport, which directly benefits both for public safety and economic development.  This month, we learned that the Town of Superior has received a grant from the Arizona Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division to build two helicopter landing zones at the airport, install a new windsock and a segmented circle for E81.  With the construction of the landing zones, this will create a safe place for the air-evac helicopters to land, and also helps us to build in utility infrastructure for future development at the airport.

  You may have noticed work being done to the Belmont Building and to an abandoned home on Main Street this month.  Those properties are owned by the Town of Superior and were recipients of Brownfields Funding from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.  These funds will be used to demolish the abandoned property on Main Street, ensuring that debris from the home stays out of the creek and cleans up our downtown.  For many years the Belmont Hotel building has been shuttered and unavailable for business use due to mold contaminants.  The Brownfields funding for this project have been used to remove the mold and the asbestos flooring tiles from the interior of the building.  To ensure that the building will remain free from mold, the building will be sealed and new windows are being installed.  The next step for the Town will be to sell the property to allow a new business to join our growing downtown.

  Our Waste Water Treatment Plant has been an ongoing topic of discussion for many years.  The system is aging, repairs are becoming more costly and it is not energy efficient.  The Town is working with USDA on a grant/loan combination that will fund the construction of a new plant which will create both energy efficiency and a redundant path model to ensure that our waste water system is working efficiently to accommodate growth in Superior.  This project will also address a few of the problems within the collection system itself.

  We will be kicking off our Queen Creek Watershed project in January.  This is a program that is funded by a grant from the National Parks Service.  The grant will bring together key land owners along Queen Creek from the headwaters near Oak Flats to the Arboretum to develop a plan to remove invasive species from the creek, which will help with fire prevention and also help to improve the potential for surface water flow of the creek. 

  If your New Year’s resolution is to get outside for exercise and fun, there will be plenty of new opportunities.  Our parks plan will be completed in 2019 and we will be spending a portion of our CDBG funding to make significant park improvements.  We anticipate that the new playground equipment donated by Resolution Copper will be installed at the US 60 Park in 2019.  The Arnett Canyon segment of the LOST trail will be having a grand opening in March and additional trails connecting the Arizona Trail to the US 60 park will be constructed.

  During 2018, the Town and our partners at Resolution Copper have been collaborating to develop a comprehensive multi-year Community and Economic Development funding agreement.  We anticipate that this agreement will be finalized in January of 2019.  This agreement will set the stage to ensure adequate funding for our K-12 education system, development and construction of our Multi-Gen Center/Innovation Hub, and Business Attraction and Retention along with support for the programs and projects developed by the Superior Chamber of Commerce and Rebuild Superior.  This agreement and funding strategy is the first step in attracting additional partners and investors for all of our projects.

  We will be continuing our road improvements into 2019 along with our Blight Remediation program.  I am also looking forward to the big “Superior Pinal Partnership” project that is being organized by Rebuild Superior Inc.  This project will create some synergy for neighborhood clean-up and repairs in the Pinal Avenue neighborhoods. 

  Many good things are on the way for Superior.  It is an honor to serve as Mayor of Superior, most importantly to serve the people of Superior.  Wishing you all a blessed and prosperous New Year.

  Together, We are Superior!

/s/ Mayor Mila Besich

Mila Besich-Lira (457 Posts)

Mila Besich-Lira is a resident of Superior with two children. She volunteers for many local organizations. She is an experienced fundraiser and event planner for Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition. She covers some of the area town councils and schools.


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