Pinal Partnership examines new metropolitan planning organization

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

MPO_CAG.jpg

By Chase Kamp

Copper Area News

The recently announced formation of a new metropolitan planning organization (MPO) in Pinal County has prompted some towns to shuffle their alliances. Still, local government leaders say the creation of the Sun Corridor Municipal Planning Organization will help to more closely define the needs and goals of specific regions as they plan for the future.

At a meeting of the Pinal Partnership organization on Jan. 18, 2013, three Pinal mayors and heads of the two major counsels of governments discussed why the Sun Corridor MPO had to form, which towns and entities are interested in joining and what it means for the region as a whole.

MPOs serve to guide the transportation, environmental impact and other future issue planning for specific regions. The Sun Corridor MPO is being formed by the City of Casa Grande because the city reached beyond a 50,000 population threshold, explained Mayor Bob Jackson, a requirement of a new federal transportation law.

Joining Casa Grande in this new organization are the cities of Eloy, Coolidge, San Tan Valley and most recently Florence, which announced a resolution to join on Jan. 22.

Jackson said the scope of Central Arizona Association of Governments, or CAAG, had become stretched thin to accommodate the entirety of both Pinal and Gila counties.

He said the new MPO would create an opportunity to focus on the needs of the immediate surroundings of western Pinal. “I think what’s happened in western Pinal is that we no longer have the same issues that they have in eastern Pinal County and Gila County,” he said.

In another big shift, the City of Maricopa recently voted to join the Maricopa Association of Governments, or MAG, though the city is located in Pinal County. Mayor Christian Price said it was not an easy decision, one that needed to be made in only two months and was not intended to disconnect from Pinal.

“In the end it comes down to what your residents identify with,” Price said, citing that 75 percent of the city’s residents work in Maricopa County.

“Some said that if we joined MAG, we would be one of the little fish,” he said, but argued there were 16 cities smaller than Maricopa in the organization.

Jackson said he recognized the pros and cons of Maricopa’s decision, but argued that having an ally in Maricopa County would lend itself to projects like the East-West corridor and I-11 project. “Maricopa becomes our voice at that MAG meeting,” he said.

However, CAAG is the group that takes a big hit, Jackson explained. About two-thirds of the money CAG receives for transportation related to population would exit along with Maricopa and the Sun Corridor MPO members.

Florence Mayor Tom Rankin, who fought to keep Maricopa in CAAG, told the gathering that he would work with San Tan Valley to eventually incorporate and solidify the western Pinal region. “This MPO to me is what makes Pinal County,” he said. “We have to do it right in setting the boundaries.”

Though the more populous areas may be organizing around their shared goals, Rankin said, the smaller eastern Pinal and Gila County entities that make up Central Arizona Association of Governments will not be neglected.

“CAAG is not going to die,” Rankin said. “We cannot forget eastern Pinal County.”

MPO_MAG.jpg

admin (7655 Posts)


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Hayden Senior Center enjoys Christmas luncheon

    December 16th, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News Hayden’s Senior Center enjoyed a terrific turnout for their annual Christmas Luncheon.


    Bearcats fall to rival Panthers for first time in five years

    December 16th, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News Freshman Marcos Bueno and senior Ricky Longoria combined for 39 points to lead Superior to a 60 – 56 victory versus Ray last Wednesday.


    Lady Panthers record a win and a loss in last week’s action

    December 16th, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun The Superior girls’ basketball team split two games last week, defeating San Manuel on Dec.9 before losing to their rival, the Ray Lady Cats on Dec.


    Panthers beat rival Bearcats for first time in five years

    December 16th, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun Freshman Marcos Bueno and senior Ricky Longoria combined for 39 points to lead Superior to a 60 – 56 victory versus Ray last Wednesday.


  • Stories Just For You

    DPS Encourages all Motorists to Drive Courteously This Holiday Season

    December 23rd, 2013
    by

    Arizona – The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), through its Highway Patrol Division, encourages all travelers to drive with […]


    Arvel Bird At the Arboretum New Year’s Day Concert at noon

    December 19th, 2013
    by

    Here’s a resolution you’ll find easy to keep: spend New Year’s Day outdoors at one of Arizona’s most scenic venues, […]


    Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction visited San Carlos Secondary School

    December 2nd, 2013
    by

    John Huppenthal, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction visited San Carlos Secondary School, one of the Cobre Valley Institute of Technology’s […]


    Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 28th, 2013
    by

    Copper Area News would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving! Please remember to drive safely this holiday weekend. For […]


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin