The Superior Town Council held a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, to discuss and approve a series of economic and community development agreements between the Town of Superior and Resolution Copper Mining. The Town has been working collaboratively with Resolution Copper on significant economic and community development agreements for the past year. In addition, the Superior Unified School District, Superior Chamber of Commerce and Rebuild Superior, Inc. also participated in the development of these agreements.
A total of three agreements were presented to the Town Council for approval. The first agreement is a contract in the amount of $200,000 to fund playground and park improvements for the US 60 Park. This agreement is part of the mitigations for the loss of the historic smelter structures that were demolished in November of 2018. This funding will be used to build a new mining-themed playground at the US 60 Park and will be combined with funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding allocated for park improvement projects. Work is expected to begin on these park improvements later this year. The Town of Superior Youth Council will be selecting the playground equipment and assisting with the US 60 park remodel.
The second agreement is a contract in the amount of $2 million to help fund the design, development and construction of a Multi-Generation Center (on the Roosevelt property), which will include a new gym, library, senior center and other venue spaces in the community. Developing and constructing a Multi-Generational Center is a top priority established by the Superior Town Council in 2018. The Multi-Generational Center will combine critical town services into one location, creating synergies and cost-savings among Town Government departments. Most importantly, having a Multi-Generational Center will substantially enhance the quality of life in Superior, offering modern, safe spaces and venues for the town’s youth and senior citizens alike. The total project cost is estimated at $4 million. Resolution Copper Mining’s contribution will provide half of the estimated total project cost, and the agreement commits the Town of Superior and Resolution Copper to raise the additional $2 million that is needed through grants and foundation funding. The Town has already begun meeting with various grant agencies and foundations to establish relationships and lay the groundwork for soliciting funding for the Multi-Generational Center. Resolution Copper Mining’s funding will pay for the initial design to get the project going during the first two years, with the remaining funds being released for construction once the additional funds are raised for construction.
The third agreement is specifically designed to attract and incubate new businesses in Superior, which will help to advance the continued economic diversification of Superior’s economy. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center contract is in the amount of $1.29 million dollars. The funds will be used to construct a business incubator and makerspace center. The first year of funding for this contract will allow the Town to hire an experienced and qualified individual or firm to execute and manage the scope of work. The Enterprise and Innovation Center will be a “one-stop shop” physical location where existing and aspiring local business owners and entrepreneurs can access equipment, technical assistance, training and other services to grow and expand their businesses.
The Multi-Generational Center and Enterprise and Innovation Center will be built at the existing Town Hall.
“We appreciate the significant investment made by Resolution Copper Mining into our community and economic development strategy,” said Mayor Mila Besich. “This funding will help us convert our goals into realities in an accelerated timeframe and provide us with essential funding to kick-start these critically important projects.”
Resolution Copper Project Director, Andrew Lye said, “Superior’s Mayor, Town Council and civic leaders have shown tremendous leadership in developing their forward-thinking strategic plan. Resolution Copper is a proud member of the community and is excited to continue working in partnership with the Town of Superior as we build a sustainable future together. Our new agreements are mutually beneficial investments that exemplify our commitment to the community’s success, not only in the short-term, but also well into the future long after Resolution Copper has closed.”
These agreements were signed on the eve of Mayor Mila Besich’s departure for an Economic Development and Trade mission to London, England. Her itinerary includes meeting with top executives at Rio Tinto CEO. In addition, Mayor Besich also will meet with officials from the UK Department of International Trade to discuss the potential of UK firms locating in Superior, as well as with representatives of the Arizona Office of Tourism’s United Kingdom office to promote Superior and the Copper Corridor as a destination for UK and European tourists. During her trip, she will also accept membership to the Linnean Society, which is the world’s oldest biological society and attend the Worshipful Company of Gardeners Mansion House Dinner with the Lord Mayor of London. Mayor Besich’s trip was approved by the Town Council in November. She will be traveling from Feb. 12 to Feb. 17.