This update will be a little longer than a minute to read. It has been a long while since I have written an update.
I am a proud member of the Superior Optimist Club; one of the reasons I enjoy my membership with this international organization is because of the Optimist Creed. There is a line in the Creed that says, “Forget the mistakes of the past and press on the greater achievements of the future.” It is not always easy to forget mistakes, but the one thing for certain is that we must learn from our mistakes and then we move on, with intention and integrity.
Our Town Staff and Town Council has been working diligently to move forward and fix many problems our Town has been facing. Those issues have included mounting HURF and Excise Tax Debt and major infrastructure problems at our Waste Water Treatment Plant. There was a huge pile of asbestos-contaminated trash at our Transfer Station and our finance department needed an overhaul to prevent future financial mismanagement. Superior sure experienced many organizational stresses during the great recession that helped to create some of these critical problems.
But one thing for certain, our Town never gives up. Even during our worst times, our local non-profits like the Chamber, LOST and Optimist Clubs kept working to maintain many important activities in our community.
I am proud to announce that this week our Transfer Station is finally cleaned up. The Town was facing hefty fines from ADEQ if we did not get this problem resolved. With a tremendous amount of hard work by our Public Works crew and inmate labor, the transfer station is now completely cleaned. We completed this project eight months ahead of schedule and $50,000 under budget.
Roads: everyone is frustrated with the potholes and aging roads in our humble town. Even our young drivers share their frustration about the condition of our roads. One of the reasons our roads are in such bad shape is that there was not a focus on keeping up with regular road maintenance. For almost four years, the State of Arizona was withholding our Transportation Excise Tax funds because the Town did not develop a repayment plan to pay the funds that were misspent. The HURF/Excise Tax funds should have been used for ongoing road maintenance. Earlier this spring, we were able to prove that we had repaid our Excise tax debt, and finally the $400,000 which was being held in suspense was paid to the Town. Town Administration used that funding to purchase better equipment which allows our local crews to repair and maintain our roads locally versus hiring contractors. We appreciate, everyone’s patience with us. Public Works is working to get to all the roads as soon as they can. We also anxiously await the Pinal County RTA transportation funding to begin flowing into Superior. That funding will allow us to increase our road improvement projects and we are investigating additional funding to speed up our improvement timelines.
While we have spent a tremendous amount of time over the past two years, cleaning up problems and setting a foundation to prevent these types of problems in the future, we have also started to strategize about the future of Superior. Currently, Rebuild Superior Inc. is conducting a Hotel Feasibility Study on behalf of the Town. This will help us to attract additional hotel accommodations to Superior. We are working with Habitat for Humanity on new housing and neighborhood renewal efforts. Our sewer lines have been inspected and thankfully the infrastructure reports are coming back with good reports and we can begin applying for USDA grants to build a new Waste Water Treatment Plant. Central Arizona Governments is conducting our Capital Improvement Plan for our parks and trails. This plan will provide guidance on how we should further develop our parks. The Community Development Committee has approved an initial design concept to build a multi-generational center with a new library. These are just a few of the big items we are working on and more is on the way, as we continue to build a strong network with state, federal and private agencies that can help us move our projects forward.
I saw a saying a few weeks ago, “Progress vs Perfection.” There will always be many things to work on, what is important is that our goal remains focussed on progress and not perfection.
Together, We are Superior!