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NewsNet 12-18-13

VOTER-APPROVED ROAD REPAIR WORK CONTINUES - Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co, under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), is continuing its road repair program associated with the voter-approved $100 million, five-year street bond program. Today, through Jan. 3, crews will be working on Glenn Street, from Oracle Road to Alvernon Way.  The work will take place from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Travel lane restrictions will be in place during the work period, however at least one lane of travel will be maintained in both directions. Read the news release from Tucson Department of Transportation.

TUCSON WATER WORK TO BEGIN NEAR UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA - Tucson Water will be replacing a water main and installing new services for the Park Avenue Housing project, a new student housing complex. The work begins Monday and will require the closing of Park Avenue, from Speedway Boulevard to 2nd Street, through Jan. 10. Park Avenue, from Speedway Boulevard to 1st Street, will also be closed from Jan. 24 - 26, 2014, for the removal of the crane at the Park Avenue Housing project. Businesses in this area will remain open and accessible during the project. Read the news release from Tucson Water.

DOWNTOWN PARADE OF LIGHTS THIS SATURDAY - The annual tradition of holiday floats and lights typically attracts 30,000 people to the downtown area. The parade features an eclectic mix of community entries, including storm troopers, dog groups, accordion players, high school marching bands, church groups and local dignitaries.  You'll also see car, scooter, and motorcycle clubs; dance troupes, mariachi, folklorico groups, and more. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will light the tree at the Main Library at 5:45 p.m., just before the 19th Annual Parade of Lights starts at 6:30 p.m. at Armory Park, 221 S. Sixth Ave. Read more at downtowntucson.org.

TUCSON CITY COUNCIL CLEARS DELINQUENT DEBTS - The Mayor and Tucson City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to write off more than 25,000 delinquent accounts, representing $9.8 million owed to the City. Tucson officials use write-offs so they don’t overstate the amount of revenue the City expects to receive in its financial statements, Finance Director Silvia Amparano said. Even though the money is stricken from the City’s financial statements, it doesn’t mean the delinquent account holders are off the hook. Amparano said the accounts will still be pursued by Tucson's collection agencies Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

GLENDALE FISCAL FORECAST GRIM - In a five-year financial forecast released last week, Glendale's new finance director, Tom Duensing, paints a sobering picture for Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers and their City Council, projecting an $8.6 million deficit for the coming fiscal year. In addition, the deficit nearly triples once a temporary sales tax in the community expires three years later. At $31.5 million next year, the City’s debt payments will be 17 percent of its $181 million general fund operating budget.  Most of the debt payments are for sports and entertainment venues that have not generated the revenues that were originally projected. The heavy debt led bond rating agencies to downgrade the City in recent years. Duensing says the council will have to decide how to raise revenue or reduce spending to mitigate the deficit. Read more from the Arizona Republic.