City News

City Manager Updates Tucson City Council on Budget Numbers

Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega told the Mayor and Tucson City Council yesterday that the City narrowed next fiscal year's projected budget deficit to $25.6 million, down from $42 million projected last December. A hiring freeze, retirement incentives, and other cost-cutting measures approved by Mayor and Council helped bring down the number.

Looking ahead to the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, the City is projecting flat sales tax and property tax revenues.

Rodeo Parade Tomorrow Brings Temporary Road Closures

The 91st annual Tucson Rodeo Parade begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Park Avenue and Ajo Way. To prepare for the event, at approximately 7 a.m., Sixth Avenue will be closed between Ajo Way and Irvington Road. An hour later, Ajo Way between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue, Park Avenue between Ajo Way and Irvington Road, and Irvington Road between Park Avenue and Sixth Avenue will be closed. All streets should reopen sometime between noon and 1 p.m.

Sesame Street Live Coming to Tucson in May

Sesame Street Live “Make a New Friend” offers an interactive learning experience, including up-close and furry interactions on the audience floor. Like television’s Sesame Street, each Sesame Street Live production features timeless tunes and lessons for all ages.

The Broadway-quality musical production features high-tech stagecraft and music parents will enjoy sharing with children, such as “Count Me In” and new parodies of “Hot and Cold” and “Moves Like Jagger.”

Children's Museum in Running for National Award

Children's Museum Tucson is one of 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The downtown museum is the only museum in Arizona to be recognized as a finalist.

Presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the award is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. The winners will be announced later this spring.

Tucson to Get Indoor Go Kart Racing Track

Tucson will soon join the list of ten locations for indoor speed racing. Autobahn Indoor Speedway says it is opening a European-style, 60,000-square-foot facility at 300 S. Toole Ave. in May. Racers will ride Italian electric pro karts that reach speeds of 50 mph.

Autobahn already has six tracks in the United States, and Tucson is one of four new locations to open this year.

City Manager to Speak at Budget Forum

Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega and Chief Financial Officer Joyce Garland will provide the public with a budget update during a meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Ward 6 Office, 3202 E. 1st St. The meeting follows an update given today to the Tucson City Council.

Despite a hiring freeze, an early retirement incentive, and other cost cutting measures, Tucson still has a projected $25 million deficit for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

Poll Shows Roads and Economy Top Concerns of Tucson Voters

A recent poll shows voters view road repairs as the number one issue facing Tucson, followed by economic development. More than half (52 percent) of those surveyed oppose increasing the city sales tax, but the initial question made no mention of how the tax money would be used. When options were discussed, some of those people changed their minds if they thought the money would be spent on roads, police and fire, preventing cuts to services, helping the City budget, and preserving parks and recreation programs.

City Council to Vote on LED Lighting Program

The Tucson Department of Transportation says it can deliver better lighting that saves energy and money without adding light pollution. An energy audit conducted for the City by the vendor selling the lighting system says Tucson could reduce energy consumption by approximately 70 percent and reduce the contribution of roadway lighting to sky glow by 20 percent.

Unlike the current lighting system, the new lighting would be able to be dimmed or turned up as needed.

The Mayor and Tucson City Council tonight will vote on whether to implement the program.

Self-Guided Tours Available Via Smartphone at Sweetwater Wetlands

Tucson Water and Arizona Project WET are offering a series of self-guided tours at the Sweetwater Wetlands, 2551 W. Sweetwater Dr. The new Discovery Program engages visitors through a journey along the path that surrounds the ponds and recharge basins. Guests can use a QR code reader app on any smart device to view the Wetlands in a scientific way as they navigate around the 60-acre site.

City to Consider Mural Art Program on Traffic Control Cabinets

The Mayor and Tucson City Council tomorrow will hear about a proposed 12-month pilot program to give private parties the opportunity to install original mural art on City traffic signal controller cabinets. Proponents say mural art beautifies public spaces, builds community, and may discourage visual blight resulting from graffiti vandalism.

Australians Tour Streetcar

Members of the Australian Capital Territory Delegation visited Tucson yesterday to learn about the Sun Link streetcar. They're planning on building a streetcar route in the city of Canberra and wanted to gather information from Tucson officials, ride the streetcar, and learn about the economic development Sun Link spurred since it debuted in July 2014.

Volunteers Still Needed for Tucson Festival of Books

The Tucson Festival of Books (TFOB) depends on volunteers to help run the annual event at the University of Arizona. This year's Festival is March 12-13, from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day.

Festival volunteers help with author events, assist at information booths, act as food court hosts, set up before the festival and clean up afterward, transport authors, help with the entertainment activities, and address the needs of the hundreds of authors and exhibitors.

Green Infrastructure Maintenance Video

As the City of Tucson installs more green infrastructure along streets and on public properties, maintenance practices will need to be adjusted to fit the designed structures. Crews will need to know the difference between native plants, invasive plants, and excess volunteer plants. They also will need to know proper techniques for pruning.

To learn more, watch the video below.


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