NewsNet 01-29-15

RIO NUEVO APPROVES DOWNTOWN HOTEL COMPLEX - The Rio Nuevo Board this week unanimously approved a contract for Allan Norville, manager of Nor-Generations, to purchase and develop an 8.5-acre plot of land along Granada Avenue, east of Interstate 10 and north of Cushing Street. Norville's roughly $100 million project includes a 140-room hotel, a 96-unit apartment complex, and three museums. Norville also plans to build a 120,000-square-foot exhibition hall on property he owns next to the hotel site. He has 120 days to close on the property. After that, Norville has six months to submit a development plan to the City. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

PIMA COUNTY WANTS TO RAISE SEWER RATES - The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Advisory Committee holds a public meeting tonight to discuss a possible sewer rate increase. The proposed hike is estimated to add $1.64 per month to the average customer's bill, according to the County. A typical bill currently is about $41. The fee is calculated based on the projected sewer revenues and operating expenditures, projected sewer capital projects for the next four years, and projected sewer debt service payments, Pima County Finance and Risk Management Director Tom Burke told the Arizona Daily Star in an email. Rate increases also are proposed for the next two years, at four percent each year, which would bring the average monthly bill to a little less than $46. Tonight's public meeting is at the Water and Energy Sustainability Center, 2955 W. Calle Agua Nueva. Free shuttle service will be provided to the meeting location. The shuttle leaves at 5:30 p.m. from the north side of the Pima County Public Works building downtown and will return after the meeting, expected to end at about 8 o'clock. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

SOCCER FANS LOVE RECYCLING - More than 1,500 pounds of recyclable items were collected during the Tucson Association of Realtors Shootout (formerly known as the Fort Lowell Soccer Shootout) earlier this month. For several years, City of Tucson Environmental Services (ES) and the Parks and Recreation Department have teamed up to provide recycling to hundreds of teams and thousands of spectators during the three days of competition. More than 50,000 people attended this year's event, creating more than 25 cubic yards of recyclables that were diverted from the landfill.

SHARPEN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS WITH HELP FROM PARKS AND REC - Do you have an interest in photography, but want to learn more about it? Take a photography class from the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department. This spring, Parks and Rec. is offering a 35mm/Darkroom class, Open Lab, and Beginning Digital Photography. Sign up online for these and other classes.

CATCH UP ON CITY NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - New parking meters can accept credit cards and a smartphone app; it’s easier than ever to get to the Fourth Avenue Street Fair; the Gem Show makes Tucson shine; and archaeologists are digging up the past at Ft. Lowell Park. Those stories are featured in this month's edition of Tucson City News in Review, produced by Tucson 12.