NewsNet 02-05-15

PENSION UPDATE GIVEN AT MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING - The City will be responsible for paying an extra $17.9 million into police and fire pension funds next year as a result of an Arizona Supreme Court decision. The court overturned a 2011 state law aimed at curbing pension costs, and ordered the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSRS) to reimburse retirees $40 million in past cost-of-living increases, as well as shift $335 million to a reserve fund to cover future cost-of-living increases. During yesterday's Mayor & Tucson City Council Study Session, staff presented an update on the City's obligation to the PSRS. Mayor & Council will need to decide by March 31 if it would like to pay the nearly $18 million all at once or use a payment option. Spreading out the payments would cost the City an additional $24 million over 22 years. Both police and fire pensions are controlled by the State of Arizona. Read the agenda materials from yesterday's Mayor & Council Study Session and watch video of the meeeting from Tucson 12.

MAYOR EARNS AWARD FOR ROLE IN NATIONAL HEALTHY COMMUNITIES CAMPAIGN - The National League of Cities (NLC) recently recognized Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild for the completion of key health and wellness goals for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). LMCTC is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative to ensure that kids can grow up healthy. LMCTC works closely with local elected officials nationwide to adopt policies that improve access to healthy, affordable food and opportunities for physical activity for their constituents. Mayor Rothschild was recognized with a bronze medal for his office's work to expand access to meal programs during and after school, as well the summer months. More than 460 cities, towns and counties are participating in LMCTC.

TUCSON POLICE DEPARTMENT PLAYS PART IN RESCUING NEGLECTED DOG - Members of the Tucson Police Department (TPD) did their part in saving a dog who was covered in cactus, had matted fur and was in extreme pain. The family that found the dog at Midvale Park on Jan. 29 said the little animal was so neglected, it barely looked like dog. The story was shared quickly on Facebook and TPD personnel also shared the post with their friends. Thanks to the TPD shares, the dog was picked up and taken to a groomer, where it took three hours to clean his fur. An officer took photos in the field to document the neglect, community members donated $500 for needed veterinary care, and the dog - now named "Nico" - was featured on a local television news report. Nico is under foster care until he's cleared to be adopted. At last report, the owner of the dog had not been found. Read more from TPD Facebook page.

PRACTICE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY DURING TOURIST SEASON - With more than 50,000 people expected in Tucson over the course the Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, it's a good time to brush up on pedestrian safety. More drivers will be on the roads and more people will be crossing streets near the various shows. In a  video, Tucson 12 and the Tucson Fire Department show you the best ways to stay safe while walking and driving.

LANDFILL AND RECYCLING PLANT TOURS AVAILABLE ON VALENTINE'S DAY - The City of Tucson Environmental Services (ES) department is offering a tour of the Los Reales Landfill and the ReCommunity, Inc. Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) a week from Saturday. Participants will be get to learn how ES operates the landfill and see the work begin performed. Tour participants will also gain an in-depth understanding of how recyclables collected in the blue barrels are sorted and marketed. Tour participants will meet in the upper-level parking lot at 4004 S. Park Avenue on Feb. 14 at 8:30 a.m. The tour will finish by 12:15 p.m. Those who take part should wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, hats and sunscreen. Drinking water will be provided. To reserve a seat, call ES at 791-3175 by next Tuesday.