NewsNet 04-22-15

TUCSON CITY COUNCIL BEGINS BUDGET PROCESS - The Mayor and Tucson City Council yesterday got their first look at the City Manager's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016. The $1.368 billion Recommended Budget presented by City Manager Martha Durkin is an increase of $103 million from the current fiscal budget. The City is counting on using $3.2 million from the Stabilization Fund, money from land sales, new revenue from annexations, and an expected uptick in sales tax, property tax and state-shared tax revenue to help fund the budget. Under the proposal, the City would spend $600,000 for swimming pools, $1.6 million for graffiti removal, and there would be no increase in transit fares. The first of two public hearings on the spending plan is scheduled for May 5, with final adoption by Mayor and Council set for June 9. Read the complete Recommended Budget Fiscal Year 2016 and the agenda materials from yesterday's Mayor and Council meeting.

MAYOR AND COUNCIL APPROVES RESURFACING ADDITIONAL ROADWAYS AS PART OF BOND PROGRAM - Tucson's Mayor and Council City Council yesterday unanimously approved adding 45 major roadways to the voter-approved Road Recovery bond program. The vote also will add about four different neighborhood areas to the resurfacing program and also includes pavement preservation work on roadways that recently have been repaved. A favorable bidding environment, high original estimates, and lower gas prices created excess capacity of approximately $40 million in the bond program. The 11-member Bond Oversight Commission last month recommended the additional roadway segments beyond the original commitment voters approved in November 2012. From the additional budget capacity, approximately $37 million will be earmarked for the arterial roadway system and $3 million will go to the residential program. Read the news release.
Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report

PIMA COUNTY SENDS BOND QUESTIONS TO VOTERS - The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 yesterday to send seven bond questions to voters on Nov. 3. The total of all packages is $815 million, but each question will be decided separately. The packages include money for road improvements, economic development, libraries, tourism promotion, parks, historic preservation, and other things. If voters approve all packages, the County says the costs to homeowners would be an extra $4.63 per month for the owner of the average home valued at approximately $152,000. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star, see a standalone list of bond items, and read the official proposition listings from Pima County.

BROADWAY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT OPEN HOUSE TOMORROW - The City of Tucson invites the public to attend a Planning Update and Public Open House for the Broadway – Euclid Avenue to Country Club Road Improvement Project tomorrow night at Sabbar Shrine Hall, 450 S. Tucson Blvd. The open house will take place between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Stop by any time during the two-hour event to review displays of the six-lane including transit baseline alignment and design recommendations unanimously approved in concept in March by the Broadway Citizens Task Force (CTF). The project is a Regional Transportation Authority Plan (RTA) roadway improvement managed by the City of Tucson. It will widen Broadway from Euclid Avenue to Country Club Road to a 6-lane arterial, with bike lanes, sidewalks and bus pullouts where appropriate. Construction is expected to begin in 2018. Read the news release and learn more about the Broadway Boulevard Project.

BUSINESS FORUM FOR WOMEN TOMORROW - Ward 1 Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero is co-hosting a bilingual forum tomorrow for female entrepreneurs. Women will learn about conducting business in the City of Tucson, while also learning about how to work with the City and how to access business capital and resources. Representatives from Tucson’s Planning and Development Services Department, the Business License Section of Tucson’s Finance Department, Tucson’s Office of Economic Initiatives, Tucson’s Department of Procurement, and Pima County Consumer Health and Food Safety will give brief presentations. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about their specific business needs. Representatives from the Business Development Finance Corporation, the Small Business Administration, Accion and the YWCA Women’s Business Center will also be in attendance to connect entrepreneurs to business loans, networking resources, and other financing opportunities. If you'd like to attend tomorrow's 11 a.m.-1 p.m. event at the YWCA of Southern Arizona (525 Bonita Ave.), please call (520) 791-4040 or email Ward1@tucsonaz.gov. Visit the Ward 1 office for more information.