NewsNet 06-24-15

TUCSON WILL NOT DIP INTO STABILIZATION FUND AS FIRST THOUGHT -  City Manager Martha Durkin brought some good news to the Mayor and Tucson City Council meeting last night, saying there is no need to use the Stabilization Fund in the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget. Originally, $1.8 million of the fund was earmarked to help balance the budget, but the financial picture is now better than first predicted. The unassigned fund balance is $3 million higher than last year. The change in projection is due to a higher-than-expected Transient Occupancy Tax (bed tax), Use Tax, and collection of court fines, she said. In addition, Durkin told the Council that the interest payment for one of the COPS series will be made with proceeds from a project and not the General Fund. Watch Tucson 12 video of last night's Mayor and Council meeting.

CITY/COUNTY AGREEMENT REACHED ON ANIMAL CONTROL FUNDING - The Mayor and Tucson City Council last night amended the current intergovernmental agreement with Pima County to pay $238,050 for the City's portion of a new tent at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC). The new fiscal year 2016 intergovernmental agreement is budgeted at $3.7 million for animal control and care, but Pima County says it will cost the City about $4.9 million. The City will rely on donations, increased licensing compliance, and grants to cover any cost over the budgeted amount or it will negotiate a reduction in services. The County agreed to waive administrative fees it had charged the City in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 which were not part of the contract for service. The new agreement does have the City paying the fees, which are about $23,000 a month. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

CITY MANAGER MARTHA DURKIN RECOGNIZED FOR HER SERVICE - During her last City Council meeting as City Manager, Martha Durkin received praise for the job she's done serving for nearly a year as interim leader, between last year's retirement of Richard Miranda and the hiring of Michael Ortega, who starts work July 1. "Martha has done an outstanding job in her 11 months as manager, bringing us through the budget process, winning numerous awards for City projects from national organizations, completing renovations at the TCC, and adding streets to be repaired under Proposition 409," said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. Durkin will stay in the administration as Deputy City Manager and help with the transition. Watch Tucson 12 video of last night's Mayor and Council meeting.

CITY CLEARS WASHES AHEAD OF MONSOON STORMS - Crews from the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) have been busy using bulldozers and other equipment to clean flood-prone washes in the city. They are removing trees and debris to prevent any backup in the washes when the heavy rains come. City crews work all year preparing for the monsoon. Read more from KVOA.

PLANNED WATER OUTAGE THIS WEEK AT ORACLE AND MAGEE - A contractor for Tucson Water this week will need to shut down a water line to complete work on a project in the area of North Oracle Road and West Magee Road. Markham Contracting will be completing the installation of a Pressure Reducing Valve during the Wednesday night/Thursday morning hours, between midnight and 6 a.m. The work will result in a temporary outage of water service to approximately 400 customers in the area of West Hardy Road to the north, North Northern Avenue to the east, West Chapala Drive to the south, and North La Canada Drive to the west. Customers may notice air in their water pipes after service is restored. That can be fixed by running an outdoor faucet closest to the water meter for a short period of time until air trapped in the pipes is released.