Paul's Note - January 21, 2022

Last year, we had a situation with a well site in the Palo Verde Park neighborhood. It was basically an empty piece of hardscape that was an invitation to illegal dumping. The fact that it was hard-packed earth also meant that rain would run off of it and damage people’s property. Still, the neighbors wanted it to remain open. They had used it as a dog run for years and wanted to keep it that way. 

My staff and I worked with them and came up with an interesting solution: plant trees on the property. Trees will keep a lid on flood issues, create an attractive space and allow it to remain open for some recreational use but make it a lot harder for folks to back up their trucks and dump in the area. 

While not every neighborhood has these issues on the scale that these neighbors did, every neighborhood can do with a bit more of what’s called “green stormwater infrastructure.” To put it simply, trees and greenspace that is watered by stormwater runoff. 

To that end, my colleagues and I have created the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Mini-Grant (GSI Mini-Grant) program. The GSI Mini-Grant allows neighbors the chance to slow stormwater and spread it into green space along the city streets and public areas. 

The GSI Mini-Grant Program developed by the City of Tucson Water Department and administered by Tucson Clean and Beautiful provides neighbors and community groups in the City of Tucson the ability to install stormwater harvesting features in their neighborhoods.  GSI Mini-Grants are available within each Tucson Council Ward.  Grants are for small neighborhood projects, usually between $5,000 and $10,000. 

The overall objective of the program is to build climate-resilient communities through using neighborhood-based, participatory green infrastructure projects to increase public open space, improve public and environmental health and quality of life. 

Neighborhoods benefit from harvesting stormwater when projects include trees and vegetation.  Communities are cooler.  Recreation is encouraged.  Property values increase.  Air quality improves.  Traffic slows down.  Trees create a sense of place.  Quality of life is enhanced, and stormwater management improves during small rain events. 

If you need more information or ideas on what your neighborhood can do, please get in touch with my office at 791-4687 or

The Pima County Assessor's Office will be traveling to public libraries throughout the county this week to kick off its annual outreach efforts. Pima County Assessor Suzanne Droubie says the library visits will help citizens who find it difficult to get to the Assessor's Office in Downtown Tucson. Assessor's staff will help eligible widows, widowers, and disabled residents with their exemption applications for their primary residence. For those who qualify, these programs will reduce the taxable amount due on their primary residences, which may lower their overall property tax bills.  

The Assessor’s Office will be at the Murphy-Wilmot Library (30 N Wilmot Rd) on January 25 and February 17 from 10 am – noon.  

The deadline to apply is March 1, but people may file a waiver to give them more time to apply. When Notice of Value statements arrive in the mail in late February, Assessor's Office staff will be available to answer questions about those statements and how they relate to property tax bills.