Paul's Note: Friday, February 7th, 2020

Paul’s Note
Friday, February 7th, 2020
 
Paul’s Note
VITA
Pet of the Week                   
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
City Wide Events
Did You Know?
 
Paul’s Note
 
New Cell 4 at Los Reales
 
Last week, I visited Los Reales Landfill where I, along with Mayor Romero, Council Member Fimbres, City Manager Ortega and other city officials, opened a new excavated area for dumping refuse. It's a big project: It covers 12 acres and will hold approximately 3.35 million tons of waste. It is expected to last five to six years. Construction of Cell 4 began in March 2019 at a cost of $3.2 million. But to extend the life of the new site, Tucson residents are urged to reduce, reuse and recycle. Los Reales Landfill, near E Craycroft Rd and Interstate 10, opened in 1967 and is expected to be active for another 70 years. It serves the City of Tucson as well as much of Pima County and is used by hundreds of self-haulers each day. Each year, more than 700,000 tons of trash is disposed of at the landfill.
 

 
City Manager Ortega, Mayor Romero, Council Member Fimbres, Council Member Durham and Director of EGSD Carlos De La Torre at Cell 4
 

 
Our Landfill & Recycling Program
 
Our Environmental Services Enterprise Fund has experienced a significant increase in costs following a upheaval in the global recycling market. The fund overall is currrently in good health, we have statute-required reserves for landfill remediation at required levels. We are operating at the best practice for utilities to have 45-60 days’ worth of reserve funds in case of an emergency. Our ES fund is largely debt free.
 
However we are diminishing our fund balance at a rapid rate and if current trends continue, the fund will run a deficit for the foreseeable future. In FY 2021, we will see a budget shortfall of $2.8 million.
 
Recycling costs are a real concern. We have to solve this problem. We have seen a $1.4 million reduction in costs due to the move to every-other week recycling. However, even with that change, it is less expensive for the City of Tucson to send all of our recycling to the landfill. If this were only a financial decision, we would simply end the recycling program.
 
Now, anyone who knows me knows I am a strong proponent of waste reduction. At home I am an active composter and recycler and I try to use reusable, durable goods whenever possible. My colleagues and I are continuing to look at different options to not only reduce contamination within the recyclable stream but also what processes we can create or support to recycle or reuse glass and paper locally. I want to see us use glass here in Tucson, whether by way of the glass crusher that my colleague Council Member Kozachik has proposed, or by supporting an independent local glass recycling firm. I am also keen to see some avenue by which green waste can be composted and used in public right of way as mulch or made available to small scale farmers and community gardens. We continue to look to innovative approaches and I'll be bringing more details to you as those come forward.
 
Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
 
I had the great pleasure of meeting with leadership at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church last week. For those who don't know, Mount Calvary was the first established African-American church in Tucson. Founded in 1900, when Arizona was still a territory, the church is a cornerstone of the Sugarhill neighborhood.
 
I want to thank Pastor Hugley and Pastor Wiggins for welcoming me to their church. I learned during our conversation that the church has just recently become a food distribution site in collaboration with Interfaith Community Services. Every 2nd Saturday of the month beginning February 2020 through May 2020 neighbors are invited to come and receive nutritional support.
 
Now, the cause of my visit last week was to ensure the congregation can effectively navigate updating their sign, per the City of Tucson sign code.
 

 
You can see members of Mount Calvary above next to their aging sign. While our sign code can seem daunting to some, I believe we'll be able to help them get a new, high-functioning sign on a timeline that will be conducive for the church. In light of that, I'll take this opportunity to share that my office strives to be available to help every constituent more easily identify and access resources at the City of Tucson or learn how to navigate our various departments for positive outcomes. Just as my staff will guide the Mt. Calvary congregational members through this process, don't hesitate to call on your ward office to problem solve or discern necessary next steps.
 
Punt, Pass & Kick
 
This past Saturday I joined neighbors for a Superbowl Saturday event. The Miracle Manor Neighborhood Association partnered with my office and Good News Community Church to host this event in Jacinto Park. The event was organized as a pass, kick and free-throw competition for elementary, middle and high school age groups. Pastor Jeff and the congregation at Good News Community Church facilitated the competition and provided prizes to the winners.
 

 
It was a great event and over a hundred young people and their parents came to cheer along the competitors. I want to thank all the neighbors who put this together, our Park Safety Officers for participating, and Juanito's Taqueria for catering. It was a great show of how vibrant our community is and how important our neighborhood parks are as well. I look forward to the 2nd Annual Superbowl Saturday event.
 
Esquer Park and Barrio Blue Moon Community Garden Clean Up
 
This last Sunday I joined Barrio Blue Moon residents for a clean-up of their neighborhood park and community garden. It was great to get to dig around in the dirt with a fabulous group of residents and partners from Tucson Clean and Beautiful.
 
For those of you who are familiar with Esquer Park you know this is a great park with lots of tree coverage. Recently Barrio Blue Moon neighbors, including many Tucson House residents, partnered with Tucson Clean and Beautiful and the AARP to develop the eastern boundary of the park and create a comfortable gathering space for Tucson House residents. This was one of our early Thrive in the 05 projects and it has been very well received by Tucson House residents. On Sunday, we came together to do some regular maintenance, mostly comprised of weeding, of that area.
 
It's great to see this park really thriving. A number of months ago the park was not highly used by residents, rather it was seen as unsafe. Through a lot of work by neighbors, my office, TPD and Parks and Recreation, we are really seeing a positive shift. For instance, as I was leaving on Sunday, I saw many kids and families playing in the park--a great indication of a thriving neighborhood park.
 
We also had some time on Sunday to doing some much-needed maintenance at the Barrio Blue Moon Community Garden. This is a special place for neighbors and plots are used by many Tucson House residents. The garden has seen better days and engaged neighbors are working to turn it around. Thanks to Luis and Norma, two dedicated Tucson House residents, they are hoping to get the garden back up to its best use and service to neighbors. I very much hope to share an update to that effect in the near future. If you are a near neighbor, stop in and check out the both the park and garden. If you live nearby and are looking for a garden plot, contact Community Gardens of Tucson or my office and we'll be happy to help.
 
Move Tucson
 
The Transportation and Mobility Department hosted the kickoff event for Move Tucson, the update to the City’s mobility master plan, at the Fox Theatre on Wednesday evening. The City of Tucson is preparing a city-wide transportation master plan that will create a mobility blueprint for the City’s future in a rapidly-changing world. 
 

 
The outcome of the planning process will be a document that informs the Mayor and Council’s decisions about policy and resources. The idea being to wrap all of the different modal plans, such as Complete Streets and the Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan, into a whole. A lot of work has been put into prior planning efforts and I look forward to seeing those incorporated.
 
Please visit to MoveTucson.org to take a survey sharing your priorities and to learn more. In March, the Move Tucson team will be conducting more public outreach events. I look forward to sharing more with you as this process moves forward.
 
- Paul Durham
 
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VITA
 
It’s tax season and that means that the Ward 3 Council Office will be hosting the United Way of Southern Arizona’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA provides FREE, quality tax preparation from IRS-certified preparers to individuals and families earning up to $66,000 annually.
 
You can come to the office on any Saturday from February 1st-April 11th from 9 am-1 pm. This service is first come first served so plan ahead when you get ready to do your taxes.
 
The Ward 3 Council office is located at 1510 E Grant Rd.
 
Pet of the Week
 
Tallulah
 

Tallulah is a big girI who weighs over 20 pounds and she prefers if you refer to her as fluffy. She is about 3 years old and has been at Pima Animal Care Center since before Thanksgiving!  While she is currently in foster care, she would love to have a forever home with you. If you are interested in bringing Tallulah home with you, you can email PACC.foster@pima.gov for more information about her.
 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
 
Miracle Manor
Wednesday
February 12th
6-7 pm
Good News Church
701 W Glenn
 
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Ward 3 Events
 
Free Food Available
Saturday
February 8th
8-10 am
Mt. Calvary
226 E Lester St
 
Every 2nd Saturday of the month beginning February 2020 through May 2020. Dates include March 14th, April 4th and May 9th. Bread and produce donations provided by Interfaith Community Services.
 
Literacy Connects Save Our Schools Roadshow
Thursday
February 13th
5:30-7 pm
Literacy Connects
200 E Yavapai Rd
 

 
 
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City Wide Events
 
Water Resources Research Center Chocolate Fest 2020
Thursday
February 13th
3:30-5:00 pm
Water Resources Research Center
Sol Resnick Conference Room
350 N Campbell Ave
 

 
This year, we are adding to the Chocolate Fest tradition with a theme: Honoring the flowing Santa Cruz River. Over the past ten years there have been profound changes in the Santa Cruz River, and at the 16th Annual Chocolate Fest we will have a short program celebrating the changing river. We will also applaud the 2019 WRRC photo contest winners.
 
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Did You Know?
 
Census Day
 
Census Day is April 1st, 2020. Starting in mid-march, Census forms will be available by phone, online or by mail.
 
Help make sure everyone is counted to ensure that our region gets the funding we deserve.
 
The census provides information that determines:
 
·         Representation in the U.S. House of Representatives
·         How more than $675 billion in public funds are distributed
·         How much public money Arizona receives annually based on census data ($20 billion in FY 2016)
·         Funding levels for programs and services, such as education, health care and emergency services
·         Necessary details for local government to better plan for public safety and prepare for emergencies
 
Do You Need Extra Cash?
 
Help your neighborhood get counted to ensure that you and your neighbors are included in the 2020 Census and make up to $2640. Apply online at www.2020census.gov/jobs.
 

 
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Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
 
Ward 3 has Facebook and Twitter pages so you can keep up with our Council Member and stay in touch with what's happening in Tucson and around the Ward.
 
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
 
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