CITY OF TUCSON FIXING ROADS AS PART OF BOND PACKAGE - The City of Tucson continues applying surface treatments to keep quality roads in good shape, but soon will turn its efforts to fixing roads in need of serious repair. The budget for this fiscal year's (FY 2014) repair - as spelled out in the the voter-approved bond package known as Proposition 409 - is $20 million. About $1.5 million has been spent in the first five months of FY 2014. Tucson Department of Transportation Director Daryl Cole says the second half of the fiscal year will cost more than the first half, due to the nature of the more-intensive repairs that are needed. In 2012, voters approved $100 million in road bonds spread out over five years. The funding comes from an increase in secondary property tax rates for Tucson residents. Overall, the program is designed to fix about 130 miles of major roadways and a little more than 100 miles of neighborhood streets by mid-2018. The 2012 Bond Oversight Commission provides consistent citizen participation in the program. Watch the story from Arizona Public Media and visit the City of Tucson's Road Recovery website.
2ND SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN FIND NEW SPONSORS - Organizers of the monthly 2nd Saturdays event downtown didn't take long to find new funding sources. Their major sponsor, Providence Service Corp., announced recently that this Saturday would be the last it would sponsor, choosing instead to direct its contributions to other causes. The Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, Crest Insurance and CenturyLink agreed to help fund the family-friendly event downtown. In addition to the three new major sponsors, consulting firm Elegant Thought and The Herbert apartment complex also will help. About a dozen other existing funders will continue as usual. Read more in the Arizona Daily Star.
STREETCAR ON DISPLAY AT 4TH AVENUE STREET FAIR - The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar will be available for viewing and photos during afternoons at the 4th Avenue Winter Street fair, which runs from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. today through Sunday. Take a picture with the Streetcar and Tweet it with the hashtag #sunlinkselfie or tag "City of Tucson" or "Tucson Modern Streetcar" on Facebook and selected photos will be shared. The Street Fair, featuring arts, crafts, food and music, takes place between Ninth Street and University Boulevard along Fourth Avenue. There will be plenty of family-friendly activities, including face painting, balloons, demonstrations, sidewalk entertainment and a free, hands-on art pavilion at Children's Museum Tucson downtown.
4th Avenue Merchants Association
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FARED BETTER IN 2013 THAN IN 2012 - Fewer state and local governments reported layoffs (18 percent compared to 28 percent last year), fewer pay freezes were in effect (33 percent compared to 51 percent) and hiring freezes lessened (42 percent compared to 27 percent), according to the Center for State and Local Government Excellence. However, public employees still face major issues, including pensions, healthcare, retiree health benefits and hiring. Read more from Governing.
TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER'S PARENT COMPANY SOLD TO CANADIAN UTILITY - UNS Energy Corp., the parent company of Tucson Electric Power Co., has agreed to be acquired by Canada-based utility Fortis Inc. in a deal worth $4.3 billion, the companies reported yesterday. The statement also says both of UNS utility subsidiaries - TEP and rural provider UniSource Energy Services - will remain headquartered in Tucson under local control, with current management and staffing. Fortis says electricity rates will remain unchanged. The deal still requires approval from regulators and shareholders. The companies say they hope to have the deal completed by the end of 2014. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.