by Joel G. Belloc, Mayor, City of Eloy

With the start of the new year, I wanted to take the opportunity this month to discuss our city’s recent achievements. My praise for city staff continues as I watch our community create a foundation for a vibrant place to call home. Our councilmembers pride themselves on listening to our residents’ needs and finding ways to initiate and complete improvements to enhance our community.

Several exciting new developments will be occurring in Eloy, and I’m pleased to share these highlights with you. One of the most significant public projects in the history of the city will become a reality in the near future – a new City Hall. The City Council has assembled an excellent team to design and construct this new facility – Abacus Project Management, Inc. is the project manager; SmithgroupJJR is the architect and CORE Construction is the contractor. The preparation of construction documents is now underway for the approximate 19,000 square-foot building, and staff anticipates construction to commence in March 2018, with completion in spring 2019. This facility will include the Council Chambers, a community room and office space for the Mayor, City Manager, City Clerk, human resources department, community development department and finance staff. Further, tenant space will be provided within City Hall, which will accommodate more business activity downtown. Pinal County Federal Credit Union leadership has expressed their keen interest in leasing this space. Other projects planned for 2018 include an expansion of Love’s Travel Center on Sunland Gin Road and construction of a new Xpress Fuels Travel Center at the northeast corner of Interstate 10 and Toltec Road, including a site for a future motel.

The city is also committed to expanding economic opportunities and promoting private investment within Eloy. Several recent initiatives enhance the city’s position to capitalize on this goal. First, staff assisted Firebird Parachutes with obtaining a location on Main Street. Secondly, staff is in the process of a comprehensive review and update of the City’s Zoning and Subdivision Regulations. This enhancement will make these documents more user-friendly as well as more adaptable and responsive to the needs of new and existing businesses and industries in the city. This process started in spring 2017 and will be completed in spring 2018.

Our prospects for attracting additional jobs will be enhanced in 2018 when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approves a reduction in the amount of industrial property located within the floodplain. This is primarily focused on lands located between Interstate 10 and the Union Pacific railroad tracks, which is the prime industrial corridor for the city. The city will also benefit from the widening of two segments of Interstate 10 south of the city. These improvements will also include the I-10/SR 87 Interchange upgrading and a pilot program for dust detection and warning zones. ADOT estimates the project will be complete by fall 2019, providing six lanes of continuous interstate from Eloy to Tucson.

To facilitate further development downtown, the city has partnered with Airebeam to extend fiber optic cable to city facilities and offer high-speed internet services to residential and commercial businesses in the Toltec and downtown areas. In addition, the City Council formed a Downtown Advisory Commission last year to assist the city and private sector partners in improving the opportunities for future downtown revitalization and development. One suggestion from the commission that will be pursued in 2018 is to update and enhance the exterior building facades and overhangs for the commercial buildings on Main Street. The City Council also recently authorized staff to fill a new position, Economic Development Specialist, to assist the community development department with data collection, responding to industrial prospects, developing and distributing marketing materials and promoting the community.

These strategic projects and improvements demonstrate that the Eloy City Council, staff and community members are effectively “doubling down” to leverage and partner in the collective vision of a sustainable community for our residents, workers and visitors. On behalf of our City Council, I invite you to join us as we continue to set a solid foundation for a prosperous future. We trust you will find a thoughtful, stable, pro-development City Council and a dedicated and professional staff that can successfully achieve our mutual objectives.