by Mayor Jon Thompson, City of Coolidge
This month I’d like to take a moment and discuss Coolidge’s ambitions of becoming one of the high-tech data hubs for the region. Coolidge is on the forefront to expansive technologies serving Pinal County, the state and the United States. Our City Council recognizes the importance of technologies that improve the lives of our citizens, as well as those around the region.
In May, the Council passed a resolution to allow a data-center designation within our City limits. This step was much needed for large data companies wishing to build on land without many of the time-consuming zoning steps.
Saint Holdings, which owns the Inland Port of Arizona in Coolidge’s southern border, recently announced it would actively market a shovel-ready parcel of land and work with a host of internet and tech companies to realize such a data center. This action by our Council will hopefully help technology companies make the decision to bring projects to our City.
Coolidge has also been of interest to companies looking to expand their fiber footprint within the City. Zayo is actively seeking to put Coolidge on its fiber map. The company would like to expand into Pinal County by linking its fiber among schools and libraries. The plan is expected to connect 34 schools and libraries around the county with much needed internet to underserved areas.
Another key player in the state is Alluvion Communications. The company’s aim is to provide connectivity to Coolidge and other municipalities around Pinal County. I’m especially happy to learn of its plans to connect the Coolidge Municipal Airport. Providing fast internet service to the airport will be a major economic driver for airport businesses.
Coolidge is always looking at ways to expand business opportunities to bring in great companies and fantastic jobs. While we don’t want to forget about Coolidge’s agricultural roots, we need to look outside the box and see future opportunities for growth.
I commend City staff for their work on helping to bring ideas forward that make Coolidge an attractive place to call home. Nikola Motors is on track to start work on its production facility. There is also a large interest in renewable energy by solar providers who can provide a wide range of energy back to the grid due to Coolidge’s large land offerings.
Finally, aviation-related businesses are taking notice of the tremendous renovations at the airport. There is more to come with the FAA’s $9.5-million grant award. All of these improvements not only help the City but provide needed jobs to Pinal County.
The City is on a pathway for tremendous growth. A growing interest in Coolidge from aviation, technology, solar, manufacturing companies and others will allow a better future for our residents, visitors and the region. Our streets are improving, the downtown area is being revitalized and major homebuilders are providing much needed housing for the area.
Coolidge really is a city of growing opportunities.