by Joel Belloc, Mayor, City of Eloy
We made it through another Arizona summer. I hope you now are ready to enjoy six months of the best weather anywhere! Fall, winter and spring means cooler weather, sunshine and plenty of outdoor activities. I encourage all of you to step outside and explore the uniqueness and beauty that surrounds us every day.
Over the last several years, the Eloy City Council has entered into several strategic partnerships with both municipal and county governmental entities to maximize the use of public resources. These partnerships have been, and continue to be, mutually beneficial to all parties. I believe these relationships speak well of our collaborative City Council and staff.
With the rise of costs and revenues that cannot keep pace — especially in this COVID-19 environment — it is important that we seek opportunities to share in the cost of important services and facilities that our citizens value. We are pleased these other agencies are as like-minded during these challenging times.
Three ongoing relationships are already in place and another partnership will be completed by October 2020. First is the intergovernmental agreement between the Town of Florence and the City of Eloy to share the cost of one full-time magistrate judge. Initiated in 2015, the magistrate judge works three days a week in Eloy and two days in Florence, and his compensation and benefits are shared proportionately. This approach has saved both communities thousands of dollars to “right-size” both communities’ weekly judicial needs.
In 2018, the City of Eloy entered into a unique arrangement with the City of Surprise for funding the cost of its Central Arizona Project (CAP) water on an interim basis. Faced with significant annual increases to the cost of Eloy’s allocation of CAP water, the City needed to find a way to fund its CAP allocation without jeopardizing future growth.
The City of Surprise needed water to sustain its growth, at least on an interim basis, and was willing to purchase up to 2,100-acre-feet of the City’s allocation at the current market rate. As Eloy grows and needs additional water resources, the agreement can be modified or terminated by either party.
When the City began planning for renovating and rebuilding the former City Hall building into an updated and modern public safety facility, Pinal County presented Eloy with an opportunity to consolidate the Eloy Municipal Court with the Pinal County Justice Court (located in downtown Eloy). In early 2019, the City and County reached an agreement for operating both the municipal and justice courts out of the same building, allowing for the sharing of operational personnel and maintenance costs. The Eloy Justice Center is now operated by the City of Eloy, with staff being provided by Pinal County for Justice Court services.
Another partnership with Pinal County focuses on animal control. In October, Pinal County will assume responsibility for animal control services on a contract basis with the City of Eloy. Pinal County currently operates a wonderful facility on Eloy’s northern boundary, and the agreement will allow for improved efficiencies in customer services, higher adoption rates, and a cost savings to both Eloy and Pinal County taxpayers.
Overall, the City Council should be proud of its ability to coordinate and cooperate with our neighbors to resolve issues of mutual interest, especially if that cooperation results in shared efficiencies and cost savings.
In closing, I hope everyone had a safe summer, and I wish you all a cooler and beautiful fall season.