by Jon Thompson, Mayor, City of Coolidge
I wanted to take the opportunity this month to discuss our city’s great achievements over the course of the year. My praise for city staff continues as I watch our community transform into a vibrant, well-rounded place to call home. I would also like to thank our wonderful residents, who shared their vision on a recent survey. It’s an honor to listen to our residents’ needs and find ways to make their ideas a reality. Our City Council carefully assessed all of the feedback and got started on improvements within months of tabulating the results.
Residents rated our streets as the No. 1 item to address. So in early 2017, we carried out a plan to make that vision a reality. Two major roadways have now been repaved – Main Street, from Central Avenue to Vah Ki Inn Road, and Vah Ki Inn Road, from Main Street to Arizona Boulevard. This street project took just days to complete and the results have been very well received. New roadway is being constructed in our downtown area on Main Street. This roadwork will rejuvenate the downtown area and bring back the sparkle many longtime residents can appreciate. The city has repaved over five miles of additional roadway with a chip seal process, helping to preserve and improve roads.
Starting in October, the city implemented a recycling program. Many residents had inquired about this service and I felt, along with Council, it was something that Coolidge needed. The program consists of a once-weekly pickup of trash and recycling utilizing Right Away Disposal as our waste provider. Our city staff has come up with creative ways to not only make the program cost-effective to the city, but pass along that savings to our residents.
Our dedicated departments
The Coolidge Library is one of the busiest public libraries in Pinal County, and I’m very proud of the great work they provide the community.
The Council approved funding for a multi-purpose room addition that was completed in early 2017. Since its opening, many events have taken place, including activities for children, speaking engagements for adults and community gatherings. The library has transformed into a center of involvement among the large collection of books and electronic media.
The Police Department has grown its fleet of Tahoe cruisers, replacing the aging Impala sedans. Many cities have enjoyed great longevity in police vehicles using the SUV style of cruisers versus other vehicles. The new Tahoes are also more spacious to store additional equipment and gear. Not only will the vehicles offer a longer life span, but the overall maintenance costs have also proven to be cost effective.
The Fire Department welcomed a new chief in 2017. We’re proud to have Mark Dillon as our new chief. He brings many years of experience. One of his goals, among others, is working to improve our ISO Insurance rating, so residents can enjoy less expensive home insurance premiums.
Our Parks and Recreation Department continues to offer many sports opportunities for youth and adults – from soccer to softball and from Tee-ball to flag football and many more. The participation numbers grow every year. The department has also enjoyed organizing many community events, including Christmas in the Park, Easter in the Park, Halloween activities, 4th of July and the city’s signature event, Coolidge Days. Parks and Recreation also has many “Movies in the Park” nights throughout the year, attracting visitors from all over the area.
Economic opportunities are one of the many key items our Council strives for. Just this year, our city size has expanded with annexations on the south end of Coolidge. These annexations will position the city for exceptional development as the economy picks up and companies look to settle in Arizona or expand existing facilities. In addition, with the focus on our roadways and beautification projects around the city, I believe we are a great place for businesses to call home. Many expansions to local businesses have already occurred, including a brand new Circle K. Vacant buildings along Arizona Boulevard have been transformed into thriving new businesses, and many more are in the works.
I’m very proud of the many accomplishments Coolidge has achieved this year. I hope you take the time to visit our great city and see for yourself what Coolidge has to offer. I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a great New Year!