Blog Archive for the ‘AZ Cities @ Work’ Category

Patagonia Town Hall

The town hall for the Town of Patagonia is actually the former railroad station! The railroad served in the Town of Patagonia until it was abandoned in 1962. The railroad was abandoned and the rails removed, but the building remained in-tact. Spearheaded by the efforts of the Rotary Club, the railroad right-of-way was conveyed to the town where it serves as a park running through the middle of the town. The station was moved from its original site adjacent to the present location and then connected to the town hall.

The New Mexico and Arizona Railroad connected the southern Arizona area to Mexico with the Benson-to-Nogales Railway and passed through Patagonia. Eventually a direct rail line that extended from Tucson to Nogales, Sonora, in addition to a decline in mining activity and population in the area, led to the abandonment of the rail line. The station grounds were donated to the town and made into a town park. The depot was originally sold to a local businessman and the town eventually purchased the building that now serves as the town hall.

Avondale Employee Receives Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award

Avondale employee honored with Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award

Christopher Lopez, Youth Development and Community Engagement Supervisor for the City of Avondale, was honored with a Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Community Builder Award.  The 2017 honors were presented on Thursday, July 20 at the Arizona City/County Management Association Summer Conference hosted this year in Marana, AZ.

The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Community Builder Award recognizes public servants in cities and towns who advance community pride and connectedness. These leaders have be instrumental in transforming their communities through a variety of efforts including job creation and training, healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteerism and philanthropy, and educational advancement.

Chris Lopez spearheads numerous programs, services and partnerships that benefit local youth in the Avondale area. Under his leadership, the Youth and Community Engagement Division works to address the needs of underserved youth and provides meaningful community engagement opportunities for all Avondale residents.

Lopez introduced the Kids at Hope philosophy to the city and paved the way for Avondale to become the first official Kids at Hope city in the nation. As a result, staff from various school districts, local government and community leaders have adopted the Kids at Hope support system and belief that all children are capable of success, no exceptions. He also was instrumental in fostering relationships with the Corporation for National and Community Service, as well as expanding youth workforce development and teen leadership opportunities in Avondale.

The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are sponsored by the Center for the Future of Arizona and supported by Arizona City/County Management Association, Arizona Department of Administration, County Supervisors Association of Arizona, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., and League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The Center for the Future of Arizona is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that combines research with collaborative partnerships and initiatives that drive the state’s economic prosperity, quality of life, and civic health to create a better future for all Arizonans.


Marana Water – a Year in Review

Marana Water

2016 was a great year for Marana Water. They rolled out a new website, established email notification list for weekly stories, began a tank maintenance program, sustained a Greycle partnership, and continued construction projects, all while continuing to operate their water and wastewater systems at the service levels their customers have grown accustom.

View a recap of Marana’s successful 2016 here:

Marana Water



From Havasu News: “8 Reasons Lake Havasu City has a Bright Future Ahead”

The Lake Havasu City Youth Advisory Committee recently attended the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Annual Conference where they participated and took first place in the Democraseed challenge.

Read about these amazing teens and their inspiring work in a recent “Our View” article from the Lake Havasu City Today’s News Herald:

Martin Porchas

City of Somerton 


As the second youngest of 11 siblings, Martin Porchas grew up in the City of Somerton, where he now serves as mayor. He attended O.L. Carlisle Elementary School, Kofa High School and AWD Community College. His parents and older brothers and sisters were field laborers.

“I am very proud to say that I was not the first one in my family to attend college or finish high school,” Mayor Porchas said. “I have a brother who graduated from University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree. My second youngest sister became a nurse, and the youngest received her master’s degree in education.”

Throughout the first 20 years of Mayor Porchas’ life, his family would travel to California in the summers. Some years, he would not get to finish school or the season playing baseball because of the move to California.

“Many of my friends thought itw as awesome to travel to California,” Mayor Porchas declared. “Little did they know, I was not too thrilled about it, but I had to follow my parents. Don’t get me wrong, but when a boy at the age of 12 has to get up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. all summer long to go work in the fields, it makes for a long and not-too-pleasant summer.”

As he got older, Mayor Porchas came to understand why his family would travel to California. He said that Somerton still faces some of the same challenges it had 30 or 40 years ago, one of which is having the highest unemployment rate in the state. The majority of the jobs are seasonal, which is why his family would travel out of state to seek employment.

“I am proud and now honored to say that I got to hang out and learn from one of the hardest workers I have ever known in my life – my dad,” Mayor Porchas said.

Family is now just as important to Mayor Porchas, who is married to his lovely wife, Dalila, and is a proud father of two children, Martin Adrian Porchas and Andrea Porchas.

Downtown Williams Recalls Route 66

An evening glimpse at Downtown Williams.  Photo from the City of Williams

An evening glimpse at Downtown Williams. Photo from the City of Williams

Route 66 conjures thoughts of rich history, neon lights, classic cars and fun for the whole family.  Williams was the last town in America on Historic Route 66 to be bypassed by the I-40 freeway in October 1984.  Only in Williams will you enjoy the beauty of a mountainside town, the best-preserved stretch of Route 66, outdoor adventure to suit every need, a railway to get you to the Grand Canyon in style, an outdoor drive-thru wildlife park, a true western setting with cowboys swaggering through town, and a friendly atmosphere greeting you the moment you arrive and bidding you farewell when you depart.


Williams was the last town in America on Historic Route 66 to be bypassed by the I-40 freeway. Photo from City of Williams

Some of those same motor hotels from back in the day have been revitalized with all the comforts modern travelers expect and the storefronts of Main Street are preserved as a designated National Historic District. With its preservation of an authentic small town atmosphere and history, Williams is the perfect place to “Get your kicks on Route 66” before you visit the Grand Canyon and after!

Williams has the best-preserved stretch of the Historic Route 66.  Photo from the City of Williams

Williams has the best-preserved stretch of the Historic Route 66. Photo from the City of Williams

Statewide 4th of July celebrations!

Looking for a fun way to celebrate this coming Independence Day? Look no further – we’ve rounded up some of the most fun-filled celebrations in your local cities and towns!

In cities and towns all across Arizona, enjoyable events are happening this upcoming 4th of July! Events such as rodeos, parades, fireworks, festivals and more will be going on throughout the weekend. Take your pick! Want an exciting adventure with the family? Perhaps head to one of this weekend’s rodeos or take in a fireworks show. Looking for a low-key weekend with friends? Try out one of the area’s local arts events or Fourth of July festivals. No matter what your age or interests, you will be able to find amazing entertainment and fun for the upcoming holiday!



View the list below for a sample of events happening in a city or town near you:


128th Annual Prescott Frontier Days – World’s Oldest Rodeo

June 29 – July 5



Taylor 61st Annual Independence Day Celebration & Night Rodeo

July 3


Sierra Vista:

48th Annual Fourth of July Celebration & Fireworks Event

July 3



Florence Freedom Fest

July 4



35th Annual Prescott Rodeo Days Fine Arts and Crafts Show

July 3-July 5




40th Annual Fine Arts and Crafts Show

July 3- July 5




Flagstaff Weekend Events (Including 4th of July)

July 3-5



Sierra Vista:

Flyover, fireworks highlight Fourth of July Festivities

July 3- July 4



Independence Day Celebration

July 4



Surprise’s 4th of July Pool Celebration

July 4



Prescott Valley Fourth of July Celebration

July 4



Tolleson’s Annual 4th of July Celebration

July 4



33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration

July 4


Oro Valley:

Oro Valley 4th of July Celebration

July 4




Peoria’s Annual Fourth of July All-American Festival

July 4



July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival

July 4




Maricopa Fourth of July Celebration

July 4



Arizona Celebration of Freedom Event

July 4



City of Buckeye Independence Day Celebration

July 4


For even more events happening in the cities and towns, visit!


Chino Valley:

Chino Valley July 4th Fireworks

July 4


Phoenix (Ahwatukee Village):

Red, White and Boom

July 3

More boom than ever: Red, White and Boom celebrates 40 years



4th of July Celebrations

July 3


Bullhead City:

Oatman Sidewalk Egg Fry and Fireworks

July 4



Clarkdale: Parade and traditional 4th celebration

July 4




4th of July Freedom Festival Freedom festival

July 4



Holbrook 4th of July

July 4



Chandler 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

July 4


Apache Junction:

Apache Junction 4th of July Event

July 4



Douglas Independence Day Celebration

July 4



All American BBQ & Fireworks Spectacular!

July 4



“A” Mountain Fireworks Celebration

July 4



Scottsdale 4th of July at Westworld

July 4

July_Tempe Fireworks


4th of July Concert and Laser Show

July 4

Every Hero Has a Story at Tempe Public Library



 Thursdays are special during the Summer Reading Program at the Tempe Public Library. Each Thursday in June and July from 2- 4 p.m., children’s entertainers, such as Wildman Phil and his desert animals, Mother Goose and the Arizona Science Center come in for a free, one-hour show. Children’s authors bring their books and library staff helps kids make fun crafts to round out their day. On some Mondays, the portable Stargazers Planetarium visits the library to show the galaxy of stars. The first Totally Tempe Thursday is tomorrow. Got fines? Through June 30, library patrons with overdue fees can bring in a case of water for Tempe’s neediest and the library will waive all your fines. Don’t miss a thing!
Get the library program schedule. 

Click the link below to learn more about participating cities across the county:



Tempe adopts goal to increase multifamily recycling


Tempe has a new goal to provide on-site recycling to 70 percent of all multifamily housing complexes by the year 2020. About 38 percent of Tempe homes are in complexes of five or more living units.


“Multifamily homes represent a significant portion of our city’s waste collection operations,” said Tempe Councilmember Kolby Granville. “Increasing the diversion rate will help us become better stewards of the environment while also saving money on landfill disposal costs.”


Tempe’s Solid Waste Division will work to reach the new goal by encouraging voluntary recycling programs in all city multifamily complexes. The strategy includes:


  • Working with existing multifamily customers to start new recycling programs or to ensure their existing programs are meeting their full potential
  • Developing customized programs that address the needs of multifamily residents
  • Participating actively with developers and property owners to provide recycling and to encourage their residents to participate
  • Ensuring that new multifamily complex projects include adequate space for collecting recyclables
  • Continuing to educate residents and students about the benefits of recycling and why it is so important for the environment and the city’s bottom line
  • Working with private haulers as needed to provide recycling programs to their customers to help reach the goal

“Tempe has a long history of taking on challenging environmental issues and coming up with solutions that create positive change,” said Tempe Councilmember Lauren Kuby. “The city’s commitment to sustainability has reached new heights with this recycling goal.”


In February 2015, Tempe City Council provided direction to form a working group to discuss multifamily recycling, which can often be more challenging than curbside because of space constraints on apartment properties and a lack of convenient options for residents. The working group included Tempe Vice Mayor Corey Woods, Councilmembers Kolby Granville and Lauren Kuby and several staff members with recycling and solid waste expertise. After several meetings and research, the working group developed a resolution proposing the new goal. The City Council adopted the goal at its June 10 Regular Council Meeting.


For more information on Tempe’s recycling programs, visit


Free days of summer fun for kids at Tempe History Museum and Tempe Public Library

Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer, Tempe History Museum and Tempe Public Library have amazing free activities for your kids featuring music, arts and crafts, children’s authors and entertainers. There are even a few special Mondays and Saturdays, too!

Sounds of summer

Music from Around the World Is Also From Your Hometown Sounds of Summer – Tempe History Museum Sounds of Summer at Tempe History Museum is an extension of the Tempe Sound exhibition, which features Tempe musical groups throughout the last century. From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on most Wednesdays and some Saturdays, kids can play drums and other instruments, do crafts and watch shows featuring many local performing groups, such as Mariachi Corazon, Jam Pak Bluegrass, School of Rock’s Sugar Skulls, African drums with Keith Johnson and more. The first Sounds of Summer happens Wednesday, June 10. There is no admission to the Tempe History Museum.  Get the schedule.