Blog Archive for the ‘Cities@Work – Success Stories’ Category

Goodyear Water Project Wins National Award

Water professionals from all over the country were on hand Sept. 12 when the city of Goodyear’s Vadose Well Injection Project was selected as the 2017 Project of the Year Award by the national Water Reuse Association.

The project consists of wells that take treated water from the city’s reclamation facility and directly pump it into the ground. This allows the city to ‘bank’ water for use during times of need.

The award comes with the water industry’s acknowledgment of the significant contributions the city of Goodyear continues to make to advance water reuse. Another award-winning city water reuse program is the ‘Brine Wetland Feasibility Project’ which takes otherwise unusable water and proved it can help nourish native vegetation, therefore creating natural wetlands.

“We know that ensuring a sustainable and reliable supply of water for the city’s future growth is essential,” said Mark Holmes, water resources manager for the city of Goodyear. “That’s why we continuously focus on how to maximize the water we have. Water reuse is a huge part of our efforts, along with conservation and partnerships.”

The city of Goodyear, ranked as the fourteenth fastest growing city in 2015 by the U.S. Census Bureau, recently announced a historic agreement with Salt River Project that, for the first time, will bring surface water to the far West Valley further expanding and diversifying the city’s water portfolio. For more information about the city’s water initiatives, visit

WateReuse is an organization dedicated to educating and advocating for water reuse. Members include water utilities, businesses, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations dedicated to recycling water to ensure communities have a safe, reliable and cost-effective supply of water. More information is available at

Rainwater Harvesting in Tucson

Below is an excerpt from Tucson  Councilmember Paul Cunningham’s newsletter about rainwater harvesting in Tucson:

July 14, 2017:

As a native Tucsonan, the monsoon season is my favorite time of year. There is nothing more magical than rain in the desert, with the drop in temperature, the smell of creosote, and the flowing arroyos. Most people I know in Tucson make it through the oven like heat of June with hopes of a good monsoon season.

Well, our hopes, prayers and good thoughts have been rewarded. Here at the Ward 2 office we have received well over 2 inches this past week and for a variety of reasons, this is good news. As I’ve mentioned before, we make extensive use of rainwater harvesting. The rain that hits the asphalt runs off to water our Palo Verde trees that shade the west side of our parking lot while the rest of our landscaping is watered by harvested rainwater that flows into basins and collects in our cistern from the roof. Given the area of our building, we have collected over 2000 gallons of water that is now saved in our cistern and ready to irrigate when needed.

Monsoon season is a good time to talk about water harvesting and how we can encourage more Tucsonans to utilize this ancient and basic technology in our neighborhoods. Rainwater harvesting made human settlement possible in Southern Arizona 3,500 years ago. The Hohokam Indians captured rainwater with rock dams and built sizable storage tanks. The Tohono O’Odham still store rainwater in earthen tanks for cattle. Here in Tucson, any chance we can use rainwater instead of potable water, we make an investment in our future.

To that end, the Mayor and Council recently directed staff to institute a program using water conservation funds to provide grants to neighborhoods and community groups in the City of Tucson. These funds are available to facilitate the installation of storm water harvesting features in their neighborhoods. The aim of these grants is to provide neighborhoods with appropriate resources to plan and implement neighborhood scale storm water harvesting projects in publicly owned areas or a homeowner association’s common area such as a right-of-way, park or other open space

Taking storm water off our streets is a good thing. Runoff causes potholes and, more importantly, causes flooding, property damage and potential loss of life. Putting that water to beneficial use is even better. One of those uses is to increase our tree canopy. By planting more trees and shading the asphalt and concrete we reduce the heat island effect (therefore reducing temperatures,). Additionally, trees absorb CO2 (helping to improve air quality and mitigate climate change) tree lined streets help calm traffic, provide habitat for birds and lizards, improve aesthetics while increasing property values.

Read the councilmember’s full article here:

City of Phoenix Celebrate People @ Work

In honor of Arizona Cities & Towns Week, we’re recognizing the men and women who make Arizona’s cities and towns work! These are the people who work tirelessly to ensure that stoplights keep blinking, water keeps running, trash is picked up, libraries stay open, parks stay clean and services are provided to residents and visitors all hours of every day.

Among the many men and women who make the City of Phoenix a great place to live, work, play and visit, there are seven exceptional individuals we’re highlighting this week.

Cathy Chapman, Senior Engineering Technician, Planning & Development Department: Cathy joined the City of Phoenix 22 years ago. She has spent her entire time with the Planning & Development department, starting as a customer service clerk.

John Tomazin, Firefighter and Paramedic: John was hired as a firefighter recruit in 1997, leading to 19 years of working on fire trucks across the city of Phoenix. He now works as a program manager for EMS, supporting paramedics and EMTs to have the best tools and technology.

Marilyn Barr, Facility Contract Compliance Specialist, Public Transit Department: Not only does Marilyn ride the bus to and from work, she rides it 20 times a month as part of her job. While riding, she looks for missing signs, broken marquees and even makes sure drivers are wearing their seat belts.

Ashley Hare, Arts Learning Director, Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture: Ashley helps decide how public funding is used for various arts and cultural events around the city. She works with more than 160 local groups, the state arts commission and schools on various projects.

Rob Ostos, Senior Utility Technician, Water Services Department: An employee with the City of Phoenix since 2002, Rob builds, maintains and repairs all things involved with the city’s sanitary sewer systems. He operates a variety of equipment for work including dump trucks, front loaders and rodders.

Fernando Felix, Neighborhood Specialist, Neighborhood Services Department: Felix has been with the City of Phoenix for nearly two decades and serves as the liaison between the neighborhoods, community groups, nonprofits, residents and the city.


Goodyear Special Census: Stand Up and Be Counted

Beginning Thursday, Oct. 1, workers from the U.S. Census Bureau will start knocking on residents’ doors to determine Goodyear’s population – and ultimately define the city’s portion of state-collected tax dollars.

In an effort to receive the best count possible, residents are urged to answer their doors and respond to basic questions.

All Census employees will have an official- U.S. Census Bureau picture ID badge, have been fingerprinted and passed an FBI background check. The Census workers, known as enumerators, are expected to continue working through November. The information residents provide is secure.

The count is critical because the state of Arizona collects tax dollars then distributes back to cities an amount proportionate to their population. Goodyear’s current allocation is based on population figures from the 2010 census at which time Goodyear had 65,275 residents. Due to the number of new dwelling units constructed since 2010, city officials now estimate the population to be closer to 77,000.

As a result of this increase, the city could see its annual state-shared revenue increase by as much as $1.5 million from its current $16 million. The money goes into the general fund to provide services such as police, fire and recreation.

“I’m asking Goodyear residents to please take the time and answer the door,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. “Just a couple minutes of your time could mean millions of dollars back into our community for these vital services.”

For more information, call (623) 882-3100, email or visit the website:

City of Tempe Helps Residents with Storm Damage


As monsoon season continues to hit the Valley and other parts of our state, many cities and towns are offering programs and services to residents to help them prepare, stay safe, and clean up any damage caused by the storms.

The storm that hit Monday evening, August 31, hit the City of Tempe and caused downed power lines, transformer fires and damage from fallen trees and flooding.


Tempe Center for the Arts

To help residents continuing to clean up from storm damage, the city is offering a special green organics collection beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8 to remove storm debris and fallen trees in the hardest hit areas.

If you are a resident of one of these hard-hit areas and would like to find out how to schedule your pickup, please click here

For more information on staying safe in monsoons or preparing for the next big storm, visit or your local city or town’s website.


Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge suffered damage during Monday evening’s storm. The bridge will be closed for several days for repair.

Town of Gilbert Community Awareness Program Focuses on Safe Driving


Gilbert is the second safest community in the country and the Gilbert Police Department wants to keep it that way.  Ahead of the holiday weekend, we want to make you aware of a new community awareness program designed to address an increase of collisions in Gilbert.  Our Traffic Unit and Special Enforcement Units will be conducting directed traffic enforcement operations near the SanTan Freeway corridor between Val Vista and Williams Field Roads and along the Val Vista corridor between Baseline and Elliot Roads.  These two zones were selected based on an analysis of traffic collision data.  Patrol officers will be increasing traffic enforcement and education within their patrol beats, throughout the community and focusing on eliminating distracted driving.

What can you do to help increase safety on our roadways? Please remove all distractions while driving, maintain the speed limit, wear passenger restraints and obey all traffic laws. We also encourage you to help spread the word about safe driving with Gilbert’s new #DriveSafely campaign. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Pledge to Speed down. Eyes up. Drive safely.
  • Use #DriveSafely on social media
  • Share this Public Service Announcement

Working together, we can attain our vision as a community where people feel safe in their homes, in public places and on our roadways.

Visit to download logos and for more information.

To download the Gilbert Police Department’s mobile apps, visit Gilbert’s Mobile Apps Hub at

Tempe City Council approves Family Justice and Sustainability commissions

The Tempe City Council unanimously voted to approve the activation of two new commissions: Family Justice and Sustainability.  Volunteer applications for seats on both commissions are now being accepted online.


“These commissions will be a critical resource to help us make important decisions as councilmembers,” said Tempe Councilmember Lauren Kuby. “The Family Justice Commission will bring together community leaders to provide awareness and resources to survivors and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. The Sustainability Commission will serve to supercharge sustainability efforts in Tempe and provide guidance on new opportunities. Both will provide thoughtful insight and research that will benefit us as decision makers.”

Family Justice Commission

This is the first commission of its kind in Arizona. Commission members will advise the City Council and assist city departments in promoting access to justice and safety for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and sex trafficking. The group will also assist with coordinating cross-training and multi-disciplinary opportunities for criminal justice personnel and healthcare providers to better prepare them to serve victims of these abuses.


Sustainability Commission

This commission will advise City Council and staff on ways to help the city’s sustainability programs reach their full potential. The city has several ambitious goals for water conservation, renewable energy, recycling, transportation and sustaining city infrastructure. The commission will help the city reach those goals while providing research and ideas on ways Tempe can become more sustainable in the future.


Each commission has requirements for members to have specific areas of expertise. To apply for a volunteer appointment to the Family Justice or Sustainability commissions, visit the City of Tempe Boards and Commissions webpage.

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:



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.


image001Kids can have fun and learn about Sonoran Desert ecology at Glendale libraries this June and July. The Great Arizona Puppet Theater will present a free puppet show, “Hotel Saguaro,” at the Foothills Branch Library, 19055 N. 57th Ave., on June 15 at 2 p.m. and at the Glendale Main Library, 5959 W. Brown St., on July 29 at 3 p.m.

“Hotel Saguaro” is sponsored by the Glendale Water Services Department – Conservation and Sustainable Living Division. The show is funded by the Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund.

This award-winning puppet show features Sammy Saguaro, his wise Grandpa, and all the desert animals that call the saguaro their home. Audiences will discover how the saguaro supports a diversity of Sonoran Desert wildlife by providing food and shelter. An entertaining and educational post-show discussion is included.

The 45-minute play is recommended for kindergarten to third grade students and families. No registration is required. For more information, call 623-930-3550.