Blog Posts Tagged ‘az’

Copper Corridor Spotlight: Town of Winkelman

Written by Gloria Ruiz


The Town of Winkelman is at an elevation of 2,034 and is located in the southern end of Gila County, at the confluence of the San Pedro and Gila Rivers.  The history of Winkelman dates back to 1877 and 1878 when a large number of farmers migrated to the region.  With the coming of the railroad, a post office was established in 1903 near the ranch of Peter Winkelman.  Winkelman was incorporated in 1914.  However, a few years later the Town dis-incorporated and reincorporated on June 6, 1949.

Much like other cities and towns in the corridor, most of Winkelman’s economic activity is still based on copper.  The community serves primarily as a service center and residential area for families of employees associated with the mining and processing activities.  The principal employer within the Town is the Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District.

Winkelman Luten Arch Bridge

Winkelman Luten Arch Bridge

Arizona State Route Highways 77 and 177 provide excellent access to different parts of the state.  Both highways route through Winkelman.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe has approved a second gaming site near the Aravaipa area of Arizona.  The location is approximately seven miles southeast of Winkelman.  This project will bring much needed economic benefits to the tribe and surrounding communities, including Winkelman, by providing 400 plus permanent jobs and millions of dollars of new revenue to the region.

Ore Cart at Roadside Park Photo Courtesy of Town of Winkelman

Ore Cart at Roadside Park
Photo Courtesy of Town of Winkelman

The scenery around Winkelman is some of the most spectacular in the state and is part of the Old West Highway route.  The mountain ranges provide the backdrop for the meandering Gila River and such landmarks as Saddleback and Mescal Mountain ranges.

At the gateway to Winkelman stands a roadside park featuring a 115 foot-long adobe wall.  You can walk around, through or meet within it.  The Wall tells the history of the Town by using bits of ranching and mining implements, as well as local geological samples.  The Winkelman Historic Bridge was constructed in 1916 and is one of only two left in the country and is in the National Historic Registry.

Giorsetti Superior Grocery Store

Giorsetti Superior Grocery Store

Winkelman is also home to the Giorsetti Superior Grocery Store.  The Giorsetti family has always operated this store since 1911.  While shopping, you can see the old architecture style and meet the two generations of the family members who work there on a daily basis.

An added attraction to Winkelman is the Winkelman Flats Public Park, located adjacent to the Gila River. This park provides RV camping with all utility hook-ups, flushable restrooms with hot and cold showers, dry camping areas, swimming, tubing, canoeing and fishing.  This park has a playground area for children, a softball field and a rodeo arena.  A basketball court, designed by the Phoenix Suns, was obtained through grant funding.

Ribbon Cutting at Roadside Park  Photo Courtesy of Town of Winkelman

Ribbon Cutting at Roadside Park
Photo Courtesy of Town of Winkelman

Winkelman is a beautiful area to visit if you want to retreat from the city.  You can meet many friendly residents and enjoy the infinite number of starts at night.

Gila River Valley from Luten Arch Bridge

Gila River Valley from Luten Arch Bridge


London Bridge

Arizona has its own piece of London. Located in Lake Havasu City is the London Bridge.

The bridge formerly spanned the River Thames in London, England until it was dismantledi n 1967.

The Arizona bridge, as it stands now, is a reinforced concrete structure clad in the original masonry of the 1830s bridge, which was brought by Robert P. McCulloch from London. McCulloch had exterior granite blocks from the original bridge numbered and transported to America to construct the present bridge in Lake Havasu City. The bridge was completed in 1971 and links an island in the Colorado River with the main part of Lake Havasu City.

The bridge’s relocation was the basis of a 1985 made-for-television movie Bridge Across Time, also known as Arizona Ripper or Terror at London Bridge. In the film, a series of murders in Lake Havasu is attributed to the spirit of Jack the Ripper, whose soul is transported to the united States in one of the stones of the bridge.

So, the next time you’re yearning for a trip to London (but can’t exactly afford the great vacation), maybe plan a trip to Lake Havasu City instead. Then you can pretend you’ve escaped to the prestigious city while remaining right in  the desert oasis that is Arizona.

Clarkdale Wins Unprecedented Two Clean Water Awards

Verde River Clarkdale


The Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA) announced that the Town of Clarkdale was selected to receive both of WIFA’s Project of the Year awards. This is the first time in WIFA’s history that both the Clean Water (for wastewater infrastructure) and Drinking Water Project of the Year awards went to the same entity. A special awards presentation will take place at the Town of Clarkdale Council Meeting on March 25th.

The 2013 Clean Water Project of the Year was for Clarkdale’s Broadway Reclamation Facility, a $5.5 million infrastructure project to replace an outdated lagoon treatment system with a recycled and refurbished mechanical wastewater treatment facility. After it was determined that their original plans to construct a new plant were cost-prohibitive, Clarkdale officials decided to purchase and refurbish a decommissioned wastewater treatment plant from a subdivision in Surprise.

“What an incredibly innovative and sustainable solution to improve water infrastructure and protect water quality,” said WIFA Board Chairman Henry Darwin, who is also Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. “Clarkdale staff really thought outside the box on this one and deserve this award.”

The outdated lagoon system posed significant water quality threats to the adjacent Verde River, designated by Congress as a Wild and Scenic River. The new wastewater treatment plant is enclosed and eliminates any potential discharge to the Verde River. The project was selected based on the significant improvements made to protect water quality, the highly innovative practices employed and excellent project management.

The 2013 Drinking Water Project of the Year award was for Clarkdale’s Twin 5s Water Main Replacement project. Clarkdale borrowed $1.6 million from WIFA, which included $800,000 in forgivable principal, to replace and relocate two above-ground 5-inch steel water mains.

The 90-year old exposed water mains were vulnerable to natural disasters and introduction of chemical or biological agents. By implementing these improvements, the Town of Clarkdale has eliminated the security risk and resolved operation and maintenance issues. The project was selected for the award based on Clarkdale’s exceptional dedication to the project and the significant improvements made to protect public health.

AZ Cities @ Work Talks Spring Training with Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord

Georgia Lord, Mayor of Goodyear Arizona, and AZ Cities @ Work appeared on Channel 3’s Your Life A to Z on Saturday, March 8, 2014 touting the benefits of Cactus League Spring Training to our cities and towns and the state.


Gilbert Publishes Town’s First Benchmark Report

Report identifies key performance metrics; promotes transparency and opportunities for increased efficiency

Gilbert Benchmark

The town of Gilbert is pleased to present its first benchmark report, which is available online at Created as a component of the town’s performance management strategy, the report includes 83 measures across 17 departments, utilizing a total of 33 benchmarks in 15 states. Ten Arizona communities are listed as benchmarks.

Navigating the Report
Page 11 provides a map of the benchmark communities in each state; pages 12-15 include a matrix of the benchmarks and departments, as well as some high-level comparative data, such as median home value and per capita income. Department benchmarks begin on page 17.

Benchmark Uses and Benefit to Citizens
Benchmarks provide greater context to municipal operations and are a valuable tool in gauging performance. They allow a city or town to look outside its four walls to examine how it compares to other municipalities of similar size and function. Similarly, benchmarks offer citizens perspective on the various services their city or town provides. For example: How many acres of developed parks are in each community? What are average response times for fire and emergency services? How do local sales tax rates compare? What would an average monthly water bill cost?

These measures and many more are included in the report.

For the town of Gilbert, benchmarks were also designed to identify not only where the town is excelling, but also where the organization might look to incorporate demonstrated successes and process improvements that other organizations have explored.

As other cities and towns explore similar efforts, each will be able to share data and compare operations – all with the ultimate goal of determining the services and offerings that are best fit for each community. To that end, the town of Gilbert is a member of the Valley Benchmarking Cities group through the Alliance for Innovation and ASU, a group comprised of several Phoenix metropolitan area cities that meet monthly to share and discuss performance metric data. The member cities have been a tremendous help in sharing data and providing feedback on the Gilbert report. The town looks forward to continuing its work with this group.

Through these and other efforts, the town of Gilbert’s performance management strategy drives the organization to continually seek new opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of services.

Questions? Comments? Visit

Jim Dawson, City of Chandler Building Plans Examiner

Chandler - DawsonNone of us enjoyed getting our homework returned by the teacher tattooed with red ink, but sometimes it was warranted.  This scenario is repeated numerous times in the world of Construction Plan Review, and Jim Dawson is the guy wielding the red pen.

As a Building Plans Examiner, Jim pores over the construction plans of developers and builders to ensure they are designed in accordance with the International Building Code, Fire Code, Mechanical Code, Plumbing Code, Energy Conservation Code, National Electric Code, Residential Code, and the Accessibility Design Access Guidelines that developed out of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Builders sometimes take issue with corrections being requested, but Jim’s grasp of the subject matter and reasoned demeanor usually wins out. And sometimes Jim doesn’t have to say a word, like the time a design consultant was upset with several ADA requirements and insisted on meeting personally with Jim. The consultant’s objections evaporated when Jim rolled his wheel chair into the lobby to greet him.

Jim has been paralyzed from the chest down and confined to a wheelchair since 2001 following a fall he took while on vacation in Canada. With his injury has come limited mobility and a greater reliance on others, especially his wife of 32 years, Tina. Before the accident, Jim was an active outdoorsman and traveled frequently while holding numerous jobs both in the United States and Canada. He has worked with Canada’s Department of Indian and Northern Affairs overseeing the infrastructure, housing and social service needs of numerous Native American communities in northern Alberta, Canada. He later owned his own construction company in his hometown of Kingston.

Meanwhile in Arizona he held jobs with Scottsdale and Gilbert, went into the home inspection business, and even operated a restaurant and bar in Mesa. He joined Chandler seven years ago and says he’s grateful to be working alongside many wonderful coworkers.

When asked about his life philosophy, Jim smiles and says, “I make a conscious mental decision each day to make it the best day I can possibly make it.”

West Valley Cities Get Colorful for Good Causes


This October, you might notice a bit more color while walking through the streets of Phoenix or Glendale. Both cities are decorating in pink and purple colors to commemorate good causes.

Downtown Phoenix is turning purple to bring awareness to Domestic Violence Month. City landmarks and buildings like Tovrea Castle, Phoenix City Hall and Phoenix Convention Center will be lit up purple for the month of October. Additionally, a section of First Street will be painted purple, while garbage trucks and fleet vehicles will be outfitted with posters and magnets displaying information about domestic violence. A “purple flash mob” was filmed in Phoenix Cityscape and Phoenix City officials have filmed PSAs about the importance of detection and prevention of Domestic Violence.

The City of Phoenix is committed to becoming a national leader in preventing and responding to domestic violence. It is one of the most widespread and dangerous health and safety challenges facing our community today.

“I hope this display of purple during October serves as a reminder that stopping domestic violence is a priority for our community,” said Mayor Greg Stanton.  “We must be vigilant about maintaining the effort year-round by continuing to invest real resources to fight domestic violence, including better training for police officers allowing them to detect signs of abuse when responding to calls.”

DSC02405Meanwhile, in downtown Glendale, merchants are painting the city pink to show support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Downtown Glendale businesses are decorating storefronts in the signature pink breast cancer color. In addition, select businesses will be offering special discounts, merchandise and menu items to benefit Susan G. Komen Central and Northern Arizona (Komen CAN AZ) and other local breast cancer programs.

Glendale residents and visitors will have the chance to participate in the showing of support by voting for their favorite pink business. Community members are asked to vote for their favorite shop by leaving a dollar donation collection jars that benefit Komen CAN AZ.

Downtown Glendale merchants will also show their support for the 21st Annual Susan G. Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure®, taking place in Phoenix on Sunday, Oct. 13, by displaying event posters and brochures and by joining the Glendale Goes Pink team.

Town of Gilbert introduces “One Stop Shop”

The Town of Gilbert’s  Development Services Department’s One Stop Shop is making services more accessible and convenient for residents and businesses. Since its opening in March, 49% of permits submitted for review were handled over-the-counter with the new programs, saving both time and money for businesses and residents.

To find out more about Gilbert’s “One Stop Shop,” visit: www.GilbertAZ.Gov.

Town of Queen Creek Maintenance and Operations Supervisor keeps town parks and municipal grounds in top condition

queen creek profile sept 6

Maintenance and Operations Supervisor Steve Gonzales works to ensure the Town’s high use, high visibility areas are maintained.

By Donyelle Kesler, Digital Information Specialist

When residents begin heading out to their favorite biking and hiking trails and Little League teams hit the ball fields, Maintenance and Operations Supervisor Steve Gonzales is working to ensure all Queen Creek parks and municipal grounds are in top condition and ready for their use.

Gonzales is responsible for the Town’s high use, high visibility areas and also oversees department-wide purchasing, works with contractors and takes lead when needed on Town improvement projects.

“Our parks and municipal grounds are important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life and vitality in our community,” Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney said. “We are lucky to have Steve and his team in our Maintenance and Operation division. These professionals are committed to maintaining the Town land and helping to enhance the quality of life in Queen Creek.”

Despite having multiple individual responsibilities, Gonzales possesses a team mentality and believes that it’s through the hard work of entire Maintenance Division that things run smoothly.

“Nobody does anything without each other,” Gonzales said. “We have a very strong team that takes a lot of pride in what they do. For us, projects are never finished. When people say the parks or projects are looking good, our response is ‘We’re getting close.’”

Gonzales supervises four part-time and six full-time technicians. He makes it a priority that each member of his team has the opportunity to attend the most comprehensive trainings to perform to the best of their ability.

“Watching the team members grow professionally is really rewarding,” Gonzales said. “Seeing them come in green and being able to help them, making sure they get the best training they can so they can do their best, that’s what I enjoy most about what I do.”

And Gonzales’ workload won’t slow anytime soon as he begins focusing on upcoming projects such as the Town’s planned dog park and splash pad, both of which he’ll will be working to create a maintenance plan from scratch. He also recently took lead on a project to implement a Town-wide computerized irrigation system.

“Everyone goes to Steve for everything,” Municipal Grounds Unit Superintendent Rich Purcell said. “He’s really the go-to guy in our division and is always the first one here and the last one to leave.”

Gonzales has worked with the Town for more than eight years and has an extensive resume with certifications in pest management, playground safety inspection and turf grass. He is also a certified arborist, and has received certifications from the International Society of Arboriculture, Professional Landscape Network and the University of Georgia, National Recreation and Parks Association and Arizona Department of Agriculture Office of Pest Management. The days he can use those certifications outside of the office are the ones he says he looks most forward to.
“Those are the days I really enjoy,” Gonzales said. “I’d much rather be out in the field doing work than sitting in the office.”

AZ Cities @ Work on AZ TV’s Morning Scramble

How does your city help you? Watch The League of Arizona Cities and Town’s Communication and Education Director, Matt Lore, talk about the many different services and programs that are  available through your city.

Click the link below to learn more: