City has multi-million dollar capital projects in the works

By: 
CAROLYN DRYER, Peoria Times Editor

Photo courtesy city of Peoria

The  newest community park, Paloma, is slated to have ball fields similar to this one at Rio Vista Community Park.
 

It was not that long ago — perhaps close to 25 years — when city voters approved a ballot measure that required Peoria City Council to place any capital project on the ballot if it cost more than $50,000. That came as a result of the construction of City Hall. For several years, City Hall was referred to by some residents as the Taj Mahal. Now, with voters approving General Plans every 10 years, they are giving city councils statewide the go-ahead to use their own discretion when it comes to necessary capital projects.
With that in mind, Peoria City Council has embarked on a multi-million-dollar plan that includes park and facility upgrades that include energy efficient processes. Initial cost does not come cheap. The total budget for the energy efficiency projects city-wide is $6.3 million.
As of Nov. 14, Design and Construction Manager Ed Striffler reported construction was progressing toward completion on the capital project. His report stated seven arrays are producing energy; one of nine solar installations remain under construction, with the final in sequence for APS inspections.
Included in the energy efficiency LED lighting retrofits and solar PV energy projects are the following city faciities and campuses: City Hall; the Technology Center; Rio Vista Recreation Center; the performing arts center; Development and Community Services building; Sunrise Mountain Branch Library; Fire Stations 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196 and 197; Fire Fleet Services, Pinnacle Peak Patrol Services; and Beardsley Water Reclamation Facility. All of the aforementioned sites are self-funding through guaranteed energy savings.
Striffler wrote in his report, “The existing utility budgets will be reduced by the corresponding amount of the guaranteed savings to pay for the lease purchase.”
Key features of the energy efficiency projects:
• Reduces Peoria’s carbon footprint
• LED lighting retrofits in 16 city facilities
• Neutral capital outlay, paid via savings
• Provides employees and customers shaded parking
• Uses clean renewable energy bonds
Striffler included one interesting fact in his report, stating the city has two current solar installations; one at the Beardsley Water Reclamation Facility, the other serving the Seattle Mariners clubhouse at Peoria Sports Complex.

Community Assistance Resource Center construction starts this month
Another capital project getting underway this month is the Community Assistance Resource Center at 8335 W. Jefferson St. Approved by council Aug. 14, the concept  for co-location of the CARC at Peoria Community Center, the entire project is expected to be completed by June at a cost of $1.037 million.
The 1980s-era community center was renovated and expanded in 2012. The resource center is expected to accommodate approximately six nonprofit agencies in cubicles and private meeting space on a rotating and contractual basis. The agencies will be selected based on community priorities.
The CARC is intended to provide “an easily accessible public location where the nonprofit agencies and city staff can provide direct program services, intake and referral. Examples of agencies that may be participating deal with illiteracy, cognitive disabilities, Alzheimer’s, domestic violence and housing issues.

Newest park major project; older parks undergoing renovations
In early December, te US Army Corpos of Engineers, Flood Control District of Maricopa County and city of Peoria were in the process of finalizing permits in anticipation for construction to begin on the city’s newest community Park, Paloma, at a cost of $41,282 million.
At more than 100 acres, Paloma will be the city’s largest community park once completed with amenities rivaling Rio Vista and Pioneer parks. Rio Vista is 50-plus acres, while Pioneer is more than 80 acres.
Paloma will have lighted fields, playgrounds, ball courts, a fishing lake and a possible trailhead. Future development, not yet funded, includes a recreation center and pool.
Another park in north Peoria, Sonoran Mountain Ranch at North Chaffen Boulevard and West Miner Trail, will be receiving an update of park amenities that will be deterined through a public input process. The budget totals $348,568.
Amenities could include a hard court shade structure, enhanced playground shade, skate pad, misting pad or fenced dog run. Minor enhancements of esting playground fall surfacing, lighting repairs, and/or a restroom refresh would be undertaken at the same time as the amenities.
In the southernmost part of the city at West Butler Drive and North 111th Avenue, an update of park amenities at Country Meadows Park is planned with a budget of $1.44 million. Public input will be used to determine the amenities, which could include an airnasium, dog park or skate plaza As in the case of amenities at Sonoran Mountain Ranch, minor enhancements of esting playground fall surfacing, lighting repairs, and/or a restroom refresh would be undertaken at the same time as the amenities.
Development of a neighborhood park in the north section of the Camino a Lago site (The Meadows) is budgeted at $4.4 million.
 

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Peoria Times

Peoria Times
7122 N. 59th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
Fax: (623) 842-6013

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