Friday, August 19, 2011

Fwd: Release: Road Closures & Recovery Efforts Underway


Damage Assessments, Road Closures & Recovery Efforts Underway

FLORENCE, AZ – Pinal County Public Works and public safety employees have been hard at work to ensure the safety of the public during and after yesterday's severe storms.  Crews worked overnight to block impassable roads and assist public utilities with safety issues related to downed power lines.
Recovery from the storms is underway in throughout Pinal County.  In some cases, roads cannot be reopened until utility crews can repair damage to their infrastructure.  We will work to ensure that updated information is made available as soon as possible.
Closures as of 10:00 AM Friday, August 19:
San Manuel AreaRiver Road is closed at the San Pedro River crossing
Mammoth AreaCopper Creek Road is closed at the San Pedro River crossing
Arizona CitySunland Gin Road from Harmon Road to Pretzer Road closed due to downed power lines
Harmon Road from Toltec Highway to Estrella Road closed due to downed power lines

San Tan Valley
Hunt Highway from Thistle Trail to Johnson Ranch Boulevard due to downed power lines
Eloy AreaHouser Road from Highway 87 to La Palma Road closed due to high water
Shedd Road from Highway 87 to La Palma Road closed due to high water
La Palma Road from Shedd Road north to Arica Road closed due to high water
Red Rock AreaSasco Road from Hollis Road west to the Pima County line is closed due to wash out at the Santa Cruz River crossing.
How you can help your Public Works staff
Pinal County Public Works is asking residents to contact us at (520) 866-6411 or email us at pcroadmaintenance@pinalcountyaz.gov if there is any debris on county roads or if road repairs are needed. 
NOTE:  For neighborhood roads within master planned communities, please contact your homeowner's association.  If you live in a municipality, please contact your city to report street and road problems.
Please provide the following information:
  • Name of road 
  • Between what cross streets (example: Thistle Road to Johnson Ranch Boulevard)
  • Specifics about the problem (debris in road, tree limbs in road, road flooded or washed out, signs down, traffic signal not functioning, etc.)
  • Your name
  • A phone number to contact you if we need further information
We appreciate your assistance in alerting us to road hazards that would affect the traveling public.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mosquito Fogging set for Maricopa and San Tan Valley

FLORENCEPinal County Environmental Health Services announced today that adult mosquito fogging will be conducted in Maricopa and San Tan Valley beginning Tuesday, August 2 through Thursday, August 4.  Mosquitoes trapped during routine surveillance for West Nile virus tested positive, resulting in the need to fog the area to prevent transmission of the disease to humans.

 

So far this year, there has not been a reported human case of West Nile virus in Pinal County.


08/02/2011 – 08/03/2011 in SAN TAN VALLEY – Area encompasses Bella Vista to the north, Union Pacific Railroad Tracks to the east, Omega Drive to the south and Gantzel Road to the west between the hours of 11:00 pm to Midnight.

 

08/03/2011 – 08/04/2011 in the CITY OF MARICOPA – Area encompasses:  John Wayne Parkway to the east, Sage Brush Drive to the south, Green Road to the west and McDavid Road to the north between the hours of 1:00 am to 5:00 am.      


The pesticide that will be used during fogging is called Anvil.  It is a pre-mixed, ready-to-use product that contains two active ingredients:  Sumithrin (2%) and piperonyl butoxide (2%). Sumithrin is a man-made version of a natural pesticide found in chrysanthemum flowers.  Piperonyl butoxide enhances the ability of Sumithrin to kill mosquitoes.  Anvil is registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency and is effective against the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus.
 
There are several things that residents can do to reduce exposure during fogging:

  • Close all windows and doors. Air conditioners can still be operated, but if they have vents to bring in outside air, they should be closed.  Turn off evaporative coolers.
  • Stay inside your home.
  • If possible, bring pets inside.
  • Thirty minutes after the end of the scheduled fogging each night, you may resume normal activities.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.  West Nile virus can cause severe illness in people and horses, although not everyone who is infected will develop symptoms.  People of all ages can be affected however, the elderly may be more prone to serious illness.  County health officials urge all county residents to "Fight the Bite" and follow these simple personal precautions to avoid mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry:

  • Avoid outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs and use an insect repellent containing an EPA registered active ingredient such as DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.  Always follow the directions on the label.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-tighting screens and remain closed.  Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes in them.
  • Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home by removing standing water in potted plants, tires, bird baths and other containers where water may collect.
  • Ensure that swimming pools and decorative water features are properly maintained.
  • Change water in flowerpots, birdbaths and pet watering bowls located outdoors at least twice per week.

 

What Are the Symptoms of West Nile?

No Symptoms in Most People.  Approximately, 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with West Nile will not show any symptoms at all.

 

Milder Symptoms in Some People.  Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.  Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

 

Serious Symptoms in a Few People.  About one in 150 people infected with West Nile will develop severe illness.  The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.  These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

 

The County has a mosquito hotline and a webpage. If you would like information on mosquito prevention and control, please call: 866-287-0209, ext. 6200, or visit the West Nile virus webpage at:  http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/EnvironmentalHealth/Pages/Home.aspx.

New Courthouse Grand Opening Ceremony

The City of Casa Grande is proud to announce the grand opening of the new Municipal Courthouse. This new complex is located at 375 East 9th Street.

The grand opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 4. An open house for the community will immediately follow at 9:30 a.m. and will conclude at 2 p.m.

The new 10,000 square foot facility has two courtrooms, offices for the judges and court staff, a sally-port for prisoner transfer, and a detention area to seat people who are waiting for arraignment or trial. One of the two courtrooms has a jury box and a deliberation room.

Some of the modern security systems installed include metal detectors, an x-ray machine for screening bags, security cameras and a new audio/visual system in the courtrooms to allow better case presentation.

Design and construction of the new courthouse cost approximately $3.5 million, paid in part by construction sales tax collected over the last 10 years and revenues collected by the Municipal Court. The court also received grants from the Tohono O'odham Nation for part of the audio/visual system and for the security equipment.

The Municipal Court is the judicial branch of city government. The court is of limited jurisdiction and deals with misdemeanors, petty offenses, and civil violations, including traffic and city ordinances. The court also issues orders of protection and injunctions against harassment.

For more information about the Municipal Court, contact the court at (520) 421-8777

Supervisor Snider's August Update

Wow – it's August already!  I don't know about you, but this summer seems to have flown by in a flash.  A couple of major dust storms and some uncomfortably hot weather after a really nice May/June is all I remember of this summer's passage – well, aside from passing a budget for the County and getting started on the redistricting process, that is.

 

Before I get too deep into this month's column, I'd like to remind everyone (especially those of us without kids in school) that indeed our local schools are back in session.  Please exercise heightened caution when driving near school campuses and remember: school crossing zones are posted for 15 mph and no passing.  Local law enforcement will be out in force this month to help remind the motoring public that children going to school need to be safe when they cross major streets.

 

Speaking of school-age children and getting ready to return to the classroom, the Pinal County Health Services District will be hosting free Back-To-School-Immunization walk-in clinics this month.  Every year, thousands of children become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations.  It's not only a matter of ensuring that your child is healthy, but also taking steps to ensure that they don't miss critical time away from day care or school.

 

The County Health clinic in Casa Grande will be providing children's immunizations in August on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.  The clinic is located in Building E of the County complex at 820 E. Cottonwood Lane.  In Stanfield, the clinic (located at 36711 W. Papago Drive) will administer shots on August 10th from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.  Maricopa parents can bring their children to the Mobile Health Clinic – located at 44265 W. Garvey Avenue – Wednesdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  If you're unsure about times or locations, please contact my office (520.836.0003) or 1.866.960.0633 or go to the County's website http://pinalcountyaz.gov.

 

By the way, even though school's back in session – it's still mosquito season which means that we're still at risk for exposure to West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes.  Residents should continue to take precautions especially if there's activity planned for outdoors during the evening or nighttime.  Long sleeves and a liberal application of bug repellant are recommended.  Home owners are also urged to take steps to eliminate any places where water can stand stagnant: mosquitoes can breed in the smallest wet places so be on your guard.  For more information, call 520.866.6200 or 866.287.0209 extension 6200.

 

I promised you last month that I would talk about some of the things that Pinal County is doing to doing to diversify our local economy and lead us out of our economic doldrums.  From my perspective, there are three truly significant "game changing" projects at or just over the event horizon. 

Game Changer 1: the Resolution Copper project that's headquartered in Superior.  Deploying cutting edge technology that will remove high grade copper from a depth of nearly a mile, the mining operation will employ some 1,400 people at average annual salaries of approximately $70,000.  The economic boon to state, county, and local governments will be in excess of $2B over the 40 year life of the operation.  Currently awaiting Congressional approval of a land transfer proposal (HR 1904, sponsored by Congressman Gosar) – without any federal funds involved or sought – the project could start to impact our economy by the end of this decade if approval is granted by the 112th Congress this year.  Needless to say, I and my Board colleagues strongly support the Resolution Copper project.

 

Game Changer 2: Union Pacific Railroad's classification yard proposed for the Red Rock area (hereafter called the Red Rock project).  The classification yard (the second biggest, most important kind of rail yard any rail system operates) will supplant UPRR's Tucson yard and bring several hundred existing and new jobs to Pinal County after the $200M construction takes place on 950 acres.  The proposed site is on state land and UPRR has been discussing the matter with the Arizona State Land Department for some time and is hopeful of their formally calling for the auction of that land before the end of 2011. 

 

The Board of Supervisors approved a Comprehensive Plan amendment for the project in 2007 and it's been hanging fire since then.  This Board of Supervisors and virtually every local Pinal government (and economic development entity) is supportive of the Red Rock project: ancillary and transportation-related businesses and industries invariably follow these major rail yards.  The Red Rock yard will be a dynamic catalyst for economic development for Pinal County and Arizona in my opinion.

 

Game Changer 3: the Phoenix Mart.  This 1.5 million square foot building, to be located in Casa Grande, will bring wholesale buyers from North, South, and Central America to western Pinal County.  The project is being capitalized with Chinese private sector funding and will generate some 3,000 U.S. jobs for our Pinal County economy.  The nuts and bolts of this spectacular project have been covered in other media outlets so I won't repeat that which you already know.  However, I will say that Pinal County played a significant role in the project's coming here and we've continued to provide assistance to the City as Phoenix Mart moves from concept to reality.  We will have a two-way portal into China and the global marketplace – an opportunity not given to many counties and cities.

 

Finally, congratulations go out to the Casa Grande Alliance and its Executive Director Cindy Schaider.  The Alliance was chosen by the White House to be featured as a "Champion of Change" in the 2011 National Drug Control Strategy.  Director Schaider traveled to Washington, DC in early August to participate in an event in the White House.  Kudos to the Alliance, its staff, and the countless volunteers and collaborating agencies that labor tirelessly to make our communities drug and alcohol free.

 

David Snider, Supervisor

Pinal County District 3