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Sahuarita Snippets

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Sahuarita Snippets is an opt-in subscription to our monthly newsletter published the first of each month by Gil Lusk, with permission of the QCPOA. Sahuarita Snippets contains information about the town of Sahuarita and the surrounding area.  It is for residents and long-term renters (6-months+) in Quail Creek.



 

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS & GREEN VALLEY TELLEX 
December, 2017
“The two words 'information' and 'communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”  ~ Sydney J. Harris

 

Yes, we have a new name for our Snippets, coming to you each month, to continue serving as inexpensive bird cage or kitty litter liner. On November 20th the POA Board, by a vote of 3 to 2, approved our continuing membership in the Green Valley Council (GVC). You will now be getting liner material from two towns, one incorporated and one unincorporated. We will have a voting member on the GVC Board of Representatives, representing Quail Creek each month, on issues affecting Green Valley, over 70 Green Valley HOA’s and plans coming from the County, affecting this region. Key issues and notes will be mentioned here as with the current Snippets. Some new things are already being confirmed and set up for our membership but that’s for next month.

So, in casual conversation, if you note that Snippets is a great liner, you might consider using a more current name such as SnippEx. For a moment I was considering using “KleenEx” as the new name but that would create legal problems and change the nature of writing herein. 

Over the last several years, as Sahuarita has grown, Green Valley has been working on developing their economic development and plans for the future. It has become clearer, every year, that Green Valley, Sahuarita and their numerous HOA’s and residents are joined at the hip for now and for the future. It is important to understand that our concerns, economics, policies and location make it necessary that we work together to create a better future for all our residents. Over the last several years that has begun to happen as the Town Council and Green Valley Council work more closely with each other, helped by the Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce and numerous residents involved in plans and projects for the future. 

The Chamber and GVC have Committees working on plans and the future economic development of Green Valley, assisted by our Mayor and Economic Development Manager. By maintaining our membership on the GVC, Quail Creek will now have a more defined role in working on these issues as well, important to our future valuations and growth. 

Your representatives on the GVC will be myself and John Kozma and one of our functions will be to keep our residents informed on events in Green Valley. We also, by being voting members, have the opportunity for our residents to serve on a variety of Committees active in Green Valley but pertinent to Sahuarita and Quail Creek as well.

Those Committees are:

•    Citizen Corp / Emergency Planning Committee
•    Community Services Committee
•    Environmental Committee
•    Health and Human Services Committee
•    HOA Relations Committee
•    Planning and Architectural Committee
•    Traffic and Arroyos Committee

Information on the Committees and on the GVC in general can be found here; https://gvcouncil.org/.

Hopefully, over the coming years, more and more citizens of our region will come to understand the importance of Green Valley and Sahuarita as a major complex offering people of all ages a unique living and educational experience. But that’s another story.

Sahuarita, here we come, ready or not. 

When old pots were on the wood fired range, coffee was said to percolate (yes, a few of us still percolate), but in community terms, Sahuarita is on the stove and percolating.

Construction of Quail Creek Blvd. extension will begin in December as the contract for the first phase has been awarded. This contract will build the road from the Circle K down to the river. I have asked the Town Manager to use funds remaining in the project to plan and construct the traffic control system at the intersection of Old Nogales and Quail Creek Blvd. That will leave the ‘at grade’ river crossing and the road from Old Nogales to the river to be completed. Those items will be discussed at an upcoming study session for inclusion in the new budget beginning on July 1, 2018.

Looks like Panda Express by Fry’s might be open in December and Dairy Queen might be considered for the National Register of Historic Places. At times, small little bees buzz around regarding The Crossing, implying that more stores are being signed up, but, so far, just buzzing and no honey.

While driving south on I-19, if you looked to the right as you passed over the Casino interchange, you might have seen a new Prairie Dog town being built with major tunnels. Quite impressive. Actually, what you are seeing is the burial of new Central Arizona Project (CAP) water lines. The main existing line is a pipe of 72 inches and two supply lines of 36 inches each have been joined to the main line. This is the beginning of the construction and placement of two 36” pipelines to deliver CAP water to the Pecan Orchards and the other down Nogales Highway to the four recharge basins just northwest of the Treatment Plant across the road from us. That work should begin in 2018 and finish in 2019.

On November 2nd we had an impressive turn out of some 240 residents in Quail Creek to hear about Sahuarita’s work on planning a new central downtown development. Response was very helpful, bringing some new ideas to the fore on what might be better or more beneficial. It was a very positive meeting which will be followed up in the future with other such meetings as we proceed. 

Later that evening we had a second meeting with the residents of Rancho Sahuarita at Town Hall. Again, very positive and good discussions. 

Rancho Sahuarita is opening new development areas for homes northwest of Anza School and is also moving into new areas south of the Shell gas station near Fry’s. Included in this area is a new school now under construction. 
“The Green Valley Fire Department has been certified to conduct ambulance service in Green Valley and the surrounding area. There are currently two active units, one of which will be on 24-hour duty and another one on duty during the day. Both are staffed with appropriate personnel. Ambulances staffed by GVFD will respond to emergency calls from Station 151 at 250 N. La Cañada Drive and Station 153 at 210 Continental Road.
AMR, formerly Southwest Ambulance, is a current provider and will continue answering calls. Who you get depends on who is closer to the call, GVFD Chief Chuck Wunder said. AMR is owned by Rural Metro Fire” as noted in an article in the Green Valley News.

New Home sales in Quail Creek for 2017 look very likely to hit 120 units, a major increase from a few years ago along with about a hundred plus sales of existing homes. The overall market in Sahuarita remains positive and that includes Madera Highlands, several other neighborhoods and Rancho Sahuarita. Sahuarita continues to pull new families, moving to Tucson and looking for homes, into our Town. The town’s reputation for safety and excellent schools remains a key factor. 

Weather patterns in the US also continue to add part time seasonal residents to Sahuarita and Green Valley as can be seen in current traffic flows and usage of key parking lots. Our population patterns really do seem to mimic those of a major seasonal vacation resort. As the years go by, this growth pattern is likely to continue, requiring advance planning and citizen participation. We will however always appreciate how fortunate we are to have so many friends and neighbors who bring their skills, knowledge and friendship to our communities during winters in the north and for other reasons. 

Seems like Quail Creek continues to grow clubs like Spring’s profuse and beautiful Baileya multiradiata but who can remember all those names? Come March 2nd, 2018 we will be doing a modified “Discover Quail Creek”, something along the lines of “Discovery: Quail Creek Clubs”. A whole day in the Clubhouse dedicated to our clubs; visit with Clubs and become acquainted – care to join? Program is being put together by the The Women of Quail Creek, POA Staff and a male or two veterans of the old Discover Quail Creek. What fun that was! Early notice to all our clubs – we will be hoping for your support, simply by having a table and participating.

The Trips Sub-Committee of the Education Committee (yes, we still work on providing educational opportunities) is still hard at work bringing new places and items to our residents. On December 5th, Trips is taking a group of 30 people on a behind the scenes tour of Tucson International Airport, led by TIA personnel. Included in the tour will be a visit to the TIA Fire and Emergency Response facilities. Lunch will be provided by the Triple Tee (TTT) truck stop which will surprise new guests with quality and quantity. For those guests needing a little extra care, haircuts and showers are available. Sorry to say, but this trip is already fully booked, but it is an example of the monthly trips that are given from November to May of each year.

Look for January’s trip information here with details to be found in “What’s Happening” prior to the sign-up for trips. 

As a last thought let me thank you, our residents, for the great turnouts to hear about the town’s plan for a new town center (240 people) and the POA’s 2018 Budget (about 300 people), approved by the Board. The turnout for the Budget meeting was the best turnout for any Quail Creek Board Meeting since Anza went to San Francisco. Thank you on behalf of our community for sharing your interest and views. As you know, the Board approved a $15.00 per month increase to our annual dues, reducing it down from $30.00 per month.

In the spirit of the coming season, have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends, whether here or out in the beyond. May the spirit of Scrooge on Christmas morning, live in your heart and your home.

Likewise, may this year’s celebration of Hanukkah, the Celebration of Lights, starting with the menorah’s first candle on December 12th and the last candle on December 20th, bring peace and re-dedication to you and your family.

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council Member

 

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS - November, 2017
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement,
achievement, and success have no meaning.
~ Benjamin Franklin ~
 
Coming together is a beginning; 
keeping together is progress;
working together is success.
~ Henry Ford ~

Seems like this should be a "giving" month so, with all due respect, you are given two little quotes this month. Thanks for reading. 

Last month was rather Lite but this month should be back to normal as things continue to progress in Town. So, let's work on updates first, all good news for Quail Creek.

It appears that the old Credit Union over by Pizza Hut is now in the process of being acquired and things are moving forward, not just being talked about. This location is the planned site for Culver's along with a proposed new addition on the site; a Coffee House. It's not Starbucks, but it is an actual Coffee House; not a restaurant that sells coffee. Name has not been made public yet, but plans have been submitted. No idea as to timeframe but if all continues well with the Credit Union acquisition we might see two new places for waistline maintenance by mid-2018.

Panda Express location behind Fry's gas station, is under construction and, once again, should be open by early 2018. There are five more sites planned at that location, but Bob Sharpe has not announced any of those stores yet.

JPAR, LLC is the company that will be building a main water line down to the recharge basins north of the Pima County Treatment Plant by the Quail Creek Veterans-Municipal Park. Approvals have been received and work on building the 36" water line from I-19, down Pima Mine Road and then down Nogales and Old Nogales to the basins will begin in early 2018. This line will be bringing CAP (Central Arizona Project) water down to the recharge basins with a side benefit of a Bird Sanctuary on the site. This project is part of a required compliance action for the Rosemont Mine (replacement of water to be withdrawn from our aquifer by mine). Work should be completed by end of 2018 or early 2019.

The Town has been in negotiation with JPAR to acquire the excavated dirt from the Basins for use in construction of Phase 3 of the Quail Crossing Extension to Nogales Highway to reduce costs for base material. This is an on-going process.

Continuing to be impressed with the amount of business going on at the new Circle K. It appears to be a great success which means good things for sales tax revenue for the Town.

The Crossing at Sahuarita is on target in terms of construction. Main stores remain Sprouts, TJ Maxx, Pet Smart and Bealls with openings early next year, possibly even sooner. Word is that another store has committed to the site, along food service lines, but the name has not been public yet. That leaves about ten stores yet to be named or leased.

Negotiations continue between the Town and La Posada regarding their annexation into Sahuarita. Both sides want it to happen but there are still some details to be worked out. Hopefully agreements will be reached later this year.

Speaking of shopping centers, for those of an investment mind, the Green Valley Shopping Mall is for sale at $12,000,000, asking price. Very important property for the future of Green Valley.

You may have heard a rumor that there is a Home Depot coming but that is not true, to my knowledge. Suspicion is that the big store being built for Sprouts is being thought of as a Home Depot in the making. That rumor seems to be mostly in Green Valley.

Construction and permits for homes in both Quail Creek and Rancho Sahuarita continue good for the year and this also includes resales. Every hundred new homes in Quail Creek is a benefit to the POA bottom line and it seems that we might be getting closer and closer to 120 new home sales here in Quail Creek every year. New stores at the Crossing and completion of the Quail Crossing Extension are just two of the items that will be causing increases.

Quail Crossing Blvd. road extension is moving forward. It appears that we will not qualify for grants as hoped for, so the Town is going for bids to construct Phase One (Circle K to the River) of the extension. Given the process for bids we hope to have construction of this Phase underway in early 2018 or sooner. Phase Two, the at-grade river crossing and Phase Three, from river to our front entrance will be in 2018.  

Completion of Phase 1 will also allow Pima County to begin work on an Anza National Historic Trailhead with parking and information down by the river. 

As we were completing the annexation plan for Sahuarita, eventually adding some 33,000 acres to the Town, we planned how that acreage might be developed and zoned in the future, a plan approved by the voters in 2016. An important element was the creation of community centers and open spaces; gathering places for folks of all ages to come, relax, enjoy and be entertained. On Thursday, November 2nd, the Town will hold two informational meetings relating to ideas for the Town Center based on information gained from over 2200 responses to an earlier questionnaire.  Concepts, questions and discussion at each of the two meetings. Short video about concept; https://vimeo.com/239723685/2e804b7d02 

First meeting is here at Quail Creek, in the Ballroom, starting at 1:30 pm. Your input is desired and needed so please try to make time for this meeting. 

The second meeting will also be on the 2nd, at Town Hall beginning at 6 pm. We hope to see you at one of the meetings.

Deborah Summers, Sahuarita Parks and Recreation Director is moving on, opening her position for applicants. If you happen to have skills in this type of position, or know of someone that does, get in touch with our Human Resource Manager in Town for an application. Do this soon as the job is currently being advertised with an early November close. Great job and great organization.

Some great news. On November 17th Quail Creek has been given the opportunity to host a major meeting regarding the Town and our region. In the past this meeting had been held at the Desert Diamond Casino, but because Quail Creek is beginning to be seen as a positive and productive member of Sahuarita and Green Valley, due to the work of a great many people, the event is coming here. 

Some 300 elected officials, company representatives, town and city employees and community leaders will be here for a Legislative Breakfast and a State of the Town Lunch. These officials are from Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson, Sahuarita, Green Valley, Phoenix and a few Federal agencies. Governor Ducey has been invited, no response yet, as these meetings are attended by all the Mayors, Town Council members and government officials from Pima County and elsewhere. 

The work of many people, including support from the Town Council and membership in the Green Valley Council, has helped bring this meeting here. It is an opportunity for Quail Creek to be recognized and valued by some 300 major community leaders, increasing the knowledge of our community and as a place to live. It will also bring excellent revenue from attendee meals and beverages, as well as increased discussion of food quality and service here at the Grill, throughout the region.  

It has taken years for Quail Creek to move out from being a community of "snobs" to a community valued for its volunteers, charitable donations and participation in numerous groups and activities.  There are still things to be done but we have made progress and are continuing to do so.

Quail Creek is a member of two towns, Sahuarita which is incorporated and Green Valley which is not incorporated. Both provide services and support for us and both add value to our community and our values. Sahuarita is moving forward in positive fashion and Green Valley is working to put together plans and actions for its future right now. The Chamber of Commerce and Green Valley Council are working hard to explore adding economic development and value to the community through committees and work groups which we are part of.

Our goals need to reflect an understanding of the importance of both communities to Quail Creek and our need to continue to participate with them for our future.

The GVC, which is basically equivalent to a Town Council, represents over 70 HOA's in Green Valley and maintains a dialog with the State Legislature and Pima County regarding new laws or regulations being considered for HOA's. Our Representative on the Council knows and hears of planned rules and regulations, often from the authors, and can bring that information back to us for our information, good or bad. 
 
The GVC Council also hears from groups, at its monthly meetings, that Sahuarita does not hear from regularly; groups with important impacts in our area due to the fact that Green Valley is unincorporated and managed by the County. Groups such as Pima County Supervisors, Pima County Chair Huckelberry, State representatives, various non-profit organizations, the Governor's Office, State Lands, US Senators and Representatives and Pima County personnel who manage roads, parks and other items. Elements of those programs have importance to the residents of Quail Creek.
 
The Quail Creek Annual Budget will be presented and voted upon at the next POA Board Meeting on November 20. Every resident should try to attend this budget meeting to learn of plans as well as to understand the operation of your POA. For the past ten years fewer than 30 people have attended each of these annual meetings and that is not a figure worthy of the discussions and decisions made at this meeting. 

Finally, with Thanksgiving coming this month and our sails being set for the coming year, let's be thankful for the community we live in and for our friends and neighbors who provide the positive spirit and atmosphere that surrounds us. Likewise, let's also remember the many great tragedies that have occurred in the past year and those who have suffered greatly and continue to suffer. 

Looking ahead, next year will be a banner year for Sahuarita and Green Valley as new businesses and commercial opportunities come to our communities. Quail Creek will continue to see modest growth and Mr. Robson might even have a few surprises for us - you just never know, I don't.

Thank you.

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council Member

Sahuarita Snippets – October, 2017
 
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."   ~ Mahatma Gandhi

While sure that Gandhi intended this to support and highlight those aspects of life that created positive change in culture and society, it is now apparent that negative change can also occur in this fashion.

This month we have what might be called Snippet Lite. While many things are going on or will be going on in the next year, most have been discussed in past Snippets and continue to go forward with little or no change. 

We have no further word on the progress of bringing a Culver’s to Sahuarita. Either negotiations for the old Credit Union site are moving forward or have stalled. Hopefully they are still in process, but no word.

Over at The Crossing center the structure being built on the northwest side of Circle K (across the small portion of Quail Crossing Blvd.) is for a retail store, part of The Crossing. As you can see, construction is on-going for a number of the other retail sites within The Crossing but no information has come forward about possible tenants, if any.

For those of you planning to add a casita, golf cart garage, pool or other change that requires a permit from the town be advised that the staff in this office is being over whelmed with construction permits and on-site inspections now, due to all the construction on-going. It will require extra time for the permits to be completed or for an on-site inspection of the work to be done. I will be meeting with our Town Manager to see if it’s possible to bring on one or two part-time personnel, qualified for this work, in the near future. If any of our residents are qualified for this type of construction plan review and inspection, and you might like a part-time job, please email me. If a couple of part-time positions are created I will pass along your names to our personnel office.

As noted in past Snippets, the Town has a small group of residents and a consultant working on the development of a new town center in Sahuarita for retail and other uses. Located on a large acreage tract within the town it would consist of a number of concepts pertaining to a new form and function of town centers. An informational meeting on this project will be held in Quail Creek on Thursday, November 2nd of this year. It will be held in the Quail Creek Ballroom beginning at 1:30 PM. Residents of Quail Creek, Madera Highlands and La Posada will be invited to the meeting, but it will be an open meeting for anyone. Please do come as we are early in the planning and your inputs and questions would be helpful.

No progress seems to have been made in unraveling the mystery of “Dairy Queen: Will it Open?” There have been any number of clues presented in the past few months but, strange for an Ice Cream Shoppe, they have all been red herrings.

In discussions with Green Valley Fire District Chief, Chuck Wunder, no final cause of the recent home fire in Quail Creek has been determined at this time. It is believed that the fires were caused by the electric system but this is still being investigated.

New lots continue to be prepared by area developers. Bob Sharpe’s company, Rancho Sahuarita, is opening up another several hundred home sites on both the north and south side of Sahuarita Road and we continue to see additional sites here in Quail Creek. 

“Sahuarita market trends indicate an increase of $23,265 (18%) in median home sales over the past year. The average price per square foot for this same period rose to $101, up from $93. * 

*This information and quote is taken from TRULIA which can be found on the internet at https://www.trulia.com.

While the figures year over year are favorable it should be noted that both figures have been going down in 2017. New home construction and resales continue positive but time on market has increased and home sale prices have become somewhat softer. Compared to other market areas Sahuarita is still considered a good market. Of course, local prices are still based on location, location, location.

Our police and fire departments continue to provide excellent service for our community and the two school districts serving Sahuarita continue to provide strong educational programs with excellent marks and accomplishments. These elements continue to allow Sahuarita to compete quite successfully for new families moving into this area of the State while Quail Creek provides strong attraction for retiring and active adults seeking 
Near vana. 

Finally, I know that almost everyone has friends or family who have been visited by strong hurricanes or earthquakes over the last two months in Texas, Florida, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Georgia, the US Virgin Islands and other areas. 

The damage and effect on residents has been staggering and will require years to recover and rebuild along with the support of all who have been affected and unaffected by the damage. I can only pray that none of you suffered tragic loss of friends and family during or after these events and, if you have, that you are supported by friends and family and are slowly coming to grips with the loss and situation. 

Eventually we will all share in the rebuilding and recovery programs that are being put in place through the hundreds of billions of dollars and workhours required. We are one nation, a strong nation with good neighbors and now, as in the past, we must support and help where we can, when we can and bear the cost, now and for years to come.

Thank you for reading.

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council Member

Sahuarita Snippets – September, 2017 

My parents live in the part of the United States that is Canada. It is so far north that Minnesota lies in the same direction as Miami. They have four distinct seasons: Winter, More Winter, Still More Winter, and That One Day Of Summer.

~ W. Bruce Cameron ~

For our Canadian friends and neighbors, welcome again to Quail Creek, also the land of four seasons; Sweater, Shorts, Sweater, Bliss.  As we near the season of Bliss please remember to write and call your friends in Canada to remind them of the changing seasons, but please do hold back on the chilling comparisons of place and ground cover.

It is September and it is truly a season of Bliss here in Southern Arizona and Quail Creek.  It is the lead in month to what will be a time of significant change in Sahuarita’s present and future, adding to the livability and enjoyment of place.

You will be hearing more and more in the coming months about planning for a new Town Center Concept in support of our various communities and needs.  It will be in follow up to the recent survey of Sahuarita residents about future needs and desires responded to by over 2,000 residents, including hundreds of Quail Creek residents.  

The Town Center will not be a Shopping Mall but rather a Village gathering place for residents, in recognition of the changing shopping patterns and values becoming prevalent in our culture.  Residents of Sahuarita will be invited to participate in the planning for this future Village center over the next several months, in hopes that the concept can be started over the next five years.

The Town has been apprised of a new US Department of Transportation grant program called INFRA and has applied for a grant under this program to complete two or three major road projects in 2018, if approved.  The program applied for requires a percentage match of the grant by the Town, which we can do.  The Grant will be decided upon in early 2018.

We must show proof that the matching funds exist and a part of that proof will be the funds set aside for the Quail Creek Extension to Nogales Highway plus others.  (A valium is not required at this point.)  The road will still be underway in 2018 regardless of the USDOT decision on the grant.  If our grant request is approved the road will be finished in 2018 as planned.  If the grant is turned down we still have the funds for the road and it will go under contract.

We had planned to put Phase One out for bid this September so this Grant request will result in a delayed bid process until about February.  Road completion is still planned for 2018.  The upside is that several million dollars that we do not have for other road projects in Sahuarita will come to us if the Grant is approved.  The only downside is a delay in starting the road.   Given the destruction caused by hurricane Harvey all Federal programs may be impacted including this one.  If so, we may know about our grant request sooner than expected.

With apologies to those with heavy bets placed on the road not opening next year.

One of our goals here in Quail Creek is to provide opportunities for our residents to become familiar with all the neat things that exist outside Quail Creek, becoming more aware of our surrounding communities as a result.  This is a function of the Trips Sub-Committee, a small group of residents who put these opportunities together every year.  

The schedule for the remainder of 2017 thru May of 2018 has been put together with one trip every month beginning in October.  The trips are usually small and vary in size from under twenty to about fifty.  Smaller size trips usually use carpooling and larger groups often use bus transport.

Those leading the trips are Sub-Committee members and volunteers.  Fees are collected to cover entrance fees as needed, gas for carpool vehicles and bus fees if required.

What follows is the schedule for the next trips, from Oct. to May, giving the name of the program and the month, it’s given.  Dates, times and details for each of the trips is provided the month before the trip is taken, but not before.  The information will be found in What’s Happening and The Crossing the month before.  Sign up is at the Concierge Desk and a beginning date for sign up is always provided as the trips are very popular and size limited.

Trips Sub-Committee Schedule October to May

  •  October 2017  “Taste of Tucson” - Sample menus at several Tucson downtown restaurants and ride the Street Car with a guide.
  • November 2017  “Made in Tucson, #4” - Visit artisan shops in Tucson, where beauty is created.
  • December 2017  “Behind the Scenes at Tucson International and       
    The Airport Fire Department”
  • January 2018  "Univeristy of Arizona Flandrau Science Center And Planetarium” - Have you met the Stars yet?
  • February 2018  “Chinese New Year’s Celebration” - Fete and Eat
  • March 2018  “Kitt Peak After Dark”
  • April 2018  “Secrets of Downtown Tucson”- Sorry, we can’t tell you.
  • May 2018  “Historic Canoa Ranch and Avalon Organic Gardens”

Inquiries have been made as to whether there will be another tour of Nogales, Sonora offered this year as the first such tour was sold out so quickly.  Another such tour is under consideration but no final decision has been made yet.  If offered it would be sometime between November and February.  
 
The Town Council has approved construction of the Verizon tower near the park across Old Nogales.  It will be 150 feet tall and will be required to have a warning light on the top for low flying aircraft.  Still no indication as to the start of construction except that it will be some time before anything happens.  The tower will be a mono pole without camouflage due to its height and come close to giving Sahuarita the tallest structure south of Tucson, if not a tie.

If memory is correct, today is September 1st and there is still no sign of Sahuarita having a Dairy Queen.  Perhaps we should start an over/under betting pool.  Those betting could bet on an opening before October 1st or, the over, after October 1st.   

Speaking of ice cream, no new word on Culver’s coming to town.  Assuming that negotiations are still on-going regarding real estate there is still a chance.  Likewise, there is no word on other companies that have committed to the Crossing Center.  Looks like Sprouts, Pet Smart and TJ Maxx are underway on the site.  Development of the total site continues apace as utilities, roads and building pads grow more each day, along with sidewalks and curb cuts. 

If you follow the proceedings of the Council you will know that the Council passed a Notice of Intent to potentially increase the Town's Sanitary Sewer Fees by amending Title 13 of the Sahuarita Town Code; declaring as a public record the data supporting the increased fees; and setting a public hearing on the proposed increased fees.  Please note that our fees are controlled by the County; the fees in question pertain to the Treatment Plant owned by the Town, servicing Rancho Sahuarita.

Rancho Sahuarita is developing plans and concepts for their lands that are to the south of Sahuarita Road; an area that runs from behind the Mormon Church over to I-19 south of the Shell station.  It now appears that an agreement has been reached between Sharpe and the Sahuarita Unified School District for location and construction of a new school in this area. Proposals will be also be coming forth to the Town for plans to begin building infrastructure in the form of roads and utilities going south for future homes, toward El Toro Road.  

There is no doubt that 2018 is going to be a significant year for Sahuarita in terms of new commercial development, home construction, expanding infrastructure, open space and parks.  Your Town Council is excited about the opportunities that exist next year and the continuation of Sahuarita as a unique and exemplary community.  

Finally, regardless of your beliefs or personal values, set aside some time to hope and or pray for the families and communities devastated by Harvey and support them in any way that you can.  For those of you with family and friends living within the impacted areas you have our hope and concern for their safety and wellbeing today and in the long recovery that is now part of their daily lives.

Gil Lusk
Quail Creek Resident
Sahuarita Town Council

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS – August, 2017

“I don't see the desert as barren at all; I see it as full and ripe. It doesn't need to be flattered with rain. It certainly needs rain, but it does with what it has, and creates amazing beauty. “
Joy Harjo ~
 
According to the International Dictionary of Lexiconography, English, 1843, the word monsoon derives from an expression often heard on the Liverpool Docks.  Apparently, during the frequent heavy rains, ships were delayed in setting sail and the sailors were heard to complain, “Tis a mean awful day but mon, soon I gotta get out ta sea.”
 
We are in the middle of our annual Monsoon, a delightful one, bringing needed rain to us in extra amounts.  Fields of green can be seen everywhere and we might see an uptick in resident bird and animal populations this fall.  Stream tinajas will hopefully hold water later into the fall in support of both prey and predator.
 
The Crossing work force is hard at it, despite our rains.  At least one large concrete slab has been laid for a store, probably Sprouts, which will be some 30,000 sf in size.  Sprouts has always noted that they hoped to open in January and it’s beginning to look as though that might happen.
 
There is no other new information on stores coming to the Crossing but their management is very active in seeking additional clients for the other twelve or so store pads to be located there.
 
Word is that there are discussions going on now regarding the sale of the old Credit Union building located just down from Pizza Hut.  This could become the site of a future Culvers Restaurant in 2018.  Hope springs eternal.
 
There is still no word on construction of the Verizon tower across Old Nogales highway.  I have requested that when plans do come in they be required to place lights at the top of the tower.  This would not usually be required for towers of 150 feet in height but presence of Border Patrol aircraft doing searches makes the use of lights a desirable safety addition.
 
Years ago, it was “That damned elusive Pimpernel” but at the moment it might be better termed “that damned elusive Dairy Queen”.  Crews have been at it for what seems like months and the windows look nice and clean, but still no open doors nor any sign of pending public pandering.  The original word was August for the opening so let’s just plan on it happening soon.  Might make a nice Unit party location when it opens.  “Sink me.”
 
Time to return to the mythical bullyvard known locally as “it ain’t ever gonna happen bullyvard.”  In Sahuarita it goes by “Quail Crossing Boulevard extension”.  May we say, one more time, “It is gonna happen!”  and a lot of folks in town are working hard to make it happen.  Design and engineering has now been completed and will receive final review shortly.  When that is completed the contract for Phase One will go out for bid.  Phase One represents a little more than half of the road length and should begin construction as soon as a bid is accepted and the contractor has moved equipment on site.
 
Phases Two (the river crossing) and Three (Old Nogales to the river) will be bid in 2018.  JPAR, LLC is planning to lay a 36” pipeline for CAP water next year from Pima Mine Road to the four recharge basins being built about a half mile north of our entrance, just off Old Nogales Highway.  In order to save money, we are working with JPAR to provide a location for some of the soil being excavated for the four basins.  This soil would be used to build a base for the Phase Three roadway bringing it up out of the 100-year flood plain.  This will be a major saving to both JPAR and the town.
 
Town is still working on agreements with La Posada and one or two others near that location to annex their holdings into the town of Sahuarita.  This will be a benefit to both the town and to the holdings being annexed.  There is another small tract out by the Walden Grove HS in discussion for annexation which has an interesting side story.
 
There is an old 5,500-foot runway that leads from Sahuarita Road up close to the Walden Grove HS.  From WW II to the late 1950’s this was the 27,045-acre “Sahuarita Bombing and Gunnery Range” and was not released by the military until 1978.  Guess what it was used for.  The owner of the acreage parcel being considered for annexation would like to develop the property.  To do that he will have to have the entire 75-acre parcel inspected, checked and metal detected for ordinance.  Once that is done we can consider annexation into the town.  Most of the ordinance dropped was dummy ordinance filled with sand but live ammunition was also used at times.  Goggle the name for the story if interested in this little piece of American History.
 
One more mention of the newly paved Wilmot Road from Sahuarita Road to I-10 out by the Triple T Truck Stop.  This road is in excellent condition and is a good way to travel to the eastern parts of Tucson, say from Alvernon out to Kolb.  It is now part of our normal routine for business in that area of town.  For your guests, it’s also a smooth and quick run up to the Pima Air and Space Museum and there are no stop lights once you turn onto Sahuarita Road at Nogales Highway until you get north of the Interstate.  Main thing to remember is that there are small low water crossings along this road and during heavy rains the road might be closed for a time.
 
Went out after one such rain recently and found the road to be in good shape; no mud or debris on the road at all.  You might like it, you might hate it but it is a much more pleasant drive than I-19 or Nogales.  Oh, and if you take it, stop at the Triple T for a meal.  It’s a very popular truck stop and Omar, the owner of the restaurant, does a great job with the menu.  No, it’s not gourmet but its good food in ample proportions and while the spouse goes for the apple cobbler you can go get a haircut. 
 
I ingest, uh, I mean digress. 
 
Just a little added something from Benson, AZ which was briefly mentioned before.  A very large project is proposed and near development there called “The Villages at Vigneto”.  The Villages at Vigneto will be built along both sides of State Route 90 in Benson south of Interstate 10. The plan is for 28,000 homes, five golf courses, restaurants, shops, and more than two dozen activity centers and community facilities over a 20 year build out. Two-thirds of the project’s 13,000 acres are located on the east side of State Route 90.  It is designed as a Tuscan, Italian village and community.  This is still one to two years away from starting but like Vail and Sahuarita, Benson is starting to come alive.
 
Only mentioned as a future alternative for friends and relatives who might like Southern Arizona but prefer living in Italy.  Here is their website;  https://vignetoaz.com/ 
 
Sahuarita is proud to announce that the last days of August are known locally as the “Dog Days of Summer.”  Specifically, August 26th.  The Town of Sahuarita and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona will be holding a very special Dog Day Animal Services event on August 26th from 1 to 4 PM at Anamax Park.  Animal services will include a shot clinic, giveaways (not dogs), dog games and an opportunity to get your dog licensed.  Would expect there to be other services as well, but as this is our first time doing this it is still coming together.  Further information is available at
www.sahuaritaaz.gov/animalservices   Not sure how they are fixed for volunteers for the event but if interested call Town Hall and ask for either the parks division or animal services.  Should be a fun day, even for non-dog owners.
 
At last count some 600 bushels of mesquite beans have been collected from roads and yards in Quail Creek.  The beans are currently being processed at QC’s new bean distillery with hopes for a bumper year of our very popular “Irish Bean Beer”.  (Please do not tell the Feds about this new amenity.)
 
With smiles and a hope that you all have a happy and safe August. 
 
Gil Lusk
Quail Creek Resident
Sahuarita Town Councilman

 

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS – July, 2017

I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse.
~ Walt Disney ~

Good News!! Last month was a long snippet but this month will be far shorter as we covered most everything last month. If you are a speed reader your coffee will still be warm when you finish this, perhaps still pouring.

The reworking of the Grill is not yet started. The Town is still waiting for the delivery of plans and specs from Robson so that permits can be issued for the work. Hopefully they will be arriving shortly and the permits can be underway soon thereafter.

If you are still here in Quail Creek, remember that July 4th will be a major day of celebration and remembrance in Sahuarita. In addition to all those things here at Quail Creek you might want to wander down to Sahuarita, by the Lake in Rancho Sahuarita. Events, food trucks, music, lake games and many other things – all topped off by the biggest fireworks display which begins at 9 PM. Go to the town website for full details.

Here in QC, you can have lunch after the morning events and fold right in to Bingo, doors opening at 1 PM. Bingo is over by about 4:15 so there will be plenty of time to cook out, eat out or go over to Sahuarita and enjoy the evening events.

Repaving of Nogales Highway is complete and the road is now in good condition again. Plans are being prepared to identify all town roads and setting up long term schedules for maintenance and repaving as needed.

The Town budget for 2018 has been approved and will kick into gear on July 1st. The overall financial situation of the town is excellent with strong reserve funds set aside.

Would you like to go to Costco without dealing with a lot of traffic? Go east on Sahuarita Road and take the newly paved Wilmot Road. You come out at I-10 exit 269. Go west on I-10 and get off at exit 263. This is the exit for Costco. An easy drive with hardly any traffic until you get to I-10, maybe a smidge longer in terms of distance but oh so nice. You can also stop and have a nice breakfast at Omar’s Triple T Restaurant on I-10 while on the way. County did a very nice job on Wilmot, 7.1 miles of paving and several at grade water crossings for approximately $6.5 million, the entire job.

Wilmot Road, for about 2.5 miles north of Sahuarita Road, is within the proposed annexation area for Sahuarita, Arizona.

So let’s call this month’s newsletter “Sahuarita Snippet Snippets”.

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council Member

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS – JUNE, 2017
 
“The pessimist complains about the wind;
the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.”
~ William Arthur Ward ~
 
A word of caution to Air Gun Club members using the range. At some point, soon, there will be new potential aerial targets that attract your attention. Please know that these are not clay pigeons and should not be shot at.
 
“In August of 2016, the Arizona State Legislature enacted A.R.S. 13-3729. This law prohibits local governments from enacting their own drone ordinances with the exception of take-off and landing restrictions in parks or preserves, as long as one park is available to drone users.” “All Arizona municipalities are required to allow unmanned aircraft operations.”
 
The Parks and Recreation Commission and Manager on May 3, 2017 gave unanimous final approval and authority to implement this new policy. The policy will be reviewed in one year after experiencing and evaluating the effects of this new policy.
 
The parks selected for drone usage, only from sports fields, are North Santa Cruz Park in Rancho Sahuarita and Quail Creek-Veterans Municipal Park. Permits for such usage must be obtained from the Recreation Division staff at Anamax Recreation Center located at 17501 S. Camino de las Quintas, Sahuarita.
 
Size restrictions on the drones may be coming down but we do not have that information yet, to my knowledge. Please check with the Park and Recreation Division on this before purchasing your air squadron.
 
Warning to all resident pool and spa owners - be advised.
 
What follows is a rehash of things coming to Sahuarita over the next two very busy years. All dates mentioned are approximations so do not show up at the Dairy Queen on August 1st. You may melt but the ice cream will not.
 
Those of us who travel on Nogales Highway, and who amongst us does not, will have noticed that the pavement is beginning to unravel on portions of that road, below Pima Mine Road and in both directions at the intersection of Old Nogales and Nogales Highway.
 
Repairing the affected sections will be done in the next few months and funds have been budgeted to do the work.
 
What could be the largest Circle K in Southern Arizona has now opened in Sahuarita. The station has fourteen gas pumps in seven bays and 5,500 square feet of store space. The current Circle K is to remain open as well.
 
For those of you who have not been to the new Circle K, please do go. Once the new Quail Crossing extension is in place this will be a great stop for those of you still commuting to Tucson using the interstate. Four varieties of hot tea in dispensers, numerous coffee varieties in dispensers, large selection of readymade sandwiches and salads, a Beer Cave chilling package beers from all over, wines and hard liquor, soft serve ice cream dispensers (six flavors), readymade malted milks, a few sit-down tables, line cook to prepare burgers and other items, wide aisles and hot dog rotisseries. Oh, they also sell gas.
 
Developer has begun preparation of the Crossing at Sahuarita site, some 17 acres in size, across the road from Walmart and a neighbor of the new Circle K. Stores are scheduled to begin opening in early 2018, possibly January or February. Initial openings will be the center anchor store and three or four other smaller, “junior” anchors. The remaining eleven or so sites for stores and restaurants will be filled as they are leased. The developer is working on filling those spaces at this time as you would expect.
 
We are still largely working with rumors but the stores are believed to be Sprouts (pretty certain), Bealls, TJ Maxx and Pet Smart.  For those of you aghast at the thought that the Town is bringing in another pet store please know that the Town has no control over the selection and leasing of stores in Sahuarita. The stores coming to town are selected by the developers from those businesses seeking to locate here.
 
The Dairy Queen is currently under total renovation and the owner has suggested August as its reopening date. They seem to be quite busy doing work so maybe the Queen will reopen sooner than August. I understand that reservations are currently being taken for parking and booth space.
 
Phase One of the Quail Crossing Boulevard from the Circle K station to the river is scheduled to be under contract in August. The decision has been made that Phase Two, the river crossing, will be an at grade crossing. This means that the road will be closed during flood events or about four to eight times every year during heavy rain events. Phase Three will complete the road from the river to Old Nogales at our entrance. Phases Two and Three are being scheduled for construction in 2018.
 
When the Crossing extension is finished, there will be a new intersection at our entrance off Old Nogales, with turn lanes, controlled by a traffic light.
 
Please understand something about this new extension. It has been thought about and on the books for many years. Instead of spending $2 million dollars planning a $15 million-dollar road and bridge, which we would not see for many more years, the decision was made by the Council to spend that $2 million dollars building a road. The entire road being built is not the final road that will be built in the future. This is a first phase, let’s get the road in place road; a serviceable road with a 15-year life that, due to usage, will eventually be refined and expanded to a four-lane road with a bridge as the town grows.
 
Pima County is planning to build a trial head for the Anza National Trail, a National Park Service unit, which will contain parking and facilities off of the new Quail Crossing section, just west of the river. Plans are being done but no date has been set for this project to begin. The Town will be involved in setting up this project as the National Park Service only coordinates and assures that volunteers and communities are managing and maintaining the trail as it winds from Mexico to San Francisco.
 
Construction of the 36-inch water line, bringing CAP (Central Arizona Project) water from Pima Mine Road down to four recharge ponds, being built just down the road from us, should begin later this year. We are working hard to see those ponds and the area around them designated and managed as a Bird Sanctuary, open to the public. Not there yet as there are some things that must be worked out, but trying hard.
 
There is no word on the Verizon cell phone tower and its construction. Last we heard was that it was at least a year or more away, regardless, not soon. The saying is “it takes a village” but for most things today the true saying is “it takes a city”, and a full moon.
 
Fry’s gas station is under way as well and should be serving customers by the fall, if not sooner. It is across the street from the Shell station on Sahuarita Road.
 
Along with the gas station there are about six parcels set aside for business and retail. One of the six will be a Panda Express. (As you must know, Pandas are extremely valuable and rare so this is a great find.)  Would not expect these six parcels to be filled until 2018.
 
For those interested in the town budget, you will find that information on the town website at http://sahuaritaaz.gov/documentcenter/view/2170 . Town fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
 
The survey being conducted by the town for ideas about a future town plaza is being well supported by the community. So far, we have received over 1,700 responses with good input and ideas. You have until June 2nd to respond, so please do get involved. The survey can be done by email and is available on the town website.
 
Real estate sales for Sahuarita remain good, both new and resale homes. Sharpe Company developing Rancho Sahuarita, has indicated that they are in a number of negotiations with retail companies and other interests for sites in the town. Some large and some small.
 
Robson sales continue to climb upward from one hundred units a year while resales still count for another hundred plus sales per year.
 
Over the next months and years, you will be hearing about planning for a new road in Pima County called the “Sonoran Corridor”; a connector route from I-19 east to I-10, south of Tucson. Three general locations are being discussed; along Pima Mine Road, five to ten miles north of Pima Mine Road and El Toro Road south of Sahuarita Road. El Toro Road is the road heavily favored by Sahuarita and a resolution to that affect has been unanimously passed by the Town Council. This is the road that has been planned for and included in the strategy for the town’s eastern annexation. The future of Sahuarita cannot be supported by one main west to east road, Sahuarita Road; El Toro is needed for the second access to our town and future development.
 
El Toro has been recommended in the past by the Arizona Department of Transportation but a new three-year environmental study is being done by the Arizona Department of Highways and the Federal Highway Administration. The Corridor is still years away but is a critical element in our future planning.
 
Sahuarita Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center Project
 
A Purchase and Sale Agreement by and between Fidelity National Title Agency, Inc., an Arizona corporation, as Trustee under Trust No. 30,007, and not its corporate capacity, and the Town of Sahuarita, Arizona of real property consisting of approximately 3.76 acres located west of La Canada
Drive and south of Sahuarita Rd.
 
By entering into a Purchase and Sale Agreement, the Town of Sahuarita will satisfy a requirement from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to demonstrate purchase of project site and be further considered for a $3,000,000 grant under the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Program. EDA has reviewed and selected the Sahuarita Advanced Manufacturing and Technology project for funding consideration within its competitive selection process. Funds that will be used by the town to build a manufacturing center for SAMTEC.
 
The Sahuarita Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center (SAMTEC) project is a 32,000 (est.) square foot multi-tenant manufacturing center that will provide flexible space for growing small business innovation and technologies in Sahuarita and throughout Southern Arizona.
 
SAMTEC will provide the necessary infrastructure for the immediate expansion and growth of Hydronalix, a maritime robotics company and Control Vision-an optical sensor and control systems company in support of the unmanned aircraft industry; both currently located in Sahuarita.
 
The flex-space and facility amenities at SAMTEC will also support the attraction of high-valued small firms focused on innovation and commercialization. The goal of the SAMTEC project is to establish a Small Business Innovation Research and Technology sector.
 
 And lastly, the Town of Sahuarita is launching its own Animal Services Division on July 1. The Town is hiring a half-time animal control officer to enforce the Town’s Animal Control Code and respond to resident calls. You can read more about it at Town of Sahuarita Animal Services Division.
 
Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council Member

 

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS – MAY, 2017

Can you imagine moving just a few blocks to a new home and seeing as much as a 64 percent difference in your auto insurance premium? You can get vastly different quotes from the same insurance company at two addresses a relatively short distance apart but in different ZIP codes.
~ Bankrate on Facebook ~

Yes, our first topic this month is changing our zip code. Sahuarita, the Town, will benefit financially and from increased development by having the entire town in one zip code. BUT, we are finding that auto and homeowner’s insurance rates are now based solely on zip codes here in Arizona and changing our addresses from 85614 to 85629 will result in major increases to at least some, if not all, of our resident auto and home insurance rates. Rates that would increase in most cases by hundreds of dollars per year.

It now comes down to, is there any way for the town to achieve its desired goal without increasing insurance rates and can the Post Office Department provide us with an alternative or alternatives that might work. At this point we are still waiting to hear from the Post Office Department regarding an earlier request for a meeting to discuss the situation.

The insurance rate situation will not be overlooked or minimized – it is a major issue for all of us and will require a solution, if one can be found. If one cannot be found the town will need to seek other ways to verify us as residents of Sahuarita. One last note to put another rumor to bed, the zip code has no effect on our School District – we live in the Continental School District and that does not change. This is the present situation; if anything changes in the future it will be noted here in the Snippets. The concerns represented here are being discussed with Town staff and personnel.

So, is it open or is it closed. Yes, it is. No, it isn’t. Yes! No! Those following this story know that the Arizona Dept. of Transportation had a tough time deciding on this question. As of the last news release the south bound on ramp for I-19, at Pima Mine Road, by the Casino, going to Green Valley and south is now closed and will remain closed for one full year, not six months. Vehicles and trucks going south on I-19 toward Nogales, getting off to go to the Casino on Pima Mine Road, will not be able to get back onto I-19 at the Casino. These users will have to detour down Pima Mine to Nogales Hwy and follow it to either Sahuarita Road or to I-19 at Walmart.

The community Rodeo, scheduled for this September has been cancelled and will occur next year when there is more time for the Chamber of Commerce to plan and get commitments from the well-travelled folks and critters that make a rodeo work.

I may have been seeing things but I swear (often) that I saw workers recently at the Shell Station by Jim Click. They were working on the Dairy Queen! The worker in the Shell Station store actually stated that the Dairy Queen was being reopened for service this June. Oh, Heavenly Dae.

Our new Circle K is moving along quite well and it won’t be much longer before they open for business. Still no word on what they might be planning for the old Circle K.

The new gas station being built by Fry’s is also moving along, located across the road from the Sahuarita Shell station. Have not heard any names for the six or so stores that will also be located in that complex.

The town is hoping that announcements will be made sometime in the next month as to stores that have committed to the Crossing complex over on Nogales Highway.

Have been asked about the Verizon Cell Tower being considered for construction across Old Nogales Highway. Nothing has been heard since the open meetings here at Quail Creek and nothing is really anticipated for at least another year or more per the company doing the meetings. We know there are problems and will try to keep things moving.

The trip down to Nogales, Sonora, for some of our residents and a few town staff went well in April. Fifty-one residents and four town staff took the trip by bus. This was our first such trip and we learned a few things that will be handy for future trips. The overall first impression was that the folks taking the tour had an enjoyable day. There are quite a few residents that want to take this tour and hopefully we can accommodate more residents this fall or winter.

I was hoping to have additional news on the E Quail Crossing Boulevard extension today, but I don’t. Things are still going forward and construction on Phase 1 should begin as soon as Circle K is finished plus the start of the road by them. Expecting that to be in July. Bridge and river crossing remain the items not yet resolved, but being worked on.

For those new to the community the following color map will show you the location of the proposed extension. Look for E. Quail Crossing Blvd. on the map and follow the red line across S Old Nogales Hwy to Nogales Hwy which becomes W. Duval Mine Road west of the Interstate (the brown line). The light blue lands are owned by the Arizona Department of State Lands.

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council

Map of Roads Showing Extension of E. Quail Crossing

QC_Crossing_Ext

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS - APRIL 2017
 
“I think when you get older, things come along that you know are a test in some way of your ability to stay with it. And when e-mail came along, I was just going to fall in love with it. And I did. I can't believe it now - it's like one of those ex-husbands that you think, 'What was I thinking?'"
~ Nora Ephron ~

Communication has entered a new age, using new technology to email, tweet, use cell phones and I Phones and continues to advance new methods and methodologies. We buy, we sell, we watch, we communicate, we pay bills and do banking along with so many other things. No, it’s not everyone, but the percentage of users grows each year. We did a survey back in about 2006 here in Quail Creek and determined that over 80% of our residents used computers, a number that has grown along with the new technologies.
 
Most of our mail boxes, the ones that were critical to our parents, have now become distribution boxes for catalogs, advertisements, a few bills and a limited amount of personal mail. Even so, where we receive our mail is still a very important issue because Federal and State processes still use zip codes to determine any number of factors about where we live, from census records, population statistics, tax collections and fund distributions.
 
All of us have moved enough in our lives to have changed our addresses several times which has never been an exciting and enjoyable event. So why is the Town of Sahuarita asking the U. S. Post Office to change our zip code and use the name of the Town that we live in? Back when Sahuarita was still a pimple on the map, it had no post office and the post office system was not willing to open another one to serve a few people, so residences, businesses and others were mandated to use 85614 and Green Valley as a mailing address.
 
In the intervening years things have changed. Sahuarita is now a Town of 28,000 people and continues to grow in both residential and business locations, locations that are part of our Town and needs to be recognized as such. A town can have more than one zip code as we all know, but in our case we are obligated to not only use a zip code but also a town name; we are 58614, Green Valley. Census data, business information and stats are two examples of information maintained by zip code. Sahuarita was short-changed by almost a million dollars over the last year and a half because sales tax funds received in towns and cities are returned to points of collection using census figures – complied by zip code. Without the correct census data, our population was deemed to be several thousand people less than live here. This was appealed over time and we are going to be reimbursed for that shortage but the problem still lingers.

This issue is not just about Quail Creek. The following are parts of our town in the 85614 Green Valley zip code: Jim Click’s, Safeway, Walmart and all the stores in those complexes, residences north of Walmart, Quail Creek, part of Madera Highlands, Burger King, Taco Bell, the Movie Theater but not Stone House.
 
Should they agree to the change there will be no impact on your taxes with one exception. With a Sahuarita address you will pay the Sahuarita sales tax only on internet purchases. Otherwise, sales tax is based on where you buy, not your zip code.
 
The US Post Office is being asked by the town to unify us under one zip code and name. All we can do is request at this point as this is their decision to make. Their District Office is in Albuquerque.
 
We know that few will be pleased by this but the town of Sahuarita needs to be reunified under one zip code and the sooner it occurs the better off the town will be for attracting new businesses with sales tax payments to benefit aging infrastructure in the future.
 
Having read the Green Valley News, you will probably know by now that the anchor store being proposed for The Crossing is Sprouts. Since the name is on the construction documents we have to assume that contracts have been signed and that this “rumor” is going to be a fact. If true, this will be a very welcome addition to our community and should attract other quality retailers into the stores of The Crossing. There will be three entrance and exit ways into The Crossing; one from the Quail Crossing Blvd., one from Abrego and one from Nogales Highway.
 
If you would like to visit one of their stores in Tucson for a look see, and have not done so to date, there is one on the NW corner of Speedway and Swan. Their email address is https://www.sprouts.com/stores/details/
 
Continuing with the theme of our first topic, zip codes, and then combining that with Sprouts, here is an example of how things can happen because of our situation. The Green Valley News picked up the name of the store, as proposed on their construction drawings, “Sprouts of Green Valley”. Our Economic Development Director, Victor Gonzalez, will now be approaching the company to change this to either “Sprouts of Sahuarita” or simply “Sprouts”.
 
If you have been to Fry’s lately you will have seen the first stages of construction for a new Fry’s Gas Station along with space for about six new retail businesses. With 14 spaces at The Crossing and at least six spaces at the new Fry’s Center we could have twenty new commercial and retail spaces available for new stores in the next two years.
 
The developer of The Crossing is also considering the purchase of more road front retail space east of the new Circle K. Another one or two possible sites.
 
It’s obvious that the new Circle K is going to be a large facility, not only in the number of lines for gas but also for the physical size of the store, almost 6,000 square feet.
 
Rumors hang like ice crystals waiting to melt and fall regarding other stores that are coming to The Crossing. There is no truthful information about this so please allow for the crystals to melt and fall when ready.
 
The April 11 bus trip and visit to Nogales, Sonora was fully subscribed within the first 90 minutes of availability at the Concierge Desk in the Madera Clubhouse. Fifty-six persons are now signed on for the trip. The trip will be offered again later this year or early next.
 
There are many things on the docket for 2017 and 2018 so stay tuned for a couple of fairly exciting years.
 
Thank you for your interest in Sahuarita and your understanding of the challenges that await us.

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council

 

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS – MARCH 2017

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” 
~ Charles Dickens ~

If you have grown up in the desert you know that March is the month of wind. In Big Bend National Park, for instance, in the Chihuahuan Desert, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lion. Here, in the Sonoran Desert we are a little different; sometimes a lion, sometimes a lamb, sometimes a lion, sometimes a lamb. Regardless of critter, take great joy in this month as it is a beautiful time in the desert that we live in.
 
I was recently asked about the unraveling of the pavement on Nogales Highway between Pima Mine Road and the new portion of road on both sides of Sahuarita Road and on the section of road going over to Walmart. This is where there are minor worn road sections forming in the pavement. The Town’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 and funds are being budgeted in the upcoming fiscal year to deal with this issue.
 
In Arizona, the Census Bureau plays a major role in the amount of funding that towns and cities receive back from collected taxes in Arizona. The last census of Sahuarita miscounted our population by several thousand people resulting in the loss of revenue to the town. We have been appealing that count for the last two years and have finally obtained a decision in favor of our actual population which is now over 28,000 people. The Town will receive the amount of funding that we were shorted in that time frame amounting to upwards of a million dollars. (This is not an exact figure as I have not yet heard the exact amount, just an approximate figure.)
 
Some of you may have read that a new trailhead for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, part of the National Park Service, is going to be constructed by the County alongside our new Quail Crossing extension. It will be to the right after crossing the Santa Cruz river going toward Walmart and will consist of parking and other amenities for hikers, horses and bikers along the trail. The trail will extend from south of the border in Sonora, Mexico to San Francisco, CA. Construction will be a year or three from now as the trail is developed. Easement for the trail, crossing Robson property, has been granted. Those of you who like to hike might want to think about getting long distance shoes, maybe even some saddle soap.
 
Construction on Circle K keeps going with May as projected opening. Some might have preferred a Q-T but this new Circle K will probably be very competitive to services and goods offered by Q-T. 
 
The Crossing, our new shopping area, is now working on their building plans and permits so construction will probably be started in the next month or two. There are several rumors spreading throughout our community in regard to the names or brands of the new stores. They are still rumors and will remain so until we have verification that contracts have been signed between the parties. It has been said that the Anchor and four Junior Anchors have or are in process of commitment. The Company will hopefully make an announcement soon as to those stores that are coming. (Please, oh please, let it be March...early March, soon, before the Ides, with the Lion.)
 
The public is invited to celebrate the grand opening of A.F. Sterling Homes at Stone House, in the Town of Sahuarita, on Saturday, March 4 and Sunday March 5 from 11 AM to 4 PM. Visitors are welcome to tour a fully decorated custom model home. Light refreshments, free gifts and prize drawings.
 
Pre-Announcement of a very special Educational TRIPS Group tour currently being planned. The information about this trip follows with the understanding that the trip is still in planning and some elements might change. The price and date will not change but some times and or minor specifics might, due to factors not yet confirmed. This trip is being planned in conjunction with the TRIPS Group, Chambers of Commerce of both Nogales, AZ and Nogales, Sonora along with Customs and Border Protection, La Roca Restaurant, and with special thanks to Olivia Ainza President and CEO of the Nogales - Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce.
 
Sign-up for this tour will begin on Friday, March 24th at 9:00 AM, at the Concierge Desk and will end on Friday, April 7th at noon. Please call Bonnie Hyra if you have any questions 777-4230.
 
Nogales, Sonora TRIPS Tour -Tuesday, April 11, 2017
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
 
Transportation: Mountain View Tours bus will pick up participants at Quail Creek, Madera Clubhouse, starting at 8:45 with a planned departure at 9:00 AM. Return trip will load bus at 4:00 with a departure at 4:10 PM. 
 
Tour Route: The bus will drop us near the Deconcini Gate into Mexico, at the end of N. Terrace Road and will pick us up at the same location upon return.
 
Speakers: We will be welcomed at the Border and then, upon entering Mexico, meet our guides and proceed to visit two or three dentist offices and pharmacies on the way to getting on our Nogales, Sonora tour bus for a tour of downtown Nogales, Sonora.
 
 La Roca Restaurant and Shops: At noon we will be dropped off at the La Roca Restaurant in Nogales, Sonora for a lunch and to visit their fine shops. Price of lunch is included in the price of the tour. Participants will be offered a choice of three entrees.
 
Walking Tour: Starts after lunch with guides and we would spend ninety minutes touring the shops and downtown area. This would lead us back to the Deconcini Port of Entry at 3:00 PM.
 
Re-entry into the United States: The entire group will come back together prior to entering the Customs Station for re-entry. A special line will be set up for us and we will need to re-enter together as one group.
 
Border Operations: Immediately upon entering the US we will proceed upstairs at the Deconcini POE for a program presented by either the Border Patrol or the US Customs Service. At 4 PM we will leave and re-board our bus for return to Quail Creek.
 
Additional Thoughts: Cost for trip will be $40.00 per person. Fee will include bus, guides, speakers, gratuities, welcome and lunch at La Roca.
 
Persons on tour will want to wear comfortable shoes (not sandals) and clothing. Hats and sunglasses are always a good idea.
 
Nogales, Mexico is not readily handicap accessible and persons with disabilities should take this into consideration. Wheelchairs are not feasible given the lack of elevators and curb / street sides.
 
Passports and/or the new US Passport Card must be carried by participants for re-entry into the US. It may be possible to reenter if you have two forms of ID such as your photo driver’s license and a birth certificate. This will be checked prior to the trip. (To have a long and delightful stay in a Mexican Prison be sure to carry a weapon or ammunition into Mexico).
 
Assuming we have a full contingent on the tour we will need to create smaller groups for the walking portion of the tour. Each small group will have an appointed “shepherd” to keep track of participants.
 
US Dollars are always welcome but so are pesos. If using dollars make sure you know the current exchange rate when buying anything priced in pesos. A pot marked 500 pesos, with the current exchange rate, would equal about $25.00. A dollar at a Cambio, (exchange merchant), recently received 19.90 pesos. This will have changed by the time of the trip in April.
 
This is a trip arranged for and sponsored by the Quail Creek Educational TRIPS Group.

 
The following two items are drafts of pending bills in the Arizona Legislature. They are subject to further hearings and may or may not make it out of committee for consideration. They are included here to simply reflect two bills out of many that might or might not affect us in the future.
 
HB2144: SERVICES DELIVERED BY INTERNET; TAXATION 53rd Legislature
The billing address of a customer of a video, audio or data service that is delivered to the customer through an internet connection is the taxable situs of the service regardless of where the service originates, terminates or passes through. Only a taxing jurisdiction in which the billing address is located may impose or collect taxes, charges or fees on the service.
First sponsor: Rep. Leach
H2144: SERVICES DELIVERED BY INTERNET; TAXATION 1/12 referred to House ways-means.
 
HCR2011: MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL TAXES; 53rd Legislature
The 2018 general election ballot is to carry the question of whether to amend state statute to raise the motor vehicle fuel tax to 28 cents per gallon, from 18 cents per gallon, and to require 10 cents per gallon of the tax to be spent only for the construction or maintenance of transportation infrastructure.
First sponsor: Rep. Campbell
Others: Sen. Otondo
HCR2011: MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL TAXES 2/8 from House trans-inf with amend #4136.
 
Just a personal note to the residents living in the same neighborhood as the burned-out home on E. Wintergreen Drive. As this property is in probate the house has not been demolished. Robson has been working on this but with the fact that it is still being delayed in court, I have asked the Town of Sahuarita to pursue this issue given our regulations and laws governing this matter. They are doing so. Something needs to be done as soon as possible.
 
On other legal issues, it appears that the planned water line for the recharge basins across Old Nogales, out front, is coming under legal challenge by two or more individuals who apparently do not want the Town to receive almost 5,000 acre feet per year of already committed CAP water to replenish our aquifer. I am not yet aware of all the facts in this case so will end it here with plans to find out and report more on the issue next month.
 
Have a wonderful March (guess I should say that this refers to the month and not an activity). Enjoy the weather and the blooms.
 

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS - FEBRUARY, 2017

There's a long life ahead of you and it's going to be beautiful,
as long as you keep loving and hugging each other.
~ Yoko Ono ~

Yes, it’s that month of love and friendship, containing as it does Valentine’s Day, and Sahuarita wishes all our residents a wonderful day with your loved ones.

As noted last month, things are still moving forward in all areas.  The company developing the shopping area called The Crossing has now finished the purchase of the site as indicated earlier and continues to negotiate contracts with stores for the site.   It seems that we might hear a name or two of stores that will be opening soon.  Hopefully they would be the names of the main anchor store and a couple of the so called junior anchors.

Town is currently awaiting submission of permit applications for the Verizon 150-foot monopole tower across Old Nogales Highway.  Indications are that construction is still some time in the future, perhaps a year or more.

For those awaiting the reopening of the Dairy Queen over by Jim Click Auto, would suggest looking for a nice antique ice cream maker with a good crank.  There seems to be no movement at all regarding a reopening although we continue to have hopes once a week, on Sundae.

For all you cowboys and cowgirls, look for a nationally syndicated rodeo coming to Sahuarita in mid-September.  We call that a PRCA rodeo standing for Poor Riders Cause Accidents Rodeo.  Actually, it stands for Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, meaning it’s the real deal.  The two-day event will be held at the corner of Pima Mine Road and Nogales Highway. Just want to make sure you have time to acquire rodeo attire and practice that true cowpoke gait. A good Tennessee Walker has five gaits while a rodeo rider only has two; normal and injured.

Hope to have more and better news next month.  So, for now, guess it’s time to Hopalong back to the remuda.  Adios.

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council

 

SAHUARITA SNIPPETS – January 2017


You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is.
~ Will Rogers ~

So here we have it, the replacement for Do You Know?  This will still be a monthly item, sent out with permission of the POA Board, to residents with an interest in the happenings in town and the region.  A little late getting out this month as this is new in format and texture so a little extra thought.

Speaking of thought, don’t know how much fruit you will find here, but maybe a little bit of limb bending at times.  If you find the bending to be objectionable, please do not hesitate to stop receiving the Snippets with an email to the What’s Happening Editor.

Please understand that this submission will have little to nothing to do with Quail Creek and what is happening here.  It will stay focused on Sahuarita and the region, the events, changes and plans coming up.  Like Do You Know? the focus will largely be on future or pending items.  Those things happening in Sahuarita or the region that influence Quail Creek will obviously be highlighted.

It would also be nice to remember that in dealing with future plans and programs not all the facts and figures are known.  Assumptions and educated estimates are used in conveying information about the future and may not always be one hundred percent accurate but the information will not be a wild butt guess.  This means that the effort is to inform you of coming things; things that may still be in discussion or yet unsettled.  

For our new residents, here for the first time, my name is Gil Lusk and I am both a resident and a member of the Sahuarita Town Council.  The Snippets, like Do You Know? will be sent out to those wishing to receive it, at about the first of every month.  Also, as a new resident, Quail Creek is fortunate to have two members on the Town Council, the other being Duane Blumberg, our immediate past Mayor.

On January 12th at 2 PM, in the Madera Clubhouse Ballroom, there will be a presentation about the new cell tower going in west of Old Nogales highway, near the Pima County Treatment Plant.  In formal terms this is not a “Public Meeting” but rather a plan presentation and open discussion to answer questions and provide feedback.  It is open to the public and I would hope that members of our community will try to attend to understand the plan, where Verizon is in terms of approvals and permits, and the wireless services that will be supported.

Hopefully you have all seen the Circle K construction site across from the Bank of America on Nogales Highway, by Walmart.  They are hoping to have the construction finished by about April.  The store and gas bay area will be much larger than the current Circle K.  

In addition to the new Circle K, they will be constructing the first 330’ of our new Quail Crossing Blvd extension beginning at Nogales Highway, including curb cuts, turn lanes and revised traffic lights at the new intersection.  Once that work is finished the Town will begin constructing Phase One of the road extension, going down to the Santa Cruz River from the Circle K.  Funds for this work are in the Town’s FY-17 budget and must be committed prior to July, 2017.

Our intention is to then proceed with the construction of Phase Two (crossing the river) and Phase Three (from the river to Old Nogales at our current turn in.  We plan to do this in cooperation with Mr. Robson, whose property the road will be crossing.  The intersection with Old Nogales will require a traffic light and turn lanes suitable for the new road.  

The Quail Crossing Blvd extension will be a two-lane road with shoulders and the river crossing will be either an at grade crossing, a culvert crossing or a prefab bridge crossing.  Planning is still going on for Phase Two and Three.  Assuming the completed road receives the kind of traffic and development envisioned, it would be improved in the future to meet traffic demand and other needs.

The new shopping area being built in conjunction with the Circle K, called The Crossing (borrowing the name of the new road), is certainly benefiting from the new road extension as are State Lands that buffer the road in Phase One.  This acreage can then be used by the State for lease or sale to new commercial or retail operations.

Planning for The Crossing is moving ahead with a projected finish date for construction of most stores in early 2018.  Watch for announcement of stores already committed to the new location in the next month or two.  The expected existing population to be served by the new center is over 70,000 people which should attract business of a different kind to the area.  (We hope.)

For the really hopeful out there, Trader Joe’s is still about 30,000 people short of even thinking about a location here.  Sorry.

There will be more information coming in a month or two about the rebranding program for Sahuarita; improving our marketability to business’s and other service providers as we go forward and grow.   

Finally, one thought about road names.  Campbell Road, first left after leaving out the front gate, is indeed the same Campbell Road in Tucson.  Someday maybe they will unite and a Golden Spike can be driven in celebration.  Nogales Highway, the road that you take when coming from Sahuarita is more interesting.  When you turn left onto Nogales from Sahuarita Road, you are on Nogales Highway.  So far so good.  Now, when you turn to come to Quail Creek, taking a left at the next light after Sahuarita Road, the road becomes Old Nogales (called Continental Road on some maps) and that lasts until you get to La Posada, when it becomes the actual Continental Road.  But suppose you continue on Nogales (going to Walmart) and don’t turn to Quail Creek?  Nogales keeps going until you reach the Interstate – it then becomes Duval Mine Road as you go to Safeway.  For those who wonder and wander.

If you should wonder, Continental Road is named after Continental Farm and Continental Rubber Company, founded in 1916 by the Intercontinental Rubber Company, owned by J. P. Morgan, Bernard Baruch and Joseph Kennedy back around 1920.  But that’s another story.  Did I mention President Wilson?

Thank you,

Gil Lusk
Resident of Quail Creek
Sahuarita Town Council

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