Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe states the City of Douglas is moving forward in a positive direction during his State of the City address that was delivered Friday, Sept. 20.
“We are moving forward,” the mayor said. “It’s just a matter of the collaboration. Like I mentioned in my speech tonight there is no ‘I’ in team and no ‘I’ in government. What we’re doing requires our entire community to support each other. I think we have done a fair job of doing so.”
Various local, county and even a few state dignitaries were on hand for the speech.
The mayor stated that the city, who just raised its sale tax rate to 3.8 percent and is now at 9.9 percent overall, is healthy.
The mayor said he would hope, eventually, the sales tax can come down.
“Our goal is to have a surplus we’re going to say ‘hey folks, we appreciate your investment and we’re going to lower it back again’, it’s just a matter of time,” he said.
Three years ago, during his first State of the City address, Mayor Uribe emphasized transparency; accountability; government basics; and significant opportunities ahead.
“A lot has been going on these past few years. I know this for sure because Joel (Camacho) has done a fantastic job keeping an updated list on our website,” he said. “Since 2018, we are complying with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, thanks to Eddie Gonzalez and Miguel Arvizu for their leadership. We continue to invest in our streets. The Douglas Fire Department will be utilizing the latest radio technology. The Port of Entry has gained support on a federal level in Washington DC and in Mexico City. The adoption of the new Sales Tax will infuse close to 1.5 quarterly of a fiscal year. We have invested in our transit system, fire, street, and police departments to help deliver top quality services. We are updating our master plan, introducing a Sustainability Action Plan, and I am thrilled to say that our Downtown Revitalization Plans is in motion.”
To view the mayor’s speech in its entirity, log on to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFAV9ovBQ_Q
The mayor addresses the latest developments of the proposed commercial port of entry.
“The Port of Entry Project has been the most complex of them all. Not only must we work collaboratively, we also must be in sync with all levels of government in the U.S. and Mexico,” the mayor said. “For that, I am grateful to be in collaboration with officials in Cochise County, and our neighboring cities help us pull together resources that we couldn’t do on our own. Thank you to Anne English, our Cochise County Supervisor for your continued support on this project.”
Uribe announced that The General Services Administration (GSA) has just finished conducting soil and percolation testing and an initial environmental review at the 80-acre site on the James Ranch Road alignment.
“They anticipate wrapping up their feasibility study this November,” he said. “We are confident that a new Port of Entry will not only strengthen trade and commerce, but it will lift our economy. A revitalized Port of Entry will bring opportunities for initial employment revenues due to the construction of such a large federal project, we anticipate economic development. Warehousing, manufacturing and light industrial uses for the City of Douglas adding jobs for its residents and those in the region.”
The mayor also addressed plans for the proposed community center.
“We are continuing to work with the Arizona National Guard to develop a shared facility following the blueprint that has proved successful with the City of Yuma,” Uribe said. “Improvements have been underway by the National Guard to re-roof their facility and work on interior changes that allow for indoor basketball, table tennis, and other activities using portable equipment. The facilities will also include a large gathering space, a kitchen, classrooms, and amenities suited for a Community Center. Additionally, we will be resurfacing the baby pool at the Aquatic Center, upgrading the basketball court at the Veteran’s Memorial Park, and building a concession stand at Erubiel Durazo field.”
Cochise College President JD Rottweiler was one of those in attendance for the State of the City speech.
“It’s always exciting to hear the positive news coming out, especially about the port of entry,” he said. “Just like Cochise College any time we can collaborate, doing things together to make things happen is always a positive experience.”
Jorge Maldonado, the vice mayor from Nogales was also in attendance.
“Your mayor said a lot of positive things tonight,” he said. “Both Nogales and Douglas depend on the Mexican relations. The border issue has been something tremendous for your city. “
Maldonado said Nogales officials understand and support Douglas’ desires for that additional port of entry.
“I’m sure a lot of truckers from Agua Prieta would prefer to cross here rather than pay the extra freight crossing through the Nogales port,” he said. “Economically, I see it being very profitable for both cities.”