Let’s look at a little history of the city’s renewed annexation push. A study was done in 2014 but the plan was scrapped. The story in the Oct. 9 Nogales International, “Mayor wants annexation underway by January 2020,” also said that John Kissinger, the interim city manager, would ask the Tucson-based Planning Center to prepare the study “immediately.” Why do we have to do another study if nothing has changed?
In the last 40 years, the city limits sign moved from somewhere south of Valle Verde to the beginning of Grand Avenue as you exit Interstate 19, but nothing changed. No lights, no sidewalks, no big “Welcome to Nogales” sign.
Let us get something out of the way: annexation is brought up because the city needs revenue. It is understandable, all organizations need money to operate.
Now to annexation. Will you hire more police officers to cover all the new areas? Will you buy more trash trucks and hire more employees to collect it? Will you build the needed sidewalks and install proper city lighting? Will you give yourselves a pay raise because the city is bigger? The list goes on and on.
A thoughtful and detailed plan and vision must be made public in advance, to include a map with coordinates of the limits. In this manner, the public will be knowledgeable in all aspects and can better formulate questions when the city calls for a public meeting. This also eliminates any misconception as to hidden agendas.
According to a report from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, approximately $14.3 billion in exports and $9.5 billion in imports – including nearly $3 billion in imported fresh produce – passed through Nogales in 2017. So why are we broke?
A better idea would be to annex all the way to Rio Rico Drive. Make the east side of the freeway, where most of the produce warehouses are, an industrial park. Fix the roads real pretty and efficient for the truckers, build a huge trucking plaza with shops, a barber, food court, etc. Do something to eliminate the traffic hazard at the Pilot intersection. Then collect one percent of all produce transactions at all warehouses in the city. This is not much for a business to pay, but it will be approximately $30 million for the city.
Roberto and Delia Pou
Chula Vista, Nogales