Apache Junction, Queen Creek leaders plan to hold joint meeting

Logo city of Apache Junction

The Apache Junction City Council has invited its counterparts in the town of Queen Creek to hold a joint meeting later this summer to discuss events that could impact both communities.

During their regular work session June 1, the local council members proposed Wednesday, Aug. 5, as the day to meet with the Queen Creek Town Council at the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road in Apache Junction, according to the meeting video.

However, the Queen Creek council is unable to meet Aug. 5 because it is scheduled to hold its regular work session and meeting that night, Jen Snyder, a member of the Queen Creek public information department, said during a phone interview June 4. She said the town officials are looking at dates in September instead.

Once scheduled, the session would include a tour of the Apache Junction City Hall, 300 E. Superstition Blvd., and dinner, according to the video.

The information discussions would include the expansion of State Route 24, also known as the Gateway Freeway; and matters regarding the communities’ fire districts and water issues, Assistant City Manager Bryant Powell said on the video.

Construction of the $73 million SR24 project began in March 2012. Contractors for the Arizona Department of Transportation constructed freeway-to-freeway traffic interchange ramps from the adjacent Loop 202 Santan Freeway and a mile of SR24 to Ellsworth Road. The section opened in April 2014.

If funded, SR24 will next head east from Ellsworth Road to Ironwood Drive south of Apache Junction and north of Queen Creek, according to ADOT’s website. Additional phases of the project have been suspended until a North-South Corridor Study in Pinal County advances, according to the website.

Mr. Powell said the mayors from both communities — John Insalaco from Apache Junction and Gail Barney from Queen Creek — had met previously and narrowed down the meeting dates to early August.

The city council generally meets in a work session at 7 p.m. on the first and third Monday of the month at the council chambers, according to the city’s website.

Wednesday, Aug. 5, is the regular meeting date for the Queen Creek council members, who generally meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. for their work session and 7 p.m. for their regular meeting, according to the town’s website: www.queencreek.org.

Also during the June 1 work session, the council determined the remainder of its August meeting schedule. It cancelled its Aug. 17-18 meetings, and will hold its work session Aug. 31 and regular meeting Sept. 1, according to an e-mailed response to questions from city spokeswoman Constance Halonen-Wilson.

The council discussed attending the annual League of Arizona Cities and Towns conference Aug. 18-21 in Tucson. The league helps to promote local self-government, municipal independence and provide professional and high quality assistance to the municipal governments in the state of Arizona, according to its website: www.azleague.org.

In addition, the council discussed the following at the work session:

•A city-initiated corrective rezoning of the 17.5-acre property at 800 W. Apache Trail from Recreational Vehicle Park to Manufactured Home Park. This is the site of the Apache Junction Mobile Home Park, according to documents in the council packet.

The property had been zoned General Commercial but was inadvertently rezoned to RVP as part of the city’s Zoning Ordinance update in May 2014, according to Senior Planner Rudy Esquivias on the video. Mr. Esquivias said the proposed rezoning was “a housekeeping issue.”

•A presentation and discussion on reestablishing a quarterly activity brochure to market and promote the Apache Junction Parks and Recreation department’s programs and services. Parks and Recreation Superintendent Liz Langenbach told the council members on the video her department would like to bring back the city’s Citizen publication or something like it to promote the city’s parks and recreation program, library activities and other city services.

She said the city had discontinued the Citizen as part of its budget cutbacks several years ago. The city spent $15,000-$20,000 to print and distribute the publication, she said.

She said she has heard from many residents who would like to have a printed booklet that they can hold on to and refer to.

Ms. Langenbach told the council about a booklet distributed by the town of Queen Creek for its parks and recreation program. The town does not incur any cost because the company that produces the booklet makes its money by selling advertising, Ms. Langenbach said on the video.

The town provides the content, she said. The company distributes the booklet through newspapers and other sources and provides the town with copies to distribute as it pleases, she said.

Ms. Langenbach said she would research the matter further and report back to the council.
City council meeting agendas, minutes and videos may be viewed at http://apachejunction.legistar.com/. For more information, call 480-982-8002.

Reach staff writer Wendy Miller at wmiller@newszap.com

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