Coward: What about us for a tech corridor?

In regards to the article in the recent about the “Tech Corridor Study” being considered and funded by Pinal County, I have to ask what about us?

David Coward

I think it’s a grand plan to attempt to create a tech corridor in western Pinal County but what about the rest of the county? There are many plans and development projects already on the table in that area. They have I-10/I-8 (future I-11?) and rail transportation infrastructure already in place. They already have well-established communities like Casa Grande, Maricopa, Eloy, Arizona City and the Gila Indian Community. With all these resources don’t you think they could band together to use their existing resources to make this corridor a reality? They have the capacity to approach the federal government and other resources to fund such integration while those of us in the northern and eastern regions of the county are left to fend for ourselves.

We have communities in the Copper Corridor that are drying up and blowing away. We have uncontrolled development encroaching on our wilderness areas in the Northern Pinal region and a large community virtually landlocked due to the lack of our degrading or nonexistent transportation infrastructure. Internet access is spotty at best which hinders our educational needs and for business development and integration. Access to healthy food, medical care and emergency fire and police are all at risk due to these constraints. 

Is the Pinal County Board of Supervisors just going to write off the rest of the county? Doesn’t the I-10 corridor have enough resources to develop and grow what is already in place? Maybe the board of supervisors could pay a little more attention to the rural parts of the county and their needs. 

We in the rural northern and eastern parts of the county have resources too. With the recent completion of U.S. Highway 60 as a four-lane road all the way to Superior, which has opened up that community to development, tourism and a better connection to Phoenix/Mesa. Three of the four CAC campuses are in this area along with the San Tan Valley residents that offer a large workforce.

Our mining industry provides the raw materials that the tech companies will need for their enterprises so why not help make those supply chains easier to access? We have wide open vistas and recreational areas, that with a little more access, both physically and with internet connectivity, an investment and study of how to utilized these assets could save some of our smaller communities, help them thrive and give our younger people a better education and opportunities to stay connected to their families and culture.

I’m pleased that the western part of Pinal County is doing so well and are having success in improving their employment opportunities but does their success have to be at the expense of the rest of the county? Maybe it’s time to focus on the needs and resources in the rest of the county. The board of supervisors is supposed to represent the whole county not just those along the I-10 corridor. 

David Coward
Gold Canyon

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