Scene Masthead

December 2017

Wastewater Billing Changes

Wastewater worker emerging from manhole next to toolbox

Changes are coming to Sahuarita wastewater fee structures as of January 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019. The Sahuarita Town Council unanimously approved changes to the fee structures at the November 13 council meeting. These changes were recommended by a rate study performed by Raftelis Financial, a consultant to the Town. The consultant’s 10-year financial plan for the wastewater utility requires the Wastewater Fund to be a self-sufficient enterprise fund and build capital reserves for future growth as the system expands to serve more residents.

The Council-directed measures, taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018, which address the first two years of the consultant's recommendations, include the following:

  • Average 7% increase, with another average 7% increase coming in 2019. This is an estimate of the increase the average customer will see. The actual increase will vary based on individual water use.
  • The billing unit will be changed from hundreds of cubic feet (CCF’s) to thousands of gallons (Kgals) in order to facilitate comparison of wastewater bills to Sahuarita Water Company bills.
  • Billing will change from a fee based on winter/annual average water use to a fee based on actual, monthly water use. Accordingly, vacancy rates will no longer be offered.
  • All bills will receive a 20% credit for irrigation, representing water used but never treated through the Sahuarita Wastewater system.
  • Customers who opt for paperless billing (e-billing) will be able to receive a $1 per month credit.
  • Customers interested in the new Budget Billing Service will be able to pay a set monthly fee. This option will require that customers have already established one year of water-use history on which to base the fee.
  • Billing date will be changed to the 10th of each (due by end of month) in order to coincide with Sahuarita Wastewater Company data uploads.

Seeking New Ways to Collect

Stock photo of past due bill addressed to anonymous customer

Additional changes coming to Sahuarita Wastewater billing are specifically aimed at collecting past due balances from delinquent customers. The Town Council has adopted changes to the billing process that will facilitate and expedite such collections in order that the cost of such collections is not passed on to customers who pay their bills on time

These changes will include the following:

  • A new late penalty charge of $10 per month on any past due balance
  • Continuation of interest charges at 10% per year, plus a 10% penalty charge on outstanding delinquent balances to help offset collection costs
  • An allowance for all identifiable collection costs to be passed on to the customer (i.e. collection fees charged by outside bill collection agency, small-claims legal fees, etc.)

Sahuarita Streets - A Public Works Service to Community

photo depicting road workers pouring cement at roadside

Did you know that everything in the Town’s right-of-way is maintained by a dedicated team of only five individuals? Sahuarita’s Streets Department maintains over 156 miles of roads with all the associated signs, landscaping, street lights and signals. The Town currently maintains 67 street lights and 16 traffic signals along with thousands of road signs. This year we also added a HAWK crossing at Avenida Mitla and Rancho Sahuarita, 4 speed monitoring stations, and four School Zone Warning Flashers at two schools (Anza Trail and Great Expectations). Our Streets Department performed crack sealing on over 28 miles of roads this year and repaired 64 potholes. This is all in addition to the weed pulling, monsoon repairs, drainage way maintenance, tree trimming, sidewalk and curb repair and replacement, and other tasks necessary to keep Sahuarita safe and beautiful.

Quail Crossing Extension 

The Sahuarita Public Works Department, in conjunction with Kimley-Horn Engineering, worked to complete the design of the first phase of the Quail Crossing Extension. The primary purpose of this project is to extend Quail Crossing Boulevard from its current terminus at Old Nogales Highway west across the Santa Cruz River, to Nogales Highway at Calle Arroyo Sur in keeping with the goal of the Town of Sahuarita General Plan to “improve the mobility of people and goods by providing effective, convenient, accessible, and safe transportation options for travel to employment, education, recreation, shopping, medical, and other desired destinations.” 

The first phase of this project will construct approximately 0.8 miles of two lane roadway from the intersection of Nogales Highway and Calle Arroyo Sur east towards the Santa Cruz River. Construction of this phase is expected to begin in January 2018. The construction will be coordinated with Pima County’s construction of a new trailhead parking area and Ramada at the Llano Grande site along the Anza Trail.  The site will be located just off of the new Quail Crossing Boulevard extension.

image depicting roadwork and equipment

Pavement Preservation Program

One of the great challenges of modern government is the preservation and maintenance of infrastructure systems. At the Town of Sahuarita, we are proud to be able to say that our area roads are in tip-top shape thanks to Sahuarita Public Works' and Pima County's help. We plan to continue this kind of dedication to your roads and other infrastructure, so that our residents have a town they can be proud to call home.

Sahuarita Public Works is now leveraging funding from the Pima County Regional Local Road Pavement Preservation Program to preserve and maintain 43 miles of road throughout Sahuarita during the next two years. During fiscal year 2017, the Pima County Board of Supervisors adopted a 5-year property tax to fund pavement preservation efforts on local roads.  

Sahuarita is making the most of the $520,649 allocated to the Town from the program.  Under the existing pavement preservation program, 25% of the pavement preservation budget is spent on roads in poor condition to bring them into fair condition; the remainder of the budget is spent preserving roads in fair/good condition to mitigate degradation.  Sahuarita’s roads are holding up better than most roads in other jurisdictions – less than 2% of the Town’s roads are considered poor.  (Hyperlink jurisdiction models.)  

Leveraging the funding provided by the program with in-house expertise and services provided by our Streets Department such as crack sealing, inspections and materials testing will allow the Town to save nearly $200,000 compared to contracting for these services.  By combining in-house resources with program funding, Sahuarita Public Works is providing the Sahuarita community with more miles of improved roads than possible with county funding alone. 

Don't Feed the Grease Monster!

grease monster graphic depicting monster made of grease emerging from sewer pipe and pima county logo

The Town of Sahuarita partners with Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation District, EDG Fuels, Grecycle, Pima Association of Governments to host this annual event. Thank you for your participation and saving our pipes!
This event is held each year to remind everyone to properly dispose of cooking grease. Ordinary cooking grease and oils can clog sewer pipes and act as a magnet for grit and other debris. Eventually, the buildup of grease can clog sewer lines and result in sanitary sewer overflows (SSO). An SSO is the backup of raw sewage into the street, the environment, or into homes and other buildings.
To avoid a grease-related SSO, don't pour grease down your drain. After cooking, allow grease and oils to cool and then pour them into a can or jar. Bring your used cooking oils to the Annual Grease Collection and Recycling Event. The grease collected at this annual event is converted into biodiesel, a cleaner burning fuel.
Please Join Us on Saturday, January 6th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Town Hall Parking Lot, 375 W. Sahuarita Center Way.

Manager's Choice Award

Image depicting Town Hall sign and Christmas tree with lights

The Town Manager is pleased to announce the 2017 winners of the Above and Beyond Employee Award and the Manager’s Choice Employee Excellence Award. There were many nominations received for the work that our incredible employees are doing each and every day, and it was not an easy decision for the committee. They will be publicly recognized at the next scheduled town council meeting.
The recipients are:
Manager’s Choice Employee Excellence Award:
Debbie Morales – Planning & Building
Above and Beyond Employee Awards:
Donnell Rogers – Public Works
Yisel Suarez – Town Manager’s Office

Congratulations Debbie, Donnell and Yisel, and to all the nominees!

Thank you to all employees for the dedication and hard work that makes the Town of Sahuarita a place where life comes together!

Making Parks Reservations and Class Registration Easier

CivicRec Logo

Reserving a ramada or signing up for a class online just got easier. On November 19, the Parks and Recreation Department went live with its new online registration/reservation software, Civic Rec. This new platform is more user-friendly for both the customer as well as internally for staff managing it.
Civic Rec allows customers to easily browse through a catalog of all programs, facilities, events and vendor opportunities the Town offers. Customers are able to reserve an available ball field or ramada for a family gathering just by clicking and adding it to their cart. Although some current customer’s information was imported into the new system, others may have to create a new account. The Parks and Recreation staff is available to assist anyone who needs help.
In the coming months, staff will continue to customize the online user experience. For example, Civic Rec has the ability to allow users the ability to look at pictures of the facility they would like to rent. Staff plan on uploading multiple photographs of each ramada, field and all other facilities so the public can look at our beautiful parks and pick which one best meets their needs.
Sahuarita Parks and Recreation is very happy with Civic Rec and invites you to visit the new website to see what we have to offer. You may want to try out a yoga class to calm yourself during the holiday rush, sign your child up for our Spring Break Camp or just plan a picnic in a ramada by the lake. There is something for everyone and now it is easier to find. The new website is available through the Town's website.

Online catalog of Parks and Recreation classes 

Photo of debbie summers

A Farewell from a Familiar Public Servant

I wanted to say goodbye and thank you to everyone I have known and worked with and met over the last 13-plus years with the Town of Sahuarita as your Parks and Recreation Director. I was truly lucky to have been hired in 2004 at a time when the Town’s very first building opened at Anamax Park, the Anamax Park Recreation Center.
I was given the task back then, from Town Manager James Stahle, to start to grow the Parks and Recreation Department. He said I would be a “working” Director and boy was he right!! The Town had two parks with Parque Los Arroyos in the works and well, the rest as they say, is history.
At times, there were challenges (sometimes even like the TV Show “Parks and Rec”) but it was always eventful and fun, and that is why I am in this profession. If you can NOT have some fun and enjoy your job, then it really is just WORK. This position, I felt, was to develop the Parks and Recreation Department to be the best around, and today, if you look at our parks and programs from where they were 13 years ago, the foundation has been set for future growth and development to continue on endlessly.
It has been my honor to participate in Sahuarita’s growth years and even during the down time. It is a unique, beautiful community and I really loved it here and was committed to helping the Town get on the map everywhere. But, as I have heard before, there is no place like home, so I am headed back East to be closer to my first home. Sahuarita will always be my second home!
Thank you again to all the people and organizations who have helped me do my job to the best it could be because without the support of the rest of the community, we would not be the great Department we are today. When I look back, it will be very good memories that I take with me.

Debbie Summers
Parks and Recreation Director
01/20/04 to 12/15/17

Your Gov Logo

Report Park and Road Issues to the Town: There's an App for That!

YourGov allows anyone with a smart device to report non-emergency, Town-owned park or road issues at the location of the issue or when able; it allows for anonymous or registered user reporting. 

The app allows a phone snapshot of the issue to be attached, along with as much description as needed; with GPS on, shown as a blue circle on the map, the location coordinates are automatically added, or you can manually move the map around to the correct location. 

Once sent from your device, the issue is converted in near-real time to a work request, which automatically alerts appropriate Parks and Recreation or Public Works personnel of the new issue.  Alerted town staff will review, validate, prioritize, and then assign the work request to a town employee’s day-to-day workflow to fix the issue. Please note, for emergency and/or life threatening town infrastructure related issues, please call 911.


If a reported item is for an issue not maintained by the Town, town personnel will report it to the appropriate agency.  If the reported item is outside town boundaries, it will not be sent to the Town; instead, it will be sent to Cartegraph, who will attempt to notify the appropriate municipality.

Use of the app is simple. Create an issue by selecting the “+” (plus sign) on the app.  Satellite or normal map views are available to help pinpoint the issue; the issue being created is shown as a white circle with an orange outline. To move the issue circle location, touch the screen to relocate it, as needed. YourGov will show on the map any issues already reported that have not been completed as a white circle with a black outline; these can be reviewed to check if the new issue in question has already been reported. 

The website (PC) version of YourGov works similarly to the app version, with the exception of automatic GPS location of the issue, and likely touchscreen use. To choose the issue location, either type in a street address, or move/zoom/click to the location of the issue using a mouse. On Cartegraph’s website, there is a short video and other additional information about YourGov.

Sahuarita’s website has a YourGov use and information page.

For more information on YourGov, please contact Public Works (PW) at 344-7100, or the PW Streets Division contact John Garcia at 445-7802 (work) or 250-2979 (cell).  Remember, it’s “YourGov.


Colorful Winter Festival and Light Parade graphic depicting Christmas lights on a blue wooden board backround
Public parking map image and map of event area
Live Music at the Lake
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