by Jon Thompson, Mayor, City of Coolidge
I’m honored Coolidge is featured in this edition of the Golden Corridor Living Magazine. One of my pleasures as Mayor is relating how our City is making so many positive changes in the community.
You may have read in past articles about our road improvements happening all over the City. I’m proud to hear the positive feedback from residents commenting how Coolidge takes their suggestions for improvement seriously. Along with our roadwork, downtown Coolidge has seen its share of improvements. New benches, flower planters with trees, large sidewalks and plentiful parking complement the new road. We worked with business owners and community members for input on how the downtown area could be improved, and the result of that work is nothing less than superior.
The improvements to our downtown have also been well received by businesses and organizations. One of the largest specialty bread companies plays a vital role in that area. Mediterra Bakehouse serves restaurants and such specialty stores as Whole Foods and AJ’s Fine Foods.
United Dance Group recently leased a space owned by the City. Their vision is to turn the building into a state-of-the-art dance studio. United Dance competes across the country and recently won a national dance title in Las Vegas.
Plans have been submitted by Pinal County to expand its footprint into the City. All of these entities are a vital part in how the future of Coolidge will take shape.
We have also made strides in outreach programs to help beautify the City. The Disabled American Veterans, Boy Scouts, church groups, school groups, community partners and more have displayed the desire to bring a sparkle to Coolidge. It’s this type of community effort that assists our staff in transforming a good city into an excellent one. Painting of buildings, trash removal and park equipment installations are just some of the great improvements our community partners have helped with across the City.
To go along with those beautification efforts, the City has added additional code enforcement staff to ensure Coolidge has the opportunity to really shine. The department’s staff takes its job very seriously and has already made strides in ensuring that the look and feel of Coolidge is welcoming to all who live and visit.
When monsoon season is underway, drainage and water flow is a major concern. The City has taken many steps over the year to mitigate potential flooding. Our roadwork in the downtown area is one of those examples. A new retention basin was installed alongside the road allowing excess water to flow freely. These projects seem hidden most of the year but are very noticed and welcomed during the heavy rain season.
Our airport continues to be one of those hidden gems that garner more attention with business expansion and flying activity year after year. We were awarded the ADOT Airport of the Year in 2017, covering all of Arizona. The council and I feel the airport is a vital part of the City and we continue to support improvements to further economic development. Our extensive runways and taxiways repaving improvements have been well received by tenants and the flying community. In addition, we’re proud our airport was selected by Sports Illustrated for a photo shoot and Budweiser for a TV commercial supporting veterans.
As we celebrate and support our agricultural roots, Coolidge is beginning its transformation into a little industrial powerhouse. Stinger Bridge and Iron continues to attract worldwide attention in its industry. The business has helped repair a major section of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and is a key player on one of the country’s largest bridge projects taking place in Long Beach, Calif., the Gerald Desmond Bridge. Bright International is a major player in the hair care market, serving large manufacturers in the U.S. and around the globe. It has continued to expand its manufacturing facilities as demand for its product grows. Finally, a vision to bring an inland port to Arizona is looking to take shape right in Coolidge. The Inland Port concept will distribute shipping containers off of rail lines and onto semitrucks, allowing goods to flow much quicker.
We are very fortunate as well to have the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge. Visitors from all over the world come to see the Great House and explore the grounds of this ancient landmark. Dating to 1350, this national park is a treasure not to be missed.
All of these great projects and community efforts are what makes Coolidge distinct from many other cities. We look for ways to continually partner with businesses and the community to make this City a shining example of what can be accomplished with a team effort. I’m extremely proud of the transformations already in place and can’t wait for more to happen as the year continues. I invite you to visit our City and experience the friendliness of the people and the wonderful downtown area.
Coolidge really takes our commitment to quality of life to heart, and we hope you can experience that soon.