American Public Works Association presents awards to County projects and practicesby Pima County News on Mar. 18, 2013, under Development Services, Economic Development, Environmental Quality, Pima County, Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department, Solar Energy, Southern Arizona, Sustainability and Conservation, Tucson
Pima County won half of the total American Public Works Association (APWA) 2013 awards at the local Southern Arizona Chapter level. Awards will be presented on March 26. Two of the local chapter winners additionally won at the State Chapter level. Statewide winners are automatically entered in the APWA National Competition.
APWA presented the 2013 Sustainability Practices of the Year award to Development Services, Planning Division, for the Renewable Energy Incentive District (REID). REID offers incentives to the solar industry to develop on selected sites within unincorporated Pima County. REID gives solar developers the opportunity to build more swiftly and less expensively.
“We are pleased that the County has been recognized for this effort, which was several years in the making,” says Planning Director Arlan Colton, FAICP. “The properties identified for utility-scale photovoltaic solar can proceed to development much quicker, having been pre-cleared for most development requirements.”
The Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department won two Public Works Projects of the Year awards for the Regional Optimization Master Plan (ROMP) Plant Interconnect and for the Santa Cruz Interceptor III.
ROMP is a $660 million program to upgrade and expand the Ina Road Wastewater Reclamation Facility (WRF) and to replace the Roger Road WRF with a new state-of-the-art facility. Projects, including those receiving APWA Awards, will improve the quality of the community’s reclaimed water for recharge and reuse. In addition to the treatment facility improvements, the ROMP also includes a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory and a five-mile-long sewer interceptor that allows flexibility of flow management between the Ina Road and Roger Road facilities. Effluent discharges will continue to provide a riparian habitat and birding opportunities.
In addition, Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation received Project of the Year award for Canoa Preserve Park in Green Valley, in the Small Cities and Rural Communities category. It is the first County park in this retirement community.
The ROMP Plant Interconnect and the Canoa Preserve Park won at the state level, to be presented on August 8, and will be entered in the national competition.