Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego highlights water, transportation in State of the City address

Apr 12, 2023, 3:17 PM

PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego touched on a wide range of topics during Wednesday’s State of the City address, focusing heavily on impacts in water and transportation.

Gallego, in her second mayoral term, touted a new multi-billion-dollar plan for an advanced water purification facility that will turn wastewater into drinking water.

The facility will be added to the 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant and will recycle 60 million gallons per day, according to Gallego.

“We are joined by leaders throughout the Valley who will work with us to secure our water supply,” Gallego said in her speech.

“We understand the urgency and we are working at full speed to deliver big solutions by the end of the decade.”

Gallego called water issues “the crux of sustaining our future,” noting that Phoenix was monitoring how to handle looming cutbacks to the state’s Colorado River supply.

She added that cuts “would squeeze us,” but anticipated Phoenix would continue to divert Colorado River supply to groundwater recharge.

Phoenix typically uses two-thirds of its allocation and puts the rest toward groundwater recharge.

“While we will need to tap into this bank, we’re planning now to make sure this is only a temporary stopgap,” Gallego said.

On transportation, Gallego called on legislators to create a path forward for Proposition 400, the half-cent sales tax approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004.

The tax funds transportation projects in the state’s most populous county but will be finished after 2025 if not extended.

“I speak for leaders across the county – the leaders of local governments and tribes who unanimously agreed to the regional transportation plan – when I say that failure on Prop 400 is not an option,” Gallego said.

“An extension of the half-cent tax is necessary – and county residents overwhelmingly agree. Let’s get it on the ballot and get this done.”

Here’s what else Gallego discussed in her annual address:

  • Gallego urged voters to OK a $500 million bond project set for a November special election. Funding would go toward improving parks, libraries, fire and police stations, and more.
  • Homelessness was addressed, with Gallego saying “the only way we can solve a problem that affects us all is by working together.”
  • The semiconductor industry, especially Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s investment, continues to be a major boon for Phoenix.
  • Touted a Phoenix medical quarter that will “stand as a cornerstone of the bioscience ecosystem in Phoenix.”

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Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego highlights water, transportation in State of the City address