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  • County projects recognized with Common Ground Awards

    Oct 25, 2018 | Read More News
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    Photo credit: Metropolitan Pima Alliance/Andy MoralesTwo Pima County projects received honors at the Metropolitan Pima Alliance’s 13th Annual Common Ground Awards ceremony held on Friday, Oct. 19 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa. The Common Ground Awards recognize individuals, projects and programs the MPA believes “overcame great obstacles through unlikely and atypical collaboration” between the public and private sectors.

    The Office of Sustainability and Conservation’s Certificate of Coverage Program won in the Programs and Policies category while the Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department’s Southeast Interceptor Sewer Augmentation Project (SEI) took home top honors among Public Works finalists.

    The Certificate of Coverage Program, an element of Pima County’s award-winning Multi-Species Conservation Plan, eliminates conflicts between conservation and economic development. It offers property owners an easy way to reduce risk and save money when building a home, subdivision or commercial project in unincorporated Pima County, while ensuring the region’s native wildlife and open spaces are protected.

    “This unique program is the result of staff’s and community members’ dedication to find new ways to solve old problems. We are thrilled that MPA honored our creative collaboration,” OSC Environmental Planning Manager, Sherry Ruther said.

    Photo credit: Metropolitan Pima Alliance/Andy MoralesThe SEI addressed capacity limitations to existing wastewater infrastructure between Simpson Street and 36th Street in Tucson by adding over 12,000 feet of new sewer pipe, drainage improvements, odor control facilities, asphalt paving and waterline relocations. In addition, the project incorporated the artwork of students from two schools and a community center. A local sculptor used the youngsters’ pictures and ideas to create five designs for 55 manhole covers in both English and Spanish.

    “The Department is proud of its team’s consistent efforts that continue to gather positive accolades and recognitions within the community,” Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department Director Jackson Jenkins said.

    MPA received 30 nominations this year, 15 of which qualified as finalists in five categories. Each finalist went through a multi-step process including participating in a panel interview where nominees were scored against weighted criteria including quality, size and complexity of the collaboration.

    Another County program – the Living River Project – qualified as a Programs and Policies finalist. The Living River operates as a collaboration of OSC, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation and the non-profit Sonoran Institute.

    Top photo: Metropolitan Pima Alliance Executive Director Allyson Solomon congratulates OSC Environmental Planning Managers Sherry Ruther and Julia Fonseca Oct. 19. Photo credit: MPA/Andy Morales.

    Bottom photo: Wastewater Reclamation staffers and contractors celebrate their win Oct. 19. Left to right: Adam Bliven, CIP Program Manager; Kathy Jirschele, Kaneen, Project Public Outreach; Craig Cannizzaro, Wetland Resources, Engineer; Lauren Hixson, Wetland Resources, Engineer; Chris Albright, KE&G, CMAR Contractor; Jason Butler, Project Artist; Ramon Gaanderse, KE&G CMAR Contactor; Glen Peterson, Pima County Project Manager, Retired; Jaime Rivera, Deputy Director of Conveyance Division. Photo credit: MPA/Andy Morales.