Town recognized with three awards from Arizona associations

Published on September 21, 2020

graphic image of award star and laurel

During the September 16 Town Council meeting, Town Manager Mary Jacobs highlighted three of the Town’s departments for receiving awards from Arizona Associations, including the Arizona Planning Association, American Public Works Association – Arizona Chapter and Arizona Parks and Recreation Association.

“It’s good for us to recognize our hardworking employees and the creativity they employ in serving our community every day,” said Town Manager Jacobs. “These awards shine a spotlight on innovation and dedication in our public works, community engagement and our parks and recreation. The Town is fortunate to have these teams and individuals working every day to make Oro Valley better.”

The awards include:
Arizona Planning Association Public Outreach 2020 Award
The Town’s Planning Division received this award for its work on the Town’s General Plan Amendment public outreach efforts. The Planning Division worked very closely with the Town’s Information Technology Department and Communication Division to produce informational videos and host Zoom neighborhood meetings to provide community engagement opportunities for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team that pulled together very quickly and successfully used technology they were not familiar with,” said Planning Manager Bayer Vella. “The outreach we did on this project will never replace in-person meetings, but given the circumstances of the pandemic our outreach efforts exceeded expectations. Typically, the Town will have 100 to 150 people at a public meeting. The first general plan amendment informational video was watched 1,765 times by more than 1,400 individuals. That’s an impressive number. We continue to experience higher than average levels of participation with recent video and Zoom outreach on other projects.”

Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association’s 2020 Project of the Year for Transportation Projects less than $5 million
The Town’s Public Works Department received this award for the Moore Road/La Cañada Drive roundabout project. The roundabout was implemented for safety purposes at the former four-way stop intersection, which had seen several vehicle accidents in prior years. There has only been one accident at the intersection since completion of the intersection in November 2019, and that accident was due to driver impairment. 

Public Works Director and Town Engineer Paul Keesler said of the award, “This was a team effort from start to finish. The Town Manager and Assistant Manager provided guidance for outreach efforts; my staff who managed this project; Psomas Engineering (project designer); Borderland Construction (contractor); and the Oro Valley Police Department whose professionalism and insight helped keep traffic moving while this intersection was closed for nine weeks.”

Arizona Parks and Recreation Association 2020 Youth Enrichment Award for the Art + STEM = STEAM program at Steam Pump Ranch
The Town’s Parks and Recreation Department received the 2020 Youth Enrichment Award. The Art + STEM = STEAM Summer Camp at Steam Pump Ranch provided well-rounded program of youth enrichment of children ages 6 to 12. This summer camp is an alternative to traditional summer programs with an emphasis on art and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) all taught within the setting and context of a historic ranch.

“This one is all about our kids—who got to make beautiful art. And these kids are the reason that this program is recognized. I want to give a big shout out to my team,” said Parks and Recreation Director Kristy Diaz-Trahan. “They made sure Steam Pump Ranch was in great shape, got information out through communications and created this amazing and creative program.”