Tempe seeks residents’ input on 2021-22 fiscal-year budget planning

Tempe has begun the process of preparing its 2021-22 fiscal-year budget by making a survey available to its residents. –Bhaumik Bheda photo

TEMPE NEWS BRIEFS

Tempe’s 2021-22 budget, a food drive for needy families and pets, the city’s continued commitment to improving its parks, more bike/pedestrian paths coming and a new way to make city-services payments online — it’s all right here in this installment of Tempe News Briefs!

The first opportunity for public involvement in Tempe’s 2021-22 budgeting process has been announced by the city.

Residents may take a survey at tempe.gov/forum. Survey participants are given a theoretical $100 to allocate to their community priorities to help City Council understand residents’ top priorities. The survey is open through March 5.

A virtual budget forum is Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. City staff will provide an overview of the budget and priorities for fiscal year 2021-22. Residents may ask questions and provide comments. Participate or watch at tempe.gov/budget. Replays of the meeting will be available on demand at this website.

Additional public input opportunities will be available as part of the Council’s budget-hearing process in the spring and early summer.

Tempe residents have an open invitation to provide their thoughts on the city budget, especially during the spring preparation period for the next fiscal year’s budget, which begins on July 1.

Tempe’s budget provides funding every service the city provides.

Food drive Feb. 13 for needy families and pets 

A drive-through food drive for needy families and pets in Tempe is noon-4 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Pyle Adult Recreation Center parking lot, 655 E. Southern Ave.

Tempe Neighborhoods Together is organizing the collection of non-perishable food and pet food in partnership with Tempe to benefit Tempe Community Action Agency’s food pantry, which serves the working poor; the Aris Foundation, which serves those who are homeless; and Save One Life, which serves pets.

Participants are asked to remain in their vehicles and wear masks when talking with volunteers. Volunteers will wear masks and gloves, and physically distance.

Those who are not feeling well are asked to stay home.

“People are hit hard by COVID, loss of jobs and the loss of means to live with dignity,” said Judy Tapscott, a member of TNT’s food-drive planning committee. “Homeless numbers are on the rise for both families and their pets. In just a few months, demand for food boxes has tripled.

“Seniors are choosing between medication and food. Young children, who could formerly count on one nutritious meal at school, are going hungry,” Tapscott continued. “Beloved pets are either turned out into the streets to fend for themselves, given up for adoption, or, worse, starving and homeless, unable to understand why.”

More on Tempe Community Action Agency: Tempeaction.com.

More on Aris Foundation: arisfoundation.com.

More on Saving One Life–Feeding Homeless Cats and Dogs: savingonelife.org.

Parks improvements continuing amid pandemic

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods (left) and Vice Mayor Lauren Kuby display renovations at Petersen Park.

The third and final phase of Tempe’s community outreach on a preferred concept for Clark Park and Aquatic Center Improvements, which include a new swimming pool, will be presented in two virtual meeting at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. via WebEx on Feb. 9. The same information will be presented at both.

Public feedback from previously proposed alternatives has been used to develop a preferred master plan and aquatic design for the park, at West 19th Street and South Roosevelt Street. City staff will present the plan’s progress and take more public input.

For instructions on how to participate, or to view the recorded meeting and other project materials, visit tempe.gov/ParkUpdates. Online comment will be open Feb. 9-23.

Mayor Corey Woods and Councilmember Lauren Kuby recently celebrated renovation at Petersen Park, at West Southern Avenue and South Priest Drive. Also recently completed was renovation at Tempe Woman’s Club Park, at North College Avenue and East Weber Drive.

Over the past year amid the pandemic, the city remained fully committed to its Parks Capital Improvements Plan, a $60 million investment in parks over several years.

Tempe parks are providing a much-needed escape from home during the pandemic, offering a safe environment when all COVID-19 protocols are followed. Parks are the focal point of neighborhoods across the city, bringing people together and creating a sense of community. They improve the health of residents by providing recreational and fitness activities and keep residents connected to nature and the outdoors with open spaces.

Bike/pedestrian-path network expanding

Tempe is adding miles to its bicycle and pedestrian network with the Country Club Way Bike and Pedestrian Improvement Project.

The Country Club Way Bike and Pedestrian Improvement Project will 3.5 miles of improvements from U.S. 60 to Warner Road roughly following the alignment of Country Club.

This project will connect to several regional multi-use paths, bicycle and pedestrian corridors, schools, parks and transit.

The meeting dates for the project are Saturday, Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 24 at noon.

For project information and to comment online Feb. 20 to March 7, visit tempe.gov/CountryClubWayPath.

New online-payment system launches in March

Tempe’s centralized online-payment system is getting a revision, impacting customers who pay by credit card or are enrolled in recurring credit-card payments.

The new portal launches in March at tempe. gov. Payments will be made by clicking on the “Pay” button on the homepage.

Before paying a Tempe utility bill, it will be necessary to register for a new account.

For recurring payments with a credit card, those automatic payments cannot be processed until a new account is created.

For those enrolled in Surepay, the city’s automatic deduction from a checking or savings account, and for those who pay by cash or check, the new system will have no affect and no changes are necessary.

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