The Sierra Vista City Council authorized staff to proceed with the issuance of up to $25 million in Municipal Facility Revenue Bonds to fund the second phase of an energy initiative with Schneider Electric at its meeting on Thursday.
The project will result in significant energy and operational savings, which will help recoup its cost over time. It tackles major City needs and numerous strategic objectives set by the City Council without requiring any additional tax burden on local citizens as the debt service will be repaid by a portion of the City’s sales tax collection reserved for capital improvements. The exact terms of the bonds will depend on the interest rates the City receives, but they may not exceed a 5 percent interest rate or a 20-year maturity, with a preference for 15 years.
The project will kickstart implementation of the Citywide Parks Master Plan and initiate redevelopment of the Veterans Memorial Park Sports Complex to include replacing the old Apache Middle School football field and track. The new field and track will be a modernized facility with artificial turf and efficient LED lights suitable for both soccer and football. It will also feature bleachers with a capacity for 2,500 people.
Other sports-related improvements include the installation of two new lighted basketball courts, lights at the tennis courts and future sand volleyball courts, plus the inversion and improvement of the softball field. ADA accessible pathways between parking and facilities will also be constructed.
This initiative will advance Sierra Vista’s commitment to responsible energy and water use with the installation of a smart irrigation system Citywide, significant renovations at The Cove, solar covered parking spaces, numerous facility renovations and building envelope upgrades, the installation of LED lighting at multiple facilities, the addition of EV charging stations in public parking lots, and more.
The project is estimated to generate more than $37 million in savings and $101 million in economic impact over its 25-year lifecycle. It advances numerous strategic priorities set by the City Council, to include a goal to generate an additional $3 million in sports tourism over the next two years. It will also save more than six million gallons of water each year.
The project is also funded in part by a Land Water Conservation Fund grant of $1.5 million, which will assist with improvements at the Veterans Memorial Park Sports Complex.
“We have seen tremendous results from our first phase of this initiative, with improvements generating significant savings and economic impact,” Assistant City Manager Victoria Yarbrough says. “Field and sports facility upgrades have enabled us to assist local sports organizations with attracting numerous tournaments that have brought in new dollars and new visitors to our community.”
The phase I energy initiative with Schneider Electric resulted in five artificial turf soccer fields at Cyr Center Park and the Domingo Paiz Sports Complex, while upgrading sports field lighting at 17 fields and courts, among numerous improvements. It facilitated the attraction of 18 tournaments in 2019-21, bringing in about 11,490 visitors with an economic impact of about $3.3 million to the community.
For more information about phase II of the energy initiative with Schneider Electric, access the presentation made to council in the April 12 City Council work session folder on the City’s document server at docserve.sierravistaaz.gov/.
In other business on Thursday, the City Council approved:
- An intergovernmental agreement with Cochise County for election supplies and services associated with conducting the City Council election during the General Election on Nov. 8, 2022. The City has budgeted $25,000 to cover costs associated with the election.
- Acceptance of a $523,623 grant from the Arizona Department of Administration, Office of Grants and Federal Resources, Arizona 9-1-1 Program for Southeastern Arizona Communications (SEACOM). The grant will reimburse the City for costs associated with regional 9-1-1 services provided by SEACOM.
- A pre-annexation agreement with the Cochise College Foundation for a residential property it owns located at the northwest corner of East Theater Drive and North 6th Street.
More information from Thursday’s City Council meeting is available in the supporting documents for the Thursday, April 28, City Council meeting. They can be accessed via the “City Council” folder on the City’s document server at docserve.sierravistaaz.gov/.