Carlat: Governing to strengthen Peoria’s economy

Posted 2/12/21

Peoria is one of the safest cities in the nation and our parks and recreational facilities are top notch. We are proud to be known for having a highly skilled workforce, excellent housing choices, …

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Carlat: Governing to strengthen Peoria’s economy


Peoria is one of the safest cities in the nation and our parks and recreational facilities are top notch. We are proud to be known for having a highly skilled workforce, excellent housing choices, and top-rated schools.

Continually upgrading our surroundings is a critical component of what we do, but we never forget our primary purpose — we are in the people business. We exist to serve the residents of Peoria by delivering the core services needed for safe, healthy living and fostering an economic landscape that provides employment and opportunity that will sustain future generations.

In Peoria, we do government right. We work within existing laws – always, and manage resources to meet the needs of today while thoughtfully planning for our finest future.

The exceptional quality of life enjoyed by Peoria residents would be incomplete without a robust business network. Understanding the value that existing and new businesses have on local economies, Peoria has long pursued a targeted economic development strategy geared toward meeting the needs of our skilled workforce and growing community.

Businesses are essential to our economy, creating much-needed jobs and contributing significantly to local and state revenues through income, property, and employment taxes. Like other Arizona cities, Peoria relies on sales tax as a primary source of revenue. These sales tax dollars go directly into the general operating fund to support our most important core services, such as police, fire, street maintenance, parks, recreation, library services and more.

We have made great progress strengthening Peoria’s economy. Home to a strong healthcare workforce, we continue to welcome state-of-the art medical facilities such as Valleywise Comprehensive Health Center, Banner Healthcare Rehabilitation and Desert Harbor Medical and Urgent Care. Construction for the Peoria Regional Hospital begins this spring, bringing 150 jobs and comprehensive emergency care.

Last year, we also proudly welcomed Taronis Fuels. With the addition of their headquarters and advanced manufacturing facility, Peoria residents will have access to more than 500 new, high-wage jobs close to home.

Some of the most visible transformations have occurred at entertainment and lifestyle centers throughout the city such as Parkwest, where CIRE’s investment to elevate the area has drawn several unique and chef-driven restaurants that our growing community has enthusiastically embraced.

In the P83 Entertainment District, targeted local improvements have enhanced the vitality of the area, paving the way for Huntington University’s award-winning digital media arts program. Huntington recently welcomed their inaugural class of Doctoral Occupational Therapy students. These graduates will help fill a critical healthcare shortage of professionals to assist injured, ill, and disabled patients. They are our workforce of tomorrow.

If we want to continue to invest in our future, we must drive innovation inside our own communities – innovation that allows students to access higher education close to home and innovation that encourages entrepreneurs to dream big. And, if we want our community to be vibrant and sustainable for the long-term, then we must be certain that Peoria is at the top of the list when businesses are faced with decisions about where to locate their jobs and make investments.

While this past year has created a fragile market and significant challenges, we have much to be proud of.

I am proud of the way we stepped up as one of the first cities in Arizona to funnel Federal CARES dollars directly into the community to assist Peoria businesses and families that have been impacted by COVID-19.

I am proud of the organizations and businesses – big and small – who continue to invest in our community.

I am especially proud that Peoria continues to be known for our fiscal responsibility, low taxes, and business-friendly environment that encourages emerging opportunities; and, looking at the well-being of our city, we’re on the right track.

Editor’s note: Cathy Carlat is the mayor of Peoria.