Douglas Wolf

Pinal County Assessor Douglas Wolf speaks April 21 at the Arizona City Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Tumbleweed Inn.

ELOY — The Pinal County assessor believes Arizona City is in a great location to benefit from new businesses in Eloy and Casa Grande.

Douglas Wolf was the guest speaker at the Arizona City Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon April 21 at the Tumbleweed Inn.

“This area is maybe a little bit behind the curve but it’s going to feel the boom,” he said. “All the developable lots are owned by a developer right now in this county. … This chamber is going to do well down the road.”

Wolf added that a loss for the county involves delays in the Resolution Copper mine in Superior.

“It’ll probably be another 10 years before that gets open,” he said. “Great jobs, blue collar jobs, union jobs, but apparently that’s not worth it. … The problem is the land on the top … is supposedly sacred territory for one of the tribes so they put the kibosh on it. Tribes have been all over Arizona and there’s not a place where they haven’t been.”

According to Wolf, there is a lot of competition for vacant land.

“The biggest new development in Pinal County is going to be east of Mesa,” Wolf said. “South of Apache Junction and east of Gold Canyon, in that area, that was originally supposed to be developed 30 years ago and the Arizona state trust Land Department wouldn’t sell it. … That land has finally been sold. They say it’s going to be as big as the city of Mesa or more.”

He said the county is in a prosperous state because it has made an effort to bring in manufacturing businesses.

“The evaluations of the county went up about seven and a half percent last year,” Wolf said. “The county board has a decision and so does the school board and the fire district, they set the rates on your tax bill. So the tax district, they can say we’re going to keep the rate the same and the income will go up substantially but because the values go up they can also say we’re going to lower the rate a little bit.”

Wolf stated that the county and state have received a lot of money from the U.S. government, but it is unknown how it will be invested and that county residents should voice their opinions as to where they want to see that money go.

Chamber Treasurer Nancy Hawkins asked Wolf about the water issue and his response was that water is an issue for agriculture.

“If you’re a farmer it might be tough because we are in a drought,” Wolf said. “But the rest of the state doesn’t seem to be an issue because there’s plenty for residential and there’s plenty for everything else. I can’t foresee the future, but we could use some rain.”

Chamber President Crystal McKenna asked if there is a way for the chamber to receive some support from the county.

Wolf said that the county has helped indirectly by giving businesses money from the federal CARES Act and added that there’s another batch coming for small businesses. Unlike the first batch, which had a lot of restrictions, the second round doesn’t have those.

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Maria Vasquez is a reporter covering Eloy, Arizona City and sports. She can be reached at mvasquez@pinalcentral.com.