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COOLIDGE — During its Monday meeting, Coolidge City Council members touted the business growth happening in the downtown area despite the pandemic.

“It’s nice to see small businesses come here,” said Councilman Steve Hudson. “Everybody knows small businesses are the backbone of America. Driving around Coolidge, there is a lot going on in the city.”

In recent months, the city has welcomed a new coffee shop and Mexican ice cream parlor, and November openings include a car wash and tattoo parlor.

City Manager Rick Miller called the new Disabled American Veterans building renovation on Central Avenue “a great asset to downtown.” Mayor Jon Thompson also thanked Kevin Peterson and his children for spearheading the volunteer effort to repaint the roof on the city’s American Legion post.

Miller also noted some items the Planning and Zoning Commission had discussed last month, including a medical marijuana facility expansion, a 192-unit apartment project just south of Coolidge Avenue and a True North renewable energy facility that will take organic waste and create methane.

The latter facility will require an investment of over $300 million between two phases and is expected to create 35-50 jobs. Economic Development Director Gilbert Lopez said True North still needs to present the city with a site plan before approval.

The city agreed to several land use amendments to the 2025 General Plan. Adjustments include officially incorporating 96.8 acres of farmland just west of Valley Farms, and rezoning within Coolidge for future residential projects.

A final piece of property was also annexed along Curry Road, the end of a years-long project to add small pieces from the surrounding area to city land. Lopez credited Coolidge GIS Coordinator Tim Hansen with putting the finishing touches on that project.

Other agenda items included re-upping the “Buckle Up Arizona” law enforcement campaign as part of the state’s highway safety program and moving forward with plans for the city’s annual Electric Light Parade scheduled for Dec. 11. The city budgeted $80,000 for repaving efforts and just over $400,000 for solar upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant to help save future energy costs.

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Aaron Dorman is a reporter covering Coolidge and the surrounding area. He can be reached at adorman@pinalcentral.com.