ARIZONA CITY — During its monthly luncheon the Arizona City Chamber announced that it’s annual Arizona City Daze event will not take place this year.
“The county considers it as a larger scale event,’ chamber President Crystal Mckenna told PinalCentral. “Right now we cannot commit to an event schedule due to the uncertainty with COVID. Like most businesses and organizations, the chamber is having to learn how to adapt to the new times.”
This will be the second time in three years the event has been canceled. In 2019 the celebration was canceled due to weather.
The event was originally held on the first Saturday of February but was moved to the first Saturday of March last year.
The community and the chamber managed to hold the event last year before the pandemic began to surge across the country.
The event always brings the community together for the parade as golfers come out in decorated golf carts and students from Arizona City Elementary School march along with the school’s float.
Following the 2019 cancellation, the school decided to host a mini parade to show off the float its students and staff had built.
The elementary school invited others from the community to participate, and the parade also included the Arizona City Fire District, various members of the community as well as Toltec School District Superintendent Denise Rogers and her bulldog.
In February 2019, the floats traveled around the school’s perimeter for all the students and some of the neighboring community to see.
ARIZONA CITY — Arizona Public Service, Inc. is working to keep the lights on as people face hardships due to COVID-19, a company spokesman says
APS community affairs manager Richard Rosales provided information on different programs available to help out businesses and residential users during the pandemic at the monthly Arizona City Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
“We have some really innovative programs for businesses,” Rosales said. “I think there might be an opportunity in Arizona City or even in Toltec or anywhere really.”
APS discontinued shutoffs and its top priority has been keeping the everyday employees safe so that they can have the manpower when needed without having to worry about being shorthanded because of the virus.
“We were one of the first companies to announce that our employees would work from home and telecommute,” Rosales said. “Only essential travel and we’re just trying to keep our employees safe because providing electricity is important.”
In March 2020, the company made the decision to discontinue shutoffs after realizing the negative impact the pandemic was having on the workforce.
Rosales added that APS has returned to is regular programming this month but are not shutting people off right away.
“All of our customers are going to be put on an eight-month payment plan,” he said. “If you have a past due balance and it’s over $75, they are automatically put into that.”
APS also offers an Energy Support program which gives qualified customers a 25% discount on their monthly bill.
“We have COVID relief funds that will automatically be applied if you’re an energy support customer,” Rosales said. “The same program that we get COVID relief for residential also applies to businesses who are past due. All this COVID relief money came from a program from the state and also from our shareholder dollars.”
Similar to homes, businesses with past due balances will also be put on a payment plan. Rosales added that communication is important, and customers should speak with APS when they have a past due balance.
APS has always been a sponsor for Arizona City Daze and with the cancellation of the event as well as many other events in surrounding communities, the company is looking at ways to make a bigger impact on communities through its Corporate Giving program.
“As we go forward, if you have non-profits reach out to me so we can talk through it and we can continue to fund you in a way that there’s impact to the community,” he said. “There’s ways we can work with organization and the non-profits. We just want to make sure that it’s making a difference in the community. It’s not just the chamber, we’ve seen so many non-profits that are losing out on fundraising because of the canceled events. We’ve seen the decline in non-profit revenue across the state because of all the canceled events, so we’re still trying to help.”
Chamber Vice President Nancy Hawkins added that Arizona City Daze is the community’s fundraiser which impact the Boys & Girls Club.
“You’ve been instrumental with your support to the community and Arizona City Daze and the chamber, so we appreciate it,” Hawkins said.
APS Take Charge AZ pilot programs which offer free EV charging equipment, as well as installation and maintenance to businesses, government agencies, non-profits and multifamily communities.
“It’s free to the business, you either decide to pay for the electricity that the car will use or you can pay an additional fee and turn it into a network charger, where they pay as they go. We’re trying to electrify the state so that there’s more car chargers around the state and there’s more adoption of electric car use.”