A1 A1
CG, Maricopa mayors pleased with first vaccine distributions
  • Updated

Craig McFarland

CASA GRANDE — COVID-19 vaccine distributions are now underway in Pinal County, with law enforcement, other essential workers and senior citizens above 75 now eligible to receive the vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine is being distributed through the Pinal County Public Health Services District with the aid of 14 community providers, but those providers aren’t currently being publicized.

“They won’t tell us because of security reasons, which I found out yesterday (Tuesday),” said Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland. “It’s kind of a combination of things so I can’t really blame the county, although I was a bit frustrated yesterday because they weren’t being very forthcoming in terms of the process.”

McFarland was later able to confirm that Sun Life Family Health Center and Banner Casa Grande Medical Center were both providers of the vaccine, among others.

Community providers were able to apply to become distributors of the vaccine. Those that were approved through the Arizona Department of Health Services were then allocated the proper dosages.

Vaccine distribution in Pinal County began with stage 1A, health care workers and long-term care residents, and has now moved onto stage 1B. This includes law enforcement, corrections officers, educators, food and agriculture, utilities and transportation, as well as individuals 75 and older.

While locations remain somewhat under wraps for now, the county promised more transparency as the vaccine becomes available to the general public.

“As more vaccine arrives, when we get to the 1C group (those 65 and older and adults with high-risk medical conditions), locations for vaccination and the registration process will be posted on the Pinal Public Health COVID website,” the Pinal County website states. “As we move forward into the general population, vaccination sites and the registration process will be posted” at the same place.

Maricopa Mayor Christian Price said the distribution there has gone without a hiccup.

“So far distribution has gone smoothly and first responders and health care professionals here in the city are getting vaccinated accordingly,” Price said.

The county ordered 10,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 9, the maximum allowed, and the doses arrived on Dec. 24 for distribution. Pinal County health officials have now ordered a second round of vaccines, but McFarland says the order is much smaller due to availability.

Regardless, he is hopeful about 2021 with the implementation of the vaccine to help combat COVID-19.

“I’m hoping that once we get the vaccine out there and we get that herd immunity … that we can kind of get back to some level of normalcy and people can feel more comfortable,” McFarland said. “I think there’s a lot of angst out there — there’s a lot of anxiety on both sides.”

“I am not sure what normal is going to be like anymore,” he added, “but I’m hoping that we can get the kids back out playing baseball and kids playing soccer and get the schools open. That’s my biggest concern, is to get our children back.”

featured top story
Mission Royale Golf Course closing
  • Updated

CASA GRANDE — The Mission Royale Golf Course announced that it is closing down for good New Year’s Eve.

Earlier this year, residents formed a committee in hopes to raise enough money to keep the golf course viable.

A six-person committee was formed in early September after residents noticed the condition of the golf course. Committee member Jay Moelis said the group was able to raise $875,000.

It is unclear how the money would have been used to keep the course open.

According to the Pinal County Assessor’s Office website, the golf course is owned by Lint Rentals LLC and Zing Properties LLC. A representative of the company could not be reached for comment.

County records show the owners fell behind on paying taxes in 2018.

“We have spoken with a potential purchaser of the golf course who provided us with a concept plan that illustrates the reconfiguration of hole No. 1 in a manner that frees up some land upon which they could potentially construct an assisted or semi-assisted living residential facility/residences,” Casa Grande Planning and Development Director Paul Tice said.

“In order for the potential buyer to implement their concept, they will have to submit a rezoning application (PAD Amendment) along with a Major Site Plan for the development, which will have to be approved by Planning Commission and City Council,” Tice said.

According to Tice, the processing of both of those applications will involve multiple opportunities for public review and input, and nothing formal has been submitted.

“No future plans for the golf course were announced,” said an email to homeowners announcing the closure.

As for Moelis, he hopes to continue organizing with the committee and have residents own the golf course if possible.

“It’s embarrassing to even invite a guest,” Moelis said about the condition of the course. “It’s really disheartening.”