Buckeye MayorJackie Meck

Buckeye MayorJackie Meck. (Photo courtesy city of Buckeye)

According to the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, Buckeye saw an 8.9 percent increase in population from 2017 to 2018. This means we’re close to 80,000 residents to start 2019.

So, my 2019 goals for Buckeye are to continue focusing on our educational partnerships, improving our infrastructure and to grow smart while being fiscally sound.

Educating our youth is the foundation to any city’s success. The future of Buckeye depends on it. So, we will continue to partner with all nine of our local school districts to ensure every child starts out with a solid education, and in an environment that enhances learning.

Buckeye’s population growth over the past few years clearly shows the need for additional schools throughout the city, and to provide all types of educational opportunities for elementary students through post-secondary classes.

A growing city also needs the right infrastructure for success. Our five-year capital improvement program identifies the specific city buildings, facilities and infrastructure enhancements that are needed to ensure our quality of life is maintained now and for years to come.

In 2019, we’ll be focusing on creating better traffic flow with “smart” traffic signals, adding sidewalks to busy corridors, improving our parks, enhancing our water and sewer service and ensuring we’re fiscally responsible in the process. These types of projects keep our community safe, provide you with excellent events and activities within the city, and do it all in a cost-effective manner.

The increase in population also means more opportunities for economic development. The “magic population number” to attract many large retailers, service providers and sit-down restaurants is 90,000 to 100,000. If you include the nearly 12,000 residents that currently live in unincorporated areas of the city’s planning area, our population now meets that magic number. So, we expect to see growth in these types of businesses in the coming years.

Our two most active growth areas of the city are around the Yuma/Watson and Verrado Way/Interstate 10 intersections. Coming in 2019 is the completion of an Aldi grocery store, Planet Fitness, more restaurants, medical offices and a Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel at Yuma and Watson.

In the Verrado/Interstate 10 area, we will see Barro’s Pizza, Starbucks, Taco Bell and others coming soon. There’s more to come in both locations and we’ll be announcing them as soon as we can.

Being born and raised in Buckeye gives me a unique perspective on our city, but one thing has remained constant throughout – the need for our residents to have a great quality of life in the place they call home – Buckeye.

My main goal for 2019 is for Buckeye to continue being a great place to live where our residents can raise their families.