Millions in funding pour from feds, tribe

Oct. 6—The city of Mesa scored some big-time funding.

At the Sept. 20 Mesa City Council meeting, the city's elected officials formally approved the receipt of more than $4 million in funding.

Of that, $3.1 million is federal funding for the Falcon Field Higley Ramp West Reconstruction Project.

The ramp was constructed in 2001. Falcon Field Airport was launched in 1941 during World War II to train British Royal Air Force and American pilots. The airport is bordered by North Higley, North Greenfield, North Higley, East McKellips and East McDowell roads.

In 2017, ADOT ruled routine maintenance is no longer a solution to protect the current pavement. So, the project includes full removal and replacement of the existing pavement, as well as removal and replacement of all aircraft tie downs.

Council approved the $2.8 million low bid from Combs Construction Company (with a "change order" allowance of $283,000.

A Federal Aviation Administration grant covers the cost.

Mesa also hit the jackpot, so to speak, to the tune of $1.4 million.

The money comes from the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, which operates Casino Arizona.

Proposition 202, passed with the 2002 Gaming Compact in Arizona, directs tribal governments to share 12 percent of their gaming revenues with surrounding local governments.

The money goes to nonprofit organizations, with local governments as "pass-through" re-distributors.

Mesa's recipients include:

—The Mesa Fire and Medical Department's Immunization Program, $100,000.

—Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department's North Center Sports Fields, $90,000.

—Downtown Business Improvement Signage, $35,000.

—Mesa K-Ready's Kindergarten Readiness Program, $35,000.

—Arts and Cultural Department's Arts in Service program, $40,000.

—A New Leaf for shelter and support services, $200,000.

—U.S. Vets' mental health services for homeless and at-risk veterans, $50,000.

—Child Crisis Arizona's prevention services, $75,000.

—Bogden House's CMC Dignity Care Program, $75,000.

—Visit Mesa's "Play all Day and Stay" fall and winter campaigns, $20,000.

—United Food Bank's Mobile Pantry Emergency and Supplemental Food Assistance Program, $125,000.

—Mesa Public Schools' mental health wellness and social services support, $525,000.

—Alice Cooper's Solid Rock Teen Center's Art Heals program, $50,000.