Poll: Readers back purchase of land for industrial project

The city recently purchased 230 acres near the Pinal Energy ethanol plant on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway to market as an industrial site. InMaricopa readers favor the move according to results of our weekly reader poll.

This month, Maricopa a took step toward adding a new segment to its growth mix by purchasing 230 acres that it plans to resell to an industrial developer.

That prompted us to ask this week’s reader poll question: “The city is buying 230 acres on the southeastern side for $12 million to help it better compete for large industrial projects with high-paying jobs. Is this a good use of taxpayer money?”

Results show Maricopa residents support the purchase.

Nearly half, 45.3% of the 214 respondents, chose the answer, “Yes, the price is under market value, we need more high-paying jobs and the city will likely sell it back for more than it paid.”

The second-most popular response, with 31.3% of the votes, was, “No, there are so many other immediate needs that would have been a better use of that much money.”

About one-quarter of respondents, 23.4%, chose the answer, “Anything that might keep me off State Route 347 is good.”

The site is east of White and Parker Road between Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Peters and Nall Road. It is in a 300-acre area rezoned in March to industrial and employment uses.

It sits near the Pinal Energy ethanol plant and includes a mile-long rail spur that City Manager Rick Horst said could potentially position the site to serve as an inland port.