Water, pandemic among challenges to future economic growth in Pinal

By Aaron Dorman | Maricopa Monitor

SAN TAN VALLEY — Is Pinal County fulfilling its destiny as the growth corridor of the state of Arizona?

That was the question moderator and former state politician Stan Barnes pitched to a panel of local legislators during the first Pinal County Regional Legislative Forum. The forum, held at Poston Butte High School in San Tan Valley, was framed as a discussion of the future of economic growth in the region. Despite touting the burgeoning commerce and business moving into the county, the panel acknowledged the dual constraints of water resources and the current pandemic as major present impediments.

The panel, which consisted of three state representatives — David Cook, R-Globe; T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge; and John Fillmore, R-Apache Junction—and State Senator Frank Pratt, R-Casa Grande, generally agreed that the county was moving beyond its reputation as merely a bedroom community for the Phoenix and Tucson metro regions, but that lawmakers needed to facilitate the necessary infrastructure changes, such as expanding highway systems and ensuring access to water.

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