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Granite Shoals plans to get ahead of inevitable growth

Granite Shoals City Council

Granite Shoals Mayor Kiel Arnone (center) sits at the dais beside fellow City Council members Kevin Flack and Judy Salvaggio. Arnone pitched the idea of holding a strategic growth and economic development workshop for city officials, which was May 30 at City Hall. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Granite Shoals officials focused on economic development during a special meeting Tuesday, May 30. One of the key takeaways: getting better educated on what that actually means.

The strategic planning workshop was newly elected Mayor Kiel Arnone’s idea. He said everyone involved was ready to work and move forward. A second session is planned for 5 p.m. June 20 at City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road.

“There is so much potential in this city, everywhere you look,” Arnone told after the meeting.

Strategic consultant Alysia Cook of Opportunity Strategies made a presentation to the City Council and city staff at the Tuesday meeting on what Granite Shoals must do to meet the demands of growth. 

Officials discussed both small and big issues, including the city’s overall economic vision and the lack of a wastewater treatment plant.

Mayor Pro-tem Ron Munos told the workshop revealed the need for more sales tax revenue.

“(The workshop) was a good kickoff because we need to start doing something to promote economic growth and alleviate the property tax burden on the citizens,” he said.

Granite Shoals depends heavily on property taxes and utilities for revenue. According to the city’s 2021-22 budget, 51 percent of revenues were property tax-related and 31 percent were from water and waste services. Just 5 percent of revenue came from sales tax.

Granite Shoals not having a wastewater treatment plant is an impediment to new businesses coming into the city, Munos and Arnone both said.

The expensive project could be partially funded by federal grants or private-public partnerships, they suggested. 

“I’m extremely excited to work with (City Manager) Peggy (Smith) and get economic development going in Granite Shoals,” Arnone said. “Nothing is done with just one person. Hopefully, we can get together and make things happen.”

The strategic planning workshops are open to the public, and Arnone encouraged Granite Shoals residents to reach out to the council with questions, thoughts, or concerns about the future of the city.