Oro Valley's population shift and economic realities in address - Tucson News Now

Oro Valley's population shift and economic realities in State of Town address

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ORO VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

When you think of Oro Valley you think retirement community.

You would be right.

However, we learned something surprising at Thursday's State of the Town address.

When it comes to residents' ages, there are now about as many "18 and unders" as there are "65 and overs."

Oro Valley is nestled just beneath Pusch Ridge on the western end of the Santa Catalina Mountains, just north of Tucson.

It's known for its scenic beauty.

It has always had an older population so younger residents were not a focus.

They are now.

Mayor Satish Hiremath says the young have been underserved, but Oro Valley is working to change that.

At the State of the Town presentation Mayor Satish Hiremath pointed out the new programs for youth. There's the new aquatic center, parks and recreation programs and more.

The mayor gave more examples to KOLD News 13 Oro Valley.

He says the town has many disabled children.

He says Oro Valley wants to focus on assisting their parents who might need an occasional break from the "day to day." A respite.

"We want to try to provide opportunities for those kinds of parents. So much so that parents of disabled children have volunteered, if the structure is there, to really commit to helping each other out and giving each other a break. We've gotten the designation of Playful City USA, third year in a row (and) Best Place In Arizona to Raise Children," Hiremath says.

As part of it's drive to improve life for all residents and businesses in Oro Valley, the town has put out a questionnaire.

It asks them to check the boxes of things important to them.

There are questions about lifestyle, education, job opportunities and more.

In his speech on the State of the Town Mayor Hiremath explained to a record crowd that the town is in pretty good shape, recovering after the recession.

The number of building permits is up and more people are moving to the town.

Oro Valley continues to annex land.

The town recently annexed Tohono Chul Park.

Hiremath says the town's bio-tech, bio- science and big pharmaceutical sectors are doing well.

However, Hiremath says Oro Valley is just one spoke in the region's wheel.

He says it's in Oro Valley's interest to see the entire area succeed.

"Not only are we looking to create job opportunities for our residents, but we're also collaborating and partnering with other municipalities, including the city of Tucson and Pima County, in order to lend our voice to attract these companies that they so desperately need as well," Hiremath says.

He gives this example.

He says more than 4,000 Raytheon Missile Systems employees live in Oro Valley.

Raytheon is located in Tucson.

Hiremath says Oro Valley must become a partner in making sure companies like Raytheon stay here.

Oro Valley has no property tax so it depends heavily on sales taxes.

In his State of the Town address, Hiremath unveiled a video to encourage tourism.

Oro Valley's motto is "It's In Our Nature."

There's also a new campaign for locals called "Play Ov/Stay OV.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.

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