Lush, tree-lined boulevards and sidewalks could spring up around Tucson in the near future if the City Council finds some cash to get its decrepit irrigation system back online.
The council resolved Tuesday afternoon to find some money so the Tucson Department of Transportation can get its median and landscaping issues resolved.
"The medians are the first eyesore," Councilwoman Shirley Scott said. "It's very important to maintain beautiful landscaping in our community to give a good, solid impression to not only our citizens, but to businesses and (tourists)."
Over the past few years, the city's approximately 300 irrigation systems fell into disrepair as the city faced numerous budget constraints due to ever-dwindling funds.
As a result, trees and other foliage along the city's medians and right of ways withered.
City Transportation Director Daryl Cole said the department already knows what it wants - strategically placed trees to optimize shade with effective water cycles to promote deep root growth - it just doesn't know exactly what's needed to make those goals a reality.
Cole said it will take about six to 12 months to sort through the irrigation inventory and figure out what needs to be replaced and what can be salvaged, information he needs before he can give the council a realistic estimate on what it will cost.
Finding the money to restore the landscaping is worthwhile, Cole said, because besides being more attractive to tourists, for residents, "it changes your morale. It changes how you feel about your community."
Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or firstname.lastname@example.org