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PHOENIX -- There's a new way to find how Arizona cities are improving without breaking their budget.

It's as close as your smartphone or computer.

"We have a website where residents and community members can go and look at community events, find out some of the innovative things that their cities are working on, and hear from their council members and city staff about the great things that their cities are doing for them, said Samantha Wolmer, a spokeswoman for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The League's Deputy Director, Tom Belshe, says many cities are trying to cut costs while still delivering innovative services. For example, Goodyear has gone green with one of its fire stations.

"They did innovative energy and lighting uses as well as heating and cooling operations," said Belshe. "They took advantage of federal grants that are available for these types of things to make the city facilities more energy efficient."

Belshe also likes what libraries in Tempe have done to compete with local bookstores.

"They added things like a small café, where people can go in and get coffee," Belshe said. "They did that because one of the things that the private companies that sell books have done is create that atmosphere where you can kind of sit down, relax, have a cup of coffee, and read books."

The league is also recognizing El Mirage for making things more efficient by consolidating its' trash and recycle services.

You can check out the website at

Bob McClay, Reporter

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