City Snapshot: El Mirage
The Earliest People
The Hohokam Indians were the earliest inhabitants of what is known today as El Mirage. The ingenious Hohokam developed an elaborate irrigation network
using only stone instruments and organized labor.
In 1867, most of the Hohokam canals were retrenched and used for farming. Federal irrigation projects constructed in the 20th century provided a more
consistent and assured water supply throughout the Phoenix valley for agriculture.
During the early 1930s, migrant farm workers settled in El Mirage on the west bank of the Agua Fria River. Mexican migrants came to El Mirage to help
build the canals and harvest the first crops. They founded El Mirage in 1937 and El Mirage was incorporated in 1951. At the time of incorporation,
the city was primarily a compact residential community. Until the recent population boom, the city had a small-town atmosphere. According to the
U.S. Census Bureau, El Mirage grew from about 5,000 residents in 1990 to 32,607 residents in 2010. Growth is anticipated for the next decade.
Over the last 15 months, El Mirage has achieved some significant accomplishments in repairing the city's reputation in the West Valley and Phoenix
metropolitan region as a whole.
First and foremost, the City Council has worked diligently to repair and strengthen the city's relationship with
Luke Air Force Base (AFB). El Mirage is now counted among all other West Valley cities and towns as an advocate for Luke's presence in the West
Valley as vital to the city's economy both now and in the future. This City Council recognizes the importance of Luke AFB to the nation, to Arizona,
and to the City of El Mirage.
In addition to relationship building with Luke AFB, the City Council faced a $4.7 million deficit in December 2011 and as a result, the council
restructured the city organization, which included the hiring of a new city manager, Dr. Spencer A. Isom, to close the financial gap. A conservative
budget is in place and a realistic five-year plan has been established to complete the city's most important capital projects without sacrificing
The city is building a new fire station to replace an inadequate station built in 1997 and other public safety improvements are underway that include
the design and ultimate construction of a new 20,000 square-foot police station that will replace the series of aging modular buildings that comprise
the current facility.
A new recreation facility project is also in design. This project will bring a multi-generational facility to the City that will include elements for
children, adults, and seniors encompassing recreation, sports, fitness, child care, and social activities for residents of El Mirage and the surrounding
Lastly, the City is focused on economic development. The City has welcomed new businesses such as Valero, Aaron's Rents, Inc. and AutoZone. El Mirage
is part of a foreign trade zone and has numerous transportation infrastructure projects under construction or in design.
Visit www.cityofelmirage.org for more information.
League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007