Tangerine Roadwork Update, April 28, 2017

On Tuesday, May 2, through Friday, May 5, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, Tangerine Corridor Constructors will reconstruct the Tangerine Crossing exit at Tangerine Road. The traveling public and residents can expect the following traffic control:

  • The Tangerine Crossing exit at Tangerine Road will be temporarily closed as the contractor completes work in the area.
  • Please use Thornydale Road as a temporary alternate route.

On Thursday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tangerine Corridor Constructors will be working on traffic signals at the intersection of Dove Mountain/Twin Peaks and Tangerine Roads. The traveling public and residents can expect the following:

  • All traffic signals at the intersection will be temporarily transitioned to a 4-way, flashing red stop.
  • East and westbound right turn lanes on Tangerine will be temporarily closed. Right turns will still be permitted.
  • Marana Police will be onsite to help direct traffic. 
  • Expect slight delays.

W. Cortaro Farms Rd. and N. Hartman Ln. Manhole Foundation Rehabilitation

Alpha Underground Construction will be repairing manhole foundations on Tuesday, April 24, 2017 and ending on May 5, 2017.  Rehabilitation will begin at 9:00 am and be completed by 3:00 pm, weather permitting.  Traffic will be down to one lane to direct traffic.

Directional signs and traffic control devices will be set up to guide vehicles around the work.

For your safety and that of the contractor’s personnel, please comply with all traffic control devices, flagging personnel, and/or detour signs. Travel time through the project area may increase during construction so please adjust your schedule accordingly. Construction may restrict traffic lanes and create congestion. Taking alternate routes is suggested.

If inclement weather or other events cause delays, the work may be rescheduled without further notice. 

Stay up-to-date on Town of Marana news, projects, and events. Visit MaranaAZ.gov, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Manager Message: Marana Celebrates 40 Years Since Incorporation at Annual State of the Town Address

This Manager Message was originally published in the April 26, 2017 edition of the Marana News

Every year, the Town of Marana and the Chamber of Commerce host a State of the Town luncheon to share with the community all that’s happening in Marana. On Friday, April 14, we gathered once again to reflect not only on the activities of the past year, but also on the Town’s accomplishments over the past forty years. In 1977, a small group of neighbors took the bold step of incorporating themselves into their own town, and all around us we can see the incredible results of that decision.

In reflecting on what has allowed Marana to succeed, we start with our values of dedicated service, respect, teamwork, and engaged innovation. Our core mission at the Town is to serve our residents. Whether we’re filling a pothole or coming up with a program to assist neighbors organizing community clean-up efforts, our single-minded focus is on figuring out how best to help our residents.

To deliver that level of service, we strongly believe that we need to foster a culture of respect. For example, we’re currently planning next year’s budget. This process requires constant compromise as we determine how to provide a wide array of community services while adhering to the highest standards of fiscal responsibility. It isn’t always easy to make these trade-offs, but our culture of respect allows us collaborate for the benefit of all Marana residents.

Teamwork is our third core value here at the Town. Nearly every initiative we embark on requires many people to work together, to pull in the same direction. Take our Star Spangled Spectacular, for example. This event requires huge contributions from our Parks and Recreation staff, police officers, public works employees, and many more. With everyone pitching in, this event has been a huge success, year after year.

Finally, when you mix respect and teamwork, you get our fourth core value: engaged innovation. Only when colleagues trust each other do they feel comfortable that they can suggest new, and often unexpected, ideas. These ideas can lead to creative solutions for challenging issues. A great example is the Project Ina app, which is helping businesses along Ina Road during construction. By linking our Technology Services team with our Development Services Center, we were able to create an innovative tool that is increasing exposure for businesses throughout a long period of roadwork. Download the Project Ina app today on your smartphone and stay connected with Marana businesses and construction updates.

Altogether, our core values help the Town connect the community in meaningful ways. We have literal connections across Marana, including the Shared-Use Path that winds through Continental Ranch, as well as the network of trails in Dove Mountain. We also have abstract connections, like the Marana Citizens’ Forums, which brings together representatives from all walks of life to tackle complex issues. Last year, the Citizens’ Forum made a series of recommendations for Marana’s Development Services Center, which has made major updates as a result of these suggestions.

Community connections, in turn, help shape Marana’s sense of place. We want residents to feel a strong pride in Marana, that living here isn’t like living anywhere else. One way we do that is through our approach to traffic enforcement. The Marana Police Department believes strongly in vigilantly patrolling our streets to ensure safe driving. Every year, Marana police officers make more and more traffic stops, but at the same time, they write fewer and fewer citations. We believe that when officers engage with residents, when they have a conversation about why it’s important to come to a complete stop or drive within the speed limit, that’s often more effective than imposing a hefty fine. Most important, since we’ve adopted this philosophy, we’ve seen the number of traffic collisions decline, year after year.

Finally, we strongly believe that it is essential for us always to think far into the future. How will Marana grow twenty years from now? How are we preparing for that growth? One major effort we’re currently working on is construction of an updated wastewater treatment plant and recharge basin. This project will allow the Town to replenish the aquifer beneath our feet, a process that earns us water credits. These water credits in turn allow us to receive more water, which then allows for more growth. Though the new treatment plant and recharge basin require a significant financial investment, they represent the critical infrastructure that Marana needs to foster healthy growth and a strong local economy.

By reporting annually on Marana’s State of the Town, we aim to engage our residents to provide valuable information on where we are and where we’re going. If you want to stay up-to-date with all that’s going on in Marana, we encourage you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and visit the Town’s website at www.MaranaAz.gov.  And please, use any of these platforms to provide your own input on how we can continue to make this community great now and for many years into the future.

Watch the complete State of the Town Address

Marana Water News: 47th Annual Earth Day

April 22 marked the 47th annual celebration of Earth Day. Founded by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Earth Day is intended to bring awareness to things we can do to preserve our environment. Some say that this movement in 1970 was a spark for the creation of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Now, it is celebrated all over the world. Click through the gallery below for some photos taken from the International Space Station showing the beauty of our planet including our own Arizona wonder, the Grand Canyon.

This year there was a focus on environmental and climate literacy and the importance of science in keeping our planet healthy. At Marana Water, we depend on science to keep our utility running smoothly. Each day we use engineering, chemistry, geology, hydrology, and many other scientific disciplines to ensure that our system is running smoothly and efficiently.

Earth Day is a reminder of the things we can be doing all year long to protect our environment. Reducing water use, carpooling, recycling, and planting trees will all help increase the sustainability of our community and planet. Think Globally, Act Locally has been taken on as a way to remember that the things we do in our backyards can have an effect on the world around us. Our team at Marana Water is working hard to ensure we have sustainable water infrastructure, but also the proper water resources necessary for our growing community. Click on the button below to tell us how you celebrated Earth Day!

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Marana Soliciting Vendors for 2017 Star Spangled Spectacular

On July 4, Marana will host its annual Independence Day celebration, the Star Spangled Spectacular, at Crossroads at Silverbell District Park. Last year, this event attracted over 15,000 people to enjoy live entertainment, play field games, hang out in the beer garden, and, of course, watch the eye-popping firework show.

If you would like to be a vendor at this year's event, let us know today! We are looking for vendors of all stripes. Whether you sell gourmet hot dogs, refreshing ice cream, or street tacos, we'd love to have you. Craft vendors, non-profits, local businesses, and other non-food vendors are also invited to submit an application.

Sign up soon, though, because space is limited. 

Tangerine Roadwork Update, April 21, 2017

Beginning Wednesday, April 26 through Thursday, April 27, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, Tangerine Corridor Constructors will install water infrastructure on Tangerine Road at Shannon Road. Residents and the traveling public can expect the following:

  • Flaggers will be onsite to direct alternating, one-way traffic along Tangerine Road at Shannon Road
  • Access will be maintained at Shannon Road
  • Expect delays

#ProjectIna: Santa Cruz Bridge Construction Underway

While crews work to construct a new overpass at Ina Road over I-10, a concurrent major project is also occurring just a little to the west. The reconstruction of the Santa Cruz Bridge, also managed by the Arizona Department of Transportation, coincides with the Ina Road overpass project so as to minimize long-term traffic disruptions. So what's happening in and above the Santa Cruz? ADOT photographers are excited to give you a peak behind the scenes.

Managing water flow throughout the project is a chief concern at this site.

Heavy machinery and equipment, like this, show why access to the Santa Cruz Shared-Use Path is restricted throughout the project.

Help keep this site safe for everyone by always driving within the speed limit and following the directions of all construction personnel. 

Want to see more photos of the site? Check out ADOT's multimedia page for images and videos of a variety of activities throughout this project.

Marana Adopts New Economic Development Strategic Plan

In Marana, economic development is always a top priority for Town officials. As part of this effort, on March 7, the Marana Town Council adopted “Honoring our Heritage. Heralding the Future.” This new economic development strategic plan provides a long-term vision for how the Town will continue to grow and nourish Marana’s local economy.

Chief among the strategic plan’s recommendations for growth in Marana is a targeted focus on four key industries: information technology; advanced business services; manufacturing; and transportation, logistics, and distribution. These four sectors represent areas in which Marana is well positioned for strong growth.

In order to achieve this vision, the plan recommends nine specific ways that Town officials can maximize economic development opportunities. Working together, these nine strategies will help the Town develop and maintain a diverse economic development portfolio.

In order to develop this plan, Marana worked closely with IO. Inc., a national firm well-versed in economic development strategy. The Town received a grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation to support this effort. To write the plan, IO. Inc. conducted more than 150 meetings and interviews with key stakeholders, such as Town staff, local business owners, and industry experts, including Applied Economics, a highly regarded economics research firm. The vision that emerged from this research reflects the combined knowledge and experience of these participants.

This plan now offers the Town an improvement over its previous long-term vision, the Economic Development Roadmap. While this tool provided Marana with an important resource, the new strategic plan affords the Town a much more detailed overview of how to support the local economy.

“Marana’s new economic development strategic plan is a valuable resource for us as we work to attract new industry to our community while also maintaining the thriving business environment we already have,” says Economic Development Director Curt Woody.

In addition to this document, the Town has already launched a number of initiatives which aim to support local business. With its busy airport, high quality resort, and beautiful landscapes, Marana is a popular tourist destination, and so Discover Marana, the Town’s destination marketing organization, is aimed at marketing the community to potential visitors.

Finally, the Town has benefitted considerably from the Marana Job Creation Incentive Program. This policy encourages businesses to enter or expand in this community by reimbursing construction sales tax dollars paid on new construction on that property. For qualifying businesses, the Town will rebate those tax dollars to cover expenses in qualifying categories, including a sixth category recently added by the Marana Council, which allows businesses to use the rebate to pay for public infrastructure costs. To learn more about the MJCIP, visit the program website at http://www.maranaaz.gov/incentives. Businesses that have used this program include Sargent Aerospace and Defense, International Towers, Inc., and Northwest Medical Center.

Achieving and sustaining a thriving local economy is key to Marana’s long-term ambitions. The population of this Town has grown considerably over the past decade, and Town officials anticipate this growth to continue for many years to come. A strong economy is key to supporting that population. Marana’s new economic development strategic plan now provides an actionable guide that will allow the Town to build on the success it already enjoys. 

Marana Water News: A Little Background on Billing

Marana Water billed 7,042 water customers and 2,778 sewer customers in March. These customers are broken down into two billing cycles each with a unique billing period and due date. This week, we highlight all the steps it takes to create these monthly bills, and point out some key dates as a reminder for our customers.

Our systems are organized into two periods, Cycle 1 and Cycle 2, for tracking and billing purposes. The Palo Verde, Saguaro Bloom, Airline/Lambert, and Continental Reserve neighborhoods make up Cycle 1. These customers have a billing period from the first of the month through the last business day of the month. Their due date is the 19th of every month. Our second billing cycle, Cycle 2, includes all of the northern parts of Marana, the Twin Peaks and I-10 area, and the Hartman/Cortaro neighborhoods. With a due date of the 8th of every month, these customers billing cycle is the 20th of one month through the 20th of the following month, or as close as possible. Please refer to the graphic to the right for a reminder of when bills are due. We strive to have our billing periods be as consistent as possible at 30 days. Sometimes due to weekends and holidays the periods can be a little longer or shorter.

There are many steps involved in the billing procedures, all of which are done by our Water Billing Specialists--the same staff that answer customer questions take payments, and process new services. These are some of the hardest working employees in the department. Beginning the day prior to our meter reading, we process all the accounts that have closed in the previous month. This generates the final bills and any refund credits due to our customers. It is vital we get forwarding address information so we can be sure to get any deposit refunds back to our customers.

Our customer service field operator will read the water meters for each billing cycle. Cycle 1 is about 2,500 meters while Cycle 2 is 4,500 customers. Once the reads are all collected there are several reviews done to ensure quality and consistency in the reads. At this point, we identify our customers who have used more than 10,000 gallons than the previous month to call for a potential leak notification. We review usage patterns, any missing reads, or reads that are very unusual. Once all these have been checked, we will create the charges, call all the high use customers, and send the bills out for mailing. We typically are able to complete the entire process in one and a half working days. Our professional staff of billing specialists are here in the office to review any questions our customers have with their bills.

We hope this week’s story will shed some light on how the billing process works and allow our customers some lead time to prepare for billing payment each month. Please call our office with any questions about the statement, charges or water use.

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State of the Town 2017: Celebrating 40 Years

On Friday afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain the Town of Marana celebrated forty years of incorporation at the annual State of the Town. This event, hosted by the Marana Chamber of Commerce, brings together stakeholders from across the community to share in the accomplishments of Marana.

Below, enjoy a video of the State of the Town address, as well as a link to a written text of the speech.

Tangerine Roadwork Update, April 12-13

Beginning Wednesday, April 12, through Monday April 17 at 4:00 p.m. Tangerine Corridor Constructors will be installing water infrastructure at the Tangerine Road and Thornydale Road intersection. Residents and the traveling public can expect the following:

  • No right turns will be permitted from southbound Thornydale Road to westbound Tangerine Road
  • Westbound traffic will be restricted to one lane. There will not be dedicated turn lanes in this area
  • Traffic control will be in place 24 hours a day
  • Expect delays

On Thursday, April 13 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tangerine Corridor Constructors will place a sealant on Camino De Oeste from Rain Cloud Street to Moore Road. Residents and the traveling public can expect the following:

  • Flaggers and pilot cars will be onsite to direct alternating, one-way traffic on Camino De Oeste
  • Left turns will not be permitted from Rain Cloud Street onto Camino de Oeste  
  • Speed limits will be reduced to 25 mph in the work zone
  • Expect delays

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please call (520) 623-3073 or by email at info@tangerineroad.info. We look forward to working with you throughout the project, and encourage any feedback to ensure the Project Team can deliver a beneficial project for the whole community. 

For more information on this project, please visit www.tangerineroad.info. For more detailed schedule information please click here.

Please be aware of bicyclists and pedestrians in the area and ensure that dogs, horses and other animals are not in the construction zone to ensure the safety of all.

Marana Water News: Taking Care of Business

Several years ago, Marana Water implemented an internal business plan. This plan is intended to be a guiding document for our five divisions to plan appropriately for the future. The Town’s Strategic Plan provides the high level direction, and our plan gives us the detail we need to be successful.

The purpose of the plan is to give Marana Water a snapshot of our current activities, while providing internal staff with the opportunity to detail the future of the functional work areas.  The overarching goals of the plan are to incorporate our divisions into one master document while outlining where we are currently, and where we desire to go as a department.

The plan is broken up into the five divisions; water, water reclamation, engineering, water resources, and business services. Each has their own set of duties and will have unique needs in the plan’s five year window. These needs can be related to construction projects, equipment purchase, or new position requests. Putting it all together in one place gives us the advantage of seeing our department as a whole and where to apply resources that will provide the most benefit.

Some of the items outlined in the plan include ways to prevent emergency repairs through managed maintenance plans. Our goal is to have a robust preventive maintenance program, which will allow us to focus on operating and improving our water system.

This long-range planning will result in lower annual costs and a more efficient operations and maintenance program. A successful asset management program is also included in the plan. When this program is fully implemented it will give us the ability to predict where to focus resources based on use and lifespan of the equipment or service area. We will also be able to forecast expenditures year over year a little better as well.

On the water reclamation side, we have identified the need for an infiltration and inflow study. This study would help manage the sewer collection system during wet weather, which contributes excess flows into the system. This study would help prepare the water reclamation team to reduce these infiltration and inflow instances through system rehabilitation and focusing resources where necessary. We also identified the need to manage the Rillito Vista Lagoon systems, which will be accomplished with the new sewer transmission line currently under construction.

Our business services division works diligently to provide timely and effective customer service. With the implementation of online bill payment almost two years ago, our customers now have a variety of options for how best to pay their bill on their schedule. We are constantly growing and finding methods to sustain the high level of service our customers have come to expect is one of the corner stones of this portion of the plan. Staffing of this division is always up for discussion on how best to manage our online presence with the in-person experience. By thoughtfully organizing this plan, we are able to determine the best course of action.

The Marana Water Business Plan is currently in an internal update. While the plan covers a five year period, we are constantly reviewing and modifying the plan based on current conditions. Our dedicated staff are working to provide efficiencies where they are available, and the cohesiveness of this plan helps us do just that. Reliability, redundancy, and resiliency are the basis for our operations, and this plan helps keep us on track.

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Cortaro Bridge on Cortaro Rd at the Santa Cruz River

The Cortaro Bridge on Cortaro Road at the Santa Cruz River is part of the Town of Marana Bridge Painting Project.  Painting of the bridge will began Monday, April 10 through Friday, May 5, 2017.  Work will be done on east- and west-bound outside lanes, and one sidewalk will be closed at a time. This work should not affect travel lanes.

If inclement weather or other events cause delays, the work may be rescheduled without further notice.

For more information, please contact Town of Marana Public Works Office at (520) 382-2505.

Stay up-to-date on Town of Marana news, projects, and events. Visit MaranaAZ.gov, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Marana Water News: Major Water Projects in 2017

The year 2017 is looking to be full of activity for Marana Water. In recognition of all our great customers, and our new ones that are coming every day, we are excited to share with you a few of the tremendous investments and actions in which your water department is engaged.

As we continue to develop from a small community of several distinct water systems and into a large municipal water and wastewater provider, it will be all about the infrastructure. In order to accomplish this, we have a number of ongoing projects. 

The San Lucas interconnect is the replacement of an aged 6-inch pipeline that is currently under I-10 between the San Lucas, Marana Estates, and Adonis neighborhoods and the rest of the water system on the westside of I-10. We are replacing this water main with a 16-inch pipeline.  That increases the carrying capacity by seven times! Once completed, the north Marana system and the San Lucas area water systems will be able to efficiently move water back and forth as one integrated system. This helps ensure reliability and redundancy for all our customers in the area.

Similar reliability and redundancy projects are also occurring in the southern Marana Water systems.  If you drive north on Twin Peaks road, near Blue Bonnet road, a brand new, one-million-gallon steel reservoir will be rising. Most of this reservoir is being funded and constructed by Vintage Partners, the developer of the Marana Center mall complex as part of their development agreement. The other portion will be funded by the water department.  This reservoir will provide not only the mall area, but all customers in the area with much needed gravity storage to keep pressure in the water system during times of power loss. In addition, this reservoir will move the department ‘further up the hill’ towards the Dove Mountain area. There are great projects scheduled for construction along Twin Peaks Road and this reservoir will allow the water to be there.

The largest project that the department is engaged in this year is the expansion of the Marana Water Reclamation Facility near Luckett Road. The current wastewater plant that was acquired with the settlement with Pima County is nearing its capacity.  The new facility under construction will be able to treat and purify up to 1.5 million gallons of wastewater per day.  Our current rate is around 400,000 gallons per day. In conjunction with this facility upgrade is the development of the Marana Water Groundwater Recharge Facility. This facility is necessary for all water customers because it will take the purified wastewater from the treatment plant next door and allow the clean water to infiltrate back into the aquifer for much needed water resource credits. The recharge facility is designed to eventually be a multi-purpose recreational area operated jointly with the Parks and Recreation Department. The town is planning to make this feature open to the public for wildlife viewing and passive enjoyment with walking paths and scenic viewing areas of the surrounding lands.

These are only a few of the ongoing projects that we have this year. Behind all of these projects is a dedicated staff who are committed to providing excellent service across the community. The projects and decisions we are making today are in support of our total water and water reclamation plans for the future. Our objective in all our efforts is to integrate Marana Water’s activities to provide the best possible customer experience for Marana residents. Supporting the needs of customers today and tomorrow is always in our mission.

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Marana Splash Pad Opens this Saturday with Live Alligators!

April Fool’s!  Okay, there won’t actually be live alligators, but there will be lots of refreshing fun in the sun at the Marana Splash Pad. Pack your swimsuit and your rubber ducky, because it’s time to splish splash in Marana.

Two years ago, Marana opened the heritage-themed Splash Pad at Gladden Farms Community Park. Beneath the expansive shadows cast by two large shade sails, kids can frolic through gushing, alligator-free streams of refreshing water all summer long. Colorful tractors, a soaring windmill, and a menagerie of farm animals are sure to delight the young and young-at-heart who visit this joyful oasis.

Visitors to the Marana Splash Pad are encouraged to plan for a fun and safe outing. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, drinking water, and waterproof shoes. While the splash pad itself offers a soft, squishy pavement that’s cooled by the flowing waters, the surrounding cement can become quite hot under the summer sun. This is also a great opportunity to break out one of your favorite sun hats as both extra sun protection and a stylish accent to your swimwear. And of course, don’t forget to pack your alligator repellant.






US Flight Expo to be held at Marana Regional Airport

The US Flight Expo, held at Marana Regional Airport, is a first of its kind fly-in expo and tradeshow in the Southwest United States. Held May 3-6, 2017, the Expo will feature an indoor and outdoor tradeshow venue for venders to showcase and sell aviation and avionics equipment and services. Featuring fly-bys, seminars, contests, static displays and educational opportunities, the US Flight Expo offers something for everyone who has an eye for flight.

While Marana is excited to have this event at our airport, this is not an official Town event. For all inquiries related to this event, please visit www.usflightexpo.com

Images of Future Ina Road Overpass Depict Modern Interchange

In the midst of extensive construction, it's hard to imagine that someday, the dust will settle at Ina Road. However, this project has a bright future ahead. In the meantime, it can be encouraging to check out artistic renderings of what this project will eventually look like.

Artistic Renderings Courtesy of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The Ina Road overpass will carry traffic above both I-10 and the railroad tracks, eliminating long wait times due to passing trains.

A wide sidewalk will allow pedestrians to easily cross from one side of I-10 to the other.

The new construction will include artistic elements that evoke the themes of Southwestern art and architecture.

Marana Water News: World Water Day

Each year World Water Day is about bringing attention to water issues around the world. There are close to 1.8 billion people that are drinking water that has been contaminated with water borne pathogens including cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Beginning in 1993, the United Nations declared March 22 as World Water Day as a way to inspire people to start talking about water and take action to help make a different for those areas without access to clean drinking water or proper sanitation services. A few weeks ago, we did a story on some of the non-profit organizations that are working to address this exact issue. Check out that story here.

Each year there is a theme around the date, and this year’s theme is wastewater including ways to recycle and reuse this water. Here is a quick video showing some of the ways that water can be reused. There has been a lot of focus on the treatment and reuse of wastewater since water is such a precious resource and demand will only rise as we continue to grow. Our Water Director, John Kmiec, serves as the Vice President of the Arizona chapter of the WateReuse Association

They are focusing on ways to treat wastewater in an effective manner to be able to recycle it back into our water systems. There are some places that are already using recycled wastewater to water golf courses and parks, and to cool buildings. Currently, in Arizona, you are unable to have treated wastewater returned directly to the drinking water system.

There are several options for meeting a water demand issue including recycled water. The Arizona team explored how California has been working to achieve great results from these types of projects. The gallery below has several photos showing the projects and sites the team visited. They are learning how best to build infrastructure, manage the sites, and which treatment processes to use from those that have been leading the field.

On this World Water Day let’s try and focus on the global and local issues related to water. Access to clean water for billions is going to take a large effort, and there are organizations working hard to make that happen, but here at Marana Water we focus on providing a sustainable, reliable and safe drinking water system. For more information about World Water Day, click here. http://www.un.org/en/events/waterday/index.shtml

Police Activity at Texas Roadhouse in Marana

When a waiter with handcuffs and a badge delivers your Cactus Blossom on Wednesday, April 5, don’t worry.  You’re not about to be arrested, and this isn’t some elaborate April Fools’ prank.  This is the annual Tip-a-Cop event, in which Marana police officers work side by side with the wait staff at Texas Roadhouse.  From 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., diners at the Texas Roadhouse in Marana, located at 8450 N. Cracker Barrel Rd, can enjoy watching Marana’s finest take drink orders and serve up tasty dishes.  As always, be sure to designate a sober driver.  The police will be out in force at this location.

Marana PD Sergeant Will Hess is organizing this year’s event, and he couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to engage with the public.  “This is a great chance for the public to interact with local law enforcement officers,” says Sgt. Hess. “At the restaurant, patrons can meet officers in a setting of their own choosing.  This environment is conducive to forming strong relationships with the community.”

In addition to facilitating community connections, this evening will also benefit Southern Arizona participants in the Special Olympics.  The proceeds from this event will provide Special Olympians with “the opportunity to participate in activities that we often taken for granted,” says Hess.  “Special Olympians will bowl, run, and swim, but more importantly, they learn teamwork, trust, and perseverance.” 

Many of Marana’s Special Olympians are able to participate through a program at Marana High School.  The 2017 State Summer Games will take place in Glendale, and the athletes from this program will travel up to this region for the festivities.  The dollars raised from the Tip-a-Cop event will help cover their expenses.  Prior to the State Summer Games, law enforcement officers from across the state, including some from Marana, will accompany Special Olympics athletes as they complete the Torch Run that opens the annual games. 

“This event demonstrates so much about the Marana Police Department and our community as a whole,” concludes Hess. “We all love supporting these kids, and we also love letting the community see another side of us.  This event lets us do all that, and we always have a great time.”

Sergeant Hess, Chief Terry Rozema, and everyone in the Marana Police Department hope you will join them for this fun-filled evening.  And of course, don’t forget to leave a generous tip.