We are officially two months into the new fiscal year and we are excited about what’s to come. Just as last year provided the Town with a number of milestones and accomplishments, fiscal year 2019 is already promising to be a great one for exciting projects in our community. By the end of this fiscal year, we can enjoy improved transportation corridors, expanded infrastructure developments, and new public facilities.
We are nearing completion on several new park projects over the next few months, including the opening of two new parks and a water feature. Tangerine Sky Park opened this month, and hot on its heels will be the splash pad at Crossroads at Silverbell District Park. Honea Heights pocket park will also open later this fall.
Our police officers will be moving into a new building very soon. The new police facility is within a couple of months of completion, and is the result of months of public education and outreach, a community-supported half-cent sales tax increase, and years of research, planning and development. The designs include improved amenities to accommodate the police department’s various services, as well as the capacity to manage Marana’s anticipated population growth, and the commensurate police department growth, over the next 20 years.
The expansion of the wastewater facility is complete and has allowed us to triple the capacity at the water reclamation facility from what it was when Marana took over the sewer business. This further allows the Town to control our developmental destiny in North Marana. One of the other reasons Marana Town Council decided to enter the sewer business was to enhance Marana’s water portfolio. The recharge facility, when finished, will take in 100 percent of the effluent from the new sewer plant. The grand opening for the new wastewater facility is scheduled for the fall.
Tangerine Road is nearing completion. For the last several years, construction crews have worked to steadily widen and flatten Tangerine Road to create a seamless corridor from Oracle Road to Interstate 10. With these extensive improvements, drivers on this essential artery can enjoy a safer, smoother and more accessible roadway.
As we mark these milestones with celebrations and grand openings, we continue to prepare for the future with our infrastructure projects. This fiscal year, Marana Regional Airport begins a major asphalt repair project that will enhance a facility that was already narrowing the gap between revenues and operating expenditures. That narrowing of the gap will continue with the signing of new leases at current market rates. This is the first chance the town has had to renegotiate the leases since becoming the owner of the airport, and we are dedicated to promoting the airport’s vitality and future growth.
Last year we began the transformation of North Marana, including the realignment of Marana Road. Soon we will cap off that project with a landscaping element on the roundabout that will make it an attractive gateway to North Marana as well as Downtown.
All of these projects are intended to secure the future of the community, as Marana continues to be well-positioned to attract new residential development. Last fiscal year we made a goal of 625 single family residences, and eclipsed that by nearly 200 more residential homes. We expect to continue the trend of being a destination for new homeowners and development. With the new homes will come new businesses. Last year we saw Top Golf lead the way for new businesses calling Marana home, and we expect to see more employers.
Marana is ideally suited for growth in the Tucson Metropolitan region. This year we will embark on a sewer conveyance study that will identify new growth areas. We will also initiate a drainage study covering North Marana that will provide us with options to not only make it safer during the monsoon season but will help us identify ways to get some acreage out of the floodplain.
The last fiscal year was a great one for our Town, and we have the same optimism and excitement for 2019 moving forward.
Jamsheed Mehta is the town manager of Marana.