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Cotton Festival Blog #6: Busy Weekend in Marana

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Every month the Town of Marana provides a column from one of our Town Staffers to the Marana News and Explorer News. This month Special Events Coordinator Monique Hagberg wrote about the Cotton Festival she is working to put on, as well as Parks and Rec's Wild Burron Trail Dirt Dash.

This weekend will be a busy one in Marana, with two different events that both touch on some of the very things that make the town so special. The Cotton Festival celebrates Marana’s history, and the Wild Burro Dirt Dash is a great way to explore our great trails. 

The Marana Cotton Festival celebrates the Town’s agrarian and rodeo heritage by providing a day of fun for the whole family. The event will be held at the Marana River Heritage Park from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 15, and is free to the public.

We want our signature events to appeal to the whole family, so we have made sure there is plenty to do for everyone. For the kids there is the giant cotton pile, free carnival rides, petting zoos, mutton busting and plenty of games. 

Best of all, most of the kids events (save for the mutton busting) are free. Our events are designed to be a fun, inexpensive night out for the families in Marana. 

For the grown-ups there are two beer gardens, the Chili Bowl chili cook-off and the steak fry. 

The whole family will enjoy the rodeo activities and all of the great food vendors. Music will be provided by the Marana Community Theater: Community Choir and “Nu Country” band Blue Monsoon. 

The emcee for the event is KIIM 99.5 DJ Buzz Jackson. Not only does he represent KIIM-FM, but Jackson is a resident of Marana and has enjoyed our signature events in the past.

The town’s parks and recreation department loves trying out new events, and one of the newest is the Wild Burro Dirt Dash on Sunday, Oct. 22. The sport of trail running is gaining popularity, and we are hosting our first trail running race. Not only does the event celebrate the town’s commitment to health and fitness, but it provides a unique way for us to show off our great trails and the beautiful Tortolita Mountains. 

Trail running is not unlike cross country, but cranked up a notch. The dirt dash is a grueling 18.1K on a one-of-a-kind single-track course. If you can handle it, this race will force you through massive elevation gains, extreme downhills and many technical sections. 

This is not for the inexperienced runner, as endurance levels are guaranteed to be pushed while immersing you in beautiful desert views that are sure not to disappoint. 

Whether you are an experienced runner or hiker, or have partaken in trail running, this is a great way to experience Marana’s Tortolita Trail system like never before.

Just like Marana’s road races, there is electronic timing, a race bib and finish line snacks, but new to this event is a custom participation metal featuring our Wild Burro mascot.

Space is limited as this event is exclusively for the first 250 registered participants. 

Marana has so many things to offer our families, and these two events are fantastic showcases for some of the best aspects of our town. Whether you want to celebrate history, hear some great music, eat some great food, or just watch the kids have fun, then the Cotton Festival is for you. If you want some great exercise, some great views, or to push yourself as an athlete, then the Dirt Dash is the event you are looking for. 

Marana participating in warrant resolution court

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On Saturday August 26, 2017 between 8:00am -12:00pm, all Tucson area courts will be available at 240 N. Stone Avenue to assist people with the resolution of outstanding warrants and other pending court matters. Many people do not know which court their case is pending in and often end up going to the wrong court. To assist with this problem, Judges from all Tucson area courts will come together at the same location to provide assistance to those with pending court matters.

Judges and staff from the following courts will participate in the Joint Warrant Resolution Court Event:

  • Pima County Justice Court
  • Green Valley Justice Court
  • Marana Municipal Court
  • Oro Valley Magistrate Court
  • Sahaurita Municipal Court
  •  South Tucson City Court
  • Tucson City Court

Many of the outstanding warrants issued by these courts are for failure to appear in court on prior charges or for non-compliance with court sentencing orders.  Outstanding warrants may result in the suspension of a person’s driver’s license. The Joint Saturday Warrant Resolution Court Event will provide an opportunity to citizens to take care of pending court matters during nontraditional court hours.

Customer service windows will be available to assist those who owe court fees and fines.  Assistance for setting up payment plans or re-establishing a payment plan already in place will also be available. 

In past Warrant Resolution Court Events, the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court has quashed over 1,000 warrants and lifted defaults on more than 650 driver’s licenses.

 

 

Low-cost spay and neuter clinic

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Town of Marana Animal Services is held their first low cost spay and neuter clinic on Saturday, August 26, 2017.

The cost of the procedure is just a $15 co-pay, due at the time of services.

There are just 45 total slots available, so don’t miss out on this opportunity. Those interested must complete and turn in a pre-authorization form to us before Friday at 5:00, or until all spaces are filled.

The clinic is being held at the Marana Community Center at Ora Mae Harn Park, 13250 N. Lon Adams Road.

For more information or pre-authorization call 382-8020 ext. 0.

The clinic is provided by Marana Animal Services in partnership with Asavet Charities.

Youth Flag Football early registration underway

Whether your child wants to someday play tackle football, or just wants to get out and have some fun in the sun, Flag Football is a great way to do both.

Flag Football registration is currently underway. Marana Parks and Rec are already registering players for the upcoming youth flag football league. Although the leagues begin play in January, spaces are limited and this program fill fast. Plus, there is a price break for those who register early.

This is a 7-week recreational, but fast paced 5-on-5 recreational flag football league for boys and girls from as young as five to as old as 12. At the conclusion of the regular season is a single elimination tournament to crown champion teams.

The league provides players a fun and exciting opportunity to engage in limited contact, continuous action, and to promote teamwork and fair play. Players learn the fundamentals of football, as well as the rules of the game, and positive sportsmanship.

All players must participate in an open try-out in late October to evaluate their ability levels and help create balanced teams.

Leagues are created in two-year age blocks based upon the players’ ages as of August 31, 2017. The Rookie Division is for players ages 5-6, while 7-8 year olds will participate in the Semi Pro Division. The Pro Division is for 9-10 year olds and players ages 11-12 will compete in the All-Pro Division.

Register early to save for this program. Early registration fees are $70.00 for residents and $87.50 for non-residents. After October 6, the prices rise to $87.50/$95.00. Last minute registration begins on Oct. 13 and is $91.88 for residents and $109.33 for non-residents.

Want to prepare for try-outs or just improve as a player? We are offering a pre-season clinic during Fall Break to get players ready for the season.

Preseason Clinic info: https://apm.activecommunities.com/marana/Activity_Search/5595

The league is looking for volunteer coaches. This league is powered with the help of volunteer coaches and it can be a rewarding and fun experience. If interested being a coach this season, please contact Matt Christman at (520) 382-1963.

KVOA: MPD dispatch upgrades could lead to Text-to-911

KVOA profiled the Marana Police Department's upgraded dispatch system may lead to more advances.

Marana is the latest Pima County jurisdiction to upgrade its dispatch system, which sets the stage for future hardware additions including a Text-to-911 system.

"Obviously there's a segment of our community that would benefit greatly from having a text to 911 capability, namely the deaf and hard of hearing,” said Sheila Blevins, communications supervisor with the Marana Police Department.

Text-to-911 is limited to consumers across the country. Lake Havasu City is the only community in Arizona currently using the system.

Marana employee wins "Plans Examiner of the Year" honor

The Town of Marana’s Senior Plans Examiner Paul Froehlke was awarded the Arizona Building Officials (AZBO) Don Cunningham Award as the Arizona Plan Reviewer of the Year.

Froehlke received the award at the AZBO’s 24th Annual Business Meeting Dinner and Awards Ceremony in Pinetop.

The award is for “Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Building Plan Review” and rewards the winner for his or her helpfulness to the public and fellow inspectors and for personal professional development.

Froehlke was nominated for a number of reasons, including his ability to manage multiple large commercial project plan reviews along with residential plan reviews. Marana has led Southern Arizona in the number of single-family residential permits issued. Over the past year Froehlke has reviewed nearly 500 permit applications, often times working late and on weekends to make the demanding deadlines.

He was recognized by his co-workers for his dedication to the improvement of public safety and his willingness to lead staff while the department going through a leadership change. He has also served a stretch of time where he was the only qualified plans examiner to complete the reviews for the town. 

Froehlke has been employed by the town as a Plan Reviewer for over 17 years.

The Arizona Building Officials Organization is the Southwest's leading source for Building Code Education and information for the built environment. It is the mission of the Arizona Building Officials to represent the interests of the four Arizona ICC Chapters, promote professionalism and educate the public through the development, promotion and conduct of our educational institutes.

Ina Road Update

ADOT has provided a quick update on the Ina Road Interchange Project, including portions of the project that have been completed and what will be worked on next.

Recently completed:

·         Installed 42-inch storm drains along the eastbound frontage road

·         Continuing to pave the eastbound lanes of I-10

·         Moving closer to pouring the bridge deck on the new Santa Cruz River bridge. Deck pouring is scheduled for mid-August.

·         Continuing foundation work for the bridge that will carry Ina over the railroad tracks and the eastbound lanes of I-10.

Coming soon:

·         East of I-10 they are preparing to lay storm drains and catch basins along Ina Road

·         West of I-10, they are continuing work to prepare to lay a 66-inch storm drain along Ina Road

·        They continue work on the eastbound frontage road and on the overpass to take Ina over the railroad tracks and I-10.

Tucson Local Media: Fire Districts Consolodate

From an article by Logan Burtch-Buus at Tucson Local Media

Last Monday was the beginning of a busy six months for the men and woman of the Golder Ranch Fire District, which successfully consolidated with the smaller Mountain Vista Fire District.

The move officially took effect when the Mountain Vista governing board unanimously approved the action only hours after its Golder Ranch counterpart did the same. 

The towns of Marana and Oro Valley and the Pima County Board of Supervisors gave support.

Tucson News Now: Marana Police helping teens learn what it takes to wear the badge

Over the weekend the Marana Police Department ran their annual "Night Moves" exercises for students enrolled in their Explorer program. Tucson News Now ran a very in-depth preview of the event, including a sit down interview with Officer Kevin Litten.

From the Tucson News Now story:

The Marana Police Department's Explorer program is for young men and woman between the ages of fourteen and twenty who are interested in law enforcement.  Police Officers provide training to real world scenarios.

From July 20 through the 22 , between 4 pm and 10 pm Marana Explorers, plus explorers from nine other agencies, will participate in the simulated exercises. 

Tucson Local Media: Northwest demonstrating vitality in development

From an article by Deborah Van De Putte in the Explorer/Marana News

Why is there such a draw to the Northwest area, one may ask? 

What does Oro Valley, Marana and the surrounding area have that attracts people when relocating for work, second homes and retirement? Many factors play a role in answering these questions.  

First and foremost, the northwest area provides an opportunity to blend all lifestyles together easily. Municipalities keep up with the needs of the community by continuing to provide recreational parks and facilities for golf, tennis and children’s sports. Fine and casual dining, as well as captivating views of the mountain ranges, alongside hiking and biking trails makes for a big attraction. The roads are maintained and expanded for future growth.

Holiday and special events draw crowds of all ages, and let’s not forget our furry critters and dog park facilities. The needs of the community are heard, with additions and adjustments considered and implemented. Integration of all that allows communities to thrive alongside each other; happy communities attract happy people.

To accommodate happy people, the northwest is being fined tuned as builders continue to see the possibilities and vision for future growth in the area...

Ina Road Update: Planning for Monsoons Keeps Project on Schedule

The Ina Road Interchange Project is running on schedule and things are progressing well. Although a lot of that can be attributed to the hard work of all those involved in the massive undertaking, some smart planning has also helped.

“We are progressing on-schedule,” said Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Public Information Officer Tom Herrman.

ADOT and their contractors have planned for the tricky conditions that come in Southern Arizona during the latter part of July and August. One key component of that planning is scheduling early shifts to accommodate both the intense heat of the day as well as  strong rainfall which typically rolls into the area in the late afternoon and early evening.

The timeframe created for the project also has built in monsoon delays, taking account of the region’s rainy season.

“It is just like how in Minnesota they build in snow delays,” Herman explained.

Herman noted that they are making good progress with the project. Currently most of the work is being done on the west side of the freeway, so for many of those on the eastside there is not as much to see.

The Marana Newsroom will have further updates on Ina Road Interchange Project as they become available. Download the Project Ina app for the latest updates, traffic conditions, and deals from area merchants delivered right to your mobile device.

Marana News: Mountain View grad carves out music career

Caiden Brewer has played a few of the Town's events, including a set at the 4th of July Star Spangled Spectacular. The former Mountain View student was profiled by the Marana News.

From the Marana News story:

While his music is deeply rooted in traditional country music (he cites Waylon Jennings and Charlie Pride as his early favorites), he also adds in other influences including rock.

“I’ve been told that my music is a modern incarnation of southern rock, outlaw country,” Brewer said.

Brewer’s set mixes originals, country songs and countrified rock-songs. At the Star Spangled Spectacular, he played a version of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” Brewer said he grew up listening to bands like ZZ Top and Motley Crue and those influences creep into his performance.

Read the full story at the Marana News

Town, Chamber partnership continues

The Marana Town Council approved the partnership between the town and the Marana Chamber of Commerce for another year.

“We have a strong partnership and many, many successes in working with the Marana Chamber of Commerce over the years,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson.

As part of the agreement the Chamber will run the town’s visitor center at 13881 N Casa Grande Hwy, as well as to provide other services, most notably business retention. 

“The agreement between the town and the chamber makes a lot of sense for both of us,” said Marana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ed Stolmaker. “It is a good partnership, we have a great relationship and I look forward to working with them in 2017 and 2018.” 

The Marana Chamber of Commerce is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year.

Marana Welcome Center open for business

The Town of Marana has introduced their new Welcome Center on the first floor of the Municipal Complex. The Welcome Center is a one-stop shop for most of the public’s needs; getting answers and making payments.

In addition to being the Town’s main reception area, the new Welcome Center is a place where residents can pay their water bills, business licenses and animal licenses in person. Payments for building permits and all development-related fees will now be accepted at the first-floor counter.

Many of these services were on the second floor but have moved downstairs in an effort to improve the customer experience and help make things smoother and easier for Marana residents and businesses.

Summer Schooling 2017, Part 4: Public Works Department Demonstrates Servant Leadership

 
 

I don’t need to tell you it has been a hot week. With temperatures exceeding 110°, my rotations took me outside working alongside the Public Works Department. Public Works consists of about thirty hardworking individuals who are dedicated to maintaining Marana. The majority of tasks this department takes care of are often taken for granted, yet without them, the Town would look more like an anarchic state in contrast to the safe, friendly Town we all love.

The Street Maintenance team is responsible for roads, sidewalks, and most of the landscaping citizens interact with on a daily basis. Located on the Town’s website, the Marana Street Maintenance Map specifies the year the road was built, the year the funding will be available for the next preservation treatment, and the type of treatment required. This is a great tool if you are curious about a specific road within your neighborhood or if you like to see directly where your tax dollars are being spent.

In addition to street maintenance, Public Works operates traffic signals and installs street signs within the Town. These signs and signals are often held to strict specifications which are required due to safety regulations. However, Marana tends to go above and beyond, making sure lights are LED (therefore environmentally friendly), and using high quality signs to increase visibility and safety.

When it comes down to it, the Public Works Department is made up of dedicated civil servants. The majority of citizen requests are filtered to Public Works and consist of anything from potholes and traffic concerns to removal of roadkill. When a request is delivered, the staff prides themselves with replying as soon as possible--in the month of May, the average response time to resolve an issue was only four days. These monthly response times can be found within the Council Executive Report on the Town’s Website.

Last semester I took a few courses about building leadership skills and the Public Works Department is a perfect example of Servant Leadership in action. Servant Leadership stems from an individual who has a genuine passion to serve. These individuals focus on the betterment of others and their community. This form of leadership can be clearly identified within the Public Works department when they are called out in the middle of the night to clean up the debris from a car accident, or when they fill a pothole you may have noticed on your morning commute, but has vanished by the time you are heading home. These individuals are passionate about Marana and dedicate 100% of their effort to maintain our beautiful Town. 

Marana News: Residential housing market roaring back to life on northwest side

Article by Brad Allis

The residential housing market is booming on Tucson’s north side, with Marana and Oro Valley leading the way.

The town of Marana sits at the top of new single-family residential permits. The town issued 85 permits in May. Marana Mayor Ed Honea said that was the highest number in at least three years.

“We’re growing, people,” Honea said during the town’s groundbreaking ceremony for their new police facility. The town’s growth was a major reason they pursued the construction of a new police station.

Southern Arizona Bat Watchers Citizen Scientist Bat Monitoring Network

 

Photo by Doris Evans

 

Were your hummingbird feeders mysteriously drained during the night last summer? Did you know that the midnight raiders were bats? Most of Arizona’s 28 bat species eat insects, but two species drink nectar and eat pollen and fruits from plants such as the saguaro, agave, and your hummingbird feeders. The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with cooperation from the Town of Marana, will be commencing their 2017 nighttime hummingbird feeder and bat monitoring project and they need your help!

Over the past 10 years, citizen scientists have graciously volunteered numerous hours each summer to monitor their hummingbird feeders for signs of visiting bats. They have provided us with valuable information that allows us to better understand the behavior of the federally endangered lesser long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) and the Mexican long-tongued bats (Choeronycteris mexicana), an Arizona species of concern. The lesser long-nosed bats migrate north from Mexico and arrive in southern Arizona as the saguaros begin to bloom. They continue to travel throughout southern Arizona feeding on the blooms of saguaros and agaves, as well as at your hummingbird feeders.

If you enjoy watching wildlife and sitting on your porch during summer evenings, please consider volunteering your time for this worthy cause. Your efforts will allow wildlife and resource managers in Arizona to better understand the ecology of these species. The goals of this project are to understand when these species arrive in southern Arizona, to determine foraging habits and movement patterns, and to document when the migratory species depart Arizona. With your help, we hope to continue receiving valuable information and use it to understand their behavior as well as how to better protect these bats.

If you are interested in participating in the hummingbird feeder monitoring project this year, please visit Marana’s bat study webpage.  The website allows participants to sign up as volunteers and to download information about this year’s monitoring protocol.

We hope to hear from you this season!

LendEDU: Marana ranks as Top 10 Arizona City for Homebuyers

In its most recent report on Arizona, LendEDU has ranked Marana as one of the top cities in Arizona to buy a home. This organization serves as an information portal focusing on student loans and debt. Marana's high ranking on this list reflects the Town's commitment to supporting our thriving local economy, high standard of living, and outstanding public schools

Summer Schooling 2017, Part 3: Supporting Community through Community Development

Marana’s Community Development & Neighborhood Services (CDNS) Department is truly diverse in the sense that they do a bit of everything! Their primary goal is to keep Marana’s neighborhoods safe, clean, and friendly. They accomplish this through a mixture of neighborhood revitalization, community outreach, and citizen education.

In the morning, I accompanied Town Staff on a follow-up visit with a resident who was a recipient of the Houses-to-Homes program. The Town was able to provide the resident with a new water heater and A/C unit just in time for the summer heat. The program assists qualifying citizens with repairs and/or replacement of water heaters, roofing, HVAC, and miscellaneous services such as electrical and plumbing.

The Town’s Code Enforcement Officers spend much of their time as educators of the Town Code. While it is their mission to “keep Marana an attractive place to live, work, and play,” the Code Enforcement Officers are adamant about finding the most effective and helpful solutions for both the Town and the citizens.  

In addition to Code Enforcement, CDNS oversees the Marana Clean-Up Trailer, Neighborhood Mediation Program, and most recently Animal Services. Beginning July 1, the Town will provide all animal services for residents. CDNS (with the help of almost everyone in Town Hall) has been vigorously planning the logistics of offering this new service. I look forward to this endeavor and I’m happy that Marana’s dedication for providing excellent service will now extend to the Town’s four-legged residents. 

Summer Schooling 2017, Part 2: Marana's Most Precious Resource

 
 

Thomas Prior is the 2017 Marvin Andrews Scholar. As part of his scholarship, he will be interning at the Town of Marana through August.

This week I spent some time with the folks responsible for managing the Town’s most precious resource: water. Marana’s Water Department is not only responsible for cleaning the drinking water which flows from the faucets, but they also handle the Town’s wastewater systems.

The Town has a handful of wells and water tanks ranging in size: the largest tank can hold a shocking 1.8 million gallons of water. Town’s Staff works vigilantly to provide proactive maintenance on the water systems. Part of this proactive maintenance includes sending scuba divers into the water tanks for routine inspections and cleaning. With proper care, these vital assets to the Town’s infrastructure will survive for years and years. 

While being pumped from the ground, the water is cleaned with chlorine, making it safe to drink. In contrast to the water treatment process, the reclaimed water is subject to a much more extensive method in order to eliminate any contaminants which may be harmful to the environment.

The amount of effort required to provide safe drinking water and managing the Town’s wastewater system is beyond amazing. The Water Department maintains some of the most important pieces of infrastructure within Marana. Currently a new water tank is being constructed as well as an expansion to the wastewater treatment plant. As the Town’s needs continue to grow, it is exciting to witness Marana planning for the future and investing into the proper infrastructure.