Economic Development

Marana looking for artist for roundabout

Deer statues on Tangerine Road.

Deer statues on Tangerine Road.

The Town of Marana has been awarded grant funding through the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) Transportation Art by Youth (TABY) program to fund a public art project for the Downtown Marana/Marana Main Street Gateway. The Town is soliciting qualifications from artist for the design, construction, and installation of the public art project. The Artist will work with the Town’s representative to develop the design and construction of the art to be installed at the Marana Road roundabout.

 

As the future location of the Town’s planned Downtown Marana and Marana Main Street area, this public art will feature a modern design in a simultaneous effort to acts as a visual centerpiece and gateway to the Town’s Downtown/Main Street area.

 

The intended design should incorporate the following:

  • Be clean and forward-looking in design

  • If possible, refer to aspects of Marana’s heritage and natural environment

  • Be conscious of the surrounding area’s overall vision for downtown Marana

  • Be mindful of sight distances for traffic safety reasons

  • Take advantage of the concentric nature of the roundabout, potentially utilizing a 360 degree view

  • Complement the established materials board used for the landscape architecture piece included in the roundabout – See separate Attachment ‘A’ Landscape Materials Board.

  • Take into consideration Downtown Marana Overlay District guidelines – See separate Attachment ‘B’ Marana Overlay District Guidelines

  • Serve as a welcoming presence, acting as a gateway to Downtown Marana/Main Street.

Upon selection of the qualified artist by the Town, a design concept shall be developed in collaboration with Town Staff representatives, the selected artist, pre-selected local students, the local instructor, and Town of Marana Citizens’ Forum members, or any combination thereof.

The Town anticipates that the timeframe between artist submission of design proposals and award of contract may be lengthy, based upon the schedule of grant disbursement. The PAG TABY grant was awarded and disbursed in February 2019.

The Town anticipates that the timeframe for artist recruitment, concept design, construction, and installation to be as follows: artist recruitment phase - May 2019, design phase – June – July 2019, construction phase – August – September 2019, and the installation phase – September – October 2019. These timeframes are subject to change.

To learn more please read the full CALL FOR ARTISTS/REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (RFQ)

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new senior living facility

Sun Corridor Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Dove Mountain Senior Living.

Sun Corridor Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Dove Mountain Senior Living.

On Tuesday, May 14, Sun Corridor Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Dove Mountain Senior Living facility being constructed in Marana.

The Dove Mountain Senior Living facility will consist of three buildings, totaling approximately 151,000 square feet. The facility will feature 142 total units,  consisting of independent living, assisted living, and memory care.

“This is a great introduction to a renewed and stronger partnership between the Town of Marana and Sun Corridor Inc.,” said Town of Marana Director of Economic Development Curt Woody.

The project has a capital expenditure of $35 million, and will bring  70 new jobs for the Town of Marana, the majority of which are in the healthcare industry. Construction is projected to end in June of 2020, with a tentative grand opening  the following July.

“This project not only creates jobs and investment into the Town itself, but provides an integral service to senior citizens in our community,” said Town of Marana Mayor Ed Honea.

Rendering of the new Dove Mountain Senior Living facility.

Rendering of the new Dove Mountain Senior Living facility.


Economic Development Specialist wins award

On Thursday, May 2, Town of Marana Economic/Downtown Development Specialist Heath Vescovi-Chiordi received the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) Award for Member of the Year 2019.

This honor is awarded to an individual out of the entire AAED membership of approximately 450, which includes economic development practitioners, service providers, and private developers throughout the entire state.

“It’s an honor to receive this award from AAED,” said Vescovi-Chiordi. “Thank you to everyone who’s played a role in my professional and personal development.”

The winner demonstrates excellence in participation in AAED Events, committees, leadership, etc., while maintaining exceptional performance in their economic development profession.

Just two weeks prior, Vescovi-Chirodi was elected to the 2019-2020 AAED Board. He was also a featured speaker at the 2019 Marana State of the Town Luncheon.

Vescovi-Chiordi is a member of the Town of Marana’s Department of Economic Development, with an emphasis on trying to bring businesses to the Downtown Marana/Marana Mainstreet area of North Marana.

Heath Vescovi-Chiordi

Heath Vescovi-Chiordi

Community Conversation Videos - Finance, Planning, Engineering

Principal Planner Steven Cheslak

Principal Planner Steven Cheslak

The Town of Marana frequently hosts Community Conversation events where staff members interact with residents. These events allow staff to speak to the public about their area of expertise and answer any questions they may have.

This spring the Town of Marana hosted a trio of Community Conversations with talks by the Finance, Planning and Engineering. Here is video from the three presentations.

Finance Director Yiannis Kalaitzidis discussed the process the Town goes through to create the budget for the 2020 fiscal year as well as taking a detailed look at the numbers.

Principal Planner Steven Cheslak discussed the new businesses and building projects coming to Marana. Among the projects he covered were new businesses coming to North Marana, Cortaro, and near Marana Center and the Premium Outlets.

The Town of Marana's Assistant Director of Engineering Jennifer Christelman discussed a number of the Town's infrastructure projects. She went into detail on the Tangerine Corridor, Ina Road, and upcoming projects at Adonis Road and Lon Adams.

Manager's Message: Ina Road corridor celebrates re-opening

Most of the work on the Ina Road Interchange Project has been completed.

Most of the work on the Ina Road Interchange Project has been completed.

Every month Marana Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta provides a Manager’s Message to the Marana News. This month the topic is the Ina Road corridor.

This weekend, the Town of Marana will welcome the community to the improved Ina Road corridor at the “Ina Road Celebration Weekend” on May 4 and 5. The public will be treated to a kick-off ceremony May 4 at 9 a.m. with Town council and guests from Arizona Department of Transportation, Regional Transportation Authority and Marana Chamber of Commerce, and will be held at the Lowe’s Home Improvement parking lot near the Ina and Thornydale intersection. 

Ina Road Celebration Weekend begins Saturday, May 4.

Ina Road Celebration Weekend begins Saturday, May 4.

Businesses will then celebrate with a weekend-long block party, where everyone is encouraged to shop local and support their neighborhood businesses along the Ina Road corridor. I greatly encourage members of the public to join in the celebration as we look on with pride at what this region has accomplished together. 

ADOT’s Ina Road Interchange project involved rerouting local street access away from the interstate in order to reconstruct an entirely new interchange that stretches over both the interstate and the Union Pacific railroad tracks. This eliminated at-grade crossings and widened both Interstate-10 and Ina Road, effectively making the area safer and more accommodating for continued growth. 

The Town’s Ina Road Beautification project was done in conjunction with the Ina Road Interchange project in an effort to improve portions of Ina Road. The repaving project includes landscaping along both sides of the road and in the center median, and adding street lights and traffic signal improvements. Now, when people drive down this corridor, their first impression of our community and businesses will be a positive one. 

Projects such as these are tedious for everyone during times of construction, but the payoff is clear once the dust has settled. Improved infrastructure serves as the literal foundation for a healthy community.  

Marana has experienced a surge in growth in recent years, projecting consistently as one of the fastest growing communities in southern Arizona. In 2018, over 800 new single-family resident homes were built in our community. By our calculations, this means approximately 2,300 new people moved to Marana, bringing our overall population to exceed 47,000 people. 

Marana is a much larger town than it was a decade ago, and large projects like the Ina Road Interchange and Ina Road Beautification Project serve to help support the community we will become in the future. Now, as we end this 2-year construction period, our focus is on revitalizing our affected business community. 

The “Ina Road Celebration Weekend” kicks this effort off with a bang, and I look forward to joining the businesses as they welcome the community back to the corridor. 

Jamsheed Mehta is the Marana Town Manager.

Marana rejoins Sun Corridor

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The Town of Marana has rejoined Sun Corridor after a seven-year absence from membership to the program. The Marana Town Council unanimously approved the move at their April 16 meeting.

“As a partner with Sun Corridor, the Town will receive access to top elected and business officials through exclusive meetings and updates; be presented with opportunities to weigh-in on development issues and attraction strategies; receive invitations to site selector road shows, media tours and business leadership trips; receive recognition at sponsored events; marketing services and inclusion in ‘confidential attraction projects,’” said Marana Director of Economic Development Curt Woody. “This will give us the opportunity to participate as a regional partner. It would give us the opportunity to help drive the discussions and strategies to help shape the economic development for not just the town of Marana, but for the region as well.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Town of Marana as a member of the board of directors,” said Sun Corridor Senior Vice President Laura Shaw in a release. “The Town of Marana will add its voice and expertise along with 71 other Board members (including the Towns of Oro Valley and Sahuarita, as well as the cities of Tucson and Sierra Vista) to aggressively  attract and expand  primary companies in Southern Arizona.”

Sun Corridor is a nonprofit organization focused on coordinating economic development within the Southern Arizona region. Covering Pima, Pinal, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties, the organization specializes in promoting STEM industries: aerospace and defense, automotive, bioscience, healthcare, renewable and mining technology and transportation and logistics. 

“Sun Corridor’s focus is on the business client and placing them in the best possible location in the region,” Woody explained. “This new model is good for the entire region. Regional momentum builds local momentum and Sun Corridor has put Southern Arizona on the national radar.”

Although Marana was not a formal member of Sun Corridor, the Town’s economic development team had a good working relationship with the organization. Joining Sun Corridor strengthens the Town’s relationship with the group, and gives the Town a formal voice on the board of directors and a larger presence in the business recruitment process.

Interstate 10/Ina Road ramps open to traffic

Lane restrictions set to continue for several weeks

Ina Road exits are now open.

Ina Road exits are now open.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has opened all four ramps between Interstate 10 and Ina Road in Marana. The opening marks a significant milestone for the interchange reconstruction project that began in 2017.

Although the ramps are open, crews must complete final elements of the project. Lane restrictions are scheduled to continue for the next several weeks.

Ina Road is open with a single lane in each direction between Silverbell Road and Camino de las Capas.

The westbound frontage road between Orange Grove and Cortaro roads will remain closed for the time being.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Bilingual Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or go to azdot.gov/contact and select Projects from the drop-down menu. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Overnight lane closures set for Interstate 10 near Ina Road April 15

Motorists who use Interstate 10 near Ina Road should expect the following lane closures starting at 8 p.m. Monday, April 15:

  • Expect intermittent lane closures on both eastbound and westbound I-10 between Twin Peaks and Sunset roads for sign work.

  • Eastbound I-10 will be reduced to a single lane between Cortaro and Ina roads. 

  • Flaggers will control traffic on Ina Road near I-10. 

Work is scheduled to be complete by 5 a.m. Tuesday, April 16.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Bilingual Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or go to azdot.gov/contact and select Projects from the drop-down menu. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Expect single lane closures on I-10 between Orange Grove and Cortaro on the night of April 15.

Expect single lane closures on I-10 between Orange Grove and Cortaro on the night of April 15.

Ina Road opens over I-10 in Marana as interchange nears completion


Ina Road bridge construction/Courtesy ADOT

Ina Road bridge construction/Courtesy ADOT

Ramps connecting with I-10 expected to open in next few weeks

Ina Road has opened over Interstate 10 in Marana, a major step toward completing a modern traffic interchange that is one of the Tucson area’s largest road projects in years.

Early Thursday, traffic began taking Ina Road over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. While work continues in other areas of the project, one lane of Ina Road will be available in each direction and the speed limit will be 25 mph.

Ramps connecting Ina Road with I-10 are expected to open in the next few weeks. The final pieces of the project – widening Ina Road from I-10 west to the Santa Cruz River and connecting with a new bridge over the river – will be completed later this spring. Ina Road is open throughout that area of the project. 

Ina Road Bridge over I-10 is now open.

Ina Road Bridge over I-10 is now open.

Before this $128 million project, Ina Road offered just two lanes under I-10, and drivers regularly had to wait for trains to pass. The new overpass will offer four lanes while eliminating the need to wait for trains, enhancing mobility and safety.

Improvements also include replacing a single two-lane Ina Road bridge over the Santa Cruz River with two bridges, doubling the road’s capacity west of I-10, and creating a bicycle path that connects with The Loop, a system of trails and bike routes in the Tucson area. Meanwhile, new technology will monitor traffic and allow ADOT engineers to adjust signal timing based on need.

ADOT is overseeing the improvements, which are funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the Pima Association of Governments and the Regional Transportation Authority. The town of Marana contributed $7.9 million toward the cost of the new Santa Cruz River bridges west of I-10.

Ina Road is the third major I-10 interchange replacement in Pima County. Projects at Prince Road and Twin Peaks have created overpasses that eliminated the need for drivers to wait for trains. A similar project at Ruthrauff Road is expected to begin this summer.

Manager's Message: Spring into March with the Town of Marana

Marana Municipal Complex.

Marana Municipal Complex.

Marana Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta provides a monthly Manager’s Message to the Marana News.

There’s much to look forward to during the month of March. March Madness, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Equinox—and now Marana’s Community Conversations!

The Town of Marana will host three community meetings this month at various locations, and we encourage our residents to come and learn about new development and construction projects, parks and recreation programs and the fiscal year 2020 budget process. 

A lot of new projects are reaching completion. 

The Town regains access to Ina Road Interchange soon, and with it the freshly paved and landscaped Ina Road, complete with sidewalks and accessibility ramps. New businesses are opening everywhere, including the Hampton Inn & Suites at Marana Center, and the future Dutch Bros. and Serial Grillers located near the Interstate and Cortaro Road. The town is also busy working on capital improvement projects that will further prepare our community for continued growth, like the North Marana Drainage Study. 

Meeting attendees will learn about the latest residential and commercial growth reports, as well as the General Plan update that maps Marana’s future for the next twenty years.

This is a big year for Marana Parks and Recreation. Town staff begins the 10-year Master Plan study that will give the community a chance to assess its recreation needs and interests, and prioritize projects that are publicly supported, financially responsible and environmentally sound. National reports find that 85 percent of Americans consider high quality park amenities and community centers important factors when choosing a new place to live, and more than 90 percent of Americans agree parks and recreation is an important local government service.

By participating in the 10-year Master Plan process, the public can have an impact on future park developments. Learn more about this process at the Community Conversations events, as well as all the exciting parks and recreation programming happening this year near your neighborhood. 

Every year, the Town of Marana organizes an annual budget based on the priorities set by the Town Council. The annual budget serves as the funding plan for policies, goals, and service-levels provided to the citizens of Marana, and gives staff the authority to spend funds according to the policy goals set by Town Council. Citizen feedback plays an important role in this process, and members of the public are invited to attend the meetings to learn more about budget year 2020.

Community Conversations will be held Wednesday, March 13 at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Library (7800 N. Schisler Drive); Wednesday March 20 at The Highlands at Dove Mountain (4949 W. Heritage Club Blvd.); and Thursday, March 28 at the Town of Marana Police Department Community Room. (11555 W. Civic Center Drive). All three events begin at 6 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you! For more information, visit our event calendar at MaranaAZ.gov

Jamsheed Mehta is the Town of Marana Town Manager.

Modern I-10/Ina Road interchange nearing completion in Marana

Technology just one way ADOT project is improving mobility

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When the new interchange at Ina Road and Interstate 10 in Marana opens in the coming weeks, it will include state-of-the-art technology helping Arizona Department of Transportation engineers adjust signals to keep traffic flowing.

Work on the $128 million project, which began two years ago, includes significant improvements to the interchange and to Ina Road in a growing area northwest of Tucson. The new interchange is expected to open in early spring, while work on improvements to Ina Road and new bridges over the Santa Cruz River will continue for several months.

Traffic signals where the new I-10 ramps intersect with Ina Road will include cameras that collect data on traffic moving past. That data will help traffic engineers decide whether to alter the length of green lights to move traffic more efficiently. Marana also is adding cameras for the same purpose along Ina Road at Starcommerce Way and Camino de la Cruz.

The cameras give a 360-degree view of the intersections and replace sensors placed in cuts made in the pavement. Already is use at a number of Pima County intersections, the cameras are used only for traffic management and not for law enforcement.

The cameras are just one of the changes that will help traffic flow more smoothly through the Marana intersections.

Crews have added a lane in each direction on I-10 and on Ina Road west of the freeway. That will allow both to carry more traffic with fewer delays for drivers.

Before work began, Ina Road was at ground level and crossed railroad tracks before traveling below I-10. The new configuration includes bridges carrying Ina Road over the railroad tracks and I-10, eliminating delays when trains move through the area.

A single two-lane bridge over the Santa Cruz River has been replaced with two bridges, each carrying two lanes of traffic. The eastbound bridge opened in December 2017 and carries one lane in each direction. The westbound bridge will open this spring.

The Town of Marana is making improvements to Ina Road just east of I-10 to benefit businesses and drivers in the area.

The Ina Road improvements are just the latest in a number of interchange improvements being made along I-10 in the Tucson area. Interchanges at Prince Road and Twin Peaks have been improved in recent years. A similar project at Ruthrauff Road is expected to begin by this summer.

Download the free ADOT Alerts app to your iOS or Android mobile device and know before you go!

Marana In The Media: Travel Guide highlights Marana Gastronomy Tours

Fodor's Travel Guide, one of the leading authorities on travel, had an article on their website regarding Tucson being designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. The story devoted several paragraphs to Marana and the Marana Gastronomy Tours.

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Located just northwest of Tucson, the river valley town of Marana is a modern-day haven for local farmers and producers, but what makes it especially unique is that it is home to easily accessible archaeological sites linked to the first evidence of modern agriculture in the United States. On a Marana Gastronomy Tour, participants get an immersive, full-circle experience that rolls the Tucson area’s food history and the current innovations of the local dining scene into one afternoon. Seasoned experts with personal connections to the region lead these outings.

our participants can pick from one of two tours, depending on their tastes. The traditional, slightly highbrow, Marana Gastronomy Tour, visits two archeological sites, including the recently discovered Las Capas, which is oldest known agricultural irrigation system in the U.S. The tour concludes with a small plate and cocktail tasting at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, which is known for creating innovative dishes featuring heirloom and wild ingredients such as the ancient tepary bean, cholla cactus buds and barrel cactus seeds.

The other, more salt-of-the-earth tour option, titled “A Taste of The Wild: The Marana Wild Foods Gastronomy Tour,” also visits Las Capas, but then delves into the more than 450 edible wild foods that grow in the Sonoran Desert. After participants get a chance to do a little foraging of their own, the tour concludes with a tasting at Marana’s Catalina Brewing Company, where folks can sample beers made using local ingredients, including the brewery’s flagship Mesquite Agave Ale. Food for this tour’s tasting menu is brought in from the local Bean Tree Farm, which specializes in wild-crafted foods featuring ingredients sourced from the Sonoran Desert. Local Fiore di Capra goat cheese and heirloom grain loaves from Tucson’s Barrio Bread bakery round out this wild feast.

Read the full story HERE.

MARANA GASTRONOMY TOUR RESERVATIONS

For tour information visit www.TownOfGastronomy.org .

For tour reservations visit www.GrayLineArizona.com .

Solar project to generate enough power for 3,000 homes

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On Tuesday, January 22, Trico Electric Cooperative formally introduced the Avion Community Solar Project at a dedication ceremony.

Avion is a 10-megawatt alternating current photovoltaic solar generating facility located on West Avra Valley Road within the Town of Marana. Trico and Torch Clean Energy are partners on the project, which began construction in August 2018 and began producing power in December.

Avion Solar has 40,716 solar photovoltaic modules and sits on approximately 80 acres of land previously used for farming and owned by Avra Plantation, Inc. Avion will produce more than 30,000 megawatt-hours of electric energy each year, or enough to power over 3,000 average residential homes in the Trico service territory.

Avion is the first community scale solar project for Trico. They also have SunWatts Community Sun Farm, a 227 kW, ground-mounted solar power system at its facility located at their office on Tangerine Road.

In 2005, less than 1 percent of the energy produced was from solar. Today, it is just under 14 percent with another 5 percent provided by hydro power.

“It is safe, reliable, environmentally responsible clean power,” said Trico Board Member Nick Buckelew.

“Changes in technology and the market have contributed to making renewable energy more cost-effective,“ CEO Vincent Nitido explained. “This, along with increased interest among our embers, has Trico and co-ops across the country finding new ways to bring the benefits of solar to our service areas.”

Marana Mayor Ed Honea was one of many Marana Town officials and staff at the event. Honea’s father was on the Trico board alongside Buckelew’s father, and he believes they could not have envisioned the evolution of Trico.

“They would be amazed that you could put solar panels out here and servicing over 3,000 homes,” Honea said.

Mayor Honea noted that the projects fits in well with the other solar projects in Marana. The Town of Marana has put solar panels in two of the parks and is in the midst of building solar parking structures at the Marana Municipal Complex. MHC and Marana Unified School District also have large solar presences in the community.

“I think it is really great that we are able to generate power that is renewable,” Honea added.

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Marana In The Media: Marana film initiative expands with Modern Studios opening

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The Marana News published a story on the opening of Modern Studios and how that fits into the goals of the Marana Film office.

The Marana Film Office started in 2017 to provide information and location scouting to film producers, and of course to market Marana as a filming location. This local film initiative formed in response to Arizona’s Office of Film and Digital Media, launched in an effort to bring filming back to Arizona. Levin and Davey say Modern Studios is the next step in bringing that Marana film initiative to fruition. 

“A lot of local talent is interested in having this as their home base, instead of having to fly out to LA for production,” Levin said. “Content is king right now, and therefore so is having a place that can create it and produce it.” 

While Marana is receiving a fair bit of attention of-late, town manager Jamsheed Mehta said the region has played a major role in the film industry for years due to its ideal locales and open spaces. 

“We’re trying to capture as much attention as we can,” Mehta said. “In terms of what the film industry does for the community—it puts us on the map.”

Red the full story at the Marana News.

Manager's Message: Help us prepare for Marana’s future

This originally appeared as a Manager’s Message in the Marana News/Explorer News.

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Happy new year! While it may seem like 2019 has only just begun, the Town of Marana is busy preparing for year 2020 and beyond. This means taking a closer look at all our town services and programs, identifying new areas for strategic growth, and continuing to prepare our community for 20 years into the future.  

This January we completed our third planning workshop for the Make Marana 2040 General Plan Update. Through this public process community members were invited to take part in strategizing sessions that will help to set the vision for the next several decades. Those who were unable to attend the workshops shouldn’t worry; the survey is now open for the general public on our website at MakeMarana2040.com. How can Marana preserve and enhance its existing qualities while reaching its fullest potential as a community? That’s one of many questions to be explored as part of the process of updating Marana’s General Plan.

This year, Marana’s population reached 47,000 people. The town is experiencing an economic resurgence, and projects previously explored prior to the recession are slowly being revived. To anticipate this continued growth, Marana has to evaluate our most fundamental services, including water delivery, sewer collection, transportation systems, and parks and recreation amenities.

This is the year for strategic planning. Town Council has already approved the Downtown Overlay District, and this year they will review the Land Development Code, the Sewer Conveyance Plan, the North Marana Drainage Study, the Potable Water Plan, the General Plan Update and the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Collectively, these documents will help pave the way for how the Town prepares for the future, and will reflect the community’s essential needs.

Those interested in participating in this civic process are encouraged to do so by following the Town of Marana on Facebook and Twitter to learn of upcoming events and meetings. You can also subscribe to the Marana Newsroom and other various Town alerts by visiting www.MaranaAZ.gov/notify.

This will be a very busy year, but once these plans are established, the Town of Marana will be prepared even more growth as we look to a promising future.

Jamsheed Mehta is the Marana Town Manager

Marana named a top-30 destination to avoid winter

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The Town of Marana was named one of the 30 Places to Make You Forget About Winter by the Forbes Travel Guide. The Town was selected as an ideal destination for those "dreaming of running away to a place where we don sunglasses and flip-flops instead of marshmallow-like down coats and snow boots. "

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Marana made the list along with such exotic locales as St. Kitts, Cancun, and Bali. Tucson also made the list. 

The article highlighted the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, as well as the area's hiking trails and petroglyphs.

Marana, Arizona is the gateway to Southern Arizona and a perfect place to explore and play, as well as a perfect staging point for adventures all over the region.

Learn more about all of the great travel options in Marana including culinary tours, places to stay, great food and beverage options, shopping, and more at DiscoverMarana.org.

The Top 30 Places to Make You Forget About Winter

Marana Film Office continues Town's rich film legacy

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The Town of Marana has embraced the film and television industry, but that is nothing new. Cameras have rolled in the Town for movies and shows since 1939, but now more than ever Marana is becoming a destination for film production. The Marana Film Office was created to help bring more of these productions to the Town, as well as make the process of filming in the Town easier.

The Marana Film Office was established in 2017 as part of the Town’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

“The Marana film office fulfills the goals of the Marana Strategic Plan and the Economic Development Strategic Plan in a number of ways,” said Laura Cortelyou who oversees the Marana Film Office as part of her role as Marana’s Tourism and Marketing Manager. “It helps to diversify Marana’s economic base, it supports high paying jobs that match local workforce’s skill sets, and it supports local visitation and tourism.”

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Tourism in Marana was given a huge boost by the film industry. Places like Saguaro Vista Ranch, Wild Horse Ranch, and the White Stallion Ranch catered to high end clients. When movie productions came to Marana, most of the film’s producers, crew, and cast stayed at these boutique guest ranches and made Marana a vacation destination.

Television and film has had an economic impact on the region. According to the Tucson Film Office, filming in \southern Arizona generated $9.4 million in direct spending, 3,653 hotel room nights, and 6,000 job days for local cast and crew members.

A number of projects have recently filmed in Marana, including a nature documentary, a segment for a crime TV documentary, a Jeep promotional video, several independent film projects, and an episode of TLC’s “Four Weddings”.

The Marana Film Office assists with the permitting process for filming on Town of Marana property, as well as location scouting and finding accommodations within the Town for the cast and crew.

If the production needs to hire local crew and/or support services, the Marana Film Office can assist with that as well. Soon the Marana Film Office website will host a comprehensive public-facing crew list.

Marketing the Town is a significant part of the Marana Film Office. They are marketing the Town not only as a great place to film projects, but as a great place to bring film-related businesses to the Town.

On January 16, Modern Studios opened in Marana. This full-service production facility boasts 12,000 square feet in production and post-production amenities, and is geared toward the regional, national, and international TV commercial market, digital media, and music video productions. It is the largest production studio in Arizona and has the only Bolt high-speed cinebot camera in the state.

Marana Film Office was recently accepted as a member of the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI), joining 360 film office members worldwide. The Marana Chamber of Commerce has also created a Film Committee to support and collaborate with the Marana Film Office.

Working in collaboration with Tucson Film Office and the Arizona Film and Digital Media Program, the Marana Film Office is working hard to market Marana to both future productions and businesses. Several productions have scouted Marana, and on January 4 a locations tour was provided to raise awareness of the unique locations Marana has to offer.

The Town of Marana has a rich cinematic history, and the future of film in the community is bright as well.

More on the Marana Film Office at DiscoverMarana.com

Tangerine Phase I officially complete

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The Town of Marana, the Town of Oro Valley and Pima County, along with the Psomas design team and contractor Tangerine Corridor Constructors (TCC) - a Granite Construction/Borderland Construction joint venture, are pleased to announce the completion of Phase I of the Tangerine Corridor Project.

The completion of the five-mile segment of Tangerine Road from Dove Mountain Boulevard/Twin Peaks Road to La Cañada Drive was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 21, 2018.

The newly constructed roadway has delivered to the public:

  • A four-lane roadway with landscaped medians 

  • The elimination of dip crossings and upgraded culverts to provide 100-year flood access

  • Pedestrian and bicycle facilities

  • The installation of additional turn lanes and signalization at key intersections

  • Wildlife linkages for wildlife corridors along this stretch of roadway

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for your constant support and patience while we worked to complete this project. It did not go unnoticed.

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Marana Reclamation Facility and Recharge Project Grand Opening ceremony

Marana Water Director John Kmiec speaks at the grand opening ceremony.

Marana Water Director John Kmiec speaks at the grand opening ceremony.

On Tuesday, November 27, Marana Water held the Marana Reclamation Facility and Recharge Project Grand Opening ceremony. The facility opened earlier this fall and is the culmination of two years of hard work by Marana Water staff.

“This celebration has been a long time coming for the Town,” said Marana Water and Reclamation Director John Kmiec.  “For over ten years the Town has embarked on this journey [to control] its own destiny as far as water resource management.”

The new wastewater facility can treat triple its previous capacity, equating to a total of 1.5 million gallons per day. Marana can now handle up to 10,000 new homes or businesses coming into the area.

“Our day here is about the future,” Kmiec said. It is about the future of the Town of Marana, in particular the north part of Marana where we have these water resources. “Where we are the wastewater provider for the community, and throughout the whole Marana Water system that will be benefitting from the resources that will be managed out of this facility.”

The new facility uses a process known as conventional activated sludge treatment. The process uses bacteria and biological matter to break down waste and help purify the water. The facility utilizes two separate treatment trains that can treat up to 750,000 gallons per day each. The two treatment trains also allow for redundancy should maintenance be required. This expansion was designed to allow further expansion with room for additional basins, which was another reason that Council selected this process.  

In addition to making improvements on the facility, Town Council decided to enter the sewer business to enhance Marana’s water portfolio. The recharge facility is able to recharge 100 percent of the effluent from the new water reclamation facility. Marana will receive recharge credits for 100 percent of the water stored in the facility from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. These credits allow the town to provide safe, reliable and sustainable resources for its customers.

“For a successful community in the state of Arizona to be enduring…we have to have proper resource management of our local water supplies,” said Kmiec. “It is critical, and that is what today is about.”

Marana took over the previous facility from Pima County in 2012 with the ability to treat 500,000 gallons per day. The Town Council voted to fund the expansion in 2016, and the project went on line two years later this June. 

“This celebration has been a long time coming for the town,” Kmiec said. “For over 10 years the Town has embarked on this journey of its own destiny.”

Marana Mayor Ed Honea spoke at the ceremony and reminded everyone that Marana incorporated in large part as a way for area residents to control their ground water, so it was only fitting that the plant will help Marana continue to grow.  

“We’ve come a long way and we have a wonderful staff and I am proud of all of them,” Honea said.

KVOA TV came out and did a nice feature on the facility and what it means to Marana:

As construction winds down, remember to Shop Ina

Between the Ina Road Interchange Project and the Ina Road Beautification Project, things have been very busy on Ina Road between I-10 and Thornydale. There is light at the end of the tunnel and things are going to get better in a hurry, but area businesses are still feeling the pinch and could use the public’s support.

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One major component of the Ina Beautification Project was the milling and resurfacing of a long stretch Ina Road. While the improved roadway will benefit all of those who live, work, and shop in the area, it also causes a number of delays and difficulties for drivers. There was no convenient time to do the project, but the decision was made to do that portion of the project during the larger Project Ina work and before the holiday shopping season began. Knowing that traffic delays were an unavoidable portion of the project, it seemed best to piggy back with the existing interchange project, rather than wait until after the project was completed and extend construction in the area even longer.

The good news is that the resurfacing portion of the project was completed on Monday, November 4, which will make travelling in the area easier. The previous week was the worst of the project and from now until spring 2019 when the projects are completed, things will get incrementally better.

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Although travelling in the area can still be difficult at times, local businesses have remained open and need customer support now more than ever. While many have made it through the construction with only small losses in revenue, others have been hit hard during the project and need a strong holiday season to make it until the project is completed and access to the freeway is restored. 

The Project Ina area includes a wide variety of businesses, from craft breweries to mechanics, a bowling alley to restaurants. There are all kinds of shops and stores, and with the final repaving of Ina, access is improved.

We invite you to Shop Ina and support these locally owned businesses. Go get an oil change or a beer. Go buy some cookies or take the family out to dinner. Buy a dozen donuts or a dozen tacos. Heck, make it two dozen.

We understand travel in the area can still be difficult, but it is getting better. Let’s help our fellow Marana business owners this holiday season and Shop Marana.

A full list of area businesses, as well as project updates and details, download the Project Ina App.