Management

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.

Ina Road Celebration Weekend video and photo gallery

Marana Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta. Photo courtesy JD Fitzgerald.

Marana Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta. Photo courtesy JD Fitzgerald.

On Saturday, May 4 the Town of Marana, the Marana Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Transportation Authority, and and a collection of Ina Road businesses came together for the Ina Road Celebration Weekend. The event was a celebration of the completion of three major road projects on Ina Road.

The weekend began with a business expo and cake cutting ceremony that included speeches by Marana Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta, ADOT District Engineer Rod Lane, Marana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Audra Winters, RTA Chair Mike Hammond, and Marana Mayor Ed Honea.

The rest of the weekend saw local businesses host a variety of events, including block parties, concerts, pony rides, and Kentucky Derby Parties.

The Ina Road Interchange project is in its final stages. The bridge that extends Ina over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks is completed and the on and off ramps are open. Additionally the Town of Marana and the RTA teamed up to expand Ina west of the freeway to four lanes, which included building two new bridges over the Santa Cruz River. The Town of Marana has also completed the bulk of the work on the Ina Road Beautification Project, which completely milled and repaved Ina Road, added new sidewalks and ADA safety improvements, and added improved landscaping.

Photo Gallery

Photos courtesy JD Fitzgerald Photography


PRESS RELEASE: Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awards Marana Police Department three grants for FFY2019

Marana Police Department earns three grants worth $85,000 in overtime funding.

Marana Police Department earns three grants worth $85,000 in overtime funding.

MARANA – For Federal Fiscal Year 2019, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has awarded the Marana Police Department three grants that total $85,000 in overtime funding.

DUI/Impaired Driving Enforcement Grant – GOHS has awarded the Marana Police Department with $30,000 in grant funding to conduct DUI enforcement throughout the Town of Marana.  The goal of the funding is to reduce alcohol and drug-related driving, fatalities, and injuries through enforcement, education, and public awareness. 

Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Grant – GOHS has awarded the Marana Police Department with $20,000 in grant funding to conduct speed and traffic enforcement throughout the Town of Marana.  The goal of this grant is to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from speeding, aggressive driving, red light running and other forms of risky driving behavior through enforcement, education, and public awareness. 

DUI Abatement/Warrant Detail Grant – GOHS has awarded the Marana Police Department with $35,000 in grant funding through the Oversight Council on Driving or Operating Under the Influence Abatement. With this grant, officers will conduct high profile warrant sweeps as well as participate in impaired driving/DUI activities including DUI Task Force details. The goals of this program are to reduce incidences of alcohol/drug related driving fatalities or injuries through enforcement, education, and public awareness.

The Marana Police Department would like to thank the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for continuing to help make the Town of Marana a safe place for citizens to live, work, and shop.

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 named Tree City USA for the fourth time

Marana planted Saguaros and other cactuses as part of their Arbor Day Celebration.

Marana planted Saguaros and other cactuses as part of their Arbor Day Celebration.

For the fourth straight year the Town of Marana has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Jim Conroy and Dave Herman re-plant a Saguaro on Arbor Day.

Jim Conroy and Dave Herman re-plant a Saguaro on Arbor Day.

Tree City USA is a national recognition program that began in 1976, and is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters. Marana joins over 3,400 other cities and towns across America, and 29 cities and towns in Arizona as Tree Cities.  Towns and cities that have received their Tree City USA recognition take pride in this distinction, and the people who live there enjoy the valuable benefits of having a greener, healthier community.

One of the requirements of being a Tree City USA is celebrating Arbor Day and the Town of Marana did that in several ways, including an official proclamation by the Marna Town Council at their April 16 meeting.  

“Arbor Day is so important for the community, for the Town, and for the country. Trees bring so much to everybody, it is a beautiful thing to be under a nice shade tree,” said Marana Parks Superintendent Dave Herman.

Herman is the Chairman of the local Tree City Board, who is behind the Tree City Designation, and also a member of the Southern Arizona Arborist Group (SAAG).

Hedgehog Cactus in Bloom

Hedgehog Cactus in Bloom

On Wednesday Herman attended the State of Arizona Arbor Day Celebration. In addition to accepting this year’s award he and other representatives planted a Pistachio tree on the back lawn of the state capital museum.   

The Town of Marana put its own Southern Arizona spin on this year’s Arbor Day celebration. Recently, Herman was able to relocate 20 saguaros from the construction site of the Dove Mountain Senior Living facility. While the building project is keeping many of the Saguaros, some had to be relocated and Herman and his crew took up the task.

This is the best time to harvest Saguaros because they are full of water after winter rains. It also makes it tricky to actually move them because the water makes them quite heavy. However, with all of this stored water they won’t be drought stricken before the summer monsoon hits.   

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In addition to the Saguaros, Herman also rescued five Fishhook barrel cactus, 50 Pincushion cactus and 30 Hedgehog cactus which will be in full bloom this month along the Town's new 2.5 miles of the Shared Use Path on the Santa Cruz between Gladden Farms to CalPortland. The new cacti were planted at the five rest stops along the path where they’ll get moisture from the tree irrigation.
 
The Town of Marana will be using these Saguaro plantings as part of their annual Tree City USA Arbor Day” celebration.

“We felt that this was unique to Southern Arizona as not too many Tree City USA member cities could do this kind of planting anywhere else in the United States,” said Marana Parks and Recreation Director Jim Conroy. 

The Town of Marana has officially celebrated Arbor Day annually since 2006 with tree plantings involving volunteers, scouts, school groups, or special event attendees.  Most of those years have included an Arbor Day Proclamation signed by the Mayor.

Marana one of the most popular mid-size Arizona cities to relocate to

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The Town of Marana has been named as one of the top-10 most popular mid-size Arizona cities to relocate to in 2019 by MoveBuddha.com. Marana comes in fourth on the list, tops among cities in Southern Arizona.

MoveBuddha.com is a moving information website and analyzed their Arizona move data from the past year to determine the 10 most popular mid-size cities with populations between 10,000 to 50,000.

“If more people want to move to a certain city, you have to assume something special is happening there,” said MoveBuddha.com’s Tyler Wood in a release.

Show Low was the top mid-sized city to relocate to according to the website’s data.

Full List

Tangerine Corridor Project wins multiple awards

The Tangerine Road Corridor Project has been selected one of Public Works Projects of the Year  by the American Public Works Association’s for 2019 in the category of Transportation - $25 million to $75 million. 

Tangerine Corridor Project won several awards.

Tangerine Corridor Project won several awards.

The APWA Public Works Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in the management, administration and implementation of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer, and the contractor who working together to complete public works projects.

Projects eligible in the Transportation category include roads, bridges, mass transit that serve any or all modes of travel, including bicycles and foot traffic.

The Town of Marana partnered with the Town of Oro Valley, Pima County, the Psomas Design Team and contractor Tangerine Corridor Constructors (TCC) - a Granite Construction/Borderland Construction on the project, to improve a  five-mile segment of Tangerine Road from Dove Mountain Boulevard/Twin Peaks Road to La Cañada Drive.

The newly constructed roadway 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

Tom Houle served as the Project Manager for the Town of Marana.

To be eligible for the national award, the project first had to be honored at the state level. The Southern Arizona Branch of the American Public Works Association also named it Project of the Year, Transportation, $25M-$75M category.

The Deer Sculptures on Tangerine Road.

The Deer Sculptures on Tangerine Road.

Those were not the only awards for the project. The project also won a 2019 IPI Partnered Project of the Year Award from the International Partnering Institute. The Partnered Project of the Year Award recognizes teams who distinguish themselves by implementing IPI’s best practices and by fostering high-trust and collaborative relationships on their projects. Those involved in the project “demonstrated a commitment to the partnering process, achieved excellent results and delivered an outstanding project.”

The award level for the Tangerine Road, Dove Mountain Blvd./Twin Peaks Road to La Canada Drive Project will be revealed at the IPI Awards Ceremony luncheon on Friday, May 17.

“All of these awards are true honors,” said Houle. “This one means a lot because we were judged by international competition.”

The project also received the 2018 Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence Award.

The award, established in 2005, recognizes partnership teams who “demonstrate a high degree of achievement through the practice of partnering principles” as well as “display the application of the partnering processes related to the transportation industry.”

According to Perry Powell, the Chair of the AZ Transportation Partnering Excellence Award Committee, the project impressed the judges because the “partnering approach gave great evidence for how important it was to the success of your project.”

Marana State of the Town 2019 presentation summary

Mayor Ed Honea speaks at the 2019 Marana State of the Town held at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.

Mayor Ed Honea speaks at the 2019 Marana State of the Town held at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.

MARANA - Mayor Ed Honea along with members of Town staff gave a presentation at the annual Marana State of the Town luncheon held at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain on Thursday, April 18. Topics discussed included latest developments, parks and recreation programming, and strategic planning for the future.  

NOTABLE TAKEAWAYS

  • Marana is one of the fastest growing communities in Southern Arizona. This past year, over 800 new single-family resident homes were built, yielding approximately 2,300 new people moving to the Town of Marana and making our population surpass 48,000 people.

  • Increased development has led to the creation of a new Marana Unified School District School in Dove Mountain, and a new Northwest Fire District station in both Dove Mountain and Gladden Farms.

  • Marana welcomes the film industry to the region with the opening of Modern Studios. Located near the AZ Pavilions Shopping Center, this 12,000 square foot facility features 7,000 square feet of production studio space, more than any other facility in the entire state. It also features the most advanced high-speed camera in the film industry, the BOLT Highspeed Cinebot.

  • Two new Parks and Recreation facilities were opened to the public, including Tangerine Sky Community Park in northeast Marana and the Crossroads at Silverbell District Park Splash Pad.

  • A brand new Parks and Recreation mobile app takes program accessibility to a new level, where users can now stay up-to-date with park closures, programming events, and trail conditions. Users can check the status of their favorite park amenities in real time, and sign up for activities.

  • In North Marana, the Town completed the new water reclamation facility and aquifer recharge facility. These plants can now handle up to 10,000 new homes or businesses coming into the area. The recharge facility will receive credits for 100 percent of the water stored from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. These credits allow the town to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable resources for our customers, and it secures Marana’s water needs for future generations.

    In December, the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona approved a $15 million-dollar loan to the Town of Marana to address the issue of unregulated compounds affecting two Marana Water systems. Staff is now working on the design and construction of two unique advanced water treatment plants to reduce or remove those unregulated compounds. 

  • After nearly two years, one of the region’s largest projects has come to completion. The reopening of the Ina Road Interchange has revitalized our major commercial hub making it a destination once again.

  • 2018 also saw the grand opening of the new Police facility located at the Marana Municipal Complex. This building was the result of months of public education and outreach, years of planning and development, and paid for with a community-supported half-cent sales tax.

  •  The Town of Marana is designing the blueprints for the future. Important documents in the works include the 2040 General Plan Update, Land Development Code, Marana Parks and Recreation 10-year Master Plan, North Marana Drainage Study, Sewer Conveyance Master Plan, and Potable Water Plan.

PRESENTATION TRANSCRIPT

EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN MARANA

Economic Development Specialist Heath Vescovi-Chiordi speaks on the development in Marana.

Economic Development Specialist Heath Vescovi-Chiordi speaks on the development in Marana.

Marana is one of the fastest growing communities in Southern Arizona. This past year, over 800 new single-family resident homes were built in our community. By our calculations, this yielded approximately 2,300 new people moving to the Town of Marana, making our population surpass 48,000 people. Because of this rapid and sustainable growth, developers have plans to expand those numbers and challenge the 824 single-family home permits we issued in 2018. 

Right now, we have ten new subdivisions with 1,500 new lots planned throughout the community, including the Gladden Farms area, Dove Mountain area, and Saguaro Bloom.

This year, Encantada at Continental Reserve began construction. The addition of this 304-unit multifamily residential product gives rise to new living opportunities for both young families and young professionals alike. With this addition of multifamily housing to Marana, we position ourselves to better attract and retain a newer skilled workforce. In addition, this housing product will help increase the critical mass of people in this area that is necessary for further development of quality retail, restaurant, and other valuable commercial activities. 

2018 saw many new businesses and restaurants come to Town, which not only enriches the local economy and quality of life in our community, but serves as great destinations for people passing through or visiting our beautiful region.  

Last year, the new Hampton Inn & Suites at Marana Center opened next to the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall, creating an amazing retail opportunity for our region. With the pairing of the hotel and the luxury shopping experience at the Outlet Mall, Marana is now able to attract a significant number of travelers from Mexico who come solely for the purpose of shopping and staying overnight in our community. This retail-tourism helps contribute significantly to our sales tax and bed tax, allowing the Town to continue its strategic efforts related to Tourism-based Economic Development. Not only has Marana Center attracted multiple types of new developments, but it has become an area of note in our region, helping to solidify the identity of Marana in Southern AZ.

In 2019 we will welcome Dutch Bros., located at Cortaro Road and Interstate 10. Dutch Bros. will be just one small part of a larger master development on this corner. Also, in this new retail and service center, we will see a new 32,000 sq./ft micro hospital featuring a 14-bed emergency department and two operating rooms. ATI Physical Therapy will also join the mix, as well as a Tucson area favorite- Serial Grillers.

Top Golf celebrated their first full year here in Marana, and continues to be a destination for people all over our region.

Playing sports is a vital past time in this community, and we are so excited to welcome the Hitting Factory for ball players both young and old.

Modern Studios in Marana, Arizona.

Modern Studios in Marana, Arizona.

In the spirit of Tourism, The Town of Marana has also bid welcome to a new type of entertainment industry sector with the opening of Modern Studios. Located near the AZ Pavilions Shopping Center, this amazing 12,000 square foot facility features 7,000 square feet of production studio space, more than any other facility in the entire state. Including two studios, dressing and makeup, a post-production editing suite, and the most advanced high-speed camera in the film industry, the BOLT Highspeed Cinebot, Modern Studios truly has revolutionized the film production game in Marana and the entire region.

Medical and healthcare is an industry that is finding a home in the Town. Last year we welcomed the Northwest Emergency Center at Twin Peaks, and the Watermark at Continental Ranch Senior Living. 2019 will see a continuation of that, as the Carondelet Health Network Micro-Hospital and Dove Mountain Senior Living facilities will open. With the healthcare industry rapidly expanding, and Marana seeing much benefit from this expansion, we will continue to facilitate appropriate healthcare sector development to add quality jobs to our community, and quality services for our residents. To that point, we are currently working on six expansions of current businesses within the Town, and two brand new locates.

Due to the Town’s growth, Northwest Fire District is relocating one of their stations, and building a brand new one to better serve the Marana community. Station 37 in Dove Mountain is moving to its new location near the Gallery Sports Club. Upon its completion later this year, Station 37 will better serve the northern portions of Dove Mountain, while Station 39, located at Thornydale and Tangerine, is optimally located to serve the southern portions of Dove Mountain. 

The resurgence of development in the Gladden Farms community has also spurred the construction of Station 41, located on Tangerine Road near the Gladden Farms II development. This station will improve response time and increase overall safety in north Marana.

Dove Mountain CSTEM K-8 School.

Dove Mountain CSTEM K-8 School.

Growth also means more schools. The new Dove Mountain CSTEM K-8 School opens this fall, providing even more opportunities for our children to get a good education. Students will experience rigorous computer science, technology, engineering, and math academics with direct relevancy to real-world challenges.

At the Town of Marana, we pride ourselves on being business friendly, but to do that we have to continue to evolve and innovate. This year, we will begin using a new business license software package that will aid in making the process easier than ever. By streamlining several processes and procedures, and making the overall process easier to understand, this will allow future business development in the Town with even more ease than we currently offer. When you come do business in Marana, you’ll quickly find out that Marana means business.

 

QUALITY OF LIFE IN MARANA

Technology Services Director Isaac Abbs speaks on quality of life in Marana.

Technology Services Director Isaac Abbs speaks on quality of life in Marana.

 It is important to invest in the qualities that make living in Marana meaningful. And for our residents, we understand how important the everyday experiences are for you and your family. Whether it’s participating in your very first race, teaching your child the fundamentals of a new skill, or enjoying a walk outside in nature, we understand how impactful those moments are and why having a strong quality of life means having a strong Parks and Recreation department. 

I am excited to share with you the following accomplishments from the past year.

Tangerine Sky Community Park

Tangerine Sky Community Park

Marana Council cut the ribbon on two new attractions. Tangerine Sky Community Park is the first major public park serving our northeast Marana residents— nestled in the natural desert environment against a stunning Tortolita Mountain backdrop. It features ramadas, playgrounds, trails, dog parks, ziplines, and a basketball court. The field is even powered to accommodate small concert events, including our free Movies & Music in Marana series.

Located in the heart of Continental Ranch, the new Crossroads at Silverbell District Park splash pad enhances an already robust district park where families can now splash in the water by day, and enjoy a stunning light show by night. The splash pad is located close to the existing playground area and several ramadas, making it the perfect destination for parties. And when the July 4th Star Spangled Spectacular comes around this year, the music, fireworks, and water will top off a perfect evening with your family and friends.  

Both amenities bring new recreational opportunities to key areas around the community. Vibrant and dynamic communities are where residents can walk to, and from, a park in just minutes. Now, both north, south, and east Marana have access to park amenities and programs.

The Town also grew its recreational offerings this year by 30 percent, including horseback riding, art expos, job training, painting in the park, and musical theatre.  

We also created two inclusion programs for our residents with special needs. Last year, Marana Parks and Recreation began offering Sensory Splash classes at the Marana Pool where people can meet up in a safe, positive and inclusive aquatic environment.  

Cape Chase Adaptive Fun Run.

Cape Chase Adaptive Fun Run.

This year, the Cape Chase Adaptive Fun Run debuted with over 120 participants. Young athletes with special needs traveled through a sensory obstacle course, including a cone maze, bubble pit, and mirror tunnel—all while dressed as their favorite super heroes.  

Experiences like this matter for our residents, where opportunities are accessible by anyone in the community.  

Now, we take that accessibility a step further with the release of the new Parks and Recreation mobile app. This app provides residents and visitors with everything they need to stay up-to-date with park closures, programming events, and trail conditions. Users can check the status of their favorite park amenities in real time, and sign up for activities.

Our success isn’t just measured by the new programs and events we roll out each year, it’s also measured by the continued maintenance of all our facilities, and by our strategic planning as we anticipate the future.  

This year, we extended our Tortolita Mountain trail system and the Santa Cruz shared use path. We completed facility improvements throughout all our parks, including installing the new solar structure over the Crossroads at Silverbell District Park basketball court. This very simple upgrade opened up new opportunities for events, and in celebration, this facility became home to the new Hoops for Heroes Challenge between Marana Police Department and Northwest Fire District. We won this year, but who knows what the future may bring for Northwest Fire?

We continue to find recreational opportunities in surprising places. Even in the heart of the desert, residents can enjoy the waterfront at El Rio Preserve. We plan to bring back disc golf with the addition of a recreation area nearby, and we are accommodating our nature lovers and bird watchers with an observation deck. This surprising oasis is one of Marana’s best kept secrets, but now we plan to maintain and enrich this preserve so anyone can come and enjoy the beautiful outdoors that is unique to our community.

We understand that people come to Marana for our quality of life, and we are dedicated to keeping this momentum going as we grow into a larger community. Marana is truly a place where you can live, work, and play.

 

 PUBLIC SERVICES IN MARANA

Deputy Town Clerk Hilary Hiser speaks on public services in Marana.

Deputy Town Clerk Hilary Hiser speaks on public services in Marana.

 Right now, the Town of Marana is working hard to secure continued growth for our community by making essential investments in our built public infrastructure. A strong foundation for growth means a strong investment in infrastructure.

From water improvements to major roadways, 2018 had several fantastic projects that directly benefit our citizens’ quality of life and ensure businesses can thrive. 

North Marana water reclamation facility.

North Marana water reclamation facility.

In North Marana, we completed the new water reclamation facility and aquifer recharge facility. These plants can now handle up to 10,000 new homes or businesses coming into the area. More importantly, the recharge facility will receive credits for 100 percent of the water stored from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. These credits allow the town to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable resources for our customers, and it secures Marana’s water needs for future generations.

In December, the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona approved a $15 million-dollar loan to the Town of Marana to address the issue of unregulated compounds affecting two Marana Water systems. We are now working on the design and construction of two unique advanced water treatment plants to reduce or remove those unregulated compounds. 

Investments in new water resources are essential to attracting new residents; however, the Town of Marana is just as committed to ensuring our current residents have the most up-to-date infrastructure necessary for an enhanced quality of life. The Adonis wastewater system project is just such an example of the Town’s continued commitment.  This project replaces one of our historic neighborhoods’ outdated over-capacity lagoon system by connecting residents to our new wastewater reclamation facility.

Tangerine Road.

Tangerine Road.

This past year we had two major road projects that will address the future traffic needs of Marana. The Tangerine Road expansion involved the combined efforts of the Town of Marana, the Town of Oro Valley, the Regional Transportation Authority, and Pima County.  All of us worked together to build this major transportation corridor between our communities while maintaining wildlife linkages. This project literally paves the way for future development, and it establishes Marana as a regional destination. We anticipate that this road will serve as a center for commercial activity creating economic development opportunities for our local community for years to come.

After nearly two years, one of the region’s largest projects has come to completion. The reopening of the Ina Road Interchange has revitalized our major commercial hub making it a destination once again. This project was an incredible feat by the Arizona Department of Transportation. It eliminated at-grade crossings for the Union Pacific Railroad, it reconstructed the frontage roads, and it installed fiber optic communication cables. The Town of Marana and the Pima Association of Governments designed and funded two bridges over the Santa Cruz as part of the Ina Road Interchange project.

Yes, losing access to 1-10 during construction was challenging for both residents and businesses. But all good things are worth the time and the effort to do it right. With this new overpass, we now have improved accessibility to Ina Road. Thank you to the Department of Transportation for pulling off this amazing project.

The Town also made significant investments in the functionality of the Ina commercial area. The Ina Road Beautification project makes the area even more appealing to our customers and residents.  It includes new asphalt pavement, fresh landscaping in the right of way, new street lights, sidewalks, accessibility ramps and fiber optic cables. By early summer this project will be entirely completed, and Ina Road will be unrecognizable from what it was over two years ago. The Town is excited for Ina Road’s re-opening and we invite the community to join us on May 4th for the kickoff of the Ina Road Celebration Weekend.

Ina Road has been a team effort, and I would like to thank the Regional Transportation Authority for the role they played helping to get information out to our businesses. I would also like to thank the Marana Chamber of Commerce for their continued advocacy of the business community.

Marana Police Facility grand opening.

Marana Police Facility grand opening.

Let’s not forget that 2018 also saw the grand opening of our new Police facility located at the Marana Municipal Complex. This building was the result of months of public education and outreach, years of planning and development, and paid for with a community-supported half-cent sales tax. The new Police Facility is state of the art with amenities to accommodate our department’s various services and our officers’ continued focus on “unparalleled service, unwavering protection”. This new building has the capacity to meet the safety needs of Marana’s growing population for the next twenty years.

All of these amazing projects took years of strategic planning, and they were not designed or built in a day. Providing citizens good public service, means foreseeing the future needs of the community, and making strategic decisions now, in the present, to ensure Marana is a better place for future generations.

 At this very moment, the Town of Marana is designing the blueprints for the future.

The General Plan is the Town’s roadmap for tomorrow. Town staff is working hard with members of the public to draft the 2040 General Plan Update. This visionary document along with the updated Land Development Code will help guide all aspects of the town, from growth and development, to health and safety, to town services, and the environment.  

Other strategic documents in the works include the Marana Parks and Recreation 10-year master plan, the North Marana Drainage Study, the Sewer Conveyance Master Plan, and the Potable Water Plan.

These strategic plans and our many public infrastructure projects lay the foundation upon which the Town of Marana can support a strong quality of life for our residents and businesses. However, it is just as important that we continue to provide a high-quality level of service to maintain our assets. Our Public Works Department works hard every day in our community, and the Town is proud of the work they’ve done to keep Marana clean and beautiful.

Thank you for this opportunity to share the amazing things we’re doing here in Marana. We’ve accomplished so much, and we have plans to accomplish so much more. Thank you. 

Town of Marana receives the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

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The Government Finance Officers Association is pleased to announce that the Town of Marana, Arizona, has received GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2018-2019 budget.

“Receiving this award demonstrates the Town of Marana’s dedication to financial transparency,” said Starla Anderson, the Town’s Interim Finance Director during the award submission process. “We are committed to providing the public with detailed information on how their resources are allocated to vital Town services and infrastructure investments.”

The award represents a significant achievement by the Town. It reflects the commitment of the Marana Town Council and Town Staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as:

  • A policy document

  • A financial plan

  • An operations  guide

  • A communications  device

Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, and in the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.

When a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is granted to an entity, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation is also presented to the individual(s) or department designated as being primarily responsible for having achieved the award. This has been presented to Starla Anderson, Interim Finance Director.

There are over 1,600 participants in the Budget Awards Program. The most recent Budget Award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA's website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of more than 19,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. It provides top quality publications, training programs, services, and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management. The association is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with offices in Washington D.C.

 

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.

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

An end is in sight for Ina construction projects

This is a Manager’s Message from Marana Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta that originally ran in the Marana News/Foothills News.

There has been increased construction activity on Ina Road lately, but the benefits will far outweigh the costs once the dust clears and the Ina interchange opens back up in early 2019. Until then, there’s much to be excited for and much to still see from area businesses as we head into the holiday shopping season.

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When complete, the project will ease congestion near Interstate-10 and the Union Pacific railroad, diverting traffic onto the bridge and over the interstate and tracks. The Town of Marana is also making a number of improvements to the area, including resurfacing Ina Road and arterial streets with new pavement and improving the landscaping, sidewalks, and lighting around the area. Project Ina will result in a safer and more attractive corridor, and will be more accessible for those with special needs thanks to new sidewalks with ADA ramps.  

We are entering the home stretch of the project, and area businesses need support more than ever as we begin the holiday season.

While many of the businesses in the area have seen only the smallest of impacts since the construction began, others are struggling to make through the final months. Even with moving dirt and construction vehicles, Ina Road is still open for business.

There are great places to eat, drink, and shop during the holiday season. You can go bowling and take a gymnastics class. There are hardware stores, tire stores, and auto mechanics for your various maintenance projects. Want to start your morning right? Enjoy one of several breakfast options. From a nice sit-down brunch to handcrafted sweet rolls or breakfast burritos, you can even just grab a box of dozen donuts for the office.

Even with the combined efforts of Town of Marana, Arizona Department of Transportation, Regional Transportation Authority, and Marana Chamber of Commerce, businesses can always use additional support from the community. If you take the time to explore the great businesses in the area, we know you’ll be thrilled with what you find.

It’s been a long couple of years of road construction in the area, and we understand the challenges everyone has felt with the traffic delays. However, when this project is completed early next year, Ina Road will become a real commercial destination with easy access from the freeway and brand-new road surfaces to drive on.

We are very excited for the completion of the project and have already started the planning stages for how we will celebrate. The Town of Marana will be partnering with area businesses and the Marana Chamber for a grand opening celebration that will be open to the public.

In the meantime, Ina Road is still open and we encourage you to support your local economy and Shop Ina. You will be glad you did.

Jamsheed Mehta is the Marana Town Manager

Manager's Message: Projects on the horizon for the new fiscal year

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. 

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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. 

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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.

Erik Montague appointed Deputy Town Manager effective April 23

Erik Montague

Erik Montague

Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta has appointed Erik Montague as Deputy Town Manager at the Town of Marana effective April 23.

Montague has over 22 years of experience in governmental accounting and auditing. He most recently served as Finance Director for the Town of Marana since October 2006.

"We are very fortunate to have the talent and institutional knowledge that Mr. Montague will bring to his new role as Deputy Town Manager," said Mehta. "He understands the financial impacts and operations of the Town's projects, and I am confident of our organization's continued success."

Prior to working at the Town, Montague served as Controller for the City of Avondale and Senior Auditor with the Arizona Office of the Auditor General. He is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and Government Finance Officers Association of Arizona (GFOAz). He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Arizona. 

"I am humbled by the opportunity and I look forward to working with various departments in providing important services to our community," said Montague. "There are a number of exciting service enhancements on the horizon including plans for new intuitive web-based tools to help our development community, as well as an update to the pavement preservation program which will drive decisions on how we can best manage our road systems well into the future."

In his new position as Deputy Town Manager, Montague will provide strategic and managerial leadership to the Departments of Finance, Engineering, Public Works, Water, and Technology Services. This is in addition to the expertise and the valuable resource he will provide to the Town Manager on a day-to-day basis.

Manager's Message: Marana is ready to capitalize on opportunity in 2018

Marana Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta provided the following Manager's Message for the Feb. 14 edition of the Marana News/Explorer News.

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January is complete, and the Town of Marana has hit the ground running into 2018.  Last year saw great development in the town, and 2018 promises to be very exciting as we continue to grow and thrive.

Last year saw new businesses come into Marana, not only providing jobs for our residents, but also a variety of new shopping, dining and entertainment options, just to name a few. Top Golf chose Marana to be its Southern Arizona location. Marana became a home for some great breweries: Button Brew House and Dove Mountain Brewery opened their doors, while Growlers became a hub for craft beer and gastro pub fans. Arizona Pavilions added even more shopping options, such as HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Ross, Dollar Tree and a Petco opened stores in the already popular shopping area.

2017 also saw more homes being built. There were 775 new single-family residential permits issued in Marana, surpassing projections and once again leading southern Arizona. 

Last year proved that people want to work, live, and play in Marana. This year, we will see a number of new projects begin, enter new phases, or come to completion that will improve the Marana experience for those who work, live and visit our community. 

The new Ina Road Interchange will open in 2019, with the bulk of the project being completed this year. The west side of the freeway is teeming with ADOT contractors working hard to rebuild the bridge over the Santa Cruz River. This will expand the roadway to four lanes and provide improved infrastructure, which will lead to a higher level of mobility and regional access for future land uses on the west side. 

The Ina Interchange itself is not the only improvement to the area. The town is committed to making Ina Road an even better place to do business with new landscaping, street lighting, and even monuments or public art. 

The area is already a great place to shop and eat, but we are always looking at how to make the Marana experience even better. With the new interchange, improved side streets will allow better access to businesses in the area and further aid in reducing traffic delays. Traffic will flow better on, off, and over the freeway. The Union Pacific Railroad will no longer be an issue for motorists. Having Ina Road travel over the freeway and train tracks is certainly safer, but it will also eliminate lengthy delays.

The Town is committed to making the area better for businesses. We are already looking at ways to improve the landscaping, and we are exploring what type of public art and monuments in the in the Ina Road corridor will help distinguish this important commerce center in the Town. 

2018 will see great changes in north Marana. The expansion of the wastewater facility will allow for further development of this area, and we have a number of housing and business developers interested in projects in this area. Had we not expanded the facility, growth would be halted in the area. Now, Marana can handle plenty of residential and business growth in the area.

With more homes and businesses comes the need for improved infrastructure. 2018 will see the completion of the Marana Road realignment and the new traffic circle on Sandario, the extension of Adonis Road and the reconstruction of Coachline Road. 

Developers have shown great interest in the entire region. By re-routing Marana Road, we hope to create better travel in the area. The roadway was designed to better access properties eyed for development. These projects are also being constructed in a way that is consistent with our long term vision of the area. Eventually, we will see the connection of Tangerine Farms into a northern loop, and changes to the Marana Road Interchange will make the area easier to navigate. 

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The new traffic circle is the first step in our plans to develop a Marana Main Street district. Already, businesses are inquiring about contributing to the vision we have of the area. Our desire is to create a shopping and dining district that can become the centerpiece of North Marana and give a real identity to the area. 

Town Staff is already hard at work on putting together budgets for the 2019 Fiscal Year, which begins on July 1. Marana takes great pride in having balanced, responsible budgets that allow us to provide great customer service and great amenities, while still spending money wisely. In fact, our finance department received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for our 2017-2018 budget. The award reflects our commitment to providing the public with detailed information on how their resources are allocated to important services and infrastructure investments.

2017 was a great year for our Town, and 2018 looks to continue that trend. We are very excited about what is happening in Marana this year and beyond. 

Jamsheed Mehta is the Town Manager for the Town of Marana.

Press Release: Angell selected to lead Marana Development Services

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The Town of Marana has named Jason Angell as the new Development Services Director. He replaces Ryan Mahoney who previously served in the position.

“I am extremely excited,” Angell said. “Marana has been very intriguing to me from the very beginning. It clearly has a vision, but is also very proud of their heritage. I am excited to be joining a dynamic team of professionals.”

“We think he will be a great member of our team and is the perfect person to further evolve our Development Services Department,” said Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta. 

He previously served as the Director of Development services in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Before that he worked in Minneapolis-St. Paul area as City Planner for Minnetrista, MN.

He attended St. Cloud State University where he received a degree in Community Studies.

Angell will continue to guide the newly formed Development Services Department as they combine what was the Town’s Planning Department and Building Inspections Department under one umbrella. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the combined divisions of Planning and Building Safety, Jason will be involved in updating the Town’s Land Development Code, amending the General Plan, and enhancing the development review process.

“The vision and goal that we will strive for is to provide the highest level of service,” Angell said.

The design is to have one department that can bring development from the initial stages, which is the planning and vision, to a final reality of a completed project.

“We want to do it in the most efficient way, while also maintaining and enhancing the Town’s vision of what they want to be when they grow up,” Angell said.

Angell and his family were the 2017 United Way Campaign Chairs for the Marshfield area annual campaign.

Press Release: Mehta named Town Manager

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Marana Town Council appointed Jamsheed Mehta as Town Manager at the February 6 regular council meeting. Mehta formerly served as Interim Town Manager and Deputy Town Manager, and has worked for the Town of Marana since 2014.

Mehta replaces Gilbert Davidson who was appointed Chief Operating Officer for the State of Arizona in November 2017.

“The Town of Marana is extremely lucky to have someone of Jamsheed Mehta’s professional abilities and talents to be our new Town Manager,” said Mayor Ed Honea. “I look forward to working with Mr. Mehta as we continue into Marana’s future.”

“We felt he was a perfect fit to continue to help the Town prosper,” said Councilmember Patti Comerford.

“We have a tremendous group of very talented and dedicated staff, and I’m proud to represent them as we go forward,” said Mehta. “Driven by our cultural values of dedicated service, teamwork, respect, and engaged innovation, every day is an opportunity to make Marana the choice place to live, work, and play."

Mehta became Deputy Town Manager in March 2014. He was initially appointed by Davidson to oversee the departments of development services, airport, engineering, utilities, and public works. Since November he has provided leadership to run the administration and serve Town Council. He previously served as Interim Assistant City Manager for City of Glendale, Arizona.

Mehta has degrees in civil engineering and urban planning from the University of Kansas. He is a member of the Arizona City Manager’s Association and International City/County Managers Association.

Marana, a great place for New Year's Resolutions

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Marana Interim Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta provided a Manager's Message for the latest issue of the Marana News:

A New Year is almost upon us, and with the holidays in the rearview mirror many of us will start making our New Year’s Resolutions. Some dream big by planning major life changes, while others keep their goals modest with just little life tweak here or there.

Whether your goals have to do with fitness, learning a new skill, or broadening your horizons, there is no better time to jump start your New Year’s resolutions than right now.

Marana Parks and Recreation programs are a great way to fulfill new goals. What better way to tackle those resolutions than to spring into the new year? Run, walk or jog into 2018 at the “11th Annual Egg Nog Jog”. Kickoff your fitness resolution, or have fun with family and friends at this popular event on New Year’s Day beginning at 9:18 a.m. 


This sanctioned 5K route and new 10K option begins at Continental Reserve Park and loops through the beautiful Reserve neighborhood. The race is non-competitive, but timing chips will be available on race day. Enjoy egg nog and fun raffle prizes at the finish line.

Make sure to show some 2018 spirit and you might win big. Break out those funny hats, light-up glasses, or matching shirts, because the best show of spirit will win a fun bonus prize.

 Not sure you can make it on New Year’s Day? Fear not, the Town of Marana will have another race to celebrate Mother’s Day on Saturday, May 12.

While there is no better way to get that jump start on your 2018 physical fitness endeavors, Marana residents can go “Full Steam Into Spring” through a wide variety of activities in the Prks and Recreation spring program. There is a little bit of everything for everyone.

In February, the Parks and Recreation Departments of both Marana and Oro Valley will team up for the “MOVE Across 2 Ranges – Hike Challenge”. This event is an awesome way to explore nature. Hit the trails and experience the challenge and beauty of Southern Arizona’s Tortolita and Catalina Mountains in one day. Trail run, hike, or stroll through this fun event. Hikes are as short as six miles, and as long as 21.5 miles for those with unreal endurance.

Our monthly guided hikes, horseback rides, and mountain bike rides of the Tortolita Mountain Trails continue. These popular guided treks are fantastic ways to view the scenic beauty that Marana offers.

Want something less strenuous? “Camping under the Stars” returns in April. Take the family camping at the Ora Mae Harn District Park. Sleep under the stars without having to leave town

If sports are more your thing, then Marana offers plenty of youth and adult sports leagues and lessons. For the kids, there are golf and tennis lessons and soccer leagues. For adults, there are softball leagues, open gyms for volleyball and basketball, and adult tennis lessons.

All ages can learn self-defense from “Steve Berry’s Monthly Martial Arts Academy”.

If your goals are less athletic and more academic, there is plenty to do in the Town to tackle those mental and emotional resolutions.

New parents can enjoy the “Mini Me Parent/Tot” classes, while DIY-enthusiasts really enjoy the “Make & Take” craft classes. Have a dog? You will have the best behaved pooch on the block after you take our “Ruff House: Dog Obedience Classes”.

Maybe you want to take up a new hobby? We can accommodate that. We are partnering with Pima Community College on a variety of classes from poker strategy to beginning guitar, floral design, and photography. There are classes on retirement planning, BBQ cooking, and rock and roll.

Whatever your resolution might be, the Town of Marana’s Parks and Recreation Department can help you achieve those goals. From getting fit to getting outside or to just learning a skill, there is plenty to do in Marana.

Learn more about Marana’s Park and Rec programs at http://www.maranaaz.gov/recreation

Marana News: Deer Dedication

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The Marana News had an in-depth story on the new public art installation on Tangerine Road:

A family of massive deer has settled down in the Town of Marana, and they’re here to stay.

Built of metal and painted to match the surrounding environment, the deer can be found on the south side of West Tangerine Road between Camino De Oeste and Camino De Mañana. Unveiled in a public ceremony earlier this month led by Mayor Ed Honea and town staff, the public art installation at the site of the under-development Tangerine Sky Park is aptly named “Deer at Tangerine Sky Park.”

The multi-year project was made possible by the Transportation Art by Youth Program, part of the Pima Association of Governments, which granted the town $75,000. The art program incorporates art into regional transportation projects, in this case the Tangerine Corridor Project.

The artist behind the deer concept was Trevor O’Tool, who worked alongside Marana High School Welding Teacher Kenton Webb in supervising a handful of students who crafted the three fawns. With some assistance, O’Tool constructed the doe and buck.

Tony Hunter, Marana’s assistant to the town manager, said the concept developed from a brainstorming session. The desire for public art mixed well with an interest in involving the youth of the community and the PAG grant seemed to “fit perfectly” into the mix, according to Hunter.

Read the full story at the Marana News

November Manager's Message

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On Monday, November 20, I formally become the interim town manager for the Town of Marana. Thank you, Marana Town Council, for entrusting me with this responsibility. I look forward to serving this great community with the zeal and conviction we have all grown accustomed to from our town leader, Gilbert Davidson.

Gilbert took the reins as Town Manager during the dark days of the economic recession. Today, he leaves behind a community that is not only financially stable but is sought after by businesses and families who want to call Marana home. Some of us know him all too well and believe that his passion and energy to turn things around will do wonders with the state. We wish him well as he assumes the role of Arizona’s chief operating officer.

We have a great town staff and it’s an honor being a part of this team. Driven by our cultural values—dedicated service, teamwork, respect, and engaged innovation—every day is an opportunity to make Marana the choice place to live, work, and play.

These are exciting times in Marana. People of all ages are moving into our town. With two months left in the year, we have already exceeded our projections for construction of new single-family residential homes. Our challenge is to meet that demand, but also ensure that essential municipal services and quality of life remains a high priority. 

Businesses too are coming to Marana. Over the past few months we have met with executives from large corporations who want to locate thousands of new jobs in Marana. I attribute their interest in us because we’ve earned that reputation of being responsive, providing great customer service and ensuring their investments are sustainable in our community.

The holidays are upon us and that is always a fun time in Marana. Last weekend’s Turkey Trot is the start of the holiday season for many Marana residents and we are just a few weeks away from the Marana Holiday Festival and Christmas Tree Lighting. I have seen a sneak peak of this year’s light show and like all of our signature events, it promises to be our biggest yet. Without giving away too much, we have a great slate of food trucks and vendors on tap, more snow in the snow globe and talented local performers providing the entertainment. Like all of our signature events, the Holiday Festival on Dec. 2 is a free event, making it the perfect outing for Marana families. 

This is a busy week in the Town. On Thursday we formally unveiled the deer sculptures on Tangerine Road. This is a striking public art project that not only celebrates the great wildlife in the area, it also provided Marana high school welding students an opportunity to assist the artist in putting together these magnificent metal sculptures. The statues not only add beauty to the improvements being made on Tangerine Road, but are also a terrific neighbor to Tangerine Sky Park, which is being built adjacent to the statues. 

This weekend, Marana hosts our own 28-mile segment of the El Tour de Tucson. We are proud to again partner with El Tour and are excited to show off Marana to the riders who race through the town, as well as those who are using our Marana Heritage River Park as their starting point. Whether you are a cyclist, or just want to have a good time watching the race, we encourage you to come out to the park and participate in the festivities. 

I am excited about where the town is going. Since coming on board in March of 2014, I have seen so much growth, but we’ve also succeeded in maintaining that small-town neighborly feel. I came to Marana from the Phoenix area, where I last served as Glendale’s interim assistant city manager. Having worked in local government in a variety of roles since 1988, I find Marana different in many ways. It’s at the edge of this region but the center of attention for commerce and employment. It’s a young town growing quickly but always mindful of its deep-rooted heritage and the great outdoors that surrounds us. 

There is so much going on in Marana, which is a good thing. People want to live here, companies want to do business here and Marana Town Hall will bring it all together successfully.

Jamsheed Mehta is the Interim Town Manager for the Town of Marana. The Manager's Message runs monthly in the Marana News/Explorer News, as well as on MaranaAZ.gov.