Marana Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta wrote a Manager's Message for the Marana News/Explorer News about the recently approved Fiscal Year 2020 Budget:
Our fiscal year comes to an end June 30, and we begin a new phase of projects and initiatives as outlined in the 2019-20 budget. Our total budget for the new year is approximately $143 million, a year-over-year increase of 1.5 percent. Of that total, $73 million is dedicated to operating costs, $57 million to capital expenditures and $12 million to debt service.
The latest edition of our budget exhibits the Town of Marana’s balanced approach to responsible fiscal policy and positive investment in the community. Every year, we examine closely our goals and accomplishments during the budget development process. We do this to make sure that allocations are aligned with need, and that strategies are resulting in the appropriate outcomes.
The Town of Marana will continue with the development of its Make Marana 2040 General Plan in the next fiscal year. As the community grows to a likely population of over 50,000 at the 2020 census count, it is more important than ever to make sure we are planning well for the future.
The General Plan will be a vital document to guide Marana’s community for the coming decades.
Marana will also be completing its update to the Land Development Code, the Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Master Plan, Water Master Plan, Wastewater Conveyance System Plan and North Marana Drainage Study. These critical analyses will provide a road map to meet potential challenges and find new opportunities for our community.
Town of Marana has historically been committed to the highest level of service for our residents and business customers, and that tradition continues in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget with several investments.
Strategic software deployments, when implemented effectively, can streamline internal services and lead to better outcomes for customers. Next fiscal year, we are investing in the development of a single software solution to manage our permitting and licensing services. This is one of our most active and dynamic service areas, with steady streams of daily customers and long-term projects, and its successful coordination involves multiple internal divisions, and outside entities, both public and private. By investing in a unifying platform, these diverse interests can be brought together for the best outcome to the customer and resident.
Investments in physical infrastructure pay dividends for every aspect of the community, from the commercial sector to daily commuters to sports and recreation teams. In total, capital outlay projects account for 40 percent of expenditures for fiscal year 2020. This translates to Marana contributing $58 million for community investments. The outlay projects will address facilities in the neediest of areas and projects that will affect all residents.
One of these community investments is improving a Colonia-designated Marana neighborhood with $3.8 million in improvements. The Adonis neighborhood project will include rehabilitating the existing sanitary sewer conveyance system, addressing drainage issues and completing a road extension that serves as a secondary access point. The rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer conveyance system and drainage projects will address potential health and environmental issues that could be triggered by aging infrastructure. The road extension serving as a secondary access and slight grade changes will improve resident safety during storm events and other potential emergencies. The town is committed to the safety of all its residents and all neighborhoods; prioritizing these vital projects will address potential long-term problems.
This year the town will also invest in water infrastructure in the amount of $21 million that will help plan for one interconnected water and reclamation system. Unregulated water compounds such as PFOA, PFOS, and 1-4, Dioxane are concerns for cities and towns across the country, including Marana. We have identified water treatment campuses as a priority in order to lower the compound levels below the health advisory recommendations in affected areas. The town has chosen to make this proactive, voluntary investment in the quality of our water supply, and substantial construction of the project is expected in the coming year.
Roads are always a top priority in Marana, with $16 million dedicated to road improvements. Key projects include the Camino De Oeste Road Restoration, Lon Adams Road Reconstruction, and Avra Valley Road Reconstruction.
Bringing new parks and outdoor recreational opportunities is a consistent priority for our community. Construction of the first phase of the El Rio Preserve project will exhibit Marana’s natural features, sights, and bring new visitors. This first phase of the project consists of a trailhead plaza with interpretive signage, sitting area with benches, pedestrian walking path, native plants and water harvesting basins, and a large observation deck for viewing wildlife and birdwatching in the preserve.
The Honea Heights Pocket Park is slated for construction and in the coming fiscal year for $272 thousand. This park will provide much-needed community amenities to a Colonia-designated Marana neighborhood.
These strategic investments represented in the FY 2019-2020 budget are necessary and sound. They meet the needs of the community, and pave the way for future generations of Marana residents to enjoy our way of life. Through commitment to our organization’s core values and the focus areas outlined in our Strategic Plan, we are able to take limited resources and turn them into remarkable outcomes for the residents and businesses of Marana, and the team members who serve them.
For more information on the budget, visit maranaaz.gov/financial-documents.
Jamsheed Mehta is the Marana Town Manager.