February 8, 2006 - The Oro Valley Town Council passed a measure last week to bring trails and signs to the Naranja Town Site in the first recreational improvements made to the land since it was purchased in 2000.

At its Feb. 1 meeting, the council unanimously approved the proposal made by Councilman Terry Parish to improve and expand existing trails to make them suitable for walkers and joggers. Also, in an effort to build popular support for the project, signs will be constructed along the trail illustrating facilities in the regional park's master plan. Some estimates peg the cost of building the park as planned at $50 million.

The Naranja Taown Site consists of 213-acres of hills and flatlands north of Naranja Drive and east of the Copper Creek subdivision.

In a presentation to the town council, Parish estimated the new signs will cost $30,000. With the trail improvements included, Parish estimates the total cost of the new project will be $53,200, although he plans to fund for than half of the project through sponsorships with local businesses and civic groups.

"What you're looking at today is a worst-case scenario," Parish said. "The cost to the town may end up being zero."

Although council member Helen Dankwerth brought up a concern that the town is not covered against an insurance claim were someone to injure themselves on the site, Parish responded by saying the site is already in use by residents even though it is not officially open.

"We have that issue right now. We can improve our liability by maintaining the trails," Parish said.

Speaking to the council, Oro Valley resident and 2006 candidate for town council Don Cox said a few homeowners in the Copper Creek subdivision along the park are concerned about people being able to peer into their back yards from the town site's trails elevated on an embankment above their fences. Cox otherwise praised Parish's proposal for the town site.

"Anything we can do to get the park going is a great idea," Cox said.

In other news, the town council voted unanimously to enter into a resolution where the town would manage three acres adjacent to Honey Bee Village, a former Native American settlement, with the intention of conducting an archeological survey of the land.

The town council also unanimously approved a proposal to introduce graywater reuse into the town's plan for water conservation. Graywater is a term used to describe wastewater generated from sinks, laundry machines, and showers, but does not include sewage from toilets. Graywater is much more easily treated than sewage and can be reused effectively for irrigation.

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