Members of the Marana Parks and Recreation Department gave a presentation to the council on Dec. 17 regarding the development and construction of the Marana Heritage River Park.
“It’s going to be a park that reflects a much broader sense of where our community came from,” said Town Manager Gilbert Davidson.
Marana Heritage River Park is west of the Interstate 10 on Tangerine Farms Loop Road and south of Gladden Farms.
This year, the council adopted a budget authorization for the 2014 fiscal year, which will allow for the Parks and Recreation department to begin on the first modules. Right now, the department will address three of the five focus areas that are outlined in the town’s strategic plan.
One of the focus areas is Heritage Farm, which will be built to celebrate the culture of farming in Marana. The farm currently has a sewer connection, community garden and demonstration garden. The gardens are an area for residents to learn about Marana’s farm heritage through planting, working and eating the locally grown food. The next step for construction at Heritage Farm is the building of restrooms, parking, lighting and access areas, which is projected to cost around $278,000 and if approved would be completed in 2015. Looking to the future, the department would want commercial farming, retail and a farmer’s market in the area.
The second focus area is Heritage Park where a heritage themed splash pad, Ramada, parking, lighting and access area would be built. The goal of the Heritage Park is to create an area where residents can play and be together. The estimated cost for construction is around $747,000 and if approved would be completed in spring 2015. The park would be open during warm weather months.
The last focus area is Heritage Ranch, which is meant to bring different regional areas to the community. The ranch will have two arenas, each 150 by 300 feet that will hold different sporting events. The area will include lights, speakers, concessions stands, restrooms, a maintenance facility, stalls for the horse, parking, landscaping and the use of a utility line. The estimated cost is $7.9 million and if approved would open in summer 2015.
The budget requested for this next year is an estimated $8.9 million. Right now money would primarily come from the town’s savings, but in the future, other opportunities such as commercial vendors, ticket sales and more would generate revenue, said Davidson.
If all the aforementioned is completed and approved, the Parks and Recreation department hopes to construct a plaza, amphitheater and the Producers Cotton Oil Building.
Parks and Recreation will meet with the council in a January study session where they will give more definitive cost estimates for park construction.
Also in the meeting, the town council voted 4-3 to approve a railroad quiet zone for all current private and public railroad crossings in Marana. The quiet zone will reduce the horn noise when a train approaches a railroad crossing. If there is no vehicle, people, wildlife or anything that would cause a collision the train will not be required to sound its horn. The quiet zone and cautionary signs for residents will be implemented around February 2014.