In a Marana Council meeting on Feb. 7, Deputy Town Manager Del Post, presented the Council with several House and Senate bills that could potentially impact the Town this year.

House Bill 2168, if passed, could have a major impact on how Marana and other local governments issue building permits. The bill, proposed by Republican Jeff Dial of Chandler, would give the option for a permit applicant of any town and city in the state of Arizona to obtain a permit through a self-certification process.

If legislation passes, the Town would be required to establish the self-certification process, and within 48 hours of  receiving the completed application, would be required to grant the permit, given the applicant provides a sworn statement that all prerequisites have been completed. The applicant would also have to have two witnesses attest to the application’s completion.

Del said this could have a particularly big impact on Marana, considering the recent opening of the Town’s Business Development Center. While the BDC is designed to make for an easier and faster permit process, a self-certification process, depending on its nature, might provide a more convenient solution for applicants.

“We will certainly continue to monitor this one,” said Post. “This could potentially have significant impacts on the Town.”

An amendment to the bill was proposed last week, which would limit the application to towns with a population exceeding 100,000. As of now, no further action has been taken regarding the amendment.

Another bill that could affect Marana and local governments is House Bill 2570, proposed by Republican Justin Olson, of Mesa. This bill would prohibit any ordinance or legislative act of a town or city from going into effect until three separate readings on three separate days of the ordinance have been held.

Post said the bill has been met with opposition on the basis the process “would substantially stifle the reasonable pace of government, and might have an impact directly on businesses and developers in the community.”

The bill is scheduled for a committee hearing in the near future.  

Local governments could also be affected by House Bill 2264, which would reverse a previous bill increasing employee retirement contributions from 50 percent to 53 percent, and reducing an employer’s contribution from 50 percent to 47 percent. In a hearing at the Maricopa Superior Court, the variance in contributions was declared unconstitutional. If legislation passes for HB 2264, the Town of Marana and other local governments would be required to forfeit the three percent difference saved during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

In other news, Ed Stolmaker, CEO of the Marana Chamber of Commerce, announced the chamber would be holding a ceremony at Heritage Highlands on Feb. 16 for its 2011 Community and Business Builder of the Year awards.

“It’s an exciting event for the business community and staff,” he said.

The Council meeting concluded with a closed-door meeting regarding the pending lawsuit between Pima County and the Town of Marana. According to the agenda, the discussion centered around Marana’s recent acquisition of the Luckett Road wastewater plant from  Pima County.

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