Marana came one step closer last week to getting a cemetery

The Marana Town Council on Jan. 6 approved a development agreement with Marana Mortuary and Cemetery Properties.

Mayor Ed Honea has long advocated the creation of a Marana cemetery and has often mentioned the prospect in his annual “state of the town” addresses.

“It’s kind of funny to talk of a cemetery as being a good thing, but we want Marana to be a place where generations live,” Honea said. “And as some of us get older, and our time comes, if there’s a way to rest your family in your community, I just think it makes it easier for the people who live there.”

The idea surfaced a couple of years ago, Honea said, in discussions among town leaders, council members and citizens.

“It was just something else to show that this town is growing up and providing all services to our citizens,” Honea added.

The development agreement allows a full-service mortuary, crematorium and cemetery facility, which may include a mausoleum and other burial sites. It also allows for the construction of a chapel and a flower shop.

The agreement calls for the developer to contribute $366,818 toward an extension of Tangerine Farms Road, which would border the cemetery grounds on the east. The expectation is that Barnett Road, which borders the grounds on the south, eventually will permanently close to public traffic and will become the site of a drainage channel.

If the irrigation channel along the north side of Barnett and the south side of the cemetery needs burying, the agreement states the town will take responsibility for those costs, which, according to town officials, is estimated at $389,000.

The town is looking for others to cover the costs, such as future developers and future residents.

The planned cemetery grounds sit on 23.49 acres, with a Meritage Homes development and the Rancho Marana development on the south and some multi-acre parcels to the west.

Honea said he thought those living in the area would be happy with the cemetery.

“Cemeteries really do a good job with their landscaping,” Honea said. “I really think this will be a good neighbor.”

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