Council approves naming of ballfields for Don Harris
Illustration by Brandon Hays/The Explorer, The map shows the southern end of Oro Valley, an area the Mountain Vista Fire District has sough to annex. The district has received more than enough signatures from property owners to move ahead with the annexation plan.

The Oro Valley Town Council on Wednesday, Oct. 21, unanimously approved the renaming of two softball fields at James D. Kriegh Park after Don Harris.

Harris, who died in August while preparing for a softball game, was the organizing force behind Oro Valley's senior softball leagues.

Friends and teammates asked that the town rename the fields in his honor.

Members of Harris's team, the Oro Valley Loop, attended the meeting clad in the team's powder blue and yellow jerseys.

Council member Paula Abbott was absent from the meeting.

Fire district to move ahead on annexation

The Mountain Vista Fire District moved one step closer to annexing the southern portion of Oro Valley.

In a presentation to the council, Mountain Vista Fire District board member Earle Ruhnke said the district has gotten approving signatures from more than 69 percent of residents in the annexation area.

In addition, Ruhnke said the total assessed property value of those in favor of annexation totals more than 69 percent.

The petitions next go to the county board of supervisors for verification of the signatures. Following that, the board of supervisors would give the final approval for the annexation. If the supervisors approve, annexation into the fire district could occur by the end of the year.

The annexation area covers all areas of Oro Valley south of Hardy Road.

Mountain Vista Board Chairman Mike Treece told The Explorer that Oro Valley resident Phil Richardson was largely responsible for getting all the signatures needed to move the annexation forward.

"He has done this annexation — in my opinion — single handedly," Treece said.

The annexation would mark the fire district's first foray into Oro Valley. Treece said the district would be able to meet the town's response time standards.

He also said the tax rate in the expanded district would likely remain the same.

No sign change for Krispy Kreme

A local franchisee of the doughnut conglomerate Krispy Kreme was shot down in a request to have a larger sign above the doorway of the shop near Oracle and Magee roads.

The council unanimously denied the company's request to install a 61-square-foot logo sign.

The allowable size of such signs for a building the size of Krispy Kreme, under town codes, is approximately 10 square feet.

Farmers market to stay

The town council also unanimously approved a contract renewal for the operators of the local farmers market.

Councilman K.C. Carter asked that the contract be renewed for three years as opposed to the annual renewals for the market, which is held at town hall.

The three-year contract carries the same terms as past contracts, including twice-annual clean-up efforts.

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