Each year brings the promise of exciting new opportunities for communities across the country. In Marana, we are optimistic that 2014 will be a year filled with positive developments that move our town forward in many ways.

Here are just a few highlights of what to expect in the New Year.

Development of the Twin Peaks corridor:When the Twin Peaks Interchange opened in 2010, the roadway was identified as a key area for the expansion of commerce in Marana. With several new housing developments moving forward this year and a regional outlet mall coming in the near future, the town’s vision for Twin Peaks is quickly being realized.

Eighth year of Accenture Match Play in Marana: The world’s top 64 professional golfers return to Marana for exciting head-to-head competition from Feb. 17-23. Millions of fans from across the globe will have access to 28 hours of live and 76 hours of total televised coverage from The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. The event is a unique opportunity to showcase the natural beauty found in our community and is a lot of fun to attend. Ticket information can be found at www.worldgolfchampionships.com.

Improvements to the Marana Wastewater Treatment Facility: When the town purchased the North Marana system last year, we promised to run it efficiently and provide room for expansion. We are investing in the system to make upgrades that ensure it operates in the most cost-effective manner now and in the future.

New Deputy Town Manager: The town plans to hire a deputy town manager in the first quarter of the New Year. The new No. 2 person will play a key role in the direction of our development services team at a time when projects are coming back to life after the recession. This is a critical position that will be filled after an extensive national search.

Strategic Plan III: The third version of our community’s guiding document will feature vision and action documents that will be adopted by town council. But first, we’ll reach out to the public for feedback starting in January. The Strategic Plan sets a course of action for our elected leaders and staff to address community needs and position Marana to take advantage of future opportunities.

Greater focus on tourism: With the Ritz-Carlton, award-winning golf courses, hiking in the Tortolita Mountains, multi-use paths, beautiful community parks and almost endless sunshine, Marana is a great place to visit during any time of year. The Town is partnering with the private sector to form a destination marketing organization that will help tell our story to people who are looking for a great place to visit.

Heritage River Park development: While the park is still a few years from build-out, this year will include further infrastructure work that must be completed before the town moves forward on an equestrian arena, demonstration farm and commercial opportunities. One of the first amenities is an extension of the popular shared-use path that runs along the Santa Cruz River.

Innovative forms of citizen engagement: Our Community Connections program is being reintroduced this year, our improved web site debuts in the summer, we are working on an expanded volunteer program and we will begin using an interactive program on marana.com that allows us to get more immediate citizen feedback on a number of issues.

State of the Town: Mayor Honea will deliver an optimistic message about the town’s future during the Marana Chamber of Commerce’s biggest event of the year on April 18 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. For ticket or sponsorship information, please visit www.maranachamber.com.

Design work on a new community park: Residents on the east side of Interstate 10 are getting a new 18-acre recreational area off Tangerine Road near Camino de Oeste and Camino de Manana. Although the park is still a couple of years from opening, design work on the project is scheduled to begin in late 2014.

Everyone who serves the Town hopes your holidays are enjoyable and your New Year is filled with great accomplishments. Local governments work best when people and businesses in those communities are involved and successful. In Marana, we do well on both counts.

(Editor’s Note: Gilbert Davidson is the Marana town manager.)

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