Marana officials who tout the ‘live, work, play’ motto of Marana can soon add another descriptor: bury.

Last week, the Marana Town Council gave the go-ahead for the first cemetery in the area. The town’s new cemetery will be located near the forthcoming corner of Barnett and Tangerine Farms roads.

“It makes us a more complete community,” said Mayor Ed Honea. “I don’t see it any differently than a senior center or a park.”

When the town started more than 30 years ago, much of it was rural, and residents depended on Tucson for most things. But now that Marana has grown, so has the desire for something a little closer than the Evergreen Cemetery on Miracle Mile and Oracle Road, the next nearest graveyard, said Honea, who has mentioned his interest in a cemetery in several “state of the town” addresses.

The 23-acre area will also house a mortuary, chapel, crematorium and 3.5 acres of parking.

Marana Mortuary and Cemetery Properties and Swan Management will both develop the space with an expected open date sometime in 2009.

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