State of the Town

Marana Mayor Ed Honea highlighted new home construction, the planned recreation and aquatic center and a proposed new tower at the Marana Airport during his State of the Town address at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain on Thursday, April 14.

Before receiving a standing ovation from event attendees, Mayor Honea introduced a few key figures in Marana who he said are working hard to make Marana a better place.

Dr. Dan Streeter, superintendent of Marana Unified School District, told the crowd that students persevered through the pandemic. Although the debates on going back to in-person classes and mask mandates proved to be divisive, students still managed to work towards career development.

“We continued our work with the University of Notre Dame’s STEM department,” Streeter said. “Our graduates earned over $21 billion in scholarships, and 141 industry certifications from our CTE departments.”

Marana Chamber of Commerce President Amanda Wiggins followed Streeter and, in supermom fashion,  said she was speaking to the audience just four days after finishing parental leave to care for her newborn son. Wiggins joked that she was excited to be having adult conversations again.

“I’m immensely proud to have worked alongside our incredible board of directors to adopt a family-focused and inclusive parental leave policy for the current and future team members of the Chamber of Commerce,” Wiggins said.

In a video, various Marana Chamber of Commerce members talked about their accomplishments. CTI Inc. announced the groundbreaking of their new corporate office building which will be about 40,000 square feet and Southwest Gas announced the building of a new operations center in Tangerine Commerce Park.

Honea then returned to the stage to make his speech. He highlighted the new housing projects in the works, including 450 new single-family residents building permits and seven new apartment buildings.

Honea addressed the water concern shared by local Marana residents in connection with new construction.

“When you build housing or apartments on farmland, you use a third of the water that farming uses,” Honea said. “A third, I guess that just makes us a bunch of environmentalists.”

Honea’s sentiment was met with laughter. He then updated attendees on the multitude of road improvement projects underway or planned, such as the final phase of construction on Tangerine Road from I-10 to Twin Peaks.

Honea also laid out all the new developments for several Marana parks, including a new splash pad at Tangerine Sky Park with a splash pad and new parking and improved amenities such as swings and restrooms at Honea Heights Park.

Honea announced that the Town would once again start the paperwork to build a new tower at Marana Regional Airport. The Town attempted to do this in 2007 but the recession tanked the economy and any chance for a federally funded tower. Honea said he hoped the federal government would pick up 90% of the cost, with state government would pick up another 5%.

“That’s a pretty good deal when you paid 5% to get a tower,” Honea said.

The Mayor expressed great excitement for the recently approved Community Recreation and Aquatic Center. The town will use a half-cent sales tax to build a 50,000 square foot facility near Town Hall.

Honea thanked Town Council members Herb Kai, Patti Comerford, Jackie Craig, Roxanne Ziegler, John Officer, and Jon Post as well as Town Manager Terry Rozema and Deputy Town Manager Erik Montague.

“We always try to do the right thing and if you let us know, we’ll try to fix it,” Honea said. “I’d like to end the day like I always do, God bless the Town of Marana, and God bless you, each and everyone.”

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