Marana Police Officer Cole Hunter has become an important fixture on the Marana High School campus. The school welcomed Hunter as a school resource officer, after going without one for several years, and he will be rewarded for his involvement at the school. 

Hunter was named the state’s School Resource Officer Rookie of the Year Award, garnering the honor from nominees across the state of Arizona. 

“It feels incredibly humbling to receive this honor because I got a chance to see first-hand just how hard school resource officers across state of Arizona work,” said Hunter. “We’ve met in training throughout the state and there are so many great officers that love their job and put in so much time, effort and dedication to not only their departments but their respective schools.”  

Hunter was honored during the ASROA School Based Policing Conference on June 16 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.

Hunter admits he did not even know he was up for the award. He was nominated without his knowledge by the staff at Marana High School.

“Not only is Cole exceptional at teaching, he puts an emphasis on creating positive relationships with students,” Associate Principal Earl Armstrong wrote in Hunter’s evaluation. “He is constantly out on campus interacting with kids, building trust. Kids want to be in a safe environment and due to Officer Hunter’s actions, students are advocating for the safety and security of our campus by coming to Officer Hunter and letting him know about situations that may be detrimental to our positive culture.”

Hunter cited Armstrong 

and if there was any recourse if the roads were accepted into the town’s inventory. Montague said town staff was exploring getting some costs returned. 

Councilmember Patti Comerford was in favor of the town looking closely at who was at fault for the issues. 

“We want to make it safe right away,” Comerford said. “We want to make it clear that this is not acceptable. Otherwise you are going to find this popping up all over the place. 

“If it is because they used substandard stuff, they need to pay for it, not the citizens of Marana.” 

The council concluded the meeting by extending the contract of Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. The council met in executive session to discuss the contract. After the discussion, members agreed to extend his contract for two years, essentially extending the agreement that Davidson had agreed to in 2013. The 2013 deal was an open-term agreement.

The Marana Utilities Department is reverting to its original name. 

The Marana Town Council approved the department changing its name back to Marana Water. 

 “Transitioning to Marana Water better reflects the services we provide,” said Marana Water Director John Kmiec in a press release. “Marana Water is committed to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for our growing community. This change will give the department a strong identity in the region and concentrate on the water and water reclamation services we provide.”

Kmiec and his staff noticed that there was plenty of confusion as to what services they provided and residents had trouble finding answers for their water questions. 

“What we have found staff-wise is that the name Marana Utilities is not a very strong brand in the community,” Kmiec told the council. “Many people are confused with what our actual services are.”

New residents to the area seemed to have the most issues with the name. 

“New people moving into the community often call us for gas service, electrical service and then when we explain to them that we are water and wastewater, their usual response is ‘why aren’t you called Marana Water?’” explained Kmiec. 

The water department formed in 1997 with 500 customers. In 2007, it changed names to reflect the addition of wastewater services. Today, Marana Water now has more than 6,300 water and more than 2,400 sewer customers.

The town also approved Marana Water to work with B.K.W. Farms on water storage. 

Currently the town receives an allotment over 1,500 acre-foot of CAP water which it places in the lower Santa Cruz recharge project. The new opportunity would allow the town to utilize the B.K.W. Farms ground water savings facility. 

“This agreement is to maximize our use of our water resources that we are getting today for the most beneficial use for our utility and our customers,” Kmiec said.

The plan would save the town approximately $42,139 and reduce what the town pays per acre foot from $161 to about $149.

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