Every day, something new takes shape in the Town of Marana. Shops fill vacant lots, families move into new homes, and existing businesses expand their operations. As one of the fastest growing communities in Arizona, we’re grateful that so many people choose to live, work and play in Marana.
As we leave behind the hot summer months and prepare for fall, we have much to look forward to. The freshly completed Ina Road Interchange brings more commercial opportunities to the south Marana area, welcoming Jack in the Box, El Rancho Market and QuikTrip to the Ina Road Corridor. Cortaro Road is currently experiencing a surge in development with the addition of the Cortaro Ranch Retail development and the Carondelet Micro hospital. Residential development continues to grow throughout the community with nearly 500 new home builds this calendar year, while Marana Main Street takes shape with more restaurants and commercial developments.
The Town of Marana keeps up with this growth by maintaining infrastructure and service needs throughout the community. As we continue to provide quality services to the community, we are also looking ahead. Want to hear more about Marana’s future? Consider attending one of our upcoming Community Conversations meetings in October. Here’s a sneak preview of what you will learn:
In the fall of 2018, Marana Water initiated a rate study to evaluate current water and water reclamation rates to meet the changing needs of the department. The study recommends changes to address issues common throughout the industry such as rising energy costs and aging infrastructure, but also addresses specific goals such as acquiring new water resources, engaging in preventative maintenance programs and more. The proposed changes to the rates put more control over the costs of water services in the hands of our customers by placing more emphasis on the volumetric rate and less on the fixed rate.
A cost of service analysis was applied to ensure that each customer class (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) contributes its proportionate share of the demands its places on the water utility. This approach also results in a change to the methodology of sewer billing for commercial customers and a new fee for fire service. The last water rate increase was implemented in January of 2017 and, since acquiring the water reclamation system from Pima County in 2012, the only change in water reclamation rates was in 2014 to match the then current Pima County rates.
The public is now invited to learn more about these changes. Marana Water staff will discuss proposed water and water reclamation rates over the next five years, including the department-specific goals and objectives of the rate study, example projects, discussion of the proposed rates, proposed changes to commercial sewer billing, and sample bill comparisons for residential and commercial accounts.
Additional topics at the Community Conversations event includes the 10-year parks and recreation master plan. Marana Parks and Recreation Department does a great job of maintaining our parks and adding new amenities to fit our growing community. As we approach 50,000 in population, we look to the next decade to strategize new opportunities. Members of the public are invited to provide input on the future parks and recreation facilities and services.
The 2020 Census is right around the corner. It is critical for the State of Arizona as well as Marana that all of our residents are counted. Critical funding needed for state, regional and local transportation infrastructure, housing, economic development, schools, healthcare services, public safety, emergency services, and much more can be affected by the results of the U.S. Census. An undercount for Arizona can lead to inadequate federal funding for state, regional and local programs and services. Underfunded programs and services put more pressure on state and local governments, service providers, and businesses to address the funding gaps for unmet needs.
The Community Conversation meetings are offered a couple of times a year, and are a great way to learn about what is going on in your town. This is also a great opportunity to have that one-on-one conversation with many of the department heads and upper level staff throughout the organization. Citizen engagement is an essential part of planning our community’s future. To learn more about these topics, attend the Community Conversations series at the following dates and locations:
• Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr Library, 7800 North Schisler Drive
• Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at Heritage Highlands at Dove Mountain, 4949 W Heritage Club Blvd.
• Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Marana Police Department Community Room, 11555 West Civic Center Drive
Visit MaranaAZ.gov for more information. Jamsheed Mehta is the Town of Marana Manager.