Marana staff put a lot of thought into planning the town’s road improvements and future developments, most of which is laid out in a five-year plan: the Capital Improvement Program.
As the town nears the end of the last five-year program, town engineer Keith Brann went over the significant projects the town is wrapping up this year and some continuing developments, which the town pays for through a number of funding sources, including impact fees, construction sales tax and the general fund.
A few highlights that wrapped up, or are about to, this year: Cracker Barrel Drive has reopened after pavement reconstruction and storm drain improvements that cost $848,000; In terms of road realignment, the roundabout and new roadway to the west are open, and the lighting will be wrapping up this year; The new, 18-acre Tangerine Sky Community Park should be open relatively soon, and the family-of-deer sculpture at the entryway is already a favorite photo spot in the town. The improvements to the Ora Mae Harn ball fields are finished, with new backstops, dugouts and fencing on five ball fields, as well as new lighting, restroom and field turf, for $859,000; Early in the fiscal year, the town finished phase two of the Tangerine Downtown Sewer Conveyance System, at a $6.5 million cost, which allowed them to take in-flows from Saguaro Bloom; and The Crossroads splash pad will be open this spring, on a $750,000 budget.
A few highlights of long-term projects that will continue this year are: Marana’s new 55,000-square-foot Public Safety Facility is on schedule to be open in the late fall/early winter of 2019, with a $22.8 million budget; Widening Tangerine Road to four lanes, with raised medians, drainage improvements, sidewalks, ADA facilities, multi-use path and lanes, traffic signals, wildlife crossings and more. The town is focusing on the next phase, with a total budget of $84.7 million; and Adonis Subdivision improvements, a long-term project on a subdivision that has had years of drainage problems.
A few highlights of road projects the town will be undertaking next: Coachline Boulevard pavement restoration, from North Silverbell Road to North Continental Reserve Loop, with a $2 million budget; Ina Road improvements will be done during the current interchange closure, so that by the time it reopens, there will be a brand new Ina Road practically across town; Pavement restoration and upgrades on Aeris Drive will also take place during the Ina interchange closure, with a $835,000 budget; and the Santa Cruz Shared Use Path III segment of shared use path that ends in Gladden Farms Park will be extended to the Cal Portland Concrete plant, running along the northeastern bank of the Santa Cruz River, on a $1.8 million budget.
Elsewhere around town
Marana’s second-quarter budget revenue is on track with a few exceptions, and most expenditures are lower than expected.
Overall revenues for the general fund are at 50 percent, at almost $22 million. And expenditures are at 38 percent, at almost $17.8 million.
Airport revenues are only at 24 percent, only the appearance of a deficiency, due to an anticipated one-time transfer from the General Fund to the Airport Fund that’s scheduled for the end of this fiscal year, according to Marana Finance Director Erik Montague.
On the other hand, revenue from the Wastewater Fund appears higher than expected because of the timing of a project in Saguaro Bloom, an area projected to grow consistently over the next 17 years.
All Marana’s expenditures are lower than expected except the Bed Tax Fund. Most expenditures are under because of costly one-time projects and programs that will take place later in the year. For example, the transportation fund has only reached 1 percent of the fiscal year’s budget because a majority of the funds are flagged for projects like Tangerine Road Widening and Coachline Reconstruction, which the town will complete later in the fiscal year.
Bed tax expenditures are at 70 percent, rather than 50, because of a state land lease payment, made in October 2017, regarding the Dove Mountain region. These expenditures are expected to reflect the budget by the end of the fiscal year.
Another notable expense that looks under-budget is the half-cent sales tax fund for the new police facility. It is currently at 21 percent, having spent almost $4.8 million. It’s expected to reach budget levels as the major facets of the project near completion, later in the fiscal year.
People can review the second-quarter financial reports at the town’s website at maranaaz.gov/quarterly-financial-reports.