May has been officially designated “Building Safety Month” in the Town of Marana, and town staff have been working hard to showcase the importance of safe and resilient construction, fire prevention, disaster mitigation and new technologies in the construction industry.
Approximately 64,000 communities and organizations worldwide are celebrating this month as part of the International Code Council public awareness campaign. As a participant, the Town of Marana recognizes that our growth depends on the safety and economic value of the homes, buildings and infrastructure, both in everyday life and in times of natural disaster. Building safety ensures the structures are safe and retain their value.
Each week in May highlights various topics that are essential to building safety, including disaster preparedness, education, water resources and partnerships.
The first week stressed the importance of preparing for disasters by “Building Strong, Building Smart.” Even though Marana does not deal with disasters like hurricanes and tornados, it is still important to plan in advance for devastating events like floods, microbursts and even wildfires. In addition to town code updates, our public works department distributes sandbags to the community in anticipation of monsoon floods, and is on-call for storm clean-up.
The second week placed a spotlight on “Ensuring a Safer Future Through Training and Education.” Town staff is working hard to train both employees and the public on the importance of building safety. While staff receives the latest education and certification to stay up-to-date on the job, they are also working with local schools to prepare the next generation of building safety workers.
Week three emphasized a resource that we are all already quite aware of—water. “Securing Clean and Abundant Water for All Communities” highlights how building safety goes beyond our Development Services Division and the construction industry. Marana Water and Wastewater are vital in making sure the water brought to our homes is clean and safe, as well as making sure we have plenty of drinking water for the future. Marana Water’s proactive maintenance programs like well rehabilitation, storage reservoir coatings, valve exercising, hydrant flushing and meter replacements ensure a safe and efficient water system, while the managing of water resources with conservation and aquifer recharge facilities will help provide water security for the future.
Obviously, construction professionals and the homeowner are vital for building safety, and the theme for this week stresses how those involved are “Partners in Safety.” Marana’s Development Services Department participates in quarterly builder roundtables where they collaborate on inspection processes and issues in building through the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association. Builders in the town are held to the safest standards, as the Marana Town Council recently passed the 2018 International Building Code, the most up-to-date standards in the industry.
We close out Building Safety Month by paying tribute to “Innovations in Building Safety.” As an organization, Marana prides itself on being innovative. In fact, engaged innovation is one of our four core values. Additionally, we see a number of the local businesses also embracing innovation.
The town has recently installed solar structures in our parks and in our parking lots, while at the same time Trico Electric has opened the Avion Community Solar Project, which can provide electricity to 3,000 homes. Our Public Works Department is using LEDs not only on traffic signals, but at certain pedestrian crossings. Our community partner Northwest Fire District is utilizing the latest thermal imagery to help firefighters see in the toughest conditions.
Promoting these values is critical as the town looks forward to a future involving increased development and infrastructure investments. Projects like the Land Development Code Update, North Marana Drainage Study, Sewer Conveyance Master Plan and Potable Water Plan will lay the foundation upon which the Town of Marana can support a strong quality of life for our residents and businesses.
For more information on the weekly themes, visit MaranaAZ.gov/newsroom, or follow the Town of Marana on Facebook or Twitter.
Jamsheed Mehta is the Marana Town Manager.