In a May 15 Marana council meeting, while adopting the the tentative 2012-2013 fiscal year budget, officials were pleased to announce the purchase of 28.8 acres of state land adjacent to Heritage Park Drive.
On May 2, Parks and Recreation Director Tom Ellis and Finance Director Erik Montague were the sole bidders at the land auction, and purchased the new acreage for $395,000.
“This allows all the dreams, all the planning to become a reality as we are able to put the appropriate resources into the park,” said Ellis. “Congratulations on the incredible vision that is soon to come to fruition.”
Town Manager Gilbert Davidson said the Town plans to use the land to offer additional recreational services to Marana families, while also demonstrating the Town’s unique heritage.
“If we do it the right way, we could bring tourists from all around,” he said.
Davidson said in developing the land, a major focus would be to highlight Marana’s farming community by building a farm-related water feature, offering educational farming classes, along with an equestrian arena with horse riding lessons, roping activities, barrel racing, and more.
The Town will work with The University of Arizona Drachman Institute this fall to improve the existing master plan for the property.
The Drachman Institute is a research and public service unit of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture dedicated to the environmentally sensitive and resource-conscious development of neighborhoods and communities. The team’s work will be complete by next year.
An opening ceremony will be held on May 31 at 8:30 a.m. at Heritage Park, located at 12375 N. Heritage Park Drive.
In other news, Town staff’s proposed tentative 2012-2013 budget met no resistance as it went before council, passing unanimously.
The proposed budget shows a two percent growth from the 2011-2012 year, largely the result of increases in state shared revenues, urban shared revenues, and income tax returns, indicative of a slowly recovering economy.
The tentative budget establishes the Town’s overall expenditure limit of $81.9 million. While the number only sets a spending cap, Davidson said he does not expect many, if any changes or shifts in funding before final approval on June 19.