Marana to extend one-year wastewater agreement with county - The Explorer: Marana

Marana to extend one-year wastewater agreement with county

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Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 3:00 am

The Marana Town Council voted to allow Mayor Ed Honea to execute a one-year extension of the intergovernmental agreement between the town and Pima County for provision of water-consumption data and sewer-user account billing.

Voting unanimously during the April 19 council meeting, the agreement, which was originally approved in 2009, will remain in place for the time being.

However, paragraph 22 of the agreement acknowledges the pending wastewater litigation between Marana and Pima County, providing the ability for the town to terminate or modify the agreement at any time, depending on the outcome of the lawsuit.

Marana now holds a big advantage in the fight over wastewater rights. Pima County currently manages the services.

However, with Gov. Jan Brewer signing Senate Bill 1171 into law, the Town of Marana can now enter the wastewater business.

SB 1171 will allow Marana to provide wastewater services to residents by allowing the city to assume ownership of a small wastewater treatment facility located just outside town boundaries.

In other business, the council unanimously approved amending Ordinance 2011.11, which will allow a Marana couple to move forward with plans to build a swimming pool.

Lisa Shafer, interim planning director, said in November 2002, the council adopted an ordinance that rezoned 431 acres of land located south of the Camino del Norte alignment and west Camino de Oeste, requiring that site/lot disturbance be set at 30 percent.

After purchasing property on the 5000 block of West Desert Falcon Lane in 2006, Mark and Denise Bartlett found out they would not be able to build a pool because the land had already been graded to the 30 percent capacity.

After working with the city, with council approval, the Bartletts will re-vegetate 17 percent of the property in order to build the pool. This means in areas already graded, they will replant desert vegetation to meet code requirements.

The amended ordinance now states land disturbance limitations is between 30 and 35-percent.

In other business, the council voted to appoint three members – Patti Comerford, Roxanne Ziegler and Jon Post – to the Contract Review Committee. The review committee is being convened to resolve any disputes or differences in interpretation of the Marana Police Officers’ Association Memorandum of Understanding.

The committee is charged with making a recommendation of action to the Town Council to resolve any disputes.

Before adjourning the 30-minute public portion of the meeting, the council gave Suzanne Machain, the town’s human resources director, permission to move forward with hiring a graphic designer. The annual salary for the position ranges between $43,008 and $64,512.

Machain said the position aligns with the town’s strategic plan to continue building a unique plan for Marana.

Besides marketing and design, the person hired will focus on promoting the town online.

The council closed the public portion of the meeting, voting to go into executive session to discuss three separate agenda items.

In the closed-door meeting, the council sought legal advice regarding the ongoing litigation between the town and Pima County over wastewater.

The agenda stated the council would be getting legal advice regarding “pending legal issues, settlement discussions and contract negotiations relating to the transition of Marana wastewater collection and treatment to the Town of Marana.”

The second executive session allowed the council to obtain public advice regarding a settlement offered in the case filed against the Town of Marana by Valley Collection Service.

Valley Collections Service is under contract with the town to assist the court in collecting delinquent fees and fines that are due.

Cedric Hary, Marana’s assistant town attorney, said the lawsuit alleges that while the contract authorizes the court to cancel any accounts at any time, the court allegedly canceled some accounts for which the owner of Valley Collections feels he is owed more money.

The final executive session allowed the council to get advice in negotiating for the property rights needed for the Camino de Mañana and Dove Mountain extension project.

The council took no action following the executive session.

Reporter Thelma Grimes can be reached at 797-4384 or by email at tgrimes@explorernews.com.

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