Honea to share 'big-time' things in State of the Town - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Honea to share 'big-time' things in State of the Town

Mayor speaks at Friday breakfast

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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:26 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Marana Mayor Ed Honea offers his "State of the Town" address Friday morning, planning to present "bold plans for Marana's future," a release said.

The event begins with registration at 7 a.m. at the Stardance Center at Lazy K Bar Ranch, 8110 N. Scenic Drive. Breakfast begins at 8 a.m.

Honea plans to review the community's strategic plan, talk about the "five highlighted areas" — flood plain map acceptance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, water and wastewater, award of a contract to build the Twin Peaks interchange on I-10, and development services improvements — along with talk about the town's budget.

Add in the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain resort development, and "some really big-time, major impact things are happening in our community," Honea said in a Friday interview. "We don't really have a lot of negatives. We're feeling pretty good."

Marana has been "creative" in its financial management, attempting to avoid layoffs through attrition and other practices. "Not to say it won't happen," given the town's financial picture, Honea said. "So far it has not."

"Our wallets are little thinner, like everybody else's, but we're not so desperate we're laying off people by the gross," Honea said.

He gave credit to the town council, manager Gilbert Davidson and senior staff for being "frugal," and for planning. "They have us prepared pretty well."

"We could see the economy kind of slow a little bit" two years ago, Honea said. "We started slowing down then." When there were resignations, "we absorbed some of those positions.

"We're not going to do anything with police officers, that's completely intact," he said. Programs are being maintained for now, Honea said, though reductions may be needed "if times get worse."

He'll talk about Marana's court case with Pima County over wastewater treatment facilities. "Courts don't move very quickly," Honea said. "We've had four different judgments by two different judges, and Marana has been the clear, 100 percent winner in all four judgments."

Phoenix firm should start on Twin Peaks within 30 days

A Phoenix contractor has been awarded a $50.4 million contract — nearly $15 million below the Arizona Department of Transportation estimate — to build the Twin Peaks interchange on I-10 in Marana.

Pulice Construction, Inc., was awarded the pact Friday, when the ADOT board met in Marana.

The new interchange will be located on Interstate 10 between the Avra Valley Road and Cortaro Road interchanges. Improvements are going to extend Twin Peaks Road west of the Santa Cruz River, to Camino de Mañana and to Linda Vista Boulevard east of I-10. The project also incorporates an overpass at the Union Pacific Railroad tracks east of I-10. Construction is expected to begin this spring, and will take approximately 18 months.

"You should see people moving dirt within 30 days," Marana Mayor Ed Honea said.

The Town of Marana has committed $14 million in impact fees, and is paying the cost of a new $1 million water line. The Arizona Department of Transportation is also spending $14 million. The Regional Transportation Authority has contributed more than $30 million.

Twin Peaks should connect the growing Dove Mountain community with Continental Ranch, and provide easier access to I-10, according to a Marana release. It should "greatly reduce travel time in that part of Marana and increase safety by taking some traffic off busy streets, most notably Cortaro Road."

"It is going to be phenomenal for our community," Honea said. "It's going to save the school literally millions in transportation costs." And, throughout the Northwest, including Marana, Oro Valley and rural Pima County, "people are going to be able to get places faster … and safer."

A public open house and groundbreaking ceremony will be scheduled once the contractor has finalized a phasing and construction plan. For more information on the Twin Peaks interchange or to sign-up for traffic alerts, visit www.TwinPeaksI-10.com.

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