MArana Mayor Ed Honea highlighted the construction of new homes, the planned recreation and aquatics center and a proposed new tower at Marana Airport during his State of the City address at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain on Thursday, April 14.
Before receiving a standing ovation from the event attendees, Mayor Honea introduced some key Marana personalities who he said are working hard to make Marana a better place.
Dr. Dan Streeter, superintendent of the Marana Unified School District, told the crowd that the students persevered during the pandemic. Although debates over returning to in-person classes and mask mandates proved divisive, students still managed to work on career development.
“We continued our work with the STEM department at the University of Notre Dame,” Streeter said. “Our graduates have earned over $21 billion in scholarships and 141 industry certifications from our CTE departments.”
Marana Chamber of Commerce President Amanda Wiggins followed Streeter and, like a super mom, said she was speaking to the public just four days after completing parental leave to care for her newborn son. Wiggins joked that she was thrilled to be having adult conversations again.
“I am extremely proud to have worked alongside our incredible Board of Directors to enact an inclusive and family-focused parental leave policy for current and future members of the Chamber of Commerce team,” said Wiggins.
In a video, various members of the Marana Chamber of Commerce talked about their accomplishments. CTI Inc. announced the grand opening of its new approximately 40,000 square foot office building and Southwest Gas announced the construction of a new operations center at Tangerine Commerce Park.
Honea then returned to the stage to deliver her speech. He highlighted new housing projects underway, including 450 new building permits for single-family residents and seven new apartment buildings.
Honea addressed the water problem shared by local Marana residents as part of a new build.
“When you build housing or apartments on agricultural land, you use one-third of the water used by agriculture,” Honea said. “A third, I guess that makes us a bunch of environmentalists.”
Honea’s sentiment was met with laughter. He then updated attendees on the multitude of road improvement projects underway or planned, such as the final phase of construction on Tangerine Road from I-10 to Twin Peaks.
Honea also showcased all new developments for several Marana Parks, including a new wading pool at Tangerine Sky Park with a wading pool and new parking lot and upgraded amenities such as swings and restrooms at Honea Heights Park.
Honea announced that the city would start redoing the paperwork to build a new tower at Marana Regional Airport. The city attempted to do so in 2007, but the recession dragged the economy down and left a federally funded tower no chance. Honea said he hopes the federal government will pick up 90% of the cost, with the state government picking up an additional 5%.
“It’s a really good deal when you paid 5% to get a tower,” Honea said.
The mayor expressed his enthusiasm for the recently approved community recreation and aquatic center. The city will use a half-cent sales tax to build a 50,000 square foot facility near City Hall.
Honea thanked City Council members Herb Kai, Patti Comerford, Jackie Craig, Roxanne Ziegler, John Officer and Jon Post as well as City Manager Terry Rozema and Deputy City Manager Erik Montague.
“We always try to do the right thing and if you let us know, we’ll try to fix it,” Honea said. “I would like to end the day as I always do, God bless the town of Marana and God bless you, each and every one.”