Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Marana's Water Future Depends On You

Planning for our future is vital.
The issue before voters is Marana's water future, which will be determined in large part by how the Marana wastewater treatment system is managed.  Voters will determine whether Marana's wastewater will be managed by the town of Marana or another government.

This March, Marana's first all vote-by-mail election offers another opportunity for a decision about the future of the community.  Two wastewater questions are on the Town's ballot.  Arizona law requires voter authorization for the Town to acquire existing utility operations.

For Marana to control its own growth, Marana must own and operate both wastewater treatment facilities. When we have control over our resources, we have control of our future.

The primary question
Asks whether the Town shall be authorized to own and operate a wastewater system.  This system currently serves about 2,100 customers in the northwest part of Marana, where the Town is also the water provider.  This area is largely undeveloped.  If the Town of Marana is authorized to own and operate the system, the Town will have the benefits and responsibilities of serving this large area where significant growth is planned.

The second question
Asks whether the Town shall be authorized to own and operate the small Rillito Vista waterwaste treatment facility as part of the overall system.  Pima County's proposal requires the Town to operate this 60-customer system as part of a settlement of the wastewater negotiations.

Why you should vote YES on both questions 

1.       Marana can fiscally operate the wastewater plants.

2.       Marana has the employees,  staff and expertise to operate and upgrade the treatment process.

3.       The effluent water is most important for the Towns 100 year designated water supply.

4.       Please vote YES on both questions on the election Ballot.  The county's proposal requires the second question to pass as well as the first question.

5.       If you have questions please email them to   They will be answered by the experts that are on the Political Action Committee for the Ballot questions.

6.       The Town showed a modest operation margin the first 6 months of operating the Luckett plant.

7.       All upgrades required by new service connections will be paid for by those NEW Connecters, not current  rate payers.

8.   In order to get a hospital in Northern Marana and other valuable future assets to our community, the Town of Marana must have control its own wastewater.  

If the Town continues managing the system, the benefits include: 
 *  The ability to maximize renewable water supplies for current and future Marana residents.

*  Marana will have permanent ownership of the full current and future flow of water produced by the system.  This water can be used to replace water pumped from the ground.  If the cost of water continues rising, this will reduce Marana;s future expense of acquiring water resources to serve its customers and residents.

*   Marana will control the implementation of recycled and reclaimed water programs for irrigation of parks, schools, and other turf areas.

*   Businesses wishing to move to or expand in North Marana will need to work only with the Town on water and wastewater issues.


Frequently Asked Questions (updated 1/14/13 on the Town of Marana website)

QUESTION:  When is the election?
ANSWER:  This is the Town’s first all-mail ballot election. Ballots start going out to registered voters February 14 for the March 12 election. Along with two wastewater questions, there are four seats on the Town Council being contested.

QUESTION:  How do I vote?
ANSWER:  For more election information, please visit the elections Web page or contact the Marana Town Clerk at (520) 382-1999.

QUESTION:  How many customers does the system serve?
ANSWER:  Currently about 2,100, but this is a mostly undeveloped area planned for substantial future development.

QUESTION:  Where do negotiations between the Town and Pima County stand?
ANSWER:  The County and the Town want to settle the wastewater system ownership question. The settlement being negotiated would result in the Town owning and operating the system.

QUESTION:  Why must residents vote on ownership of a wastewater system?
ANSWER:  State law requires the Town to ask voters to decide whether it should operate a wastewater system.

QUESTION:  What are the benefits of the Town operating a wastewater treatment plant?
ANSWER:  Operating the plants would mean that the Town also owns the water generated by the wastewater systems. Owning that water would allow the Town to replenish the water table for future use by Marana residents and business owners, making full use of all our water resources. This would also facilitate development in these areas.

QUESTION:  Which neighborhoods are served by the Marana wastewater system being considered in this election?
ANSWER:  Most people living or doing business north of Avra Valley Road and west of Dove Mountain are served by this wastewater system. (See the accompanying map.)

service area
Click on the graphic to open a more detailed map

QUESTION:  What happens if the community votes “Yes?”
ANSWER:  If voters give the Town of Marana authorization to own and operate the wastewater system, the Town will have the benefits and responsibilities of serving this large northwest part of Marana slated for significant future growth.

QUESTION:  What happens if the community votes “No?”
ANSWER: Pima County will own and operate the wastewater system.

QUESTION: If Marana purchases the wastewater system, how will it be financed?
ANSWER: The purchase will be primarily funded by impact fees on growth. The remainder will be supported by other fees, including the water resource fee.

QUESTION: Does the water generated from the Marana wastewater system have to support the Southern Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act (SAWRSA) before it is available to the Town?
ANSWER: No. The SAWRSA settlement does not apply to this plant. It only applies to plants located in the Tucson basin.

QUESTION: Is the Marana wastewater system costly to operate?  Will my rates go up significantly if the Town is the owner?
ANSWER: Town officials have weighed the benefits and responsibilities of operating a wastewater system. The Town believes it can operate and maintain the system as necessary for future customers with rates comparable to what Pima County would charge.

QUESTION: If and when the Marana Wastewater plant needs to expand for future residents, who will have to pay?
ANSWER: The Town will have impact fees that support any additional infrastructure needed at the treatment plant. These fees are passed on to new developments, not current residents. Essentially, new residents and businesses will pay for expansions to accommodate them.

QUESTION:  Large portions of the Town are located outside the Marana wastewater system (for example, Continental Ranch, Continental Reserve, Dove Mountain, Sky Ranch, and Tangerine Crossing). How will this vote affect water and wastewater service in areas outside the Marana wastewater system?
ANSWER:  Existing homes and businesses in these areas will continue receiving water service from their current provider (Tucson Water or Marana Water) and will continue receiving wastewater service from Pima County.

QUESTION:  How will these ballot measures affect Marana residents who live outside the proposed Marana wastewater service area?
ANSWER:  If voters give the Town authorization to own and operate the Marana wastewater system, the Town can optimize its water resources which would benefit residents and businesses that decide to make the Town their homes in the future.  Marana is responsible for providing permanent water resources for most new residents and businesses.

The FAQ information was provided for town residents by the town of Marana.  We wanted to share their information as well in hopes that it also answers your questions.  You can find the information from the town HERE.

Who We Are

This PAC is supported by citizens of Marana who realize that in order to get a Hospital and other vital resources in our community that we must have control of our own wastewater as a town.  Control of our water is vital for the Town of Marana.

Brad DeSpain, President
Linda Zupi, Treasurer
Stephanie Ashcraft, Secretary

If you would like to support our efforts to get the word out to voters, you may send checks payable to:

Marana Citizens for Future Renewable Water
PO Box 475
Marana, AZ  85653

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