The fight of the Marana Wastewater Reclamation Facility is finally, and fully, over.

Marana handed over a $16.1 million check to Pima County on Thursday, the final step in the transfer of the former county-run utility to the town.

The action has the backing of Marana voters, who went to the polls in November to give town officials the authority to run the utility.

Marana and the county had been fighting over control of the plant for years. When judges in several court cases rebuffed the town's effort to take over he plant through annexation the town persuaded the Legislature to pass a law mandating the county turn it over to Marana. But even that was thwarted by a legal ruling Marana didn't have the authority to operate the plant - a ruling rendered moot by town voters in November and opening the way to a negotiated settlement to the long-standing dispute.

As they transferred ownership of the plant, county officials urged town officials to consider the challenges of operating an aging facility in a growing community.

When the facility was still a county-maintained property, Pima County was considering spending $40 million for upgrades.

Joe Ferguson