Honea talks up Marana's prospects in State of Town speech

2014-05-01T00:00:00Z Honea talks up Marana's prospects in State of Town speechBy Phil Villarreal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

In his State of the Town speech, Marana Mayor Ed Honea lauded the town’s progress and spoke highly of its future.

Honea spoke April 18 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.

“The state of our town is excellent. Our finances are in order,” Honea said, according to a speech transcript provided by the town.

“We have a very healthy reserve account in place. Our roads and infrastructure are in excellent condition. We have great parks and trails. Our police are some of the best in the state. The town of Marana, our town, is going in the right direction.”

Honea said Duralar Technologies has selected Marana as its North American headquarters, and said the plant will be located in the business park near Arizona Pavilions. According to town spokesman Rodney Campbell, the company could hire 35 employees or more to work at the headquarters.

Honea also praised the Marana Center at Twin Peaks Road and Interstate 10. The project will be a premium outlet mall with more than 90 stores and eventually include an auto mall, large-scale retail center, hotels and restaurants.

Honea said Marana will focus on improving its infrastructure.

“We are going to invest in our future,” he said. “New water and sewer lines are going to be installed in key locations so that we are prepared to accommodate economic growth. We are going to work with each developer, business owner and investor to meet their needs, while ensuring quality development that enhances our community.”

Honea also focused on Marana’s Strategic Plan, which guides the town in its decision-making and resource allocation. The plan focuses on commerce, community, recreation, innovation and heritage. Honea broke his speech down to address what the town was doing to achieve its goals in each of those categories.

For commerce, he discussed the Duralar and outlet mall additions, as well as the town’s work with Pinal County to complete a master plan for Pinal Airpark, which Honea envisions as a shipping and logistics hub, as well as an economic center.

For community, Honea said the town would invest in the town’s cleanliness, safety, schools and efforts to maintain attractive landscaping. He said the goal is to create a sense of place that echoes that of Disneyland.

On the topic of recreation, Honea said the town wants more parks east of I-10, and will start down that path by building a neighborhood park on West Tangerine Road near Sky Ranch Estates.

Speaking about innovation, Honea said the town has developed a program to probe all facets of the community for ideas. He said the town’s new slogan, “Your Town,” came from such an effort. He sees the town’s branding — which will appear on town publications and websites — as a way to attract people to the community.

To focus on heritage, Honea said the town will continue to support the efforts of the Marana Heritage Conservancy, which highlights the town’s history and hosts an annual Founders’ Day celebration.

He also spoke of the coming start of Marana Heritage River Park, a 165-acre area that will include a ranch, farm, park and shops — all connected with walkways. The first stage, which will open in the fall, will be a community garden.

“The future is bright in Marana,” Honea said. “We are going to attract commerce. We are going to build community. We are going to encourage innovation. We are going to celebrate heritage. We are going to support recreation. We are making ‘Your Town’ a very special place to live.”

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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