TA Tidbits #17-Hot Local News & Events
Upper Javelina Trail
TA Meets With Marana Town Manager
TA Board members Mark Johnson, Dave Barker and Jim Tripp met via Zoom with new Marana Town Manager Terry Rozema and Deputy Town Manager Erik Montague on 1/21/21. TA requested the meeting and the purpose was to introduce TA to Terry and find ways for Marana and TA to work together. The items discussed included; (1) unauthorized access to the Tortolita Preserve (TP) (cattle, OHV, poachers, etc.) (2) fencing western end of TP, (3) master plans, (4) growth & affordability and (5) natural undisturbed open space. It was a great meeting and we feel good things will happen.
For example, Terry has already contacted the Arizona State Land Department Director for help getting the rancher's cattle water tank relocated out of the TP to an area that will hopefully deter the cattle from entering the TP. Of course the ultimate solution is fencing the western end of the TP and there were positive indications on that front as well.
Southwest Gas 6" High Pressure Gas Pipeline Update
In TA Tidbits #15, we reported that Southwest Gas was to construct a 6" high pressure gas pipeline in the existing utility easement that traverses the TP. The purpose of this pipeline is to reinforce the existing Dove Mountain gas distribution system, i.e. not to serve a plethora of new subdivisions. The directional boring of the pipeline was completed last week. TA worked with Southwest Gas to ensure that there was minimal construction damage to the saguaros and other native vegetation and sent this note to Southwest Gas:
"We want to thank Southwest Gas for working with the Tortolita Alliance. Installing the pipeline in an existing easement area and choosing the directional bore construction method versus open cut resulted in minimal ground disturbance. We were impressed with the care taken to protect the saguaros and other native vegetation."
Dove Mountain now has a gas pipeline loop reinforcement and it was installed in a responsible way.
TA Meets With Marana Finance Director
TA Board President Mark Johnson met via Zoom with Marana Finance Director Yiannis Kalaitzidis, Assistant Finance Director Starla Anderson and Deputy Town Manager Erik Montague on 2/3/21. The purpose of the meeting was to review financial notes in the recently published Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) regarding the Enterprise Funds (water, wastewater and airport) to determine if the funds are self-sufficient and determine the extent of inter-fund transfers (loans) from the General Fund (tax payer supported) to the Enterprise Funds. The following was gleaned from this meeting:
Inter-fund transfers from the General Fund to the Enterprise Funds total $5.7 million. These are either short-term transfers related to capital project payment timing differences or longer term transfers that have repayment plans in place.
Inter-fund transfers from the Transportation Fund to the Wastewater Fund totals $2.4 million. The Transportation Fund receives its revenues from 75% of the Construction Sales Tax, i.e. not the General Fund.
All 3 Enterprise Funds have positive net income if you disregard depreciation which is a non-cash item.
TA also reminded the group that many Marana residents are customers of Tucson Water and Pima County Wastewater and they should not be subsidizing Marana Water or Marana Wastewater as they receive no direct benefit from these Enterprise Fund utilities.
Marana indicated the goal is to have these Enterprise Funds self-sufficient as soon as possible. TA supports this goal and will be monitoring the progress and make sure that additional large inter-fund transfers from the General Fund are avoided in the future.
TA Virtual Presentations
TA has prepared a virtual presentation that will debut with the Del Webb Mountain HOA on 2/11/21. The topics include: Tortolita Preserve History, Tortolita Alliance History, TA Activities, TA website and more.
If your HOA or organization would like a virtual presentation just contact us at email@example.com and we would be glad to arrange a presentation.