• Mark L. Johnson

TA Tidbits #20-TA In Action





TA Presentations


Tortolita Alliance (TA) made presentations to the Del Webb Dove Mountain HOA (2/11), Dove Mountain Civic Association (3/24) and Highlands HOA (3/31). The presentations covered the history of the Tortolita Preserve, history of TA and current TA activities. The Powerpoint is located at the TA Website Resource-Docs & Talks Tab.


TA will also be making a Water Woes presentation on 5/13 to the Dove Mountain Rotary Club.




TP Saguaro Vandalism/Damage


TA member reported several saguaros near the North Entrance to the Tortolita Preserve (TP) with red survey whiskers inserted into the saguaros. We checked with contractors working in the area and nobody saw anything. TA will be removing the survey whiskers and treat the wounds with anti-fungal sulphur.


This type of activity is cruel and illegal. If you see individuals damaging saguaros or other native vegetation in the TP, please take photos and contact Marana PD, Marana P&R and TA.




Tortolita Preserve Natural Resource Survey


TA is planning to conduct a comprehensive Natural Resource Survey (NRS) of the entire Tortolita Preserve (2,400 acres). The will include plants, animals and more. The NRS will be performed by volunteer Citizen Scientists. A grid system will be established to ensure the entire TP is covered. TA will provide training and field devices/software to record the findings. Meetings are currently underway with Marana to review and coordinate the NRS. Stayed tuned for more information. We will need many TA members to volunteer as Citizen Scientists to help with this important initiative.






Tortolita Preserve Trail Counter


The successful Fund-raiser has provided enough funds to purchase a trail counter so we can document how many hikers, bikers and horseback riders are using the Tortolita Preserve. TA is currently reviewing various types of counters and will be coordinating with Marana P&R before making a purchase and installing.











TA Becomes Group Member of the Coalition For Sonoran Desert Protection


TA has a great collaborative relationship with the Coalition For Sonoran Desert Protection (CSDP). We have worked closely with Carolyn Campbell (Executive Director) since the formation of TA on a variety of important environmental matters. TA will now become a Member Group of CSDP to formalize that relationship.




Drought


TA continues to closely monitor the drought by attending the Local Area Drought Group meetings. TA has also published Water Woes articles on the Colorado River and drought impacts. These articles also reference several well written drought articles in the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Republic and The Revalator.




Guild Wash


TA attended the Guild Wash-Santa Cruz River Watershed Plan/Environmental Assessment (Guild Wash EA) meeting was held on April 29. See Guild Wash Watershed map above. Here is a summary of the meeting:


  • The purpose of the Guild Wash-Santa Cruz River Water Shed Plan (Project) is to mitigate future flooding in the Guild Wash Watershed for residents, homes, businesses, farmland and agriculture, roads, utilities, CAP Canal and other infrastructure.

  • The Project is being managed by the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) a division of the Department of Agriculture.

  • Funding comes from an NRCS Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) grant.

  • The Project is being driven by the Lower Santa Cruz River Alliance and Pinal County Public Works.

  • The Project Website has background materials, watershed maps and a copy of the Powerpoint used at the April 29 meeting.

  • TA emphasized the need to look at higher frequency flood events due to intense monsoonal precipiation fueled by climate change.

  • Hydraulic analysis of the watershed is underway and the 100-Year Flood and 500-Year Flood are being evaluated.

  • FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) will not be change as a result of the Project.

  • Mark Johnson (TA President) will be added as a Key Stakeholder and participate in detailed discussions on watershed hydraulics and hydrology investigations.



New Found Moola In Marana


Marana is expected to receive $11.7 million from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.


Eligible uses of these funds include:

  • Revenue replacement for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent fiscal year prior to the emergency,

  • COVID-19 expenditures or negative economic impacts of COVID-19, including assistance to small businesses, households, and hard-hit industries, and economic recovery,

  • Premium pay for essential workers,

  • Investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

Restrictions on the uses of these funds include:

  • Funds allocated to states cannot be used to directly or indirectly to offset tax reductions or delay a tax or tax increase;

  • Funds cannot be deposited into any pension fund.

Funding must be spent/obligated by the end of calendar year 2024. TA will keep any eye where this funding is proposed to be allocated.


Thanks to Yiannis Kalaitzidis (Marana Finance Director) for providing this information.




Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)-Transportation Improvement Program (2022-2026)(TIP)


Pima Association of Governments (PAG) prepares the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the Regional Transportation authority (RTA). The RTA is funded by a 1/2 cent excise tax or sales tax.


PAG has recently published the TIP 2022-2026. The TIP is reviewed and approved with input from local government leaders and the public. The 30-day comment period ends on May 18.


Proposed projects in Marana include:

  • Several Marana Airport Improvements

  • Tangerine Road-I-10 to Dove Mountain Blvd (4 lanes w/sidewalk & wildlife corridors)

  • Traffic Signal-Dove Mountain Blvd & Moore Road

TA has already commented that the Tangerine Road improvements are unnecessary due to lack of use and the road is in good condition.