The Tortolita Fire covered 3,140 acres and was 100% contained in 6 days (June 5-11) during very windy conditions. Joe Thomas and Mark Johnson hiked to the southern edge of the fire on June 21. See Tortolita Fire Area Hike Blog. TA sent Thank You Letter to the Arizona Dept. of Forestry & Fire Management for their great job fighting this fire.
Marana Budget/TP Lease
TA monitors all Marana Study Sessions, Town Council and Planning Commission meetings. Of particular interest lately is the FY21 budget, especially with potential COVID-19 impacts. TA attended and provided a Statement at the June 16 Town Council Meeting in response to previous Councilmember comments on the Tortolita Preserve Lease. See Lease-onomics Part I, Part II and Part III for more information regarding the TP Lease.
Marana approved the Tentative FY21 Budget of $149,259,265 on June 23. This budget is 3.2% higher than the Adopted FY20 budget. It includes deferred Capital Expenditures and freezing merit increases to counter the COVID-19 effects, i.e. lower taxes. The budget also includes $5.6 million of federal COVID-19 AZ-CARES relief funds. There are no adverse impacts to Tortolita Preserve and other Park & Recreation operations and maintenance funding. There will be a final public hearing on July 21, 2020 to adopt this budget.
New data shows that the FY20 budget will be achieved, despite COVID-19 issues. Building permits for FY20 are 815 units versus 803 units for FY19.
TP Partnership-OHV & Vandalism
TA has formed a partnership with Marana Parks & Recreation (MPR), Marana PD, Trail Riders of So Az, Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists and other groups to tackle the issue of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) unauthorized access to the western portion of TP and vandalism at the Mattamy-North Entrance and Moore Road Entrance. See minutes of our two recent meetings:
Tortolita Preserve Improvements
MPR recently repaired the boundary fence at the northeast corner of TP in two locations. MPR is also considering re-routing the trail at this location to eliminate the 90 degree bend and making a wider, safer turn. MPR is installing 10 large info/warning signs at various trailhead and other locations (see photo right).
Know Your H2O Series
This is an eleven part series on water in Arizona and the Tucson region. Parts I-IX are complete:
Part X-Marana Water & Tucson Water
Parts X and XI will be published soon and will reveal some dramatic conclusions and recommendations. Stay tuned for more.
TA attended (virtually) the University of Arizona Water Resource Research Center Annual Meeting-Water At The Crossroads-The Next 40 Years on June 18 & 19. It was a very interesting conference and confirmed the Know Your H2O research and upcoming conclusions and recommendations.
Thanks again to all those that have made a donation during our ongoing Fund Raising Campaign. We have received $3,000 which is about 2/3rds of the $4,500 goal. If you have not yet made a donation, please consider if you are able. Donations can be made via PayPal or Credit Card at the Donation Page.
The tee shirt input concludes on July 1 and then we will process the order. If you are interested in getting a tee shirt, please go to the Tee Shirt Page. We expect the tee shirts to be ready around mid-July and will contact those that provided input regarding pick-up, delivery and payment. We will order some extra tee shirts so we will have plenty.