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Residents to decide on wastewater facility on the November ballot

Modified: Wednesday, Jun 27th, 2012

MARANA — In a special meeting that was held on Tuesday night, and after almost an hour and a half of executive session, the Marana Town Council voted 4-2 to have a special election to ask the voters if the town should acquire the Marana Wastewater Treatment Facility. The measure will appear on the November ballot.

Council members Jon Post and Roxanne Ziegler voted no and Herb Kai was absent.

"I believe in taking it to the voters," said Marana Vice Mayor Patti Comerford.

The town will ask the voters to authorize the town to acquire the Marana Wastewater Reclamation Facility and the wastewater facilities, set back areas, access rights, and current and future service area connected to or associated with the facility.

The facility in question is located in the northern part of Marana and services about 1,800 residents and businesses in that vicinity.

The Court of Appeals ruled on June 14, that the town’s 1988 special ballot asking residents to approve the town going into the wastewater and sewer system business was not specific enough in regards to the Marana Wastewater Treatment Facility in Anza Park.

Frank Cassidy, attorney for the Town of Marana, had previously said he town is going to challenge the Court of Appeals decision on special election, but that he would recommend to the council to move forward and place a question about the facility on the ballot in November.

SB 1171, which allow towns or cities in the state of Arizona to acquire all or any portion of a sewage system located within or serving the town or city, after voted on by the people in said town or city, meant the transfer of ownership of the Marana Wastewater Treatment Facility from Pima County to Marana. The county transferred the facility to Marana in January.

The county and the town are currently involved in two lawsuits over Marana's wastewater.

The council also approved 6-0 that this special election for Marana not be held as a mail-in ballot election. In August 2011, the council adopted a resolution calling for all future Town of Marana elections to be held as mail ballot elections.

Marana Mayor Ed Honea said since this November is a state election, and the state does not mandate a mail-in ballot, the residents would have the town's mail-in ballot and then still have to go to the polls on election day to vote on the remainder of the ballot, unless the council voted on the change.

For the complete article see the 07-01-2012 issue.

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