It says development needs to pay for itself in supporting construction of roads and other infrastructure to serve the growth. Also, the perennially expanding town must insure that future annexations make economic sense, the plan says.

Pinching pennies during Pandemic

But the plan leaves a big financial question mark.

It calls for officials to prepare 20 smaller plans to translate the general plan’s goals into reality. Besides open space, they include transportation, water and wastewater, downtown revitalization, public safety, trails, stormwater and parks, to name a few.

But when the council adopted its final budget on Tuesday, July 21, for fiscal year 2020-21, $200,000 that had been requested by the town’s staff for at least some of those plans was deep-sixed, along with money for other new programs.

Because COVID-19 has reduced sales-tax revenue, “we’re kind of pinching the pennies to keep our budget in check,” Mayor Ed Honea said.

It will take several years to get all the plans done, said Jason Angell, Marana’s development services director, who says he intends to keep pushing for them.

“A lot of it is play it as you go. If we find our revenues are better or our expenses are lower, we could do some early next year,” Honea said.