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Latest News in Marana, AZ

Court rules against Marana over sewage plant costs

PHOENIX — The town of Marana acted illegally in putting the entire cost of an upgrade to its sewage treatment plant on future development, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.In a unanimous opinion, the justices acknowledged that increasing the capacity on the plant and improving the quality of the discharge will help ensure that the town can accommodate future development. That includes guaranteeing the legally required assured 100-year supply of water for new subdivisions.But Justice Clint Bolick said it’s als...

PHOENIX — The town of Marana acted illegally in putting the entire cost of an upgrade to its sewage treatment plant on future development, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

In a unanimous opinion, the justices acknowledged that increasing the capacity on the plant and improving the quality of the discharge will help ensure that the town can accommodate future development. That includes guaranteeing the legally required assured 100-year supply of water for new subdivisions.

But Justice Clint Bolick said it’s also clear the upgrade will benefit the entire community. And that, he said, made it unfair — and illegal — to put the $17.5 million cost entirely on new homes.

In a prepared statement, town officials said they will now “determine whether the existing customers must pay a larger portion of the wastewater facility costs.’’

Friday’s ruling has implications beyond this specific dispute.

In siding with the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, the high court set some clear rules for how and when communities across the state can pass on the costs of projects that benefit more than new development and, more to the point, to whom they can pass them on.

The dispute dates back to 2013 when Marana voters approved taking over the plant from Pima County.

One thing that accomplished is that it enabled the town to obtain “recharge credits’’ to demonstrate the legally required adequate long-term water supply.

Four years later the town approved a capital improvement project. That enabled the town to improve the discharge from barely meeting Class B+ standards for the discharge to Class A+. And that has re-use possibilities including crop and residential landscape irrigation and fire protection systems.

That, in turn, resulted in new water and sewer impact fees to finance the project. The town then assigned 100% of the debt service, beyond $3.2 million already allocated to the project, to future water and sewer customers through development impact fees that generally get added to the price that home buyers pay.

Home builders then filed suit.

Both a trial judge and the state Court of Appeals sided with the town. But Bolick said those decisions were wrong.

He cited a 2011 law that specifically requires that development fees must not be used to impose a burden on new residents for something that benefits all taxpayers. And Bolick said the evidence presented is that the upgrades were helping more than just future developments.

“Most if not all of the acquired, new, improved, and expanded facilities clearly provide necessary public services,’’ he wrote.

Attorneys for the town argued that the level of service for existing residents remained unchanged, even to the point of saying, “They get tap water. They flush the toilet and it goes away.’’

Bolick said that ignores the reality of the situation.

“The uncontroverted evidence demonstrates that the improvement in water quality from B+ to A+, which the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality mandated as a condition of the project, provides healthier water that may be used for a wider variety of purposes — to the entire community’s benefit,” the justice said. And given the requirement for achieve a “fair allocation of costs,’’ Bolick said the town cannot impose the entire price tag for the project and its improved water quality solely on new residents.

In ruling against the town, however, the justices did not void the development fees but instead sent the case back to a trial judge to determine how the costs of the project should be allocated.

“The facilities confer a beneficial use on new development given that without the assurance of a water supply, developers would be unable to develop and market their land,’’ Bolick said.

“SAHBA remains free to argue that certain expenses may not be included in development fees at all,’’ he said. Conversely, he said, the town can present evidence that certain expenses pertain exclusively to new development.

Conservation groups suing over plans to build Interstate 11

Copy This Embed Code: Ad TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As Russ McSpadden looked at the view near Anklam Road in Tucson, he knew the other side of the mountains could soon be transformed by a stretch of highway going from Nogales, Arizona to Wickenburg.Overall, the proposed highway would stretch from Mexico to Canada.McSpadden worries the highway would disturb Saguaro National Park and national monuments.“These are really treasured public lands, really treasured landscapes,” he said.He&rsqu...

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TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As Russ McSpadden looked at the view near Anklam Road in Tucson, he knew the other side of the mountains could soon be transformed by a stretch of highway going from Nogales, Arizona to Wickenburg.

Overall, the proposed highway would stretch from Mexico to Canada.

McSpadden worries the highway would disturb Saguaro National Park and national monuments.

“These are really treasured public lands, really treasured landscapes,” he said.

He’s also worried the proposed highway would cause more traffic and congestion, which he said could increase greenhouse gas emissions.

He’s the Southwest conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups suing the Federal Highway Administration to stop plans to build I11.

ADOT said they did studies and got input from the public that considered the environmental impacts of the highway and came up with alternative routes. One of those alternatives has the highway north of Marana.

ADOT said they don’t have funding for phase 2 of planning and don’t have funding for the project overall, so they don’t have a timeline for it.

However, McSpadden said the Federal Highway Administration isn’t considering other plans.

“Alternatives like green transportation infrastructure, lightrail, better bike lanes, and public transit,” he said.

He’s not the only one hoping the highway doesn’t get built.

Carolyn Campbell, the executive director of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection said she’s also worried about the ecological impacts to Arizona.

Her group is also suing the Federal Highway Administration.

“The federal and the local governments have been working to protect those areas for 100 years,” she said.

She said the highway would drive away plants and endangered species.

She’s hoping instead they expand I-19 and I-10 without widening it and is also hoping they consider more public transportation.

“The federal government in our opinion has just shortcut environmental laws, federal environmental laws,” Campbell said.

——-Andrew Christiansen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before joining the team, Andrew reported in Corpus Christi, Texas for KRIS6 News, Action 10 News and guest reported in Spanish for Telemundo Corpus Christi. Share your story ideas with Andrew by emailing andrew.christiansen@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.

Copyright 2023 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Jaden Rashada next team odds: Arizona State football, TCU favorites to land ex-Florida QB

The Arizona State football team is the favorite to land former Florida quarterback signee Jaden Rashada, according to recent odds.Bookies.com has the Sun Devils at +140 to land Rashada, a 5-star QB whose father, Harlen, played at Arizona State. It give the team a 41.67% implied probability to be the Pittsburg (Calif.) High standout's next school.TCU is second in the odds at +18...

The Arizona State football team is the favorite to land former Florida quarterback signee Jaden Rashada, according to recent odds.

Bookies.com has the Sun Devils at +140 to land Rashada, a 5-star QB whose father, Harlen, played at Arizona State. It give the team a 41.67% implied probability to be the Pittsburg (Calif.) High standout's next school.

TCU is second in the odds at +180 (35.71%), followed by Washington at +400 (20%) and California at +1000 (9.09%).

The site lists "Other" at +2000 (4.76%) in its odds.

Rashada reportedly visited Arizona State last weekend after being officially released form his letter of intent at Florida.

He is scheduled to also visit TCU.

Rashada is the No. 6 QB prospect in the class of 2023, according to 247Sports. His father played at ASU between 1992 and 1994.

New ASU coach Kenny Dillingham recruited Rashada when Dillingham was Oregon's offensive coordinator.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Jaden Rashada threw for 5,275 yards at Pittsburg last season, with 59 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

He had a falling out with Florida after the Gator Collective - an independent fundraising group that is loosely tied to the university and pays student-athletes for use of their name, image and likeness — failed to honor a four-year deal worth more than $13 million, the Associated Press reported.

Rashada would join a growing QB room if he chose Arizona State.

Drew Pyne recently transferred to ASU from Notre Dame and could currently be in line to start the season for the Sun Devils.

He threw for 2,021 yards and 22 touchdowns for the Fighting Irish last season. He had six passes intercepted.

Pyne completed 64.6% of his passes last season and went 8-2 as the starting quarterback. He had a 4-1 record against teams in the Top 25.

The Sun Devils' QB room also includes Marana product Trenton Bourguet, a redshirt senior who took over as Arizona State's starter last season and went 145-for-204 for 1,490 yards and 11 touchdowns, with six passes intercepted, and Chandler High product Jacob Conover, a transfer from BYU.

One site recently ranked Arizona State's quarterback situation for next season as No. 10 in the Pac-12.

TCU is losing QB Max Duggan to the NFL draft after his remarkable year with the Horned Frogs.

Could ASU land Rashada?

He wrote: "This program doesn’t look anything like it did when Rashada was first going through the recruiting process. Herm Edwards is gone, 32-year-old Kenny Dillingham is the new head coach and the Sun Devils reportedly lead the nation with more than 40 new players coming in via recruiting or the transfer portal. Dillingham, the former Oregon offensive coordinator, had a great relationship with Rashada when he was recruiting him at Eugene. He can sell a vision of a once-proud program restored, with Rashada leading the way at quarterback. Considering how things went down at Florida and Miami, Rashada’s decision could come down to trust. And it sounds like there’s more than enough with Dillingham, and Arizona State in general."

National Signing Day is Feb. 1.

Agen & Fonroche Launch Largest Solar Lighting Project in EU

WOBURN, Mass., Jan. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Commune of Agen has reached an agreement with Fonroche Lighting to install 6,000 commercial solar street lights by 2026. This is the largest deployment of solar street light systems in Europe. The town worked with UGAP (Union of Public Purchasing Groups) to finalize the €11 million deal.A Cost-Effective DecisionUpon completing a full street lighting survey, Fonroche identified 7,000 obsolete street light fixtures. Agen will replace them with 6,000 more e...

WOBURN, Mass., Jan. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Commune of Agen has reached an agreement with Fonroche Lighting to install 6,000 commercial solar street lights by 2026. This is the largest deployment of solar street light systems in Europe. The town worked with UGAP (Union of Public Purchasing Groups) to finalize the €11 million deal.

A Cost-Effective Decision

Upon completing a full street lighting survey, Fonroche identified 7,000 obsolete street light fixtures. Agen will replace them with 6,000 more efficient, solar powered lighting systems.

"Agen is the first region to switch so massively to photovoltaics," explains Jean Dionis du Séjour, president of Agen. "The investment is heavy, but the profitability is fast. We hope to save between 600,000 and 750,000 euros per year," adds the elected official.

The supplier of the new solar-powered street lighting, Fonroche Lighting, is based in Roquefort in the inner suburbs of Agen. The world leader in solar street lighting, the company employs around 200 people worldwide.

For the general manager of Fonroche Lighting, Laurent Lubrano, solar is a solution for the future. Many communities spend "40% to 60%" of their electricity bill on public lighting, against a backdrop of soaring prices.

"For communities today, the choice is: Either pay a lot of money or turn off and/or dim the lights. There is a third solution: invest in solar lighting. The sun is free," says the leader.

"The price of a commercial solar lighting system is higher than a traditional streetlight. But there is no additional cost: no electric bill, no trenching, no copper wiring, and no electric grid. With avoided installation costs, the return on investment is immediate. Plus, there is no maintenance for 10 years."

Lauren goes on to say that "There is no need for a lot of sun. For example, we have equipped a highway interchange in Calais with 120 streetlights which operate dusk to dawn every day of the year."

United States Municipalities Are Not Far Behind

Municipalities in the U.S. are experiencing many of the same pressures as Europe. They include rising energy prices, aging infrastructure, and poor lighting in underserved communities. Fonroche Lighting America has installed thousands of solar LED street lights across the USA.

When the City of Albuquerque launched its street light upgrade program, they found a place for solar too. Many areas that had either no street lighting or the neighborhood lighting had fallen into disrepair. They used the savings from a citywide conversion to energy efficient LED lighting to fund over 200 solar-powered LED street lights supplied by Fonroche Lighting America.

In the Midwest, Floyd County Indiana has embraced solar lighting too.

"These environmentally-friendly lights are an excellent investment for Floyd County," noted Floyd County Commissioner Shawn Carruthers. "As the cost of solar lighting has decreased and battery life has increased, this alternative for illuminating our outdoor spaces has become more economically feasible. This newer technology represents good stewardship on behalf of Floyd County taxpayers. It provides immediate cost savings compared with regular parking lot lighting connected to the electrical grid."

Another municipality that found solar lighting to be an effective solution is Marana, Arizona. Project manager Mac Murray commented, "After carefully evaluating light levels, public works agreed the lighting levels were sufficient to ensure safety in the round-about."

These examples show that commercial solar lighting solutions are moving out of the specialty space and becoming the first choice for outdoor lighting.

Image 1: Solar Street Lights Highway

Solar street lights on a highway in Calais

Image 2: Solar Street Lights Marana, AZ

Fonroche Solar Street Lights in Marana, AZ

This content was issued through the press release distribution service at Newswire.com.

When is LIV Golf 2023 starting? Everything we know about the new season

The 2023 LIV Golf Season is scheduled to begin very soon. The tumultuous series' opening tournament is set to begin on February 24 and run through February 26.Seven of the 14 events in LIV Golf's second season have already been announced. It was originally planned to reveal the 2023 roster in December 2022, but that date was postponed. However, not all of the series' events have yet been revealed.The first match of ...

The 2023 LIV Golf Season is scheduled to begin very soon. The tumultuous series' opening tournament is set to begin on February 24 and run through February 26.

Seven of the 14 events in LIV Golf's second season have already been announced. It was originally planned to reveal the 2023 roster in December 2022, but that date was postponed. However, not all of the series' events have yet been revealed.

The first match of LIV Golf will take place at El Camaleon Golf Club in Riviera Maya, Mexico, and the second match will take place at Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Arizona, from March 17 to 19.

LIV Golf Adelaide will begin at the Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, Australia, on April 21 and run through April 23. The competition will be held in Mexico, Singapore, Australia, and the United States this year.

2023 LIV Golf tentative schedule

2023 LIV Golf confirmed schedule

LIV Golf signs a broadcast deal with CW network

LIV Golf finally has a television broadcaster for their 2023 season. The series recently signed a deal with the CW Network.

The first season of the series garnered a lot of attention but failed to gain an audience as it was streamed on YouTube and their official website. Nonetheless, they finally have a network to televise their events scheduled for 2023.

"This is a momentous day for LIV Golf as this partnership is about more than just media rights. The CW will provide accessibility for our fans and maximum exposure for our athletes and partners. We're very proud to note how consequential it is that a league that has only existed for one year has secured a full broadcast deal in the debut full league season."

Dennis Miller, the CW Network president, also talked about signing a deal with LIV Golf. He said:

"For The CW, our partnership with LIV Golf marks a significant milestone in our goal to re-engineer the network with quality, diversified programming for our viewers, advertisers, and CW affiliates. This also marks the first time in The CW’s 17-year history that the network is the exclusive broadcast home for live mainstream sports."

It is pertinent to note that the CW network will livestream the Saturday and Sunday events, while Friday's opening round will be available on their app.

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