The town of Marana has changed drastically over the past decadefrom a town filled with farmers, to a town now widely known for its sprawling suburban communities and large-footprint warehouses.

Marana Mayor Ed Honea has served as a member of the town of Marana’s Mayor and Council for the past 26 years. Through his time in office, he’s seen that transformation firsthand.

“Primarily a farming community with a little bit of ranching and a little bit of mining on the periphery,” Honea said. “We have changed tremendously. We’re now urbanizing, we still have a lot of open space big parks, walking trails and things of that nature. But Marana is the fastest growing suburbia city to Tucson by far, and a lot of new business and new families are moving here.”

From big corporations setting up shop in the town to huge housing developments being planned for a new generation of families, the town has been working to just keep up. That too has its own set of challenges.

“Water is very expensive. We have a abundance of potable water in Marana. That’s not the issue. But we don’t have the paper water credits to pump it. And those can be, again, can be millions of dollars over Arizona state law,” Honea said. “So I would say infrastructure is probably our biggest challenge. People want to come here but we need to have police and roads and water and wastewater to serve them.”

With the large amount of growth, KGUN 9’s Denelle Veselik asked if the town could soon be a city.

“There’s no benefit to changing the name to city. But there are several things that become an issue, whether it’s your town website, or your letterheads on paper or everybody’s business cards or markings on police cars or town equipment,” Honea said. “It all has to change to city and if there was a big advantage, we got more moneys for people or more things for you know we would change it but there are no benefits to change.”

While the town of Marana continues to see rapid growth. They also continue to honor their heritage and work to still serve their farming community.