State of The City February 1, 2022 (Prescott, Arizona)

Dear Citizens of Prescott:

Recently, I was asked to provide an address on the State of the City at the Prescott Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting.  This provided me with an excellent opportunity to reflect on and share where we are now as a City, and where we are going.

As I mentioned last month, we are transitioning City leadership among our recently elected officials. I am pleased to say that with several meetings completed, the new Council is working well together.   The open call to the public has been successful, and we appreciate the many comments and suggestions from our citizens.

Where We Are Now

The City’s financial health is strong.  We are on track to pay down the PSPRS unfunded liability as early as this year end, which would be several years ahead of projections. In spite of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the City’s gross taxable activity is up from the same period last year.  Also, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair Decision, which allowed local jurisdictions to collect sales tax on online purchases, have also bolstered the tax income for the City.

Prescott Regional Airport continues to thrive and grow.  Last year, we officially recorded 311,342 aircraft operations, making Prescott the nation’s 18th busiest US airport, and third busiest in Arizona.  Plans continue for extension of the Commercial Service runway.  Multiple flight training institutions are planning improved facilities and equipment for pilot instruction at the airport, as they respond to the ongoing commercial pilot shortage.

Where We Are Going

There are several initiatives for the City in the year to come.  As you know, we are moving into a new City Hall building at 201 N. Montezuma.  We hope to be fully moved in by early 2023.  There is a request for proposal, for purchase and redevelopment of the current City Hall site. We will seek to fill key vacancies within our City leadership, including City Attorney, Fire Chief and a few others.  Public safety is a critical aspect of our government’s responsibility to its citizens.  I have directed staff to review possible new locations for public safety facilities around the City, to meet the demands of our growing population. We will continue with master planning of the North Prescott area, and revitalization of the Granite Creek Corridor.

Some Good News

Prescott’s business climate is robust.  The Council recently finalized a lease agreement with Cutter Aviation, for management of the Fixed Base Operations (FBO). Cutter Aviation has an excellent track record of service around the southwest, and they well be a great addition to Prescott Regional Airport. FedEx Ground has begun work on a 200,000+ square distribution facility near the airport. Commercial developer Kiernan West LLC, acquired the property from the City of Prescott following a public bid process, and will develop the facility on behalf of FedEx Ground. This will provide quality jobs, and will make Prescott a shipping and logistics hub for the region.  Espire Sports is completing construction in the former Sears building at Prescott Gateway Mall.  This indoor facility will feature a 100,000 square foot facility including pickle ball courts and a number of other athletic activities.

In summary, the City of Prescott is financially strong, and preparing for a number of new initiatives that will take us into the future.  Local companies and investors are choosing Prescott, adding jobs and attractions that will keep our economy growing and strong.  I look forward to the year ahead, and I hope you do too.

Phil Goode, Mayor
City of Prescott

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