The application deadline for the open Prescott City Council seat has come and gone. However, 22 people have submitted applications. Many cities would have trouble attracting even half that many.
These applicants truly represent the residents of the City of Prescott, coming from all walks of life. There are people who have lived in Prescott for decades, as well as people who have moved here within the last ten years. Members of the business community, former employees of the City of Prescott, attorneys and folks that are retired all applied.
Each and every one of them have applied because they love our City and want to contribute to the community. Each of these candidates make Prescott stronger from the contributions they already make.
Our big challenge on the Council will be to narrow it down, ultimately to just one person!
I am looking forward to starting this process. Tuesday, August 16th, the City Council will review the applications during an Executive Meeting.
Next week, on Tuesday, August 23rd, there will be a Special Meeting, during which Council will vote on the new candidate.
The finalist will be sworn in on Tuesday, September 13th.
To all the applicants, I just want to thank you right now for your willingness to serve on the Council. Unfortunately, the charter says we can’t choose all of you, but please know that whatever the outcome, I greatly appreciate everything that each of you do.
To review the applications received, go HERE
We mentioned this last week, but the City only offers the opportunity once per year for our residents to have those unwanted Bulk Items Collected and thrown away. This year’s Bulk Item Collection Event for residential utility customers is starting the week of August 29th. Your cleanup week is determined by your normal trash collection day. So, be sure to look at the schedule online, where you will find all the needed information and instructions. We will also have frequent notices on social media, as well as our website.
On Monday, August 8, the City of Prescott received a Notice of Impasse and Default from attorneys representing Chamberlain Development LLC. On Tuesday August 9th the City received a similar notice from attorneys representing Aspire Homes.
Basically, this means that in spite of good faith efforts on the parts of all parties, the remaining differences are still substantial.
The developers allege that the City’s proposed new Airport Vicinity Overlay Zoning District prevents them from developing certain land near the airport in accordance with the Deep Well Ranch Development Agreement which was approved in 2017.
Council met in executive session on Tuesday August 9th to address the notices. Immediately following the executive session, Council voted to approve retention of outside counsel to assist the City in response to the notices. Council also directed staff members to schedule and participate in the two impasse meetings.
The purpose of hiring outside counsel relative to these notices is to represent the City in seeking to balance the rights of the developers while ensuring airport protections for the safety of nearby residents.
It was very enlightening to receive an update from Public Works regarding the City’s water production facility in Chino Valley and the construction of the 2 new 6 million gallon wells. You can see the video here. It’s quite an amazing operation.
After an update from Ian Mattingly on the possibility of changing over a hundred parking spots in the downtown area, Council offered support for the idea.
I want to express my appreciation of the fact that staff held meetings with downtown merchant stake holders as part of the process for identifying appropriate locations.
This is actually not something that requires a vote by Council, but we are going to leave open a Public Comment period until this Friday, August 19th. Assuming that we don’t receive any major objections, City staff will order signs and install them. The conversion will likely take about a month to complete.
I am very pleased to announce that the Council voted to purchase the Storm Ranch, which is a great addition to the City’s Open Space in the Granite Dells.
This $8,500,000 purchase is paid for with the remaining funds in the 2015 Streets and Open Space tax account.
During the fiscal year 2023 budget process, Council directed staff to move forward to increasing the commitment to have a total of $8.5 million available to purchase Storm Ranch.
This is a great example of the City working to enhance the larger community’s recreation opportunities, and still recognizing the sellers and their family’s historical contributions. The Storm family first homesteaded this property nearly 100 years ago, in 1926.
As part of the agreement, cattle will be allowed to continue grazing on the land. Current owners, Ed and Virginia Seaver, will be granted a non-transferable life estate on the property. The Storm family ranching history will be memorialized with signage placed on the property.
A final note, we are anticipating continued monsoon showers and thunderstorms for much of this week. With the ground saturation, the potential for flash floods can be high. Please drive carefully and stay safe! Do not attempt crossing flooded areas.