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11:20 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

State board approves Prescott Valley annexation plan

PRESCOTT VALLEY – The scent of annexation hangs in the air and Dewey residents will surely get a whiff in the near future.

This week the Arizona State Selection Board approved the Town of Prescott Valley's applications requesting to include certain parcels of State Trust Land (STL) into its boundaries.

One application covered trust land on the northeast side of Glassford Hill.

The other covered trust land located in Dewey, along Old Black Canyon Highway between StoneRidge and the Prescott Country Club.

Not only would an annexation expand the town's property lines, it would increase its sales tax revenue base as well – a sentiment that town officials have touted throughout the application process.

Prescott Country Club Property Owners Association President Shirley Shaw said many residents are upset about the way the STL board handled the situation.

"I was told this (item) would not be heard," she said, referring to her understanding that the board chose not to discuss that topic at its December meeting.

But, on Dec. 5, members of that board did listen to an annexation proposal by the town's community development director, Richard Parker.

According to Parker, that matter "was not to be heard by the board. However, we were successful in convincing the board that there was considerable merit in the matter because the town wanted to work with property owners that wanted to be annexed so as to be able to extend sewer service to their property."

He explained that the town worked closely with the Humboldt Unified School District as well because the middle school, located in Dewey, could benefit from hooking up to Prescott Valley's wastewater treatment system.

Once Bradshaw Mountain Middle School (BMMS) annexes into the town, that action would "eliminate a disposal problem they've been looking at for some time," Parker said.

He also explained that the town continues to work with private property owners in the area, including the Fain family, which still owns a strip of land between the country club and the section of trust land slated for annexation.

Once Prescott Valley annexes the approximately 320 acres of trust land, south of the country club, then the town would look to annex the property adjacent to BMMS that is set aside for a Safeway shopping center.

The town also would move to annex the land adjacent to the future Safeway site, including what remains of the Thomas Ranch.

Across from the highway lies a parcel slated for annexation as well, "and then property surrounding the Villages at Lynx Creek, called Quailwood," Parker said.

"We hope we will have accomplished those annexations within the first quarter of next year," he said.

Parker explained that the town does not control the process of setting items before the STL selection board.

"Rather, we make application to them, so I believe we've been open and forthright throughout the process about our desire and our goals. We are not directing the process," he said.

The Town Council will consider the annexation of the 320 acres of land during a public hearing slated for January.

"We haven't set a date – we just got the official notice," Parker said.

In May the council deferred the annexation plans for that stretch near the highway because of a PCC majority vote that opposed the town's request.

According to a press release that the town issued Thursday, "the purpose of annexing this state trust land is so the Town of Prescott Valley can provide necessary infrastructure and services" for future development.

Parts of those future projects include several wastewater lift stations along the Highway 69 corridor that include Orchard Ranch and the already annexed PCC Unit Six.

"This Old Black Canyon Highway area annexation will help facilitate the area's economic development interests," Town Manager Anthony Mortil-laro said in the press release.

The Glassford Hill area annexation, "will assist in the coordination plan with the other tri-city communities. This can be a win-win situation for all citizens," Mortillaro said.

Contact Briana Lonas at blonas@prescottaz.com or 445-8179, ext. 1104.