Council debating downtown information kiosk

PRESCOTT – Visitors to Prescott's downtown could have a new source of information soon, if the City Council approves a proposed partnership with a downtown organization.

On Tuesday, the council heard a proposal for an agreement with the Prescott Downtown Partnership (PDP) that would result in the installation of a three-sided informational kiosk at a busy downtown intersection.

Kendall Jaspers of the PDP pointed out that the kiosk at the southeast corner of Montezuma and Gurley streets would provide a directory of downtown attractions and events. "It would make downtown a little more user-friendly," Jaspers said.

Under the proposed partnership, the PDP would pay for the kiosk – at a cost of about $4,000 to $5,000. The organization then would donate the kiosk to the city, but would be responsible for the upkeep of the kiosk and for changing the content of the panels, when necessary.

In return for PDP's contributions, the city would install the kiosk and also would provide the liability insurance for the structure.

PDP would use two of the kiosk's panels for a map of the downtown area and a calendar of events, and would devote the third panel to advertising to help defray the costs of the maintenance.

Jaspers said the kiosk would be a prototype, which eventually could lead to several more such structures in the downtown. "We want to see how it works," he said. "If it works well, you might see four or five of them. We want to have some directional signage downtown."

Although most of the council members appeared to support the concept, some opposition emerged.

Councilman Jim Lamerson objected to the use of the kiosk for the advertisement of private businesses. Although he noted that he did not oppose the idea of an informational kiosk, Lamerson said, "I do have a problem with using public right-of-way for the private sector."'

But other council members complimented the PDP for its follow-through with the idea. "I think it's a great idea," said Councilwoman Mary Ann Suttles. "I really applaud the Prescott Downtown Partnership for getting together and doing something."

The council will vote on the agreement with PDP at its Oct. 26 meeting.

Contact the reporter at cbarks@prescottaz.com