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12:25 PM Tue, Oct. 23rd

Council to discuss future airport improvements

‘Right-sizing’ city street projects also on city agenda

Counsel is to discuss funding for airport improvements.

Photo by Les Stukenberg.

Counsel is to discuss funding for airport improvements.

Direction on the future of the Prescott Airport’s runway and terminal will be among the topics the Prescott City Council will consider during a full day of meetings this week.

The council will conduct three meetings on Tuesday, Dec. 19: an 11 a.m. study session; a 1 p.m. study session; and a 3 p.m. voting session.

The agenda for the morning session includes just one topic — alternatives for the Airport Master Plan.

City Manager Michael Lamar said Friday, Dec. 15 that the meeting is intended to give council members an opportunity to weigh in on the ongoing master-planning process. “The consultant wants some elected-official direction,” he said, referring to Delta Airport Consultants, the firm overseeing the master plan.

For instance, the meeting likely will include council discussion on runway expansion, hangar locations, and the future of the airport terminal.

The airport master-planning process has been underway for months, and a number of public meetings have been held to get feedback from residents.

A city staff memo reports that the master plan has identified needs for the growth and maintenance of the airport.

“The ‘alternatives” section of the Airport Master Plan identifies several possible solutions for those requirements,” the memo states, adding that Tuesday’s discussion would “assist in the education of the City Council, and offer an opportunity for City Council to provide valuable feedback to the consulting team …. specifically in regards to the extension of the main runway, 3R/21L.”

Lamar said the master plan is expected to be complete by about spring 2018.

During the 1 p.m. study session, Council will:

• Consider options for “right-sizing” city street projects.

Lamar noted that the city has a half-dozen or so downtown street-improvement projects in the works.

The projects began with plans for road construction and utility improvements, he said. But later, “It was the decision of public works to look at underground drainage improvements” – a move that Lamar said dramatically added to the cost of the projects.

He has maintained that the city cannot afford the extensive underground drainage improvements, and efforts are now underway to find ways to trap runoff water that do not include piping it underground.

Meanwhile, Lamar said, the city has promised neighborhoods that their streets would be improved, and “now we need to do those streets.”

• Hear a 2018 legislative session update from the city’s lobbyist, Barry Aarons.

Lamar said possible matters up for consideration in the coming state legislative session include the state’s contribution toward the cost of Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) pension benefits for the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots, and the use of impact fees for new development.

Along with Aarons, a representative from the Arizona Department of Water Resources also will at the meeting to talk about the Governor’s Water Solutions group and its recommendations and actions for the 2018 session.

During the 3 p.m. voting session, Council will:

• Consider a new format for public comments during council meetings. Lamar said the city heard several concerns from residents about the move toward format changes such as the requirement for those who wish to speak to fill out a speaker card, and a three-minute time limit for comments (down from five minutes). The public will have a chance to comment on the changes, the council will consider the changes during its regular agenda.

• Consider awarding a $2.5 million contract to Asphalt Paving & Supply for reconstruction of Rosser Street from Campbell Avenue to the easterly end of The Meadows at Eagle Ridge Unit III.