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Sun, July 21

Equestrian center proposals back before council

PRESCOTT – Consideration of the Frontier Days Rodeo grounds in Prescott will be back before the Prescott City Council this week.

The study session discussion will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.

Among the topics on the agenda will be consideration of the proposals for an equestrian center in Prescott. Earlier this year, the council sought proposals from consultants for a feasibility study regarding an equestrian center in Prescott – either at the existing rodeo grounds off Miller Valley Road, or at a new site in Pioneer Park.

Five firms expressed interest in doing the feasibility study, including one local company, Team One Real Estate Services of Prescott.

But since the city went out for the proposals, City Manager Larry Asaro said, he has learned that "there may be a change in the County Board (of Supervisors') position in working with the Frontier Days Association (rodeo)."

Asaro said his recent discussions with county officials have brought into question the city's planned purchase of the 17 acres at the existing rodeo grounds.

Instead, Asaro said, county officials "believe they can work out a lease arrangement for the rodeo that would keep it in the city and near the downtown on the old County Fair site."

That would change the scope of the feasibility study, Asaro said, because it would take the existing rodeo grounds out of the picture.

"When we interview each consultant, we will want to obtain an estimate of cost or a range to cover one or both sites," Asaro's memo to the council stated. "They need to know the scope of the project."

Other firms that expressed interest in doing the feasibility study included: Huitt-Zollars of Phoenix; ESI Corporation of Phoenix; Drake & Associates of Scottsdale; and Gralla Architects of Lexington, Okla.

Also on the agenda will be a discussion of a proposed memorandum of understanding with the M3 Companies for the design/build of the downtown parking garage.

During several recent meetings representatives from the city and M3 came up with the draft memo of understanding, which outlines the responsibilities of both parties during the upcoming design of the downtown parking garage on Granite Street.

Among the provisions of the memo of understanding are:

• That M3 would substantially complete the public portion of the garage eight months after the issuance of a building permit.

• That the city would expedite plan review and the permitting process for the garage.

• That M3 would buy the land and air rights necessary for its 52 apartments for $60,000.

• That the city be responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and operations of the public portion of the building.

• That the city acknowledges a number of "entitlements" for M3, which include the council's approval of a special use permit to allow the garage height of as much as 59 feet, which is higher than the city code allows. The entitlements also deal with approval of the preliminary plat for the garage, and a water allocation of 18.72 acre-feet of water for the 52 apartments.

In other action, the council will:

• Hear an update on a bicycle plan by the Bicycle Advisory Committee.

• Consider bids for legal advertising in the newspaper.

• Consider leases for wireless communications activity at city-owned water tank sites on Indian Hill off Country Club Drive; the north reservoir off Willow Creek Road; and the Yavapai Hills tank.

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