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Wed, Oct. 16

Prescott Valley drilling exploratory wells on two area ranches

PRESCOTT VALLEY – The Town of Prescott Valley has nearly completed drilling of three exploratory wells on the Point of Rocks and Granite Dells ranches, located on the north side of town.

The drilling should determine if the area would be a good location for permanent water wells to provide Prescott Valley with an additional source of groundwater.

Larry Tarkowski, director of Public Works, said it is still too early in the study to determine the status of the groundwater in the area.

"At this point in time there are no surprises," he said.

However, the town has awarded a $1 million contract to install permanent easement for water lines in the area.

Tarkowski said that potentially, pipelines would run through the ranches to the subdivisions of Pronghorn and Viewpoint so that the area will have two water lines. Currently, the subdivisions have only one and, thus, may be vulnerable in emergencies.

In addition, the wells would help relieve the town's existing wells on the southeast side of town miles away from the new site.

"It gives us the ability to better manage groundwater in the area," Tarkowski said.

The owners of the two ranches reached a limited agreement with the Town of Prescott Valley last month to drill six exploratory wells.

A former tentative development agreement between the Town of Prescott Valley and the ranch owners never became final, partly because an investment group is seeking to buy the ranches.

Tri-City Investment and Development entered escrow in January to buy the Granite Dells Ranch and the Point of Rocks Ranch.

Although the spokesperson for the corporation was not available Thursday, Richard Parker, community development director for the town, said that the company was interested in entitlement and infrastructure issues.

The ranches are in three municipalities and their acreage in the Prescott Valley town limits totals 3,500 acres, or 5.5 square miles.

The terms of the previous tentative development agreement between the town and the ranch owners would allow the ranch owners to decide whether to convey the well sites to the town and determine the conditions for the hand-over.

The town would then decide whether to buy the well sites or seek condemnation of the land.

Contact the reporter at nluedeker@prescottaz.com

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