An ex-mayor's question prompts dramatic switch
The City of Prescott appears poised to get the water it needs for the future at a better price and possibly with less spent on getting it to Prescott.
For the past year, the city has been investigating the purchase of the CV/CF Ranch near Paulden for $30 million with an additional $22 million to acquire easements and build a pipeline to get the water to Prescott.
It pursued the CV/CF Ranch only because former Environmental Services Director Brad Huza had told City Manager Steve Norwood that no other ranches were interested in selling.
That changed at the May 18 council meeting when former Mayor Daiton Rutkowski asked if the city had talked with the JWK Ranch which in his administration had expressed an interest in selling land to the city for a future water source.
The city began talks with the Kieckhefer Foundation, and that led to the action at Tuesday's meeting.
The council let the one-year option to buy the CV/CF Ranch run out and voted unanimously to have staff begin negotiations to buy part of the JWK Ranch.
The asking price is $23 million, what appraisers said the CV/CF Ranch was worth, which would get the city 8,717 acre-feet of water per year, plus an additional 4,500 acre-feet a year from retiring irrigation rights.
In addition, it would cost less to get the water to Prescott because most of the pipeline right-of-way would parallel a county road.
It sounds like a much better deal if the city can pull it off.