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8:42 AM Tue, Nov. 13th

JWK Ranch, town manager on PV slate

PRESCOTT VALLEY – Town Council members will discuss the JWK Ranch purchase and the town manager hiring process during their Tuesday study session.

Larry Tarkowski, Prescott Valley's interim town manager, said the council members will discuss the draft intergovernmental agreement stating the town's and the City of Prescott's responsibilities in the ranch purchase. Council members will have the opportunity to question town staff about the agreement, which attorneys from both municipalities have negotiated during recent months.

Tarkowski said town staff will present the council's opinion of the agreement during a final meeting with City of Prescott staff on Wednesday.

Prescott and Prescott Valley staff completed the draft agreement on Nov. 24 and immediately made it available to council members.

Barring any last-minute problems, the Prescott Valley council plans to vote on the agreement during its Thursday meeting.

Council members will also meet with the town's Municipal Property Corporation board during the Tuesday and Thursday meetings, Tarkowski said. He said the board studied the amount of bonds the town will need to sell to pay for the ranch purchase.

Ivan Legler, the town attorney, said the latest estimates show the town will need to sell up to $14.5 million in bonds.

Tarkowski said the bond sale will be up for official approval during the Thursday meeting. The town's share of the actual ranch purchase is about $11.2 million, he said. The town will sell additional bonds to pay for the initial design costs for the pipeline that will bring water from the ranch to an existing Chino Valley pipeline. The City of Prescott uses the existing pipeline to transport water.

If both towns approve the ranch purchase, the City of Prescott would receive 4,717 acre-feet of water and the Town of Prescott Valley would receive 4,000 acre-feet of water. The town is paying for 45.9 percent of the total purchase cost, according to the agreement.

ALSO ON THE AGENDA:

Town Council members plan to discuss the town manager hiring process during the Tuesday meeting.

Mayor Harvey Skoog said he wants to hear public opinion about the hiring process during this part of the meeting. He said members of the public have expressed interest in telling the council their concerns about the hiring process and emphasized their right to do so.

Skoog verified that the town has narrowed its search down to five candidates.

After Skoog described the lengthy hiring process that started in July, he said, "The thing that worries me is that the whole thing has gotten out of hand and needs to be started over from scratch." But "I do not think we will have to do that."

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at the Civic Center at 7501 E. Civic Circle Drive.

Contact the reporter at jkamin@prescottaz.com