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Mon, March 18

PV council to consider agreement for lobbying, PR for water project

The Prescott Valley Town Council Thursday will consider a new contract for lobbying and public relations on behalf of the Big Chino Water Ranch project because a major player has changed jobs.

Mitch Menlove left Greenberg Taurig, which has a Phoenix office, to join Policy Impact Communications Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Menlove indicated he would open an office in Arizona for his new employer, according to a memo to the council from Town Attorney Ivan Legler. If the council awards the contract, Menlove would supervise the lobbying and public relations campaign.

The council this past May awarded a contract to Greenberg Taurig to lobby for the water project for Prescott and Prescott Valley. The multimillion-dollar project would pipe water from the Big Chino area near Paulden to both municipalities.

Prescott and Prescott Valley are in an active management area that requires them by 2025 to recharge as much water into the aquifer as the communities pump out. That predicament prompted Prescott and Prescott Valley to go outside the AMA to increase the water supply.

Town staff now recommends doing business with Menlove's new company.

The cost for the service will remain at $12,000 a month, with Prescott Valley continuing to pay 46 percent of the total and Prescott paying 54 percent.

In addition to receiving the same services, Policy Impact Communications will provide additional access to Arizona's congressional delegation and will have contacts in Washington, D.C., who might be able to help the water project, according to Legler's memo.

The town drew criticism from opponents of the Big Chino project for hiring Greenberg Taurig. However, town officials have maintained that they lack the public relations resources on staff to challenge opponents, who fear the water project could harm the Verde River.

The council meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the Civic Center, 7501 E. Civic Circle.

Also on the agenda are:

• A presentation by the Police Department on citizen acts of bravery.

• Proclamations on fair housing, and National Library and Volunteer weeks.

• Ratification of local board bylaws for the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.

• A final development plan for the Prescott Valley Crossroads commercial development.

• An intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation for an 0.8-mile stretch of Highway 69 between Stoneridge Drive and the entrance to the Victorian Estates subdivision.

•  Meeting behind closed doors to conduct the annual review of Town Clerk Diane Russell.

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