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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
6:23 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Prescott Valley library facing cuts

PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Prescott Valley Library will face a substantial budget cut in the upcoming fiscal year because construction of the new library is winding down.

The library is due to open Sept. 12 in the 52,000-square-foot building under construction on the Civic Center grounds off Lakeshore Drive and Civic Circle. The library is outgrowing its 13,000 square feet on the third floor of the Civic Center.

The library's budget will drop from $17.2 million in the 2008-2009 fiscal year to slightly above $9 million in 2009-2010, which begins July 1. Library construction, furnishings and financing cost the town and Yavapai College - which will occupy classroom and office space - an estimated $25 million.

Library Director Stuart Mattson was the first town department head to speak when the Town Council conducted its second evening of budget workshops Thursday. Management Services staff prepared a budget of about $93.3 million for the upcoming fiscal year, an increase of nearly 1.4 percent.

"We are going to make this library budget work," Mattson said.

Mattson, on the job for more than 20 years, is the only department head with a constituency that attended the budget work/study meetings. Three members of the library board of trustees and two assistant library directors attended the session, which lasted about two hours.

Trustee secretary Irene Reed said after Mattson's presentation she is "very excited" the library will open soon. Contractor Barton Malow of Tempe began construction in January 2008.

"I know that the town is going to have a beautiful facility," Reed said. "We need the budget to pass."

Library board members Donna Morgan and Carole Popaden accompanied Reed at the workshop.

Although the library budget will decline, it will face utility costs for the first time because it will be in a separate building, Mattson explained. The library, which will occupy 33,000 square feet in the new building, budgeted $119,000 for electricity and $19,000 for water for the entire building in the new fiscal year.

After the library staff vacates the third floor of the Civic Center, employees from the Public Works Department and the utilities division will move in.

Public Works Director Norm Davis told the council his department is making up for the departure of employees by using four trainees that the Northern Arizona Council of Governments placed.

The proposed budget for Public Works in 2009-2010 is $3.2 million, up from $2.9 million this fiscal year.

"We've got some good projects going on," Davis said.

Davis has flexibility in his budget in the event the state Legislative "sweeps" money from it, Town Manager Larry Tarkowski said.

Meanwhile, the number of capital projects will increase to 33 from 31 this fiscal year, Capital Projects coordinator Kim Moon said.

Capital projects for 2009-2010 include $5.6 million for the library (bond proceeds and Yavapai College's contribution), $4.2 million for the tri-city pipeline from the Big Chino Water Ranch and $2.5 million apiece for the StoneRidge water tank and the Lone Tree recharge facility.

To defend the town's rights to the Big Chino water, the budget contains $444,000 in the water resources/recharge fund for legal services.

The Town Council is scheduled to adopt a tentative budget May 21 and approve the final budget June 25.