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Pump track plans get Prescott Council OK

PRESCOTT - Local mountain biking enthusiasts hope to have a new community amenity to show off at next month's Whiskey Off-Road endurance race.

With a detail on its nonprofit status cleared up, the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA) got unanimous city approval this week for a new pump track at Prescott's Granite Creek Park.

If the construction goes as planned, the pump track should be complete in time for the Whiskey Off-Road cycling event from April 27-29.

The Prescott City Council, which had earlier raised questions over PMBA's contractual capability, had few remaining questions prior to Tuesday's approval of an agreement with the organization.

This past fall, city officials had questioned whether PMBA, as a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, had the authority to enter an agreement that obligated it to build and maintain the pump track.

The questions caused a delay in the plans for the pump track, which organizers had originally hoped to build in November.

In response, PMBA applied for nonprofit corporation status with the state of Arizona.

Brad DeVries, a member of PMBA's board, said the state nonprofit status recently became official, allowing the organization to take the pump track issue back to the City Council.

The pump track will be located in the southwest corner of Granite Creek Park, near Montezuma Street and the Depot Marketplace.

Parks and Recreation Director Joe Baynes explained Tuesday that the track would consist of a series of dirt rolling contours and compacted berm. The track will allow mountain bikers to practice their skills and balance in a relatively controlled area.

Chris Hosking, the city's trails specialist and a member of the PMBA board, said organizers plan to move in the dirt for the track by mid-April.

On about April 16, pump track designer Ryan Finney is expected to travel to Prescott to oversee the volunteers who will construct it.

"There are tons of volunteers who want to come in," Hosking said, noting that organizers likely would schedule shifts of workers.

"Right now, we're going through the logistics," Hosking said, adding that PMBA is still looking for the dirt that will be necessary to build the track.

Baynes said the city would oversee the design and construction of the track, but would not be putting any money or resources into the project.

PMBA received grants to cover the cost of the pump track's design and materials, DeVries said.

Because of the prominence of the Whiskey Off-Road event, DeVries said, "It would be a great time for a ribbon-cutting."

The pump track is planned to occupy an 80-foot-by-120-foot section of Granite Creek Park.

Noting that the dirt track will cover a formerly grassy area, Baynes said the city expects to save about $700 per year on irrigation costs. He added that the area currently is "under-utilized" in the park.

City Councilman Chris Kuknyo commended PMBA for working to resolve the council's concerns. "I would like to thank the Mountain Bike Alliance for staying with this and making it happen," he said.


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