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Mon, Sept. 16

Roadwork issues top Prescott Council agendas

PRESCOTT - Two long-discussed road projects will be among the issues that the Prescott City Council will consider this week.

The council will conduct two meetings on Tuesday - a voting session at 3 p.m., and a study session that will begin immediately after the voting session. Both meetings will take place at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.

Up for a vote in the first meeting will be three resolutions concerning the planned realignment of Willow Creek Road near its intersection with Highway 89.

Then, during the study session, the council will discuss buying right-of-way for Park Avenue improvements - another project that has been in the works for years.

The Willow Creek Road-related resolutions would:

• Accept the Willow Creek Road Realignment Study recommendation.

• Authorize an intergovernmental agreement between the city and Yavapai Council on the costs, engineering, construction, ownership, operation, and maintenance for the realigned road.

• Approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation for the design and construction of the Highway 89 widening between Highway 89A and the Deep Well Ranch roundabout.

City Engineering Services Director Mark Nietupski said the approval of the resolutions would set the stage for the city and county to issue requests for qualifications for firms interested in doing the design for the realigned Willow Creek Road.

Nietupski said the city and county have budgeted $3 million each for the design and construction of the project. If the project goes as planned, construction could begin by 2015.

A city memo states that the realignment is begin driven by deficiencies in the existing Willow Creek alignment, adding that the road currently is "operationally undesirable due to its acute angle of intersection with (Highway) 89 and high traffic volume turning movements occurring during peak hours."

The study's recommended alignment would move Willow Creek Road west from its current location to parallel Highway 89, according to the memo.

Later, during the study session, the council will consider spending $35,277 plus closing costs to buy five right-of-way parcels to allow for planned improvements on Park Avenue between Gurley Street and Canyon Springs Drive.

Nietupski said the purchase of the right-of-way would be a "major milestone" in the project that has long been in the works.

The start of construction will depend on the close of escrow on the parcels, as well as the completion of utility work. Nietupski said he hopes that the project will be ready to go out for bid before the end of the year.

He allowed that the preliminary work on the Park Avenue project is taking longer than anticipated. "We had hoped to be doing this a year ago," he said, adding that a number of issues had combined to push off the start date.

In other action, the council will:

• Consider an amended and restated employment agreement for City Judge Arthur Markham, designating Markham as a city employee, rather than as independent contractor.

Deputy City Manager Alison Zelms said concerns had come up about a lack of clarity in the contract concerning Markham's "protection of indemnity" under the existing contract.

• Consider a $12,026 amendment to the city's contract with the Salt River Project for the Big Chino Sub-basin Ephemeral Stream Flow Monitoring System.

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