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Sat, Aug. 17

Town budget process nears final point
New subdivision still on track

Town Council-member Michael Whiting and Town Manager Larry Tarkowski on the set of the latest “Council Chat” episode that airs on the town’s government-access Channel 9. (Courtesy Town <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->of Prescott Valley)

Town Council-member Michael Whiting and Town Manager Larry Tarkowski on the set of the latest “Council Chat” episode that airs on the town’s government-access Channel 9. (Courtesy Town <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->of Prescott Valley)

The latest Council Chat program, produced by Prescott Valley's government-access Channel 9, featured a recent episode revolving around the town's economic upturn and new fiscal budget process.

Town Councilmember Michael Whiting opened the show and presented special guest Town Manager Larry Tarkowski.

"Prescott Valley has seen a lot of growth and recovery since the recession," Whiting began.

Part of the on-air discussion included the near completion of the town's budget process.

"Every year staff goes through a deliberation about the budget that typically begins in the fall," Whiting said.

He explained that the town council sits through several planning meetings regarding the budget in an effort to determine the focus, and what the financial impacts are to the town and community.

This fall, the town's budget process began with a special planning retreat--a process whereby staff gives departmental reports and listens to the council's direction.

"I'm very pleased to see the process that we go through," he said.

Whiting said the council and staff, "held the line to the point the town was able to function through the recession and we had funds sufficient to carry us through."

Tarkowski offered information on where the town sat in the very beginning of the recession in 2007.

"When new housing starts began to plummet, we were very well prepared. Council, in fact, mandated that the town keep healthy reserves in the event of an economic downturn," he said.

He reminded the public the town's number one priority is to provide services including the timely delivery of water while maintaining wastewater treatment capacity.

"We didn't miss a beat during the recession," he said.

Tarkowski explained that the town's sales tax revenue has hit a new record for commercial sales for the third year in a row and, "we have built over a million square feet of new commercial."

Construction sales tax, which marked the biggest percentage of the town's 2007 budget, still sits at about 25 to 30 percent of its former self, he said.

"Right now, we're building and permitting 25 to 30 new homes a month.

"When you are looking to serve the largest community in Yavapai County, that means the Town of Prescott Valley," Tarkowski said.

In addition, the new Glassford Heights subdivision should break ground this year within a 1,259- acre site on the west side of Glassford Hill Road and south of Highway 89A, adjacent to the existing Granville subdivision.

The town council approved a zoning map change for the 3,500 unit master-planned community during a past public hearing.

"I think we're well prepared in accepting these new developments as well as other amenities. Our council feels very good about where we are in funding our reserves," Whiting said.

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