City solicits comments on sober-living homes

Sales taxes, CodeRED, Verde dues, business license fees up for consideration by council

Prescott City Council members discussed possible regulations for structured sober-living homes at its July 12 study session without public comment. Now the public is invited to attend a 1 p.m. council study session on Tuesday, July 26, to give their input on the matter.

The Power Point presentation given by City Attorney Jon Paladini at the July 12 study session is available on the city’s website, www.prescott-az.gov.

City Manager Craig McConnell said Friday he expects members of the industry as well as interested community members to attend the meeting. The proposed schedule regarding recovery homes is to have an ordinance ready for the council to vote on in September, with the approved regulations to take effect in October.

The council voting meeting follows the study session, beginning at 3 p.m. also in Council Chambers. The agenda includes the following items for council action.

Sales tax

In 2014, state legislators required the Arizona Department of Revenue (DOR) to collect, hold and return local transaction privilege tax (TPT). DOR has not been collecting Prescott’s TPT, as it considered Prescott a “non-program” city where Prescott could collect its own taxes.

McConnell said the modified Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) before council has five changes, one of which mandates that DOR administer TPT for every city and town in Arizona. With this change comes the agreement of the city to contribute toward collection and administration services.

McConnell said the administration cost has always been there whether the state collected sales tax or the city did. He said the council plans to shift the city personnel who have currently been doing the tax collection work to the business license program that goes into effect Jan. 1.

One effect of this change is a minimal delay of one month, said Deputy City Manager Alison Zelms.

“We will be budgeting, acknowledging this additional delay. It will be fairly predictable,” Zelms said.

Reverse 9-1-1 to end; CodeRED instead

Council members will look at approving an IGA with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office to permit the Prescott Regional Communications Center (PRCC) to use the CodeRED emergency notification system.

The city has been using a system referred to as “Reverse 9-1-1” for many years. This allows PRCC to notify residents in a select area of potentially dangerous situations where assistance or evacuation might be necessary. It works with landlines but does not include cellular services. An updated service through this vendor includes both options and would cost $13,000 per year.

The county’s CodeRED system provides the same service with landline customers automatically registered and cellular customers to voluntarily sign up for the service. A partnership with the county will cost $8,500, due Sept. 1. The city can recoup half of the costs through its partnership with PRCC.

Dues to Verde Coalition

Prescott’s share of dues to the Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition (UVRWPC) - $52,000 per year - came due in December 2015. The bill, however, was “inadvertently misplaced,” McConnell said. Council will vote to approve payment of Fiscal Year 2016 and 2017 dues at $104,000.

McConnell said the UVRWPC has several projects that may benefit the Big Chino Water Ranch and the county economically while reducing wildland fire danger.

Business license fee

The council adopted an ordinance May 3 establishing an annual business license. The required 60-day public notice has been fulfilled and council will vote on the resolution that sets a $35 annual license fee for businesses operating in Prescott.

The meetings Tuesday will take place at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St., downtown Prescott.