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Prescott City Council to meet Tuesday for study, vote session on downtown parking

Parking signs for two-hour parking could be replaced with three-hour limit signs based on a Prescott City Council vote on Tuesday, June 11. (Nanci Hutson/Courier)

Parking signs for two-hour parking could be replaced with three-hour limit signs based on a Prescott City Council vote on Tuesday, June 11. (Nanci Hutson/Courier)

The Prescott City Council is heeding advice of a downtown revitalizer when it comes to a vote on changing downtown parking limits from two to three hours before drivers get slapped with a ticket.

On Tuesday, June 11, the council will have a study and voting session at City Hall – the study session is at 1:30 p.m. and voting session at 3:30 p.m. – where they will talk about extending the parking limits as a means of encouraging residents and tourists to shop and dine at downtown stores and restaurants.

“Flip This Town” consultant Ron Drake advised city leaders to consider extending the parking times as a means of generating more downtown traffic. He offered a couple of ideas, and the one embraced by the Prescott Downtown Partnership, the Tourism Advisory Council and the Chamber of Commerce was a three-hour time limit around the plaza, in front of businesses, and in the rear Bashford Courts parking lot.

“Over the past few years it has become more apparent to those who operate businesses downtown that our town is changing, especially the downtown,” said Downtown Partnership President Sheri Shaw. “We see a younger demographic as our visitors, increased foot traffic and more people taking advantage of our retail shops, restaurants and galleries. Our visitors and locals seem to appreciate a more leisurely pace while they enjoy our scenic downtown.”

The Tourism Advisory Council suggested that “three hours will allow for a more comfortable time frame for visitors, while still encouraging turnover, to allow others to park.”

The city cost to change signs is estimated at $2,511.

Community Outreach Manager John Heiney said Friday that this move seems to be meeting with favor, and so he is optimistic that the council members will see the advantages of making such a change.

Prior to the study session, the council will have a morning closed-door session at 9:30 a.m. to do a review of the city manager, city attorney and city clerk with a later vote on contracts and salaries based on those reviews. The proposed salary for City Manager Michael Lamar is $170,832 with a one-year contract; City Attorney Jon Paladino’s contract would be for two years at $156,466 with a $3,000 military deferential; and City Clerk Maureen Scott would have a one-year contract at $101,730.

In other business, the council will discuss sending out requests for proposals related to redevelopment of the City Hall and surrounding property, a total of about 1.56 acres.

The city will be seeking state and national developers to offer proposals about how to transform the existing municipal property into a mixed-use development featuring multi-story, multi-family housing, retail uses and entertainment.

“The city is interested in attracting private-sector investment in its downtown,” according to documents accompanying the voting session agenda. “The city’s historic Courthouse Square and Whiskey Row provide a vibrant core to the city’s downtown and is a popular tourism driver.

“The city hopes the proposed redevelopment project addresses gaps in the downtown retail and housing mix, as well as enhances the city’s economic base.”

The timetable for these proposals is to seek interested developer applications by June 24 with a short list of applicants selected by July 23 and interviews on July 29. The council would then consider those at a date yet to be determined.

The council will also be considering a variety of other issues, including adoption of a tentative fiscal 2020 budget of $220 million, up from the current $191,270 million budget, and the first subdivision proposal for 181 homes proposed as part of the Deep Well Ranch master plan.

Follow Nanci Hutson on Twitter @HutsonNanci. Reach her at 928-445-3333 ext. 2041.

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