Water report, eminent domain on tap for Prescott council
The Prescott City Council has a full day of meetings scheduled Tuesday, May 14, beginning with an executive session at 9:30 a.m. At the 1 p.m. Study Session, council will hear two presentations on water issues, and the Regular Council meeting takes place at 3 p.m.
The two water reports on the Study Session agenda will cover the annual Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) water report for the city, and the final report from Herb Dishlip Consulting on the city’s Water Resource Management Model.
Dishlip has worked with the city on several water resource issues projects since 2004. This will be the final report to the council on a contract issued this past August in which he tracked water resources for the city using multiple datasets.
STATE WATER REPORT
The annual ADWR report indicates Prescott is following state and national trends toward decreased water use per capita and total water use in the city, said John Heiney, Prescott Community Outreach manager.
“City use has declined 1.5 percent per year over 15 years,” Heiney said Friday, May 10, attributing the decrease to such things as residents’ use of low-flow toilets and changes in choice of landscaping.
The city’s seven wells have pumped 6,763.75 acre feet of water this past year. (One acre foot equals 325,851 gallons.) Total recharged water, due to recent wet winters, totals more than the required ADWR amounts. “The numbers are very strong,” he added.
The morning executive session at 9 a.m. includes discussion on three legal matters on which council members may take action during the afternoon regular session: Howard Mechanic/Social Justice Charitable Foundation v. City of Prescott, City of Prescott v. IATIA Revocable Living Trust, and City of Prescott v. Cactus Mobile Ranch Home Community, LLC. Members of the public are excluded from executive session meetings.
During the regular council meeting at 3 p.m., council members will hear an update on the 2019 “World’s Oldest Rodeo,” set to take place July 1-7.
The consent agenda items, which usually involve no discussion, are heavy in the Public Works Department, Heiney said. Council may take action on awarding a $91,190 contract to Ridgeline Builders for construction of restrooms at the Constellation Trail trailhead; awarding a three-year contract to Test America Laboratories for water and wastewater analytical services for $75,000; finishing work on retaining walls along Willow Creek Road; and signing a Quit Claim Deed on a portion of the Sam Hill property owned by Prescott College.
This latter item, Heiney said, makes it clear that the City of Prescott never owned, and cannot locate in any land records, a title record to the property. Prescott College intends to sell it to WSH Hospitality, LLC, for the proposed Hilton Garden Inn.
EMINENT DOMAIN ACTION
Also included on the consent agenda are two items dealing with eminent domain action. One looks at replacing the existing Government Canyon Bridge on the east side of Prescott. The city’s design determined the bridge needs a slope and drainage easement from property belonging to the Cactus Mobile Ranch Home Community LLC.
A mutually acceptable purchase price could not be reached resulting in the city’s move to use its power of eminent domain to acquire the easements totaling 5,213 square feet and a city appraisal value $6,300.
“Eminent domain is never the first option for government to pursue,” Heiney said.
The second eminent domain action involves a drainage easement on 660 square feet (1,005 square feet needed for temporary construction easement) of private property on Hope Street where the city is making improvements. The piece is 10-feet wide and extends about 65 feet in length. The city values both easements at $4,805.
Council members also will conduct a public hearing on three public service projects and three construction projects using Community Development Block Grant funds in the amount of $244,622.
These include the Senior Peer Program through West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, transportation through People Who Care, a youth workforce program through the Launch Pad Teen Center, an expansion project for Prescott Area Shelter Services, a heating and cooling system for the Whipple Street U.S. Vets, and renovation/addition on the Madison Avenue Coalition for Compassion and Justice project.
PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS
A chip seal project along Highway 89 from Willow Lake Road north to connect with the completed widening project, a portion of Gail Gardner, and the parking lot at Sundog Ranch is another Public Works Department agenda item, as well as night work milling and paving of Highway 89 that precedes chip seal and striping. Council may award contracts to Sunland Asphalt & Construction, Inc., and to Cactus Asphalt.
Following workshops and public hearings that began in November, council members are expected to vote on whether to adopt the Amended Land Use Assumptions, Infrastructure Improvement Plan, and Development Impact Fees.
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