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Mayor Update April 25, 2022

I wanted to provide a short update on the Crooks Fire. I attended the Community Meeting at Embry Riddle last night and received the latest information. Currently, the fire is at 3914 acres, and I’m pleased to report that it is 22% contained. Expect the containment to grow in the next few days. There are 675 personnel assigned to the Crooks Fire, including Hotshot crews, Hand crews, Air Support and miscellaneous equipment. I have been most impressed with the consistent and effective communication between all the parties in the collective effort to battle the Crooks Fire. I want to reassure the City of Prescott and our impacted neighbors that we are in very good hands. Sometime in fighting large fires, the cooperation and collaboration between agencies is not as effective as it should be. However, in our area, the various agencies work together and train together regularly, so that they can attack the fire quickly, making their efforts even more productive and successful. This also makes the handoff to specialized Incident teams seamless. Other entities have also stepped up to the plate, including Dr. Anette Karlsson with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; Dr. Lisa Ryan with Yavapai College. Arizona Public Service has been very helpful both to the firefighting crews and those that have been displaced. The good news is that some of those that have been evacuated from the North Walker area will be allowed to return home later this afternoon. Please watch the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Facebook page for more information on evacuations and returns. Many have asked how they can help. The most important thing we can all do is to respect the fire restrictions and closures. These have been put in place to protect the safety of all involved. We are providing links below to the fire information. Last night we linked to the community meeting video on our Facebook page. Please let us know if we can help in anyway.

The City Council will have three meetings tomorrow. During the Executive Session, which is not open to the public, we will receive information from the City attorneys regarding Airport Impact Zones and possible acquisition of nearby property. We will also discuss a potential Intergovernmental Agreement with Prescott Valley and Yavapai County regarding the regional park proposed near Glassford Hill. Finally, we will be updated on easement discussions and the AED Development Agreement.

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During the Study Session, there will be a presentation from PROTECT, which stands for Planning for the Resilience of Our Towns, Environment, Climate and Tourism. There will also be a Presentation and discussion regarding Community Risk Reductions and Lessons Learned from the 2002 Indian Fire. Considering the current Crooks Fire nearby, this will certainly provide some very timely historic information.

Among other items on the Voting Meeting agenda, we will be holding a Public Hearing to discuss the Community Development Block Grants draft 2022 plan. We have not received the 2022 grant award letter yet, so this Annual Action Plan is based on the 2021 funds received by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Residents on Penn Avenue/Eastwood Drive will be pleased to know that their road and infrastructure improvements are on the way. The contract with Fann Contracting includes replacement of water and wastewater lines through the project and will upgrade the existing infrastructure for the local community, including new pavement, curs, gutters and sidewalks where feasible. A storm drain system will also be installed.

The proposed Revised Water Policy has been set for Council review and probable adoption at tomorrow’s Voting meeting. We have been working on this new Water Policy since January. There have been numerous study sessions and public meetings as we worked through the process. The latest draft of the Water Management Policy is posted on the City website. I encourage all residents in Prescott to review this very important document before tomorrow’s meeting. Council meetings are open to the public and also streamed live on Facebook, Channel 64 and via Zoom. We really do want your input. We have a Call to the Public at the beginning of our meetings and also accept comments on each item during the meeting.

Finally, I want to welcome the return of the Whiskey Off-Road! This is the 17th year on Whiskey Row, minus a gap of two years due to COVID-19. The demand for the return is great, and the registration set a new record, with 2000 registrants maxing it out! Please be assured that we are coordinating the Whiskey Off-Road events with the Forest service to guarantee safety during the off-road mountain bike racing.

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