Hello, I’m Mayor Phil Goode with your weekly update.
The City of Prescott hosted a series of four open house public meetings to share information about the proposed Airport Vicinity Overlay District. Many people attended and were able to get the answers to their questions and concerns. The next step in the process is the Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing, which will be continued this Thursday, October 13th at 9 AM. The meeting takes place at the City Council Chambers.
We had very good news regarding the City’s drinking water last week. The latest results are in from the most recent testing of City wells for PFAS chemicals. The City tested the blend of Well 2 and Well 4 in Chino. The samples taken on September 7 resulted in non-detectable contaminant levels, which is less than 1.9ppt for both PFOS and PFOA in these wells. We also received results showing that Airport Wells 2 and 3 were both “non-detects” for PFOA and PFOS. Airport Well 5 continues to report high PFAS as expected. At this time, Airport Wells 2 and 3 are available for service and Airport Well 5 is not used as a part of our drinking water system. These results indicate that our blending plan is working as intended. Our Public Works team is doing an excellent job of predicting outcomes, which are validated by these test results. We will continue to monitor the levels, as we begin preparing a plan to remediate these chemicals from our drinking water supply for the long term. Regular testing of City wells will be ongoing, to assure the safety of our drinking water quality. Below you will find links to further information.
There will be no Executive Session or Study Session tomorrow. The voting meeting will begin at its regular time, 3 PM. October 9-15th is Fire Prevention Week, and we’ll be offering a Proclamation to that effect. The 2022 Fire Prevention Week theme is, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your Escape,” which reminds to install and test warning devices to provide for early detection of a fire and allow occupants to get out safely. There will be a festival on Cortez Street next to the Courthouse Plaza on Saturday, October 15th from 10 AM -4 PM to celebrate the National Fire Prevention Week’s 100th year, as well as Smokey Bear’s 78th birthday. The City of Prescott is a sponsor of this event, which will be great for the entire family, and will include fire safety tips from experts. They are asking the public to help “Hydrate our Heroes” and bring a case of bottled water to support local fire departments.
During the voting meeting, the City Council will be voting to accept four different grants, totaling nearly $1,376,046. These grants are for the Historic Preservation Plan Update Project; pavement preservation work at the Prescott Regional Airport; Prescott Police Department for Intelligence, Training, and Thermal Camera Capability; and the Granite Creek Corridor Project. Obtaining grants such as these is an important way of allowing the City to do more with your tax dollars.
I’m always pleased when I can end the update on great news. The City will vote to end the dedicated 0.75% sales tax for the pay down of the City’s unfunded liability in the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) effective as of December 31, 2022. By 2017, the City was severely challenged to maintain public services throughout Prescott due to escalating PSPRS annual required contributions caused by the very high and growing unfunded liability. On August 29, 2017, voters approved a dedicated sales tax of 0.75%, which took effect on January 1, 2018. The Proposition included a provision that the tax would sunset in ten years or when the City’s PSPRS unfunded liability was $1.5 million or less. In addition to the funds from the dedicated sales tax, millions of dollars from the city’s General Fund were also used to pay the liability down early on. These steps, along with stronger than projected transaction privilege tax revenue, have allowed the City to end the tax on December 31, 2022, which is a full five years early. So, starting on January 1, you will notice that your sales tax is three-quarters of a cent lower. Thank you to our residents and visitors for supporting our public safety employees and cooperating in this effort to fully fund their pension benefits. Together we have achieved the goal in just half the time.
I’m Mayor Phil Goode. Thanks for watching.