The Prescott City Council met this evening and after roll call, prayer, and approval of August’s minutes, plus financials, they discussed multiple points of business. One such objective was during EDO Director Mary Godwin’s report about the current plan for cleanup around the city. Godwin stated that the partnership with the Prescott Police Department (PPD), City Hall, and the Sanitation Department was proceeding well and they were, a ward at a time, identifying overgrown yards, old homes needing to be torn down, and other problem areas requiring cleanup. She said 25 to 30 letters are being mailed to residents whose yards needed to be cleaned up and mowed. Then the discussion turned to the necessary amount of time that should be allowed between these letters and a citation. Previously, a time of almost three weeks was allowed. A new motion was introduced which says citizens now have 14 days to meet these cleanup and then a citation will be issued if requirements are not met. The motion was approved.
In other business, Chief Ann Jordan gave an update on the process of hiring more staff to get PPD back to a full police force. She said two new people have been hired. Tammy Armstrong is currently at the academy and Zac Prince will be going in January. Chief Jordan stated that PPD is still in the process of hiring one more so both days and nights will be fully staffed again.
The adoption of the Annual Millage Ordinance took place tonight. This is an obligatory ordinance that the city must adopt each year in order to meet requirements from the state level. Ordinance No. 3 of 2021 levies a tax of 5 mills on all real property and personal property within the city of Prescott. The council voted and approved.
Another point of business was the approval of the Mayor’s appointments for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mayor Oliver recommended Jacob Brown, Elaine Williams, Virginia Burton, Linda Thorn, and Pearl Bailey be approved for this board. The council approved with many members making suggestions for the new Zoning Commission’s upcoming training regarding responsibilities and new zoning and planning rules.
Another board approval was a resolution agreement between Ritter Communications and the City of Prescott. This agreement allows Ritter to attach communications devices to four poles in the outskirts of the city for the purposes of cellular communications. City Attorney Glenn Vasser stated this agreement was very thorough with the interests of the city well-protected.
Also on the agenda tonight was an amendment to the 2021 budget. Mr. Carl Dalrymple brought good news by informing the board that the budget is doing well with the addition of the funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, plus less spending in relation to these extra funds. The amendment was approved.
Other business tonight brought the Electric Report from Larry Jones, Electrical Operations Manager. Mr. Jones relayed to the board that the big bill from February’s severe cold storm, amounting to roughly $1.9 million, is still mostly unpaid, plus interest is steadily accruing. After a payment of $200,000 the bill is now 1.7 million, and right now sitting with $31,768 interest. Mr. Jones and Mr. Vasser both informed the council that all avenues are being explored to find a resolution to this issue and will provide updates as soon as they occur. In other electric news, Mr. Jones said there are fewer lost accounts from people moving this year, so that has helped a bit with the budget.
The meeting closed tonight with a word from City Recorder, Robert Loe. Mr. Loe expressed his sincere appreciation to the council and mayor for all their support as the Fire Department and the community deal with the loss of Assistant Chief Hubbard. Mr. Loe said, at this time, the department will not hire a replacement for Hubbard while they honor him with a memorial period.
The next City of Prescott Council Meeting will be held October 18th. Stay tuned to SWARK.Today for breaking news and sports coverage for Prescott/Nevada County.