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home : latest news : latest news February 26, 2015

7/1/2013 9:35:00 AM
Council adopts $62.4M budget, includes 2 percent merit pay increases for employees

Ken Hedler
Special to the Tribune

The Town Council voted unanimously Thursday to adopt a $62.4 million budget for the new fiscal year, a approved two final development plans and took other actions.

The budget adoption culminated eight months of work on it by staff and the council, Town Manager Larry Tarkowski said. The 2013-14 fiscal year starts Monday.

He said department heads "went out their way" to solicit opinions from their employees, and described development of the budget as a "very deliberative process."

The budget dropped from $111.5 million during the 2007-08 fiscal year, he said.

The budget discussion contained a four-page PowerPoint presentation from Management Services Director Bill Kauppi.

The presentation included pie charts, such as one showing the General Fund at $25.1 million accounting for 40 percent of the overall budget and the enterprise fund (from water and sewer services) amounting to 32 percent of the total at about $20.2 million.

Kauppi said he budgeted for 2 percent merit pay increases for employees, with personnel services increasing 2.6 percent to $15.8 million.

His presentation shows the General Fund having the highest share of revenues at about $24.2 million, or 44 percent. Revenue categories include sales taxes/franchise fees at $12.5 million and impact fees at $1.3 million.

After Kauppi's presentation, Councilman Michael Whiting commented, "I appreciate the fact that it is a conservative budget."

Vice Mayor Lora Lee Nye said, "I am just grateful not to have another painful budget experience today."

The council approved the budget after the public hearing, in which no members of the public spoke.

The council also voted unanimously to approve the final development plans for Parcel C of the Crossroads shopping center on the south side of Highway 69 and Sundog Ranch Road and for the second phase of the Arizona Department of Economic Security buildings, at 8569 E. Yavapai Road.

The final development plan for the Crossroads shopping center provides for future development of approximately 165,758 square feet of new commercial space, according to a report to the council from planner Ruth Mayday. It is east of Sam's Club and the future Dick's Sporting Goods.

"It is going to look pretty similar to what is already there," said Rob Schramm, director of asset management for Phoenix-based Kitchell.

By contrast, the proposed DES building would cover 5,070 square feet.

"It has turned out to be a very impressive project," architect Chris Browning said. He added he has had a "great relationship" with Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, which relocated from Prescott to the town-owned project area a few years ago.

Browning drew praise from the council. No one on the council referred to a report in the Courier Tuesday in which Prescott residents who lack reliable transportation complained about DES's planned move from West Gurley Street in Prescott to Prescott Valley.

Also during the meeting, the council:

• Approved a three-year contract with the Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation to attract non-retail private-sector employers.

• Listened to a talk from Prescott Police Lt. Amy Bonney about the regional communications center that is based in downtown Prescott. The center dispatches for 10 public safety agencies, and fielded 272,000 calls in 2012, she said.

• Re-appointed Danny Avalos to the Parks and Recreation Commission, Judith Berry and Suzanne Duskey to the Arts and Culture Commission and Lawrence Martin to the Library Board of Trustees.

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