12/31/2013 11:56:00 AM Town gears up for a bounce-back economy in 2014
The map shows the proposed annexation boundaries for 1,259 acres west of Glassford Hill Road. The Town Council approved moving forward with the annexation and future residential development could increase the amount the town receives from State Shared Revenue funds.
Town officials appear hopeful that the local economy is turning around, because this past month the Council approved moving forward with the proposed annexation of 1,259 acres on the west side of Glassford Hill Road. The property sits south of Highway 89A, adjacent to the Granville subdivision.
Arizona Eco Development LLC (AED), an Arizona-based real estate holding company, owns that portion of land and requested the annexation.
So far, AED has purchased about 15,000 acres off of Highway 89A slated for development and, according to its Web site, "follows a philosophy which is both ecologically sensitive and pro-parkland / pro-open space in residential and commercial development."
Developer and AED president Jason Gisi said he believes the Prescott Valley economy will support more development and, "to start working on a major project like this feels right," he said. "We're anticipating a good '14 and hopefully by 2015 the project will be rolling in earnest."
During a public hearing for the annexation, Community Development Director Richard Parker said this move fits in with the future of the community and "is appropriate to accommodate growth and infrastructure expansion" under a 15-year planning model, as referenced within a section of the town's General Plan 2025. The entire plan is available on the town's Web site.
Staff will gather petitions and prepare an ordinance for council's approval at a later date, formally annexing the property.
As officials work on planning for future expansion, they still keep an eye on the town's existing neighborhoods where some homeowners continue struggling to maintain and repair their homes. The council recently approved a resolution to support restoration of the State Housing Fund and the allocation of 2013 funds for the Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation (OOHR) program.
Since 2002, the town has used the OOHR program to assist low to moderate income level homeowners in rehabilitating their homes. The program has helped 60 residents so far, according to town planner Carmen Ogden.
Since it's likely federal and state funds will not be available in 2014, she stressed the need for state funds and said the program helps generate jobs, wages, local and state tax revenue and enhances the viability of stable neighborhoods.
As far as encouraging industrial businesses to move into the area, the council accepted a $500,000 grant from the Arizona Commerce Authority allowing for the construction of the Enterprise Parkway connecting Valley Road and State Route 69, east of the Superior Industries.
The completed extension will allow for easier access to the Big Sky Industrial Park that includes Lockheed Martin, the Ace Distribution Center and U Pick It Salvage Yard.
The Walmart opening scheduled for mid January has prompted a traffic signal field study for the Glassford Hill Road and Lakeshore Drive intersection to determine future traffic demands within that area, according to Public Works Director Norm Davis. Lee Engineering will conduct the study and also review the town's existing 21 traffic signals to ensure they meet uniform traffic control requirements, Davis said.
In addition, the town has partnered with the Arizona Department of Transportation to display a driver safety message that will be placed over the existing Redflex photo enforcement advisory signs. Workers covered these signs in October once town officials agreed not to renew the photo enforcement contract. The signs will read, "Welcome to Prescott Valley - Please Drive Safely."