Prescott Valley schools will be putting the sun to good use, and they should have their solar power systems in place by the end of the year. APS is designing and building the systems on the school properties at no cost to the District. The structures not only provide LED lighting at night, they provide shade for the parking and playground areas during the day. Work is wrapping up at the front parking lot at the entrance to Coyote Springs elementary. Construction will be getting underway on the east side lot tomorrow. At Granville Elementary, work is about done on east half of the front parking lot. Work on the west half is scheduled to run tomorrow through Friday. At Glassford Hill Middle School, construction is in progress.
Red Oak Consulting is scheduled to start its analysis of Prescott utility rates today. Arizona Senate Bill 1525, which became effective last December, requires that development impact fees must be replaced with a new schedule. City Council members have approved a more than 289 thousand dollar contract with Red Oak for the review of costs associated with providing public services. Finance Director Mark Woodfill says this will be a lengthy study process. Woodfill explains the new fees must be put in place by August 2014. Council adopted adjusted rates and fees in 2008, but they never went into effect due to a state moratorium.
Prescott Valley Water Resources Manager John Munderloh will be working on putting the Big Chino Monitoring Plan in place. Town officials have announced Munderloh has been appointed to a 3 member Committee that will be implementing the monitoring agreement. This agreement, which has been recently approved by the Town, the City of Prescott and the Salt River Project, will be in place over 4 years. Five stream gauges are slated for installation in the first year. SRP officials became concerned about possible negative impacts to the Upper Verde River, due to planned water pumping in the Big Chino sub-basin.
The City and Town have purchased the Big Chino Ranch to supplement supplies within the Prescott Active Management Area. According to Munderloh, the agreement will lead to a detailed understanding of the underground aquifer system.
Expect delays in the I-17 and Highway 169 areas due to prescribed burning. Prescott National Forest spokeswoman Debbie Maneely explains the Pinto Mesa Burn will be taking place this week, pending favorable weather conditions. Smoke will be noticeable to residents in Cherry, Prescott Valley and in the Verde Valley. Maneely says Fire Managers have made good progress on prescribed burns this month. For updated burn information, call 777-5799.
If you're planning a camping trip in the Prescott National Forest this fall or winter, you need to make sure that recreation area will be open. Twelve campgrounds are closed for the winter as of 2 this afternoon. Forest spokeswoman Debbie Maneely says the good news is there are 4 campgrounds that will remain open. Maneely explains where you can get information on the closures. Maneely adds free dispersed camping is available anywhere in the forest, but no amenities are provided.