Remember, burn restrictions are in place
A reminder that the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority has burn restrictions in place. Early Friday morning, Central Arizona crews responded to a structure fire in Chino Valley. Units found a detached shed and a large pile of tires and debris on fire. It was quickly put out before it could spread to nearby structures and grass. The cause has been determined to be a nearby burn barrel that the homeowner had been using earlier in the day. Due to lack of rain, the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority has had Stage 1 restrictions in place. This means no burn permits are being issued, smoking is prohibited outside of vehicles, residential yards or designated areas and no outdoor use of firearms. Cooking and camp fires are allowed in residential yards and parks where approved, but they must be attended to at all times.
Prescribed burning in the Gray Wolf area
Smoke may be visible in the area this week, but it’s not because of a wildfire. Prescott National Forest officials plan on conducting the Gray Wolf prescribed burn in an area near Highway 169 in Dewey-Humboldt and I-17. This project will only get underway if needed conditions exist and if adequate resources are available. Prescott National Forest officials say they recognize there may some confusion conducting a prescribed burn under fire restrictions. According to Verde Ranger District Fuels Specialist Scott Spleiss, officials won’t proceed with this burn unless they are certain they can do it on their terms as to when and where. The location of the burn, which is scheduled to run today through this Friday, is near recent prescribed burn and brush crush treatments.
Prescott Valley’s new budget
The Town of Prescott Valley has a new budget in place for the new Fiscal Year, which starts Friday. The Fiscal Year 2017 Budget totals over 82 million dollars, up from the current year’s budget of nearly 76 million dollars. The Town is projecting a 3 percent increase in sales tax activity due to retail stores that have recently opened, such as Ross Dress for Less and Firehouse Subs, and others that will soon be open, including Dutch Brothers Coffee and La-Z-Boy Furniture. Prescott Valley Town Manager Larry Tarkowski describes 1 high priority in the budget. Tarkowski says the other high priority is street maintenance. Tarkowski adds the Town of Prescott Valley will be going back to a 5 year maintenance rotation schedule for all streets.
A new budget in Chino Valley
The Town of Chino Valley is about done with its Fiscal Year 2017 budget processes. At 6 tomorrow night, the Chino Valley Town Council will hold a public hearing on the more than 21 million dollar budget. This is down from the current year’s amount of almost 24 million dollars. During a live appearance on last Monday’s Talk of the Town show on KQNA, Finance Director Joe Duffy explained what the budget does. Duffy says the budget also contains important demographic information. Following the public hearing at Town Hall on Highway 89, Council will consider final adoption of the budget.
Humboldt Unified School District considers budget adoption
With the deadline rapidly approaching, the Humboldt Unified School District Board meets at 6:30 tonight to consider adoption of the final 2017 budget. The budget totals nearly 33 million dollars, an increase of 7 percent. Humboldt Unified School District Finance Director Cynthia Windham says the budget includes a base support level increase of more than 1 million dollars. This will allow the District to provide salary increases on the schedule. The proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Budget was prepared using the current year’s final 100 day student count numbers. It shouldn’t be impacted by this year’s funding. All Arizona school districts have until July 5th to adopt a budget. The Humboldt Unified School District Board meeting will be held in the Transportation Training Facility on Robert Road in Prescott Valley.
Hell Canyon Bridge now open
Travel along Highway 89 between Prescott and Ash Fork just got a lot smoother. After 13 months of construction, ADOT has opened the new $14M Hell Canyon Bridge. This bridge, located about 18 miles from Chino Valley, carries about 34 hundred vehicles a day. It’s 665 feet long and 47 feet wide, 65 feet longer and 17 feet wider than the old bridge that was built in 1954. ADOT Northwest District Engineer Alvin Stump calls Highway 89 between Prescott and I-40 an important commuter route between Central and Northern Arizona. Stump says it’s also a key strategic detour when there are closures on I-17, I-40 and Highway 93. The old bridge, which no longer meets state and federal standards for larger and heavier vehicles, will be dismantled over the next 3 months.
Be smart when hiking
If you plan on going hiking this summer, there are some simple steps you can take if you find yourself lost in the Prescott area wilderness. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is recommending you stay on trails and marked roads. In one recent rescue, a group that was from out of town got lost in the Mingus Mountain area. Adults should make sure kids and teenagers are supervised and follow safety guidelines when camping. Carry a cell phone or walkie talkie, since this may be the lifeline to a quick rescue. It’s also important to stay put and let rescue personnel come to you. Call immediately when you know you’re lost, bring water and snacks, since short hikes can turn into large ordeals; know the area you’re hiking in and let everyone not involved in the hike know of your plans, including an expected return time and location.