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10/30/2013 8:13:00 AM
Chino Valley now part of regional economic partnership
Chino Valley, AZ
Chino Valley, AZ
Kathi Sabot
Chino Valley Review

The Chino Valley Town Council approved spending $10,817, one dollar per resident, to join the Greater Prescott Regional Economic Partnership, (GPREP), at Tuesday's council meeting. Steve Walker of Yavapai College and board member of G-PREP, presented information about the organization, which hopes to attract businesses to the area.

"The mission of GPREP is to create a regional identity to help local companies expand, attract new quality businesses, and foster capital investment in the greater Prescott region thereby making our region more competitive with other regions, and ensure a vibrant and self-sustaining regional economy," Walker said. "It's a public-private partnership; we have been working with representatives from the towns and cities, the colleges, Yavapai Regional Medical Center, the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, over the last three years to plan for the organization of the Greater Prescott Regional Economic Partnership."

Councilwoman Linda Hatch challenged the town's expenditure of dues to join such an organization, stating that it seemed redundant given that nearby towns have paid staff designated for this. Examples are Jeff Burt, director of economic initiatives in Prescott, and Alexandria Wright, director of Yavapai College's Regional Economic Development Center. Both councilwoman Hatch and councilman Don Wojcik opposed the motion to join.

Walker stated that GPREP's annual budget is expected to be about $250,000, and will grow with the organization.

"A rising tide floats all boats. The focus is on business creation, getting out there and recruiting new businesses to our regional area. We all benefit from bringing new businesses to the area," Walker said.

Mayor Chris Marley and Town Manager Robert Smith have participated in the organizational meetings of GPREP, and with other council members, supported the measure to join. More information about the organization can be found at its website, www.gprepaz.org.

The council also discussed Community Development Block Grants. Tracey Bouvier of Flagstaff stated that Chino Valley could receive $264,000 in grant funds for 2014. Previous use of block grant money include the Chino Valley Head Start, Food Bank, and Developmental Services buildings.

Richard Straub of Public Works proposed the money should be used to pave 81,000 feet of road. Public hearings are scheduled for Nov. 12 at 4 p.m., and Jan. 14 to discuss designation of the funds.

The council has tentatively scheduled a council retreat for Nov. 5 from 9-4 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce training room.

The public is invited, but may not participate. The goal is to work with a facilitator, and develop a strategic plan for 2014.


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