What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus
For the most up to date local information, please visit the following sites:
Yavapai County Community Health Services'
AZ DEPT HEALTH SERVICES WEBSITE
Prescott National Forest to Close All Developed Recreation Sites in Response to COVID-19
Prescott, AZ– March 24, 2020 – The Prescott National Forest began an orderly closure of developed recreation sites on Monday, March 23, to protect public health and safety and to align with state and local measures already in place to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Although developed campgrounds, restrooms and other developed recreation facilities on the Prescott NF are closed, the vast majority of the forest will still be available to visitors who want to spend time outdoors. Parking at a number of day-use sites will remain available with reduced hours. No services will be provided and no fees will be collected. Currently, recreation opportunities include hiking and biking on trails, dispersed camping and other activities that support social distance and small groups.
The Prescott NF asks members of the public to recreate responsibly by avoiding high-risk activities, such as rock climbing, that increase the chance of injury or distress. Law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19. In addition, visitors can help mitigate resource impacts while recreation sites are closed by bringing home their trash (pack it in, pack it out), and by appropriately managing human waste by burying it at least 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet away from water, trails and recreation sites. Visit the Interactive Visitor Map: https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/ for more information on available activities.
“We know how much our communities and our visitors value the recreational opportunities the national forests have to offer,” Prescott NF Supervisor Dale Dieter said. “This decision was not made lightly, but we believe people understand the serious risks posed by facilities that draw large numbers of people into close proximity with each other. We appreciate your patience and understanding of our efforts to mitigate those risks to protect public health and safety.”
The developed recreation site closures will remain in effect until June 1, 2020 and will be reevaluated as needed. The Forest Service thanks all visitors and partners for their cooperation. Please report any instances of vandalism to facilities to the local ranger district office.
All Prescott NF offices are conducting business and providing services virtually and will continue to coordinate its COVID-19 response in alignment with all federal, state and local guidance. Visitors to national forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.
Visitors of the Prescott National Forest can obtain additional information via the following:
Update from Yavapai County Community Health Services
A Sedona resident has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. The case is currently under investigation by Yavapai County Community Health Services. The patient has no symptoms, has not been hospitalized and is isolating at home. They were tested due to an exposure to a suspected COVID-19 case. As part of YCCHS’s ongoing disease investigation to identify the source of the virus and other individuals who were potentially exposed, people close to the individual will be contacted by the health department.
There are currently 63 cases in Arizona, 34 in Maricopa, 10 in Pinal, 8 in Pima, 5 in Coconino, 3 in Navajo, 1 in Graham, and 1 in Yavapai. 343 tests have been completed statewide, with 211 ruled out, and 101 pending. In Yavapai County, 58 tests have been completed with 42 negative, and 15 pending.
Governor Ducey’s Executive Order yesterday requires restaurants in Arizona counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases to provide dine-out options only, and that all bars in those counties close. This also applies to movie theaters and gyms.
The order also halts all elective surgeries in the state of Arizona to free up medical resources and maintain the capacity for hospitals and providers to continue offering vital services. This will help keep critical personal protective equipment (PPE) available for the fight against COVID-19.
YCCHS has posted the Governor’s Official Executive Order on our website www.yavapai.us/chs.
There will be a press conference today at the Board of Supervisors later today – details will be forthcoming. Yesterday the County declared a Proclamation of Countywide Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing it to make appropriate orders, provide emergency resources, request additional resources and receive mutual aid from the state and federal governments.
Please avoid people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home. If someone in your house is sick, stay home to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus to others. Set up a separate room for sick household members and clean the room regularly, and make sure thy have clean disposable masks to use.
The Yavapai County Emergency Operations Center is open, and the phone bank will be open to answer calls from the community, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 928-442-5103.
The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is available to answer questions about COVID-19 at 844-542-8201. Arizona providers can call for testing and patient guidance. The general public can call for information about testing, isolation and quarantine.
Yavapai County Treasurer Encourages Everyone to Mail In Tax Bills
Chip Davis, Yavapai County Treasurer said, “In an effort to reduce the risk of Coronavirus spread among Yavapai County residents, and Yavapai County employees, I would like to ask everyone that can to please mail in their tax bills instead of visiting our offices in person.”
It is important to remember that tax bills cannot be delayed, even during a crisis. Second half tax bills are due May 1, 2020 at 5:00 PM. As long as the tax bill is postmarked by May 1, 2020 your taxes will be paid on time.
There is also a drop box located at 1015 Fair St, Prescott AZ if you would like to save the postage. The drop box is checked twice a day and at 5:00 PM on May 1, 2020.
If you would like a receipt mailed to you, the Treasurer’s office has asked that you place a note with your tax bill requesting a mailed receipt. If you need the receipt mailed to a different address than the one on your bill, please indicate that in the request. It could take up to ten days to receive your receipt in the mail.
For more information you can call (928) 771-3233, email email@example.com or visit http://www.yavapai.us/treasurer/
The mailing address is:
Yavapai County Treasurer Office
1015 Fair St.
2nd Floor, room 209
Prescott, AZ 86305
YCSO Closing Public Lobbies
New Remote Video Building Inspections Available
Yavapai County Development Services is pleased to announce its new Remote Video Building Inspection program. Now, homeowners and contractors can have many common building inspections performed by streaming video using their personal electronic device such as a tablet or a cell phone.
The new Video Inspection program uses the Skype video calling application. Once the user has a Skype account, they can schedule a video building inspection by going to their online Development Services account by visiting www.citizenserve.com/yavapaicounty. At the scheduled time, an inspector will call the homeowner or the contractor and provide a series of instructions to walk through and inspect the work area. At the end of the call, the inspector will let the homeowner or contractor know if the inspection passed or failed. That information is also immediately recorded into the user’s building permit record.
The new Video Inspection program builds on other Development Services Department improvements over the last few years. Recently, Development Services transitioned to a paperless permitting system called CitizenServe. According to Jeremy Dye, Assistant Director in Development Services, “Development Services is always looking for ways to enhance our services and find efficiencies. This new video inspection program makes it easier to schedule and conduct inspections. It is also a time saver because an inspection is scheduled for a specific time, so someone isn’t waiting onsite for an inspector to show up.” Mr. Dye further states, “Video Inspection is also a good option right now for preventing the of spread the COVID-19 virus because the inspector is not physically on the job site.”
What if someone lives in an area that doesn’t have adequate cell coverage? Field inspections can still be scheduled for all inspection types by following the same online scheduling process. For additional information and instructions on how to schedule a Remote Video Building Inspection, please visit www.citizenserve.com/yavapaicounty.
For questions or additonal information, please contact Jeremy Dye, Assistant Director of Development Services, at (928) 639-8151, or by email at Jeremy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yavapai County Issues Proclamation of Countywide Emergency
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Brown, on March 19, 2020, signed a Proclamation of a Countywide Emergency. The proclamation provides the Chairman with additional opportunities and resources to protect Yavapai County residents, working in coordination with local cities and towns, should the need arise in the future.
COVID-19 poses a serious public health threat for infectious disease spread to Yavapai County residents and visitors if proper precautions recommended by public health are not followed. In Yavapai County, public health and health care systems have identified precautions and interventions that can mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It is necessary and appropriate to take action to ensure the spread of COVID- 19 is controlled and that the residents of Yavapai County remain safe and healthy.
The Chairman of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors is authorized by the Yavapai County Emergency Operations Plan, Yavapai County Resolution No. 1967, and by A.RS. § 26-311 to declare an emergency. During the emergency, the Chairman shall govern by proclamation and have the authority to impose all necessary regulations to preserve the peace and order in the unincorporated areas of the county, including but not limited to:
Notify the constitutional officers (Sheriff, County Attorney, Recorder, Treasurer, Assessor, Superintendent of Schools, and Supervisors) that the County office for which they are responsible may remain open or may be closed for the emergency
- Imposing curfews
- Ordering the closing of any business
- Closing to public access any public building, street, or other public place
- Call upon regular or auxiliary law enforcement agencies and organizations within or without the political subdivision for assistance
Chairman of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, does hereby determine that the COVID-19 outbreak presents conditions in Yavapai County, which may be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of Yavapai County; and does hereby declare:
1. That an emergency now exists in the unincorporated areas of Yavapai County
2. That the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors shall, during such emergency, govern by proclamation and shall have the authority to impose all necessary regulations to preserve the peace and order of the unincorporated areas of the county
3. That during this emergency, political subdivisions have full power to provide mutual aid to any affected area in accordance with local ordinances, resolutions, emergency plans or agreements therefore.
LIBRARY DISTRICT DOORS ARE CLOSED - Materials and Services Still Available to Patrons
In efforts to protect patrons and staff from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the doors of the fifteen branch libraries of the Yavapai County Free Library District doors will be closed, effective immediately. However, curbside pickup for holds will still be available. District staff will continue working as long as possible to keep services functioning for their communities.
Access Materials from Home
Many library materials are available from home, if you have an Internet connection and a library card. Follow the links below to find out what you can do from your cell phone, tablet, or computer! We offer e-books and magazines, audiobooks, and other online resources such as classes on a wide range of topics, research databases for students, book recommendations, and more. Funds are being allocated to add even more titles to the digital collection. Visit our Online Resources page to get to e-books, and so much more.
Placing Holds for Pickup
Still want physical books and DVDs? Go to ycfld.org on your computer or phone, click on your branch library and then “Go to the Catalog” to search for the books and movies you want. Place a hold for curbside pickup. You will be notified by email, text, or phone when your items are ready. Call the library from the parking lot and staff will bring your items to your car. If you need help placing a hold, check out this tutorial or call your branch library for assistance.
Other services and announcements:
- We are extending checkout periods to 8 weeks and waiving fees to relieve burdens on patrons.
- Our staff will be available to answer reference questions by phone. Call your branch library if you need help finding information.
- Wi-fi will stay on 24/7 at Library District branches. Access library wi-fi outside the building on your own devices.
- If you don’t already have a library card, you will be able to register online for a temporary card that will allow you to access our digital collections and online resources. To check out physical materials, you will have to come in to the library with ID and proof of residency when your library re-opens. Click here to register, beginning March 20th.
- Interlibrary Loan [requesting books from outside Yavapai County] through the Library District is suspended until further notice.
Library District Branches: Ash Fork, Bagdad, Beaver Creek, Black Canyon City, Clarkdale, Congress, Cordes Lakes, Crown King, Dewey-Humboldt, Mayer, Paulden, Seligman, Spring Valley, Wilhoit, & Yarnell
Sunset Lane improvement project moves toward late Spring completion
After nearly 16 months of public utility relocates, the Sunset Lane project, a joint $7.5 million effort between the Town of Prescott Valley and Yavapai County, continues to move toward substantial completion by May/June, 2020.
The project includes the widening, paving and installation of storm drainage and sidewalks on Sunset Lane from Pine View to Prescott East Highway. Town Council awarded the roadway construction project bid to Asphalt Paving & Supply, Inc. Lyon Engineering is the engineer on the project.
Currently, crews are completing underground water and drainage utility upgrades from Starlight Lane to Prescott East Highway. Installation of curb and gutter in that area has begun in preparation for paving the first three inches of the project’s six inches of roadway pavement thickness. Old pavement on Sunset between Starlight and Meadowview has been removed and crews are in the process of installing water, sewer and drainage upgrades in that area.
Please note that temporary delays, road closures and detours may continue to be experienced as this project progresses. Please use caution and patience if traveling in the area.
For more information, please contact Ron Pine at Prescott Valley Public Works, 928-759-3035 or email email@example.com.
Yavapai County Meets with Behavioral Health Experts to Discuss Collocated Facility at Criminal Justice Center in Prescott
In December of 2019, several representatives from Yavapai County, Prescott and Prescott Valley Police Depts., and nearly every medical organization located in Yavapai County that has a Behavioral Health (BH) component, met with Falcon Inc. to discuss the need for a Collocated Behavioral Health facility near the Criminal Justice Center being built in Prescott. According to Falcon’s website, “the Falcon team aims to take behavioral health services to new heights, ensuring its utmost potential by delivering real, sustainable results for County and State jurisdictions.”
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Brown said, “I am proud to see County staff and community partners working together to provide necessary Behavioral Health services to Yavapai County residents. This new collocated facility will provide a terrific amount of support to those in need.”
Falcon’s CEO and Founder, Dr. Elizabeth Falcon recently stated, “Yavapai County is leading the nation in its efforts to break the cycle of recidivism -- by reforming and restructuring its criminal justice system to focus on proactive treatment solutions and community safety. Yavapai County’s leaders are to be commended for taking prompt action and adopting a prudent plan for providing the best evidence-based treatment resources to the people entrusted to their care and custody.”
Chief Deputy David Rhodes, who represented the Sheriff’s Office at the meetings said, “Meeting with Falcon, and most of the Behavioral Health Professionals in Yavapai County, provided confirmation that the Sheriff's office is seeing great success in our efforts to reduce recidivism and provide behavioral health assistance to those in need. I look forward to seeing a collocated behavioral health facility at the new Criminal Justice Center in Prescott. This new facility will allow us to increase our efforts in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”
A few of the key objectives of the meetings included, determine proposed re-entry services to be offered at a collocated facility and to create a vision, mission and conceptual framework for the facility.
Some of the issues and objectives that were addressed during the meetings included:
- Before 2015 there was little in the way of formal coordinated services between the jail and community BH providers.
- Camp Verde Jail was known to have nearly 50% of its population diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness (SMI).
- The 2015 Chinn and DLR studies arrived at recommendations to reduce recidivism which have been implemented in subsequent years by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO).
- Tour and Breakout Workshop discussion of local relationship and strategic partnerships to achieve desired goals.
Sites that were visited during the meetings included the Camp Verde Detention Center, Gurley Street Jail, Pronghorn Psychiatric, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and the proposed site for the Criminal Justice Center & Collocated Services Center. The objective of these visits was to examine system flow, to obtain a firsthand context of operations and needs, and to understand strengths and challenges of operations.
An extensive question and answer time was held and here are some of their findings:
- Collaboration between YCSO, Release Coordinators and local Behavioral Health providers is seen as an area of strength in Yavapai County.
- Local Judges are embracing the Reach Out efforts, information and screening tools.
- Reach Out’s current location in the Camp Verde Jail is not ideal; Closer proximity to booking activities will create system efficiencies.
- The current Gurley Street Jail facility is not conducive to safe, long-term inmate detention.
- The process for responding to emergency calls for Emotionally Disturbed Person (EDP) is overburdening law enforcement resources, resulting in prolonged transfers of custody and ultimately delaying coordination and delivery of urgent crisis care.
- There is a consensus among all those present that there is a need for a collocated facility.
Falcon’s Senior Expert Dr. Robin Timme, Psychologist, stated “Falcon and Yavapai County are working together to right-size the new collocated re-entry and behavioral health facility, to make sure the spaces we build are actually needed and are designed to support the best evidenced-based treatment programs. We are conceptualizing the programming first, and then recommending what space is necessary to implement the programming.” Dr. Timme went on to explain, “By making services and treatment available immediately for individuals with serious mental illness (at the first moment the need is identified), Yavapai County’s approach is to help them stabilize and recover, and to avoid the criminal justice system altogether. This is how we break the cycle of criminalizing mental illness”.
Yavapai County Sheriff, Captain Jeff Newnum, Assistant County Administrator, Jack Fields, Yavapai County Sheriff, Captain Brian Hunt, Falcon’s Senior Expert Dr. Robin Timme, Psychologist, Project Director, Ron Ecker (Kitchell CEM), Yavapai County Facilities Director Kenny VanKeuren, Yavapai County Assistant Facilities Director Brandon Shoults
Yavapai County Begins 2020/2021 Budget Process
On Wednesday January 22, 2020, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors met at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University for a special budget retreat to discuss a few of the larger upcoming budget issues and begin the budget process.
Yavapai County Administrator Phil Bourdon began the meeting with a review of current economic data for Arizona and Yavapai County, and then covered updates from the Governor on the state budget, new County budget considerations and the budget process going forward. Mr. Bourdon said, “We always begin the budget process by removing all of last year’s capital one-time expenditures from the general fund. We look at Elections and Voter Registration budgets and adjust according to the upcoming election schedule, and we look at continuing our additional payments to Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) in order to reduce the unfunded liability and allow these additional funds time to mature and grow into the future.”
Yavapai County Human Resources and Risk Management Director Wendy Ross discussed with the board how the minimum wage has been steadily increasing each year and how this year would be no different. Mrs. Ross stated, “On January 1, of 2020, the minimum wage went up to $12.00 an hour. This change made it necessary to increase the wage of over 50 employees, in order to comply with state minimum wage law. The steady and continuing increases to minimum wage have created some internal compression issues with employee wages, and Mrs. Ross had several options for the board to consider as they move forward with the budget process.
Public Works Director Dan Cherry was next to present on the County’s Regional Roads Program. Mr. Cherry noted that 2016 legislative changes to the statutes which govern the County’s authority to charge and collect roadway development impact fees are scheduled to take effect as of January 1st, 2021. “Requirements for a County to collect roadway impact fees, an important source of funding for the County’s Regional Roads Program, are becoming more stringent and restrictive to the specific roadway capacity needs created by new developments. The expenditure restrictions state; Funds must be used for capacity improvements such as new construction, widening, and adding turn lanes.” These restrictions phase out the ability of the County to collect impact fees based on its existing Roadway Development Fee program later in 2020. Mr. Cherry went on to explain that, because of this reduction in funding, should the County choose to not create a new roadway impact fee program under current statutes, the County should continue to encourage and support legislation at the State level which can help generate funding for the maintenance and construction of infrastructure in the State and region.
Mr. Cherry included the following chart to illustrate previous and current projects made possible with partnerships, which have been a hallmark of the County’s Regional Roads Program since its inception in the 1990s.
Yavapai County Facilities Assistant Director Brandon Shoults wrapped up the meeting with a review of the three main capital projects; the Criminal Justice Center, Gurley St Remodel (including a Parking Structure and Interior Remodel), and Marina St. With the construction of a new Criminal Justice Center (CJC) located in Prescott, scheduled to begin later this year, design and construction plans for the Gurley Street facility are moving ahead as scheduled. Mr. Shoults said, “We are planning on breaking ground on the first phase of the remodel, a new parking structure for the building, in around April with completion as early as August or September of this year.”
Mr. Shoults went on to explain that working with Kitchell Corporation, the County’s Representative for the Criminal Justice Center, has been financially beneficial and will allow the county to stay on schedule while ensuring the construction of quality facilities that will last for decades.
The final project that Mr. Shoults discussed was the Marina Street building. The County is currently waiting for grant funding in order to complete a study on the abatement needs of the building. Once the report is complete, Mr. Shoults said he would submit the report as part of a grant request, which will cover a majority of costs to resolve the abatement issues. Once this is complete, the county can decide the best way to utilize this building for the benefit of Yavapai County residents.
Glassford Free Flow Right Project
Crews to begin construction of Glassford additional lane project on Jan. 27
Crews will begin construction on Monday, January 27 for the Glassford Hill Road “free flow right” project, which will construct a third southbound lane on Glassford Hill Road from Highway 89A to Tuscany Way. The exit will be reconfigured to allow for the additional lane, meaning vehicles will not have to stop as they exit eastbound 89A onto Glassford Hill Road. The project includes traffic signal upgrades at the 89A off ramp and Glassford Hill Road intersection.
There will be intermittent lane closures on Glassford throughout the project as crews construct the additional lane. Minor delays may be experienced during this project and your patience is appreciated. Please use caution and be aware of construction vehicles and personnel.
This project, a joint effort between the Town of Prescott Valley, Yavapai County and ADOT, is scheduled for a completion date of April 1, 2020.