Paradise Valley Town manager talks triumphs, finances & challenges
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
Paradise Valley Town Council is due at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive, in the afternoon hours of Thursday, Sept. 8, with elected leaders primed to continue upon the municipal pathway of short-term regulation explorations and potential new solutions to legacy cell phone reception challenges.
For Paradise Valley Town Manager Jill Keimach, the last two Town Council legislative sessions have provided quality steps forward for all who call the municipality home.
“The focus over the last two years has been two initiatives of the mayor and Town Council to reduce noise from our neighborhoods in two ways: working with the Arizona Legislature on enhanced local authority to issue and potentially revoke STR local permits; and collaborating with resorts to study how to mitigate noise from weddings and other events on their properties,” she told the Arizona Digital Free Press.
For all economic measurements, the Town of Paradise Valley finds itself in excellent financial position — a factor Ms. Keimach says many at Town Hall pride themselves.
The Town of Paradise Valley is in a strong financial position, she said. “We have several years of operational reserves in the event we have another and even more serious reduction in local revenue and we have significantly reduced two financial obligations that the Town Council put as their top priority several years ago.”
A major municipal milestone to be realized? The dramatic reduction of the town’s unfunded public safety pension liabilities, Ms. Keimach reports.
“The full Town Council largely accomplished this over the last three years by making additional contributions into the system,” she explained of the years-long focus. “Although the pension amount varies constantly with the market, the Town Council’s focus on paying down the liability has resulted in a decrease in annual pension contributions of more than $980,000.”
The Public Safety Personnel Retirement System or PSPRS, which was established in July 1968, is meant to provide an equitable statewide retirement program for Arizona’s public safety personnel.
Also, Ms. Keimach reports, the municipality which has forged a “Pavement Condition Index” for all municipal concrete that will eventually result in nearly $1 million in annual operation costs.
“With the last few road repaving projects, the town will only have to complete mill and overlays, saving approximately $6-800,000 annually over the next 10 years,” she said of actuarial projections.
Paradise Valley looks to solve key issues
With a basic legal framework devised at Town Hall for the ongoing operations, regulations — and training of hosts — at short-term rental properties within municipal bounds, Ms. Keimach says, Town Council will continue working toward those goals, meanwhile a new fix could be on the horizon for enhanced cell phone coverage.
“The Town Council will likely continue to address short-term rentals and work to further implement our new ordinances, train STR hosts and managers, add to our enforcement and prosecution efforts and encourage good neighbor behavior from all visitors to Paradise Valley,” she said.
“The Town Council will be asked for direction on options to potentially close the gaps in the town’s cell phone coverage by installing cell antennae on potentially five sites throughout the town. We also will continue to process amendments to special-use permits for any submitted resort, education facility and house of worship application as they upgrade and invest in their properties.”
Managing and mitigating crosstown traffic has reached the level of Town Council, Ms. Keimach reports.
“Town Council will continue its discussion on slowing and deterring cut-through traffic through town and hear staff and consultant potential options based on council direction last fall,” she said.