January 30th, 2008

Vending Contract Could Add to City Revenues

By Cindy Barks
Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ)

With an eye toward its flagging budget, the Prescott City Council directed city staff earlier this month to look into “creative” ways of generating revenue.

At Tuesday’s council workshop, the ideas began coming in. Among them: a long-term, exclusive citywide vending contract with either Coca Cola or Pepsi; and possible naming rights for city-owned properties, such as the Prescott Rodeo Grounds and the old clubhouse at the Antelope Hills Golf Course.

Council members appeared receptive to the ideas when Administrative Services Director Mic Fenech broached them this week.

“I think it’s a really good concept,” Councilman Robert Luzius said.

Although council members took no vote on the issue, they gave Fenech an informal nod of approval to move on to the next step.

On Wednesday, Fenech said he planned to make the final request for proposals within the next month. By about early March, the city should be ready to go out for proposals on the vending contract, he added.

Depending on the outcome of the request for proposals, Fenech said the matter could be back before the council for consideration by about May.

“Our goal is to get it back before we finalize the budget,” Fenech said of the 2008-09 fiscal year, which begins in July.

While no one knows how much a long-term vending contract might generate, Fenech said he hopes the two major non-alcoholic beverage companies - Coke and Pepsi - might be interested in acquiring the rights to serve their products exclusively in city buildings, parks, and events.

As Fenech explained it, the contract could offer a number of benefits for the city, including new revenue from the contract, and product discounts.

Along with the vending contract, Fenech suggested that the city open up the process to possible naming rights for various city properties. He suggested, for instance, the grandstand at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds.

Fenech said companies also might be interested in naming rights for the old golf course clubhouse, as well as a possible new aquatic center and city recreation center.

Officials stressed that the City Council would have the final say in the vending contract and would have the right of refusal on it, as well as the naming issue.

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