Chaparral Lakes Hits Snag Over Water

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The Payson Town Council tabled an ordinance to rezone 143 acres for a proposed eastside subdivision Thursday after the developer asked for time to find more water.


Gary Dashney, an agent for the developer of Chaparral Lakes, a proposed subdivision east of North Tyler Parkway, said Friday that F.P. Real Estate Development is in negotiations for water with the owner of a nearby subdivision, Rim Golf Club.


Payson Town Manager Rich Underkofler said Chaparral Lakes is having problems securing a new water supply as required for the zoning change. "They'll know in six weeks if they have enough water," he said.


Dashney said the wells that have been drilled on the property are producing 162 gallons per minute. Only 128 gallons per minute are required. The problem comes in the drawdown of the ground water under the property.


Surrounding wells from other property owners have already affected ground water levels.


"The town is saying others have taken the flux," Dashney said. "We're trying to find more water. It's a heck of a process, but we're all trying to deal with what's been laid out for us. The Rim (Golf Club) has some extra water. They're negotiating -- this is not the first time this has happened in town."


The Payson Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the Chaparral Lakes rezoning July 12. The development would place 88 homes on about an acre each, and would cluster another 56 units. Current zoning is for approximately 36 four-acre lots.

Drainage getting attention

In other business Thursday, the council approved a request by Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett to contract with ASL Consulting Engineers for a plan to update storm water drainage and retention within the town's limits.


Garrett said in his request that the current ordinance, which has not been updated since 1981, is "somewhat vague and provides minimal direction concerning residential lot drainage."


Garrett told the council that his department received numerous phone calls after the recent storms regarding drainage problems.


Garrett said Tom Loomis, of ASL Consulting Engineers, is one of the top drainage engineers in the state and is familiar with Payson's drainage and run-off conditions. The council unanimously approved the request to pay a fee of nearly $167,000 for the plan.

County health bill rejected

The council also approved a resolution denying a June 22 request for payment from Gila County for county health services. The vote was 7-0 in favor of the denial. Council member Hoby Herron said, "aye and amen."


In a related matter, the council tabled a resolution approving an agreement with a lobbying group, High Ground Inc., to represent the town at the State Legislature on healthcare matters.


Town Attorney Sam Streichman said he did not yet have the final figures on the cost of the proposed lobbying effort. "I'm working on this with the City of Yuma," he said. "We're trying to get a resolution to healthcare funding issues. Gila County is a poster child to why a resolution is needed."


Streichman said the Legislature needs to understand that the problem with mandated healthcare funding is statewide "and needs a legislative fix."


The council also adopted an ordinance levying a primary property tax of $0.3355 per $100 of assessed property value for fiscal year 1999-2000, down by $0.0185 from last year.


The combined primary and secondary property tax rate will decrease slightly this year.

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