Times Of Drought Call For Halt On Major Construction

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Now that it has become clear that Payson faces one of the worst drought and fire danger seasons in recent years, isn't it time for rather drastic action to save our resources?

Palliative measures like restricting watering of lawns and home consumption are fine, but do not do what is necessary. A massive communal approach is called for, with cooperation from government, the private sector, and the public.

As a first and vital step, I offer the adoption of a moratorium -- that is, a temporary halt -- on all major building construction that consumes a certain amount of water -- more than normal new construction usage.

The prime example would be the new Wal-Mart Supercenter, whose planners have had difficulties meeting the existing town water requirements, only to have their woes eased by a complaisant town council, one member of which affirmed that if this is what the people wanted, this is what they should get. REALLY? Why not ask the people again, or actually listen to them as they try to give their opinions on water problems.

Wal-Mart has consistently affirmed its adherence to good citizenship, cooperation with the town, and similar platitudes. Here is its first chance! With full support of the town (perhaps even a restriction), Wal-Mart could suspend construction until the water crisis passed. Other large builders, encouraged by this private and public cooperation, might do likewise, and our town would be better for it.

Sure, a few bucks might be lost, temporarily, on construction planning, and Wal-Mart might forget its public spirit and threaten a suit, but what is lost save honor if the town acts to encourage the prime purveyor of low, food prices to forgo a few dollars profit for a few months for the greater good?

Edward Lurie
Payson

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