Council To Consider Cash Deal On Arena

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When the Payson Town Council holds a special meeting Tuesday, it will take up a question that has come down through the ages.

"What's in a name?"
The answer could be $250,000 up front and $25,000 more a year, if it's the multi-event center on 36 acres south of town across from the Mazatzal Casino.

The council will consider those numbers as part of a proposal for a naming rights agreement with the Tonto Apache Tribe. Barry Cardinael, who has a contract with the town to raise funds and promote the center, will bring a proposal before the council to call the rodeo grounds site at the multi-event center "The Mazatzal Arena."

"For the right to put their name on the arena, the tribe would pay the Town of Payson $250,000 initially," Town Manager Rich Underkofler said. He said the initial payment would provide cash to relocate the rodeo grounds from Rumsey Park to the new site.

The additional $25,000 a year payments for five years would be used to offset operating expenses at the new site.

"It's about a 15-page agreement with the tribe," Underkofler said, "but that's the essence of it."

Town Council member Ken Murphy will also ask the council to direct staff to provide funding from the town's $300,000 contingency fund to help relocate the rodeo grounds from Rumsey Park to the new site.

Murphy said he figures the relocation will need upwards of $100,000. The funding would be reimbursed by the money from the tribe or donations to the center.

Cardinael will also provide a status report of progress at the new multi-event center.

His nine-month contract with the town expires at the end of this month and the council will also consider authorizing negotiations for an extension of his fund-raising efforts.

With the present contract, Cardinael has received $2,000 a month plus $5,000 during the nine-month period of the contract for expenses incidental to his fund-raising and volunteer coordination.

Also on Tuesday's agenda is a resolution to certify the results of the franchise election and authorize the mayor to enter into new 25-year franchise agreements with APS and Energy West Inc.

The special meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 23 in Council Chambers at Town Hall.

At 6 p.m., Thursday, March 25, the council will hold its regular meeting in the Council Chambers at Town Hall.

The council will discuss and possibly take action on the following items:

  • Second reading and public hearing of the amended Hillside Regulations;
  • Authorization of engineering contracts for McLane Road reconstruction projects;
  • Awarding contracts for the Echo ramp relocation and expansion project at the airport;
  • Adopting an Airport Management and Operations Plan;
  • Appointments to the Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee; and
  • Town Manager Rich Underkofler will also request the council clarify the intent of a motion made and approved at the March 11 meeting regarding dirt roads.

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