Artists Help Shape Vision Of Gateway

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Imagine coming into Payson and being welcomed by attractive old-fashioned street lights, signs telling you what to find and where to go on historic Main Street, and native, low-water use plants in a median in the road.


Others are thinking about it, too, and working toward making that vision a reality.


Thursday's standing-room-only crowd at a meeting of the Green Valley Redevelopment Committee showed just how much people are thinking about the project and what they can do to beautify Main Street and surrounding neighborhoods.


A number of area artists attended and gave their comments and suggestions for the highway enhancement project now in the works for the town.


Committee Chairman Dick Wolfe said Monday that George Flanagan of ASL Engineering was at the meeting on a fact-finding mission. ASL Consulting Engineers has a contract with the town to develop the highway project.


Wolfe said Flanagan was looking for suggestions "to find out what to do to make an exciting approach to Payson."


"We're talking about a median strip with low-water-use plants, old-fashioned street lights as you move toward Main Street, and attractive signs that tell people what's on Main Street," Wolfe said."And sidewalks with trees and bushes along the sides.


"We had a contingency of artists there. And they gave (Flanagan) some good ideas. Now he's going to come up with a concept. He'll have that ready Oct. 21 at the museum, at our next meeting."


Those at Thursday's meeting heard about the committee's 10-year Green Valley Redevelopment plan and learned what they could look forward to in the coming year.


Wolfe said the committee will have a staff person from the town's Community Development Department working on the project full-time, writing grants and looking at other aspects of the project.


He said the committee is also looking at the acquisition of property off the street and across from the fire department to develop a much-needed parking lot. Also planned is the development of a connecting road that will go from Main Street to the parking lot and to Aero Drive.


"We've also had talks with two companies to locate on Main Street," Wolfe said. "Indications are they will be complying with the architectural style (on Main Street). They're in the preliminary stages right now."


He said he is hoping that having a parking lot near Main Street will allow Saw Mill Crossings to begin their project and the construction of a movie theater for the town.


Gordon Whiting, who is heading the shopping center project, was not available for comment.


Community Development Director Bob Gould said the appraised value for the parking lot by itself is $140,000. Additional lands are valued at $52,000.


A discussion on the purchase of the property along Main Street will be on the agenda of the next Town Council meeting Oct. 14.

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