Town Council Tackles Parks Code Wording

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The Payson Town Council will take yet another stab at rewriting the portion of the town code relating to park permits when it convenes at Town Hall for its last regular meeting of the year Thursday at 6 p.m.

When the council last visited the issue at its Oct. 26 meeting, the matter was tabled because, as Town Attorney Sam Streichman characterized it, everybody had added a bangle to the Christmas tree, and "we now have too many bangles." The issue was originally raised, he said, "to rectify religious discrimination," but got tangled up with noise ordinances and use of the Payson Event Center by horse enthusiasts.

Now, as the council wraps up its business before taking a break for the holidays, the tree has been largely stripped of bangles. What remains is streamlined language, with more import in what is missing restrictions on park facilities by specific groups than in what is left.

But the Payson Horseman's Association, a group of some 265 Rim country equestrians that lobbied the council long and hard to get the gates unlocked at the event center will find a large gift under the tree. The addition is in the form of new language specifying that not only the practice arena, but the entire facility will remain open to the public except when a scheduled event is taking place.

The council is also expected to award the contract for building the new library at Rumsey Park to Amon Builders, Inc., the low bidder among the eight companies who competed for the project. Since the bid came in well under budget, Town Manager Rich Underkofler will ask the council to also include two add-ons for operable equipment and kitchen equipment.

Included in the background materials provided to the council is a letter from Lawrence Enyart Architects recommending that Amon Builders be awarded the contract based on its examination of the builder's qualifications and references. Underkofler says the building "should be substantially complete and ready for occupancy by Sept. 1, 2000."

Also on the agenda for Thursday night's meeting is an appeal of a decision by the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission to refuse a conditional use permit for a batting cage and video arcade project at the southeast corner of Highway 87 and Airline Road. According to Community Development Director Bob Gould, who submitted the appeal, the developer, Manuel Arguello, "basically ... questions why" the project was rejected "when unified development code standards were met and all staff suggestions were incorporated into the design and layout."

The commission voted 5-1 with one abstention to deny the request for a permit, citing as reasons "traffic patterns, noise patterns, the individuals that would be there, the hours of (operation), the effect on the neighboring residents who live there, and ingress/egress patterns."

The council is also expected to declare the third Monday in January as an unpaid holiday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights Day.

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