As usual, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that in (the Jan. 24 issue of the) Roundup, all the candidates listed the finding, and delivery of additional water as one of the most important issues facing Payson.
This is facing up to reality, for I have heard that we have been mining our present water supply for five out of the last six years. The water we have received since Nov. 1, 1999, when our current water resupply period began, has been negligible, so at the moment, things don't look good for a healthy resupply for the coming summer.
It is good that all the candidates recognize this, because all of our other problems combined are insignificant compared to our water problems.
The bad side to this is the lack of any discussion as to how this additional water will be financed and who will do the financing. Thus, at the start of the present town political campaign there seems to be almost a conspiracy of silence about the most important issue.
This is totally wrong, and this issue must be dragged out into the open. It is a major issue.
Additional water is going to be expensive. It is going to cost millions of dollars. No one knows yet whether it is $3 million or $23 million, but compared to the present book value of the town water system, it is going to be big.
The unspoken questions are, "Who is going to pay this high capital cost? The people who currently live in Payson? Are they to pay for high-priced water to bring new businesses and residents to town? Or should the system be continued, as at present, where the developers pay the cost of new water to each new subdivision and then pass the cost on in the price of each lot?"
A new philosophy has invaded the thinking of a certain segment of the town. It is essentially socialism. This thinking says that all of us currently living here, out of the goodness of our hearts and the fatness of our wallets, should subsidize the capital structure required to supply water for businesses and residents that aren't even here yet.
Remember, we are talking millions of dollars.
As the current campaign for town offices proceeds, all residents of Payson would do well to find out which school of thought each candidate adheres to.
Dan Adams, Payson