Pending Project Could Force Road Delays


Traffic on Airport Road will be in for some delays, if the Payson Town Council approves an improvement project at its meeting Thursday night.

Phase two of the Airport Road project --from McLane Road west to Falconcrest at the top of the hill -- includes the reconstruction of the two-lane road with the addition of a bike path, and turn lanes where needed. The project will be similar to phase one -- from McLane Road to the Beeline Highway -- which was completed last spring.

If approved, construction along that 400-foot road will cause traffic delays for motorists traveling to and from the airport, Town Engineer LaRon Garrett said.

The road project was originally scheduled for Highway User Revenue Funds in 2003. However, with other projects around the state falling through, the Arizona Department of Transportation has offered HURF funds to Payson this year.

"Since we are basically bid ready on the Airport Road improvements, ADOT has offered the funds early," Town Manager Rich Underkofler said. "This means that construction must be started no later than Oct. 1 of this year."

ADOT has reserved $370,454 for the project. The Town of Payson must add a match of $379,546.

In other business, the council will consider the adoption of an ordinance to add two nonvoting youth positions to each of the town's various boards, commissions and committees. Those boards include the Airport Advisory Board, the Disability Awareness Committee, the Parks and Recreation Board, Planning and Zoning Commission, Green Valley Redevelopment Committee, Housing Advisory Committee, and the Historic Preservation and Conservation Committee.

Jack Sheahan, president of the local Military Order of the Purple Heart, will make a special presentation at the beginning of the meeting to Payson Police Officer Allen Dyer. Dyer was wounded in the line of duty Oct. 30 when he was shot in front of Wal-Mart.

Sue Meyers, principal of Frontier Elementary School, will accept a proclamation naming March 2 as Dr. Seuss Day in Payson.

A request by Lee Pretsch, chair of the Disability Awareness Committee, could lead to stiffer penalties imposed on those violating handicapped parking spaces.

Currently, a driver who parks in a space reserved for the handicapped without a handicap license plate or placard is issued a citation and fined $25. Pretsch and her committee recommend increasing those fines to $75 for the first offense, $150 for the second, and $300 for the third violation.

The Town Council holds its regular public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in its chambers at Payson Town Hall, 303 N. Beeline Highway.

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