Town's Biggest Tentative Budget Approved; Water Talk Tabled

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At $39,880,117, it's the largest proposed budget in the history of Payson, and it was unanimously approved by the town council for the 2000-2001 fiscal year Thursday night.

In a special session prior to that meeting, councilmembers tabled a discussion-only approach to the possibility of relaxing commercial water requirements to improve the town's multi-event center and stimulate commercial development on the south side of town.

Discussion of whether those requirements will be eased was tabled at the end of the hour-long meeting due to lack of time.

The record budget includes a few last-minute additions, including $300,000 to promote economic development in Payson.

Two other items added prior to adoption included a $10,000 grant match requested by the Payson Kiwanis Club for the construction of a second backstop at Rumsey Park; and a $9,000 grant match for the construction of a veterans memorial at Green Valley Park.

The approved budget also includes the town's most ambitious street maintenance program in several years.

Included in the overall street budget is the $959,000 reconstruction project of McLane Road from Forest to Airport roads, and $750,000 for the Airport Road project from McLane Road west to the airport. About 50 percent of that project will be funded by a grant from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Also included in the street budget is the beginning of the program to eliminate all dirt roads within town limits, starting with Doll Baby Ranch Road.

Other business

Attempting to make Main Street a main attraction, the council gave unanimous consent to the Green Valley Redevelopment special plan district, allowing a variety of design standards that will permit outdoor displays and sales, sidewalk cafes and special events along Payson's historic center.

In a 4-3 vote, the council voted against the Planning and Zoning Commission's recommendation and granted Virginia Brenning a conditional use permit for her U-Haul trailer business at 112 W. Cedar. Brenning, however, must meet town standards, as well as the needs of her neighbors, to establish a mitigation that must then be approved by the council.

A liquor license request, filed by Hubert Nanty at 400 S. Pine Street, was pulled from the council's agenda and will be considered at a later date.

In a unanimous vote, the council found it in the best interest of the airport to seek bids for the land east of Crosswinds Restaurant, in the minimum area of 10,500 square feet for a fixed-base operation hangar, promoting growth for airport operations and finances.

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