This letter is in response to a letter to the editor published in the Feb. 25 issue of the Payson Roundup under the title "Mayor's money management policies depleting town reserves."
During the decade of the '90s, end-of-year carryovers of the town of Payson ranged from a little over $1 million to $3 million-plus per year. These were the funds that were used for the capital improvements such as the new fire station and the new police station.
I am not sure whether the letter writer was referring to the Town of Payson operating fund, which is annually reduced from about $11 million to $2 million to cover current operating expenses and replenished to approximately the original amount, or to some other restricted or unrestricted funds.
It is immaterial, however, since current funds were used without any resort to other funds or reserves.
To have gone through the series of transactions suggested by the letter writer referred to above would have encumbered Payson with debt. Because of that debt and because of legal limits on municipal debt, future Payson government would have been limited in its range of choices.
Making a profit out of the difference between the cost of acquiring funds and returns on the investment of funds is the business of banks. They have the expertise in the evaluation of business and economic risk.
Towns have a greater risk when they venture unnecessarily into the business field. Although it involved a utility business instead of a banking business, the current problem of Page, covered in the Feb. 27 edition of The Arizona Republic is an example of the problems a town that tries to do too much can get into.
The leadership and staff of Payson should be commended. They have avoided unnecessary risk and commitment of town resources while using current funds to finance needed capital improvements.
As a result, they have saved millions in interest payments. This saving has certainly been needed during a decade in which Payson's population increased by more than 50 percent.