Town, Aps Agree To Light Up Old Glory

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After five months of calling everyone he could think of, local veteran Jack Sheahan was notified this week that his tenacity has been rewarded.


The Town of Payson has reached an agreement with Arizona Public Service to provide lighting for the American flag at the south edge of town in front of Payson Feed.


"It's about time," Sheahan said Thursday. "It's a long-time overdue."


Sheahan said he started working on getting the flag lit in November, when controversy brewed over whether the American flag had to be lit.


The answer provided by the town-appointed Payson Flag Committee was that only on military installations was the flag to be illuminated at night.


"I had to contact two senators, five congressmen, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Legion national flag committee, the VFW national flag committee," he said. "I contacted everybody in the United States who knows anything about American flags."


Sheahan, an Army veteran, provided proof to the contrary, citing U.S. Flag Code, which says American flags that are flown 24 hours a day must be illuminated at night.


Town Manager Rich Underkofler said he's been working with APS since Sheahan challenged the town to light the flag.


"APS has agreed to install a 500-watt spotlight for the town streetlight, located north of Phoenix Street on the west side of the Beeline," Underkofler said.


Jim Spencer, Payson district manager for APS, said the spotlight was donated to the town by Bud's Plumbing. Spencer's company is donating the labor for the installation, and will provide maintenance on the light. The only cost to the town will be paying for the electricity to light the flag each night from sunset to sunrise.


"That cost is minimal," Underkofler said.


"That spotlight should be installed within a week," Spencer said. "We all worked together here, and accomplished a good thing."

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