Town Housing Coordinator Dismissed

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After only six months on the job, Payson's housing/rehabilitation development services coordinator has been fired.

Robert Elliott who just last week revealed his plan for creating hundreds of affordable homes at various locations throughout the town was terminated from his position Thursday for undisclosed reasons. Elliott could not be reached for comment.

"It's a very strong policy of the town not to discuss anyone we dismiss from employment here," Community Development Director Bob Gould said.

What Gould could discuss, he said, was the future of Elliott's mixed-income housing program.

Last week, Elliott said that by May 2001, "hundreds of units" of homes would be built and on the market in Payson, at estimated purchase prices ranging from $65,000 to $90,000. Elliott termed the project a "scattered-site development" in which the homes would be built around Payson.

According to Gould, Elliott's dismissal "definitely will not affect" the ongoing affordable housing program.

"No. 1, I'll have somebody in (Elliott's) position fairly quickly, I'm sure," Gould said. "I'm looking in-house right now. If I can't find someone here who's capable of doing the job, I'll probably go back to one of the two people we talked to during our last go-round of interviews" to fill the position.

"Robert's job was to implement the Green Valley Redevelopment area," Gould said. That was his sole function to secure grant applications and convince developers to construct housing projects and things like that within the town of Payson. We'll be looking for someone who has those capabilities."

"No. 2, I'll be continuing to work on those projects anyway," Gould said.

Among the town's affordable housing developments still in the early planning stages is a proposed 203-home residential subdivision set on a 52-acre lot north of the Mazatzal Mountain Air Park.

Public hearings on the proposed development will be held June 5 at 4 p.m. by the Town of Payson Planning and Zoning Commission, and depending on the commission's recommendation June 22 at 6 p.m. by the Payson Town Council.

Both hearings will take place in the council chambers of Town Hall at 303 N. Beeline Highway.

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