Council Oks Rodeo Seating For Disabled

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The Payson Town Council voted unanimously to add handicapped seating to the Payson Event Center to bring that facility into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act at its meeting Thursday evening at Town Hall.

According to that act, 1 percent of total seating or 32 seats must be handicapped accessible according to Lee Pretsch, chairman of the Payson Disability Awareness Committee. The new seating, which will cost about $35,000, will be added to both the north and south sides of the main arena.

Parks Director Bill Schwind said he was confident that the seating could be installed in time for the spring rodeo.

In other action, the council heard a second reading of proposed changes to the town code that would open the Payson Event Center to equestrians except when a major scheduled event is in progress. Motorized vehicles of all kinds are prohibited from using the facility under the code changes.

The council also approved changes to the Unified Development Code that would allow cooking facilities in guest quarters, thereby removing a restriction on such facilities in the current code. Councilmember Barbara Brewer, who cast one of two dissenting votes, expressed the concern that some residents will illegally convert such quarters into rental units.

A number of town committee appointments also were approved by the council. They include the re-appointments of Lee Pretsch and Peggy Reed to the Americans With Disabilities Act Committee, the re-appointment of Don Wolfe and the appointment of Jim Buettner to the Airport Advisory Board, the appointments of Andy Johnson and Judy Buettner to the Board of Adjustments, the re-appointment of Julie Johnson and the appointments of Bill Ensign and John Wilson to the Parks and Recreation Committee and the re-appointments of Georgia Salwitz and Don Wolfe to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The meeting eventually bogged down over a discussion of how to dispose of 13 lots the town has repossessed in Sky Park Subdivision. Local realtor Bob McQueen, representing Coldwell Banker Commercial, told the council he has two or three potential buyers for the lots and questioned the wisdom of placing reported economic development conditions on their purchase.

"The council is saying it won't sell to anyone but a substantial employer," McQueen said, "and I think that is going to stir up a big bucket of worms."

Town Attorney Sam Streichman explained that some economic conditions could be placed on some of the lots. The council adjourned to executive session to consult with its attorneys and upon returning to regular session, voted to consider the sale of the lots on a case-by-case basis.

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