I am referencing the "Letters to the Editor" in the July 13 issue of the Payson Roundup regarding the Main Street Program. It is not my custom to debate issues in the newspaper. As a matter of fact, every time that there has been mention of a Main Street issue in the newspaper positive or negative I have personally called the writer and addressed these issues with them. However, I feel that there was so much "misinformation" in these two particular articles that it is necessary for the public to hear my responses.
Regarding Gar and Elenore Baybrook's comments: Gar was kind enough to bring me copy of his letter before it was published and we had an opportunity to go over some of his concerns. The one different issue in his article was the "round about" issue. These features, which were illustrated on the conceptual drawing, are strictly design elements. They do not affect traffic flows and are designated to be in-ground brick or colored concrete to accentuate major intersections.
The resource team that visited Payson was paid for by the Department of Commerce not the Town of Payson. These experts are responsible for the designs associated with all the Main Street Programs and are chosen by the Department of Commerce. More than 40 interviews were held with local residents, considering all their comments.
Speaking to Mr. Haggins' comments: The grants, which are available, are federal grants. It is true that a portion of all of our taxes go to grant programs. These grants will be available whether we have a Main Street Program or not. If we do not apply and secure this money, it will simply go to another community that does apply. I, for one would rather that these monies go to Payson than to Sedona or Flagstaff.
There is no "borrowed money" in the Main Street Program. Perhaps Mr. Haggins was referencing the HELP fund monies, which have been applied for and is before the council for approval. This 3 percent interest rate money is to complete some of the street repairs which he mentioned needed to be done.
What is extremely important for everyone to know is that bringing in business and assisting existing businesses to thrive is what drives our economy. Without these businesses and their contributing sales tax revenues, no streets will get repaired or necessary services improved to help the residents of Payson. Property tax increases are not even an issue, as the monies contributed to the Town in comparison to sales tax do
not even register.
These thriving businesses are every one's business. This program does not only help a few, it helps all of us myself included, as a taxpayer and homeowner.
Finally when I go out of town, I always shop. Whether to pick up a gift or a remembrance or to bring home something different. I know that I am not unusual.
This is why it is so successful in so many towns. What do you do when you go to Sedona or Prescott or Flagstaff? I'll bet everyone leaves a little of their money there. Even if you are going to camp or fish or hike if something draws your attention, you will make the stop.
Gentlemen and ladies, the world was built on pipe dreams. Everyone tries to capture one of his or her own. For some of the Main Street businesses, this is their dream, and, in the meantime, it benefits all of us. Don't be deceived into thinking that we can close our doors and operate in a utopia. Growth will come to Payson with or without Main Street. It is how we manage it that is important.
Main Street Program Manager