The council voted 5-0 to create the facility on a 1.5-acre site at the north end of Rumsey Park just south of a public well at 504 N. McLane Road. Vice Mayor Dick Wolfe and councilmember Ken Murphy were absent.
The council had tabled the matter at a previous meeting awaiting Public Works Director Buzz Walker's input on possible nitrate and fecal coliform bacterial contaminations of the nearby groundwater.
"The main concern we have is people not cleaning up after their dogs," Walker said.
Proponents of the facility, a group of dog owners known as Paws in the Park, agreed to help keep the area clean, and the council authorized an additional half-time employee for that task.
In endorsing the park, Mayor Ray Schum indicated his previous concerns had been alleviated. "We got one letter from the Arizona Department of Environmental Equality and another from the University of Colorado saying there is no problem," the mayor said.
Door opened for Door Stop
The council also cleared another major hurdle last night by finally agreeing to sell a 5-acre parcel south of Payson Municipal Airport to The Door Stop, the Chandler-based cabinet door manufacturing company that has been trying to move to Payson for 10 months.
The 5-1 vote in favor of the purchase came after a protracted debate that lasted over an hour, allowing Wolfe just enough time to arrive and vote in favor of the sale. The vice mayor, who has worked long and hard to keep the deal on track, suffered a flight delay that made his arrival a close call.
Bob Ware, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, told the council it has to take advantage of any opportunity to create jobs.
"We would be remiss to miss an opportunity such as this to gain a business that will literally be here for years," Ware said.
Wolfe agreed, pointing out that most council decisions involve a degree of risk. "But," he said, "we have to look at the potential gain for our town and our families."
Following the decision, Jim Hill, owner of The Door Stop, said some new hires will be asked to commute to his Chandler facility for a few weeks before the new facility opens in Payson.
"When we hit the ground here, we want to be running," he said.