The Payson Town Council hired an attorney who specializes in land deals to negotiate a tentative agreement with The Door Stop for the purchase of land south of Payson Municipal Airport.
It was after 10 p.m. when the council emerged from executive session and asked attorney William Sims, who, according to Town Attorney Sam Streichman, was instrumental in putting together the Bank One Ballpark and America West Arena deals, to explain the terms of the 30-year lease/purchase option.
Because the Door Stop's bid was "technically non-responsive," it was withdrawn and negotiations produced a deal that is "substantially better than the terms that were requested in the bid document better in terms of compensation to the town and risk to the town," Sims said.
Under the agreement, the Door Stop would purchase the land at its appraised value of $397,485. At the inception of the lease, Door Stop would pay $40,000, with the balance due in 10 years.
During that time, the Door Stop would pay $2,300 a month in rent, $1,250 of which would be credited to the purchase price. If the cabinet manufacturing company satisfies a set of community development milestones including hiring 35 employees and paying an average wage of $12 an hour another $900 of the rent will be applied to the purchase price.
The council voted 6-1 to authorize attorneys to draw up a contract for council consideration and public review. Councilmember Hoby Herron dissented.
As he waited for the executive session to end, James Hill, owner of the Door Stop, explained why he is eager to move his operation to the Rim country, and why the deal needs to be signed sooner rather than later.
"Payson has something that the Valley doesn't ... a quality of life where the people would like to live here," Hill said. "People end up having to leave Payson simply because they can't find jobs that are year-round, full-time jobs that pay well enough that they can live the lifestyle they want.
"If the unemployment level in the Valley goes back up to 4 percent, we no longer have any incentive to move because our retention and problem with attracting employees is gone.
"Once we're here, we're going to want to stay here, because we're going to want to live in Payson just as bad as you do."