Dog Park Tabled, Task Force Dropped

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At a joint meeting between the Payson Town Council and the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday, Mary Jo Waits of Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy gave a detailed presentation on the new economy businesses struggling to survive in the Internet age.

Waits emphasized ideas, alliances and people as critical factors for successful businesses today. She also pointed out that more businesses are now being created in residences than in commercial areas, and that, according to the latest census, 72 percent of all new businesses have no employees.

The regular council meeting followed the presentation, and began by honoring the Longhorn Golf Team for winning state championships.

After a brief discussion regarding a proposed off-leash dog area at Rumsey Park, the council tabled the issue pending further investigation.

The council encountered difficulty over several other agenda items, including awarding a contract to Amon Builders to cover the two center bleacher sections on the south side of the Payson Event Center. Because Amon was the only bidder on the project, the council finally accepted Councilmember Ken Murphy's motion to reject the bid and rebid the project.

Another item that proved contentious was the rezoning of The Enclave, a 20-homesite subdivision off South Tyler Parkway. The rezoning was ultimately approved 5-2, but not before a spirited exchange over whether the developers should be required to provide their own water supply.

Two items that did meet with council approval: the granting of a special event liquor license to the Elks for a Fourth of July fund-raiser, and approval of a preliminary plat for Highlands at the Rim, a subdivision adjacent to The Enclave that is providing its own water.

The council also approved a request by Payson Police Chief Gartner to pull out of the Gila County Narcotics Task Force.

The police chief proposed using the savings from the move to return two officers to the police department. While the two officers would still be involved in narcotics investigations, they would also be able to help with other felony and long-term misdemeanor investigations.

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