Bird Lover Planning To Ruffle Council's Feathers

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by Jim Keyworth

roundup staff reporter

The ducks and geese of Green Valley Park waddle to the fore at 6 p.m. Thursday evening as the woman who revealed their plight takes her case before the Payson Town Council.

Amy von Somogyi, a Payson resident who walks her dog at Green Valley Park, hopes to get the council to reduce the speed limit on Country Club Drive from 25 mph to 15 mph in the vicinity of the park. Von Somogyi argues that it is a safety issue for humans as well as the waterfowl who make their home at the park some 60 to 70 ducks and 15 geese.

Early in the morning and again at sunset the waterfowl cross Country Club Drive en route from one lake to another, she said.

"I walk in Green Valley Park almost every day and I personally have seen several ducks and geese injured and/or killed after being hit by passing motorists."

But the situation is also hazardous to motorists, von Somogyi said.

"I have also seen many close calls where a car had stopped to let the ducks and/or geese cross Country Club Drive and another car came around the blind curve and had to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting the stopped car."

Town Public Works Director LaRon Garrett, who recently met with von Somogyi, said the council might be able to override state standards and lower the speed limit to 15 mph because "a special hazard" exists. Garrett further recommends the council consider lowering speed limits on other streets around Green Valley Park to 15 mph because of extensive pedestrian traffic and the close proximity of Julia Randall Elementary School.

Also on the agenda

A request from Councilmember Ken Murphy for the town to contribute up to $10,000 to match contributions from the community for disaster relief for victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A presentation by Vertielee Floyd regarding a Celebrate America Patriotic Concert in conjunction with the Arizona State Championship Fiddle Contest, scheduled for Sept. 29 and 30.

A presentation by Dan Basinski of the Mogollon Biking Association to establish pedestrian, bike and equestrian ways with signage on both sides of Tyler Parkway.

A request by Fire Chief John Ross for the council to approve a fee schedule that would allow the fire department to bill for rescue services when Payson personnel respond to incidents outside of the town's jurisdiction that are not covered by a mutual aid agreement.

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