Council To Consider Final Plan

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The Payson Town Council will consider adoption of the Year 2002 Payson Corporate Strategic Plan when it convenes Thursday at 6 p.m.

Interim Town Manager Kelly Udall introduced a new approach to the document that establishes town priorities, objectives and benchmarks for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

Under former town manager Rich Underkofler, the Corporate Strategic Plan was linked closely to the budget. Udall refocused the council's consideration of the document on programs rather than numbers.

"(By doing so) the council can set the tone and direction for the town through the corporate strategic plan, then the staff can show them later through our budget proposals how we plan to implement their priorities," he said. "Instead of the plan being the budget, it's all about programs and services."

Udall believes the separation of programs from numbers clears up misunderstandings and misconceptions.

"The budget is a separate instrument altogether, but it ties into the corporate strategic plan," he said. "It should make it easier to understand how these two documents work together and separately."

The plan features a prioritized list of council initiatives and objectives originally developed at a preliminary meeting held in January.

Highlights include:

Continue to use the "safe yield" concept for monitoring and maintaining a sufficient community water supply. The town agrees not to pump more water from groundwater aquifers than the amount that is naturally and artificially recharged.

Implement water conservation measures to reduce peak demand and maintain yearly average consumption at 92 gallons per person per day. One specified measure is a rate increase for all consumption greater than 5,000 gallons per month.

Secure new sources of water supply. Steps include continued exploration for new aquifers at the town's boundaries, for private water rights that may be available for town acquisition, and for new sources of groundwater in the Tonto National Forest.

Enhance the level of communication efforts to the community concerning water-related issues. At a recent meeting, several councilmembers and officials expressed the need to better communicate the town's water status to the public.

Update park improvement priorities on an annual basis. Plans call for an additional restroom facility in Green Valley Park, sand volleyball courts in Rumsey Park, proposed basketball courts at the site of the skate park, possible relocation of the skate park, and improvements to the Payson Event Center, including covering the arena, a permanent restroom facility, and paved parking. Also on the agenda is the completion of architectural drawings for a community center and acquisition of acreage for a public park in the southeast quadrant of town.

Other objectives address such areas as improving internal and external communication, improving solid waste collection and recycling, supporting and strengthening the local economy, improving streets and roads, updating airport improvement projects, reducing flood damage from storm water flow, and implementing the trails master plan.

Also on the agenda Thursday evening is consideration of a revised document setting forth rules of procedure for conducting town council meetings. When originally presented at the March 28 meeting, the document was tabled pending revisions suggested by councilmembers and resident Lew Levenson.

The revised 22-page document, titled "Rules of Procedure for Town Council Meetings," addresses some of the concerns expressed at that meeting, according to Udall.

"(Town Attorney) Sam (Streichman) made a couple of cosmetic changes, and he incorporated some of the language suggested by Lew Levenson," Udall said. "One of the changes is to make the town attorney the parliamentarian at council meetings."

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