The town is taking its continuing search for water resources to the Doll Baby Ranch.
At its Aug. 15 meeting, the town council approved a request from Public Works Director Buzz Walker to pay $20,000 to the George A. Armstrong Living Trust, which controls the use of the ranch, to explore for water.
The license is only to use the property, it does not provide any right to the water that might be found.
Drilling the planned seven wells will cost between $75,000 and $100,000, Walker told the council.
Should water be found in sufficient quantities to provide a viable resource for the town, another agreement, and possible purchase of the property involved, would be negotiated. Town regulations also require a vote of the people to go past the identification phase, Walker said.
Prior to the council's action, it heard a protest from Pat Randall about paying the trust $20,000 just for the right to look for water.
There also were concerns expressed by Mayor Ken Murphy about the council approving an agreement that the town's attorney had not prepared.
Walker said the attorney had looked at the agreement. Town Attorney Sam Streichman said he had looked at it and made suggestions for changes, but they had not been incorporated.
"Finding a water source is the most important thing for Payson, so we have to go forward," Councilor Judy Buettner said, before making a motion to approve the agreement with the Armstrong trust.
The search is scheduled to begin within 90 days after the agreement is signed.