Re your editorial Friday, June 12, "Mayor, put our money where your mouth is" I agree that "spending $75,000 on Valley advertising to draw folks to Payson seems ludicrous at best." However, I do disagree that the proper place to spend the money is on covering the bleachers at the event center.
The proper place is not to spend the money at all.
We seem to collectively have the attention span of a four-year-old. We have elections, we have meetings, we have planning sessions, and for the last 10 years, we almost unanimously say, "Water is our number one problem."
Then we go out and spend our money on the newest trinket to catch our fancy.
I just went back to the water department to check on the 12 wells they reported on, in their comprehensive "Views from the T.O.P." April-June 2001. In the 15 months since that report, the water level in the 12 wells has dropped 30.4 percent. This figure is highly influenced by a precipitous drop in one well, but even factoring that out, the remaining 11 wells have dropped 17.6 percent in 15 months.
I am the first to agree that this is a very imprecise way to measure our water reserves, but it is the only measurable figure available to us. We do also know, from the Southwest Groundwater report, that there is a very limited reservoir under the town, because the under-structure is about 97 percent pure rock.
So as we pull our water reserve down, we spend millions on: economic development building, police station, fire station, Green Valley Park, Main Street redevelopment, rodeo grounds, library. In the three years from 1998 to 2001, we spent $336,000 hunting for water. Not much.
I still predict that the new water to get Payson from 15,000 to 25,000 people is going to cost from $25 million to $45 million. We better start thinking about that and doing more about it than we currently are, and building up a financial reserve for a necessity water.
Dan Adams, Payson