Murphy Proud Of Town's Response

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Mayor Ken Murphy is proud of how Payson residents and businesses have responded to help the victims of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire.

Murphy took two aerial tours of the Heber-Overgaard communities Sunday. He said he wanted to see how close the fire was to Payson and take video for evacuees to see, helping them tell if their homes had survived.

He said the fire had moved into the Tonto National Forest, but the experts were saying Payson and the surrounding area was in no eminent danger.

At Monday morning's briefing for the evacuees by the Forest Service, Murphy announced that a Central Arizona Association of Governments conference planned at Payson was canceled, so the people at the motel to be used would not be uprooted again, and all the money budgeted for the conference was donated to the relief effort.

Businesses were donating services for recreational vehicles and cars. Movie passes had been purchased for the victims of the fire to give them a brief break from the waiting and worrying. Taylor Pool was being opened for use by the evacuees as well. Special art classes were planned for Monday afternoon and some of the motels are not even charging the victims of the fire, he said.

Murphy said Jerry Chapman had donated $5,000 for food and supplies, which Bashas' had matched.

"We're getting to the end of that, so the town has started an account for contributions for the fire victims. People can just drop the checks at town hall," Murphy said.

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