Council Oks Bed-And-Breakfast Resolution

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Outgoing councilors Jim Spencer and Hoby Herron sit on opposite sides of the dais, and their political views are even further apart.

But at Thursday's council meeting the last they will both attend the two finally found something they could agree on.

The subject that bridged the chasm between Herron's conservatism and Spencer's pro-business beliefs was a request by the latter that the council authorize an amendment to the Unified Development Code that would allow bed-and-breakfast establishments in single-family residential zoning districts.

Spencer pointed out that tourism is the town's largest industry, and that bed-and-breakfast establishments are especially important to tourism in smaller, rural communities.

"They're small and flexible and gear their facilities to specific visitor interests," he said.

Research has also indicated, Spencer pointed out, that "bed-and--breakfast-type customers won't stop at a hotel. They'll go on to Pinetop or Show Low and seek out bed-and-breakfasts because they like that experience."

When Spencer cautioned town staff not to dwell on complicated restrictions, Herron agreed that the issue shouldn't be "made so difficult and complicated the average person can't understand it."

Spencer prefaced a motion in favor of his request by saying, "I find it amazing that Hoby and I agree on something at last."

The motion passed unanimously.

In other action Thursday evening, Vice Mayor Dick Wolfe provided an update on the executive search under way for a permanent town manager.

Since Rich Underkofler resigned to accept a position in Illinois, administrative services director Kelly Udall has been serving as interim town manager.

"The timeline has been extended so the new council can make the final decision," Wolfe said.

"Right after the new council is seated (the company hired to do the search) will be coming to us with a list. They have over 70 applicants and they are currently conducting background searches and checking out their past histories and experience."

Other actions taken by the council included:

Tabling approval of a rental agreement for the tie-down spaces at Payson Municipal Airport when several pilots objected that they hadn't been given sufficient time to study the agreement and raise objections with Ted Anderson, airport manager.

Authorizing an intergovernmental agreement with the state providing highway user revenue funds to reimburse the town for improvements to McLane Road from Payson High School to Main Street. According to Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett, improvements should begin within six weeks and will include road widening, installation of curbs and gutters on both sides, bike lanes on both sides, and a sidewalk on one side.

Authorizing a change order for an additional $7,000 to Tetra Tech, Inc., the company retained to assist with the American Gulch master plan. The American Gulch channel is a floodplain encompassing the area between the channel on Sawmill Crossing property and Green Valley Lake. As a result of the plan, considerable land now in the floodplain will be reclaimed.

Approving two requests for special event liquor licenses, one filed by the Northern Gila County Historical Society and one by the Payson Toy Drive.

Adopting new editions of the International Building Code, National Electrical Code, International Mechanical Code and several other codes. The Building Advisory Board, comprised of representatives from the building trades, has approved the adoptions.

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