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Q: It looks like they're repaving the parking lot at Payson Elementary School. Why, when they had the entire summer to do the job, did they wait until after school started? It's very inconvenient for parents dropping off their children for school?

A: If you're inconvenienced, you're dropping your children off at the wrong place, PES Principal Roy Sandoval said.

"They're repaving the bus lanes and the staff parking, but not the parent dropoff," he said. "Parents aren't supposed to let their kids off there, but some sneak in. The parents drop-off place is completely open."

You can blame the timing on the fact that the state legislature took control of building and funding away from school districts several years ago.

"It's all run by the School Facilities Board, and we no longer take the bid and determine the timelines," he said. "The legislature says that once a contract is signed, the contractor has 180 days to finish the job."

Q: Why does the Forest Service leave snags or dead pine trees so close to the roadway where they can collapse and fall over the road? On the southwest side of Highway 87 and the Control Road there's an 80-foot-tall dead pine that will go right across the road if it ever falls.

A: Several factors come into play, according to Gary Roberts, fire prevention officer for the Payson Ranger District.

1) Manpower - With "probably a million snags" out there, it's impossible to keep track of every one.

2) They make good habitats for animals, especially important in areas where fire has reduced their options.

3) Many snags are in very inaccessible places where they pose little danger.

Having said that, Roberts added that your question is the first he's heard of the 80-foot-pine. As this is being written he's on his way to check it out.

If you do run across snags that you think might pose a hazard, give the Payson Ranger Station a call at 474-7900.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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