New Fire Station Likely For Bond Election

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If the 15-member committee has its way, Payson may become home to a new fire station and a covered arena at the Payson Event Center.

The 15 residents on the Capital Improvement Projects Committee have finalized their selections of high-dollar projects to become potential bond initiatives.

The committee met April 23 to prepare the final recommendations to make to the town council at the May 8 meeting.

Once again, Police Chief Gordon Gartner, Fire Chief John Ross and Sgt. Rod Mamero appeared before the committee with a revised version of their communications overhaul -- this time at a much-reduced price tag.

"We went back to the drawing board and refined some of our numbers," Mamero told the committee.

After seeing Mamero's presentation that included new figures for the mobile data terminals and software, the committee reconsidered the 55 laptops and technology they had put aside at the prior meeting. According to Mamero, the mobile data terminals in police and fire vehicles would improve response times, provide safer working conditions by giving instant criminal histories in the field and allow secure data transmission.

Since the two departments cut the cost in half, Ross proposed that the committee include the fire department projects that he had forgone to get the communications overhaul accepted by the committee.

"Now that we have scaled down," Ross said, "I recommend that the fire station remodel and new fire station 13 be put back on the table."

Ross was referring to the deteriorating condition and disrepair of the fire station on Main Street and a proposed new fire station in the area of Tyler Parkway and Highway 260.

"The new fire station would improve our response times to five minutes or less to Chaparral Pines and the Rim Club," he said. The department currently pays Diamond Star $21,000 a year to assist with coverage of that area.

Both Gartner and Ross expressed that all the projects be included in one $3.4-million bond project.

"There are different elements to bond projects," Ross said. "I feel comfortable putting the $3.2 million for public safety on one ballot issue."

When the public safety department heads concluded their pitch, the committee went to work and came up with their recommendations for the coming council meeting. The potential bond issues the committee will be recommending to the council in May are:

  • A public works package that includes 12 street projects totaling about $4.4 million.
  • A public safety package that includes a communication overhaul, a remodel of the Main Street fire station, and the construction fire station 13, totaling about $3.5 million.
  • A Parks & Recreation package consisting of laying synthetic turf on three ballfields in Rumsey Park and putting a roof structure on the Payson Event Center. The combined cost of the two projects is about $1.2 million.

Between 10 and 40 days prior to the election Sept. 9, residents will receive an information pamphlet detailing the bond initiatives on the ballot. A description of the project, the tax rate effect and expected interest rate are some of the issues covered in the pamphlet.

The committee is scheduled to come before the town council Thursday, May 8 at 6 p.m. in the town hall council chambers.

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