Warnings Ignored On Way To Stop Private Road Maintenance


Property owners cautioned the council about rushing to discontinue town maintenance of private roads.

The property owners wanted more information before being asked to participate in the plan to upgrade the roads and bring them into the transportation system.

"We're not trying to force anyone to dedicate their property to the town," Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett said.

Garrett has been coordinating the work on the project, holding meetings with property owners and preparing the documents for the council.

The mayor and two councilors agreed with the call for caution, but four felt it was time to move forward and take care of the issue.

In a 4-3 vote at its Feb. 13 meeting, the council decided to discontinue the maintenance.

Additionally, work will begin to clear up questions of title, the proper location of the roads and bring them to standards which the town can accept -- if that is the desire of the property owners in question.

The controversy over town maintenance of private roads has been part of the council's landscape since 1997.

At that time, the council was advised by its attorney that it was not appropriate to use public money on private roads, however, because of health and safety concerns -- getting emergency vehicles to the residences on the roads -- the council opted to continue the maintenance.

Last summer, in response to concerns about the dust pollution, the council authorized the street department to put a single layer of chip seal on some of the roads.

According to the testimony of one of the residents, this was done without notification to, or permission from, the property owners.

Mayor Ken Murphy said that is what has brought the issue back to the council at this time.

"No good deed goes unpunished," he said.

Because of the residents' concerns, formal action must be taken on discontinuing the maintenance or put the town at risk of a lawsuit from other residents who don't want public money spent on private roads.

A little more than seven miles of private roads are at issue. The maintenance will continue until June 30, 2003, giving time to complete the title work and improve the roads that will become town roads.

Opposed to the measure were Murphy and Councilors Dick Reese and Bryan Siverson. Voting to discontinue the maintenance were Vice Mayor Barbara Brewer and Councilors Judy Buettner, Robert Henley and Dick Wolfe.


The Town of Payson has about eight miles of dirt roads it maintains for safe access by emergency vehicles.

There are two general categories of dirt roads within the town:

(1) Dirt roadways that have already been dedicated and accepted into the town's maintenance system in their unimproved condition; and

(2) Roadways that may or may not have been dedicated to the town, but have not been accepted into the town's maintenance system.

The first category is quite small. There are only six streets within this category:

  • Ridge Lane (East of Colcord Road)
  • Gila Lane (adjacent to Northwoods Condominiums)
  • Country Club Lane (Country Club Drive to American Gulch)
  • Anasazi Road (Granite Dells to southerly end)
  • Annie's Alley (Mesquite Street to McLane Road)
  • Hill Street (Frontier to northern end of road)

The second category is much larger. Even though the title status of these roads varies from a simple easement to a Quitclaim Deed, they all have one common element, none of these roads have been accepted into the Payson maintenance system. The list of roads in this category is as follows:

Graham Ranch Area

  • *N. Marantha Street (Canyon Drive to northern end)
  • *N. Briarwood Road (Canyon Drive to Alpine Drive)
  • *N. Graham Ranch Road (Canyon Drive to northern end)
  • *N. Mud Springs Road (Alpine Drive to Alpine Heights Subdivision)
  • *E. Alpine Drive (Mud Springs Road to Briarwood Road)
  • *E. Canyon Drive (Marantha St. to Graham Ranch Road)

Cedar-Sutton Area

  • S. Hermosillo Drive (Granite Dells Road to southern end)
  • E. Bolivar Street (Hermosillo Drive to western end)
  • E. Frontier Street (East and West of Hermosillo Drive)
  • *E. Cedar Lane (Mud Springs Road to Sutton Road)
  • *S. Sutton Road (Cedar Lane to Granite Dells Road)

Northeast Area of Town

  • E. Glade Lane (Highway 87 to Northwoods Condominiums)
  • N. Boeing Circle (Airline Blvd. to northern edge of Payson Airpark)
  • N. Bell Circle (Airline Blvd. to northern edge of Payson Airpark)
  • N. Langley Circle (Airline Blvd. to northern edge of Payson Airpark)
  • N. Curtiss Circle (Airline Blvd. to northern edge of Payson Airpark)
  • N. Wright Circle (Airline Blvd. to northern edge of Payson Airpark)
  • N. Hoover Drive (Airline Blvd. to northern edge of Payson Airpark)
  • N. Easy Street (Malibu Dr. to Evergreen St.)
  • E. Evergreen Street (Easy Street to the southern boundary of Payson North Unit 5)
  • E. Bobb Street (Park Payson Pines to eastern end)
  • Karen Lane (from the 1133 block to the eastern end.)

Southeast Area of Town

  • S. Dudley Street (Granite Dells Road to southern end of road)
  • S. Owens Lane (Granite Dells Road to southern end of road)
  • S. Pony Circle (Granite Dells Road to southerly end of road)
  • Alley (Behind The Mill - from Aero Dr. to E. Main Street)
  • S. Goodnow Road (Bonita Street to northern end)
  • S. Aspen Lane (Granite Dells Road to northern end)
  • S. Thomas Lane (Granite Dells Road to northern end)
  • S. Owens Lane (Miller Road to northern end)
  • S. Bassett Lane (Miller road to southern end)

Southwest Area of Town

  • W. Randall Lane (Highland Street to eastern end)
  • W. Annie's Alley (McLane Road to eastern end)
  • S. Highland Street
  • S. Joy Drive

Northwest Area of Town

  • W. Bridle Path Lane (West boundary of Payson Ranchos to northwestern end)
  • W. Four Pines Road (McLane Road to western end)
  • W. Locust Road (McLane Road to southwestern end)
  • W. Rancho Road (S.R. 87 to western end)
  • These roads received the single chip-seal coverage during the summer of 2002.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.