Q: I just bought a house and it has this really scraggly old tree that blocks my view of the Mogollon Rim. Can I cut it down?
A: "Actually, you can't just cut it down," Community Development Director Bob Gould said. "If the tree is six inches in diameter or greater and four feet or higher above ground level, a permit is required to remove the tree. Once a permit is obtained we'll take a look at it and see if it's appropriate to remove it."
While obstructed views are not generally considered sufficient reason to remove a tree, decisions made by staff can be appealed to the town council. Permits can be obtained at the Community Development office at Town Hall. There is no charge.
Q: If Payson's water is so good why does the water department buy bottled water?
A: Apparently this is just another one of those small-town rumors.
"We don't buy bottled water," town Water Resource Specialist Jeff Durbin said. "We've bought bottled water in the past for events, like Veteran's Day or something like that. But our water is the best in the whole United States and we're proud of it. I don't know how these things get started."
Q: Why does the town of Payson spend so much money on police and fire and so little on health and welfare?
A: Town Manager Fred Carpenter hadn't come on board in time to be involved in developing the current budget, but it was an easy question for him anyway.
"Public safety -- police and fire -- are the largest components of local government just about anyplace you go," Carpenter said. "And police departments are one of the more expensive operations of local governments. In fact, they are typically the most expensive. Health and welfare are generally under the purview of counties, so we don't get too much into that."
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.