The newly appointed group of residents selecting bond projects for the town is already racing the clock.
The 15-member group, the Citizens Ad Hoc Capital Improvements Project Committee, had its first meeting Feb. 25. It has until the end of April to finish its work. This work includes:
- Hearing project presentations from town department heads and the public;
- Making its selections; and
- Determining the best financing for the projects with the assistance of town staff.
All of this, compiled in a report, must then be forwarded to the town council for review. The council is required to vote by May 8 to put the projects on the Sept. 9 ballot. At that time, Payson residents will decide which projects they want.
To meet its deadline, the committee will meet every week, starting March 10. The regular meetings, which are open to the public, are at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the town hall council chambers. However, due to a conflict with use of the room, the meeting that would have been held Wednesday, March 19, will instead be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 in the council chambers.
The primary staff working with the committee is Town Manager Fred Carpenter, Chief Fiscal Officer Glenn Smith and Town Clerk Silvia Smith.
Bruce Whiting is serving as the committee's chairman. At the Feb. 25 meeting he said he had made an informal demographics study of the members.
"We have about an equal number of men and women, all different ages, some working, some retired and just about all areas of the community represented," he said.
"I appreciate the diversity of our group."
He asked that everyone make an effort to get input from the people they know and share what the committee is discussing as well.
"We need to get as much from the public as possible, input from the mayor and council, plus bring to the table your own personal experiences and your concerns," he said.
"We have lots of responsibility and absolutely no authority. We're not going to please everyone."
Giving the group fundamental information about bonding, Carpenter said, "Not everything may be suitable for bond funding." He explained there may be alternate funding sources available for some projects.
Carpenter said the town's maximum bonding capacity is about $38 million, some of that is already obligated to pay for Green Valley Park, leaving a capacity of about $30 million.
"We don't want to go to capacity," he said.
The group will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12 at the council chambers. The first staff presentation on projects is to be made by Town Engineer LaRon Garrett on streets.