Council Considers Housing Rehab Grant

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Payson Community Development Director Bob Gould hopes to get $320,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to continue the town's housing rehabilitation program and complete the Wade Lane sidewalk project.

Gould's request for block grant funding will be considered Thursday by the Payson Town Council when it addresses what projects to include in its application for state funds.

These were the two projects Gould and his staff said most closely fit block grant criteria by assisting low- and moderate-income residents in Payson.

The housing rehab program provides assistance of up to $20,000 to income-eligible residents for housing repair costs if they live in sub-standard homes.

"Housing rehab remains a favorite," Town Manager Fred Carpenter said. "I think there are 18 people on the waiting list for this program."

The Wade Lane sidewalk project is aimed at improving safety for school children living in the area by putting a sidewalk on the north side of West Wade Lane from Colcord Road to Meadow Street and Bonita.

"We've run into a few complications on the sidewalk project," Carpenter said. "We may not be able to do it unless we're prepared to match it with money out of the general fund -- that may kill it."

Carpenter said the council must decide on the projects Thursday.

"We want them to decide which projects they want in the application, because they need to have a resolution by December," Carpenter said.

March primary, May election

The council will consider two resolutions related to next spring's local elections.

The first establishes the details of the elections such as date, voting districts and providing for the counting and recording of the ballots.

The second resolution will make the two elections, the March 9 primary and the May 18 general election, mail-in elections.

"We, at the staff level, would like to see an all-mail ballot," Carpenter said, "but we don't know if the council agrees with that or not."

The business of telecommunications

After refining the Unified Development Code on placement of telecommunications towers, the council may take action to approve the new language in the code.

The new language more specifically states where companies can put up telecommunications towers.

"This is the second reading, so if they approve this, it will become an ordinance," Carpenter said.

The council also will consider authorizing an agreement with Crown Atlantic, LLC, that would allow the company to place telecommunications towers on the airport water tank to expand wireless communication services.

Crown Atlantic has been trying to bring T-Mobile service to Payson.

Public radio station KRIM 96.3 is requesting space for a transmitter at the Alpine Heights water tank. The proposed agreement with the town is for the station to pay $150 per month rental fee. Carpenter said the station will be providing a public service by installing an emergency alert system that will automatically broadcast emergency information.

American Gulch study

Community Development and the Green Valley Redevelopment Committee is recommending that the council approve a study proposal for the American Gulch project.

"The study is to see how feasible it is to redevelop that whole area --what would be the best thing to do there, and what kind of revenue return can we expect to get there?" Carpenter said. "That's really what we're talking about."

If approved, Tischler and Associates would be paid $70,000 to evaluate the feasibility of the project -- $20,000 more than what town staff and council budgeted for the project.

The next meeting of the town council will be at 6 p.m., Dec. 11, in council chambers at town hall. Meetings are open to the public.

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