The town of Payson enters the high-tech era with its new digital recording system and improved acoustics in the council chambers.
"With the digital recordings, staff will be able to listen to the meeting when they come into work in the morning," Town Clerk Silvia Smith said. "We are also working on getting it on our website."
Smith said the sound improvement had to do with the new carpeting that was installed on the front side of the area where the council sits.
"We put carpeting on the dias and people watching it on TV said the sound was a lot better," Smith said. "We are looking into putting carpeting on the back wall as a way to improve the acoustics even more."
After approving the consent agenda, the first public hearing on Community Development Block Grants was under way.
Community Development Director Bob Gould said the public hearings are to inform the public on the CDBG grants and get input on what issues are needed and should be funded by the grant.
Applications for projects that qualify are available at town hall and must be mailed to Larry Villalobos of the Central Arizona Association of Governments by Nov. 12.
Groups representing residents of low and moderate incomes can get technical assistance in developing proposals for block grant funds by contacting Villalobos at (520) 689-5004.
"So far we have four projects that may qualify for grants," Gould said. "Our housing rehab program, which has a waiting list, commercial rehab, a sidewalk on Wade Lane, and the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program."
According to Villalobos, grant activities must meet a national objective.
Some examples are that they must benefit low and moderate-income residents, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or meet an urgent need which may pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community.
In 2002, block grant funding assisted Payson's housing and commercial rehab, the Senior Center and the Rim Country Literacy Program.
At the Nov. 13 council meeting, projects will be selected to be considered for funding.
Those interested in throwing their hat in the ring for mayor or council member can pick up a candidate packet at town hall.
Town Manager Fred Carpenter said the packets must be returned to town hall no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 10.
The primary election is scheduled for March 9, 2004 to fill the vacancies of mayor and three town council seats. Seats up for re-election are those of Mayor Ken Murphy, Councilors Barbara Brewer, Dick Wolfe and Bryan Siverson.
According to Smith, no one has turned in a packet and signatures.
"Until they turn it in, they can not be declared as a candidate," Smith said.