Sky Park Lots Going To The Dogs?

Humane society makes pitch for town property

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The disposition of the eight Sky Park industrial complex lots owned by the town is still up in the air following a special meeting held by the town council last week.

Another special meeting on the subject has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, April 22, preceding the regular council meeting.

"They spent an hour-and-a-half on it without coming to any conclusion," Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter said. "There's a whole bunch of different options and they debated all of those without coming to any conclusion, so they said, ‘Let's resume it with part two or round two.'"

Those options include:

  • Selling the lots to the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation for the minimum bid price of $228,250;
  • Selling the lots to Pat Randall for $278,250, $50,000 above the minimum bid amount;
  • Selling four lots to the Payson Humane Society for its new animal shelter;
  • Enlisting the services of a real estate broker. Parties interested in purchasing the lots would then have to submit a marketing strategy for the lots that would be reviewed by town staff;
  • Continuing the current strategy with the Community Development Department responsible for sale of lots.

The town staff recommendation to the council is to choose the Payson Humane Society offer and then hire a real estate broker to sell the remaining four lots.

During the April 8 meeting, several Payson Humane Society board members spoke on behalf of the shelter's proposal. They pointed out that the shelter has provided a service the town would otherwise be required to provide, thus saving millions of dollars.

"They have to provide animal control, which means an animal has to be caught by an agent and held for three days," Humane Society board member Diane Dalton said. "Surely they're bright enough to realize that it would cost them a million to two million if we told them, ‘We'll see you later.'"

Dalton, who was one of the presenters, said she felt good about the shelter's chances.

"I just came away with kind of an overview that the council really wants to work with the humane society and they really would like us to have that property," she said. "I didn't go in there with an optimistic feeling, but I came away with one."

The humane society will get an appraisal on the two parcels it currently owns so one can be traded for the Sky Park lots.

"If we trade the McLane property (where the shelter is currently located), I think we're about $30,000 to the good," Dalton said. "It we trade the Longhorn property (the original parcel purchased for a new shelter), we're about $30,000 to the red.

Carpenter said the disposition of the lots is still very much up in the air.

"It was the staff recommendation that we sell those lots to the humane society, but I don't think all the council is in favor of that at this point," he said. "So who knows where it's going,"

Even if the shelter does end up with the lots, still another hurdle has to be cleared, Carpenter said.

"The deed restrictions out there say no kennels," he said. "They would have to get the other property owners out there to change the covenants, and that's a hurdle. But they said they were willing to go through that process."

The town acquired the lots in 1995, 1996 and 2000 after individual property owners defaulted on payment of assessments.

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