Growth Vs. Water Topic Of Special Meetings

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The Payson Town Council will attempt to come to grips with perhaps the most difficult issue it faces - how to reconcile growth and water supply - at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Payson Town Hall.

Among the topics scheduled for discussion at the special meeting are water availability, water conservation policies, and land development policies and issues, including rezonings, subdivisions and minor land divisions. The council also will review town ordinances relating to requirements for the development of new water resources.

According to Town Manager Fred Carpenter, the meeting was called to provide town staff with direction.

Payson Mayor Barbara Brewer pointed out that the issue has become critical because the town has reached safe yield - the concept that the amount of water taken out of the ground be equal to or less than the amount put in.

"In councils past, we said we would use safe yield as our trigger point," she said. "We're at safe yield and now we have to make some decisions."

The direction the council takes will have a major impact on the town's future, the mayor said.

Special budget meeting

The council also will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday to adopt the budget for the 2004-2005 fiscal year. The proposed budget is $34,670,161, compared to the current budget of $30,228,383.

"We are required to adopt the final budget the first meeting of August, and then we have to do the property tax levy on the second meeting of August because the county board will adopt it on the third Tuesday of August," Carpenter said.

The council will hold a public hearing on the primary property tax levy at the Thursday budget meeting, a precursor to its final adoption at the regular council meeting Aug. 12. The proposed rate represents a slight increase of $0.011 per $100 assessed value over the current rate.

Special public transit meeting

The council also will hold an open house on public transit from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Payson Town Hall. The meeting is being held primarily to solicit opinions and ideas on the subject, according to Carpenter.

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