Streets And Ymca Top Agenda

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Presentations on funding street improvements and discussing the demand for a YMCA top the agenda of the Payson Town Council's final regular meeting of the year at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The Surface Transportation Advisory Committee, chaired by former mayor Cliff Potts, will present a report that identifies high priority road construction and reconstruction projects along with assessments of various ways to fund them.

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Town Manager Fred Carpenter

"They're going to present their recommendations on how to finance street improvements, so that ought to be interesting," Town Manager Fred Carpenter said. "We formed this group in January of this year (after the streets bond issue failed)."

Demand for a new YMCA was ascertained through a market research study conducted by The Winfield Consulting Group, Inc. It identified 357 households with "a great deal of interest" in joining such a facility, and an additional 519 households with "a lot of interest."

The study, which will be presented by Sharon Strople, president of Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation, concluded "that the YMCA and the Town of Payson have an opportunity to establish a community-based facility focused on fitness, aquatics, total health, sports, and recreation for children and adults of all ages.

"Their report is pretty much positive, so we might be going ahead further," Carpenter said. "But they're going to do the full report sometime in February, then they'll develop a plan of attack."

Other agenda items include:

  • A presentation honoring Judge Ronnie McDaniel, who recently retired, for his service as town magistrate.
  • A request filed by Carpenter to eliminate the birthday holiday for town employees and replace it with a Martin Luther King Jr. civil rights day holiday on the third Monday in January.

In the summary for the motion, Carpenter pointed out that Payson is currently among a small minority of Arizona communities not observing the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but that its addition would cost the town "approximately $10,000 per year in overtime costs."

"It's been controversial in the past, and I don't know whether it will be now or not. We're just going to present the options to the council for consideration," Carpenter said.

  • A request filed by Fire Chief Marty deMasi to take nearly $15,000 out of council contingency funds to pay for repairs on a fire truck.
  • An executive session following the regular meeting for the purpose of discussion and possible action on Town Attorney Sam Streichman's evaluation, terms of employment and/or salary.

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