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Q: The No. 1 problem in Payson is extending Mud Springs Road to Highway 260 to relieve the traffic congestion in southeast Payson. Why isn't the town using its impact fees to address this problem?

A: Town Manager Fred Carpenter said extending Mud Springs Road was the top priority in the bond package proposed to Payson residents in 2003, however the issue was defeated. LaRon Garrett, engineer for the public works department said the defeat was by fewer than 50 votes. He said the extension of the road is still the top priority with the town's Surface Transportation Advisory Committee, however the money is not available for the work. Garrett said the committee is looking at other sources of funding for the project. "The road impact fees are used on roads with a town-wide benefit," Garrett said. Those are Aero, McLane and Airport. "It would take five to six years to collect enough road impact fees to extend Mud Springs Road, excluding all other road impact fee work," he said.

Q: Are Home Depot's higher paying jobs being filled by employees from the company's Phoenix area stores?

A: Kathryn Gallagher, with Home Depot's media relations department, said the people for the top management posts and some assistant managers will be brought in to get the store operating. However, the company will be filling department head, the professional contractor desk, interior designer and certified nursery worker positions from the local work force. There are 12 departments in the store and former tradespeople (construction workers, plumbers, electricians, etc.) are encouraged to apply. She said persons interested in applying for a job at the store can go online to www.careers.homedepot.com and fill out an application. There will also be an employment trailer on the store site at North Highway 87 and West Houston Mesa Road about six weeks before the store opens and there will be a mass hiring event as well. The Payson Home Depot store is scheduled to open Thursday, March 31, with a preview, called a Neighborhood Night, planned March 30, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Originally the opening had been planned for Jan. 27, but construction delays have forced postponement.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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