The Payson Town Council is meeting in executive session at 5 p.m. Tuesday to consider legal issues related to a memo of understanding on the proposed development of a prime piece of Payson real estate.
While town officials will not disclose details, the project involves a 37-acre parcel known as the Buckmaster property on the west side of North Manzanita Drive, behind Payson Town Hall and the Rim Country Mall.
According to the agenda for the executive session, the meeting is being held to consider "the town's position regarding contracts that are the subject of negotiations" and its position "regarding negotiations for the purchase, sale or lease of real property." The developer is listed as Terra-Payson 40 LLC.
One of the issues under discussion, according to Town Manager Fred Carpenter, is a plan to meet the town's water requirement by drilling wells in Star Valley.
"There's legal issues whenever the town gets involved in water outside the town limits that have to be resolved," Carpenter said.
Determining up front whether the town will accept the proposed water supply makes sense, according to Carpenter.
"I think it's a good idea because you don't want to go through a big old development process and then find out you're not going to have enough water for it," he said.
Both Carpenter and Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett said they believe the project will eventually go before Payson's planning and zoning commission.
Town Councilor Judy Buettner, reached in Minnesota, said she and Mayor Barbara Brewer met with the developers, but declined to provide any details about the project.
"They gave us an indication of what they we're hoping to do, but beyond that I don't think I can tell you much," Buettner said.
According to the Arizona Corporation Commission, Terra-Payson 40 LLC is a Scottsdale company also known as Terra Capital Group, Inc. Neither the company, nor its agent, Stephen Carder of Scottsdale, returned phone calls.
Also not returning phone calls were Brewer and Town Attorney Sam Streichman.
Of late, the council has turned down proposed developments on the grounds that the town has reached "safe yield" or when the amount of groundwater used equals the amount being replenished.
"The difference is if they can supply their own water," Buettner said. "There is more to it, but I just can't tell you."
According to Terra Capital Group's website (www.terracapital.com), the company was formed in 2003 and "specializes in serving the land acquisition and development needs of homebuilders for developments that range from 50 to 200 homes with buildout of two to three years." Carder, a member of Terra Capital Group's board of directors, was vice president of finance for Del Webb Development Corporation.
The executive session is closed to the public, but any action must be taken in a public session.