Payson, how does it feel to be sold down the river?
I was at the meeting held by Councilman Henley, to explain his support for a local developer and his Nevada-based conglomerate, Terra Capital, to bring the water from Star Valley, in exchange for 1,000 building permits in Payson over the next four years.
Let it be known that since Star Valley is incorporating with the express intention of stopping this flow of water, after litigation, which can take as long as four years, Terra Capital will have found the capital and financing and bought their 1,000 units. The water from Star Valley will be terminated, and this will leave the town with 1,000 more units -- houses, apartments, offices, and complexes -- than Payson's water availability can meet.
The idea of bringing water from Blue Ridge is also fraught with more difficulties than mere litigation and negotiation.
The council has approved a $40,000 study to see if Payson can use the water at all. The Blue Ridge water just piped down into Payson's water system is a no go. It is a different kind of water, and is incompatible with the well water of the town. It would add so much calcium to the town's water the toilets and sewers would be coated and blocked. The Blue Ridge water must be added to the water table under the town after being treated, if it can be, so that it will be compatible with the existing water in Payson.
Councilman Henley knows these facts, but he persists in promoting his expansionist ideas. He knows that the town's growth depends upon finding new water. He has tried the big boys: the Bureau of Land Management has said no; the Forest Service has said no; and, of course, SRP has said no. So he falls back to Plan D; encourage a developer to take the water from the small guy, Star Valley, because although this same idea was proposed by the town a few years ago, it was dropped as being too controversial. Whether by Councilman Henley and the majority of the council, or an outside developer, it is still too controversial.
Councilman Henley shows little appreciation for the small town and its good folks. He told people at his meeting that he intends to run for the council again.
Why? To promote more growth without nailing down the permanent resources?
I urge the citizens of Payson to think. Maybe it is time for the broom to come out and sweep the council clean.
Derek Pratt, Star Valley