On Aug. 25, more than 300 citizens attended Payson town council meeting concerned about resolution 2098, which authorizes the town of Payson to take water out of Star Valley and pipe it to Payson's water system to support new development. They also authorized a rezoning request that is dependent on additional new water.
Despite a strong outpouring of public concern, the council limited citizen input to three persons in favor and three opposed. Speakers were allowed only three minutes each to speak. The citizens, by their attendance, made it clear that there was much to be said and considered. It appeared the council was not inclined to either hear or consider what those opposed had to say.
During the council members' discussion, the handling of the Star Valley water issue became illogical. Prior to the vote on 2098, a motion was passed by council to perform a study to quantify the effects taking water would have on the aquifer and homeowners' wells in Star Valley area. Yet, despite this approved study, the resolution 2098 was passed to take the water before the study could be performed. When one lone council member moved to table 2098 until the water study was completed, no other council member seconded his motion.
We feel the majority of the town council is no longer responsive to the concerns of the Payson residents who voted them into office. Many of these citizens are now being accused of being against growth and the rights of private property owners. These allegations could not be farther from the truth. Most of us recognize that well planned and managed growth is critical to the future of Payson.
A Committee for Community Based Growth has been established to bring concerned Payson citizens together where their interests and concerns will be heard. We believe "community" includes all of us in Payson as well as our neighbors and coworkers living nearby. Community Based Growth includes consideration for the interests of long-time residents, new residents and future residents, as well as the developers, workers and suppliers that make it all happen.
The committee's first action will be circulating petitions in Payson to reverse the town council's passage of Resolution 2098, a move that will place the issue on the next election for Payson citizens to decide.
We ask the citizens of Payson to join us in making your voices heard.
Hal Baas and Bob Edwards, Payson