Payson's Progress Detailed In Town's Annual Report

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Besides the overriding issue of Star Valley incorporation and the water pipeline that triggered it, the Payson Town Council recorded what it considers some notable achievements in the past year.

In the 2005 Annual Report, Town Manager Fred Carpenter noted the following among the town's accomplishments:

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Town and chamber officials gathered with contractors and members of Z&H Engineering to cut a ribbon over the newly opened segment of Airport Road Feb. 6, 2006. The new road, which features sidewalks, curbs and gutters, was primarily funded with money from the Federal Aviation Administration. While the event is part of the legacy of 2006, most of the work to build the new section of the road was done during 2005.

Communication:

  • Installed microphone and camera system and assumed operation of government access Channel 4.
  • Assumed television production of council meetings and other programs.
  • Completed second Citizens Academy with 23 graduates.

Water Resource Management:

  • Brought three new wells on line.
  • Reduced residential water consumption to 86 gallons per capita per day.
  • Developed comprehensive fee schedule for water department.
  • Initiated compatibility and cost studies as well as discussions with Salt River Project for Blue Ridge water.
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    Dick Wolfe, chairman of the Green Valley Redevelopment/Main Street Committee, and Carol McCauley, Main Street Manager, examine a model of the American Gulch Plan prior to a council discussion on the project in December. The model is currently at Payson Town Hall, but will soon be moved to the Main Street office at Green Valley Park.

  • Signed new water service agreement with Tonto Apache Tribe.

Police and Fire Protection, 911 and Emergency Medical Services:

  • Responded to 19,377 police calls, issued 1,709 traffic citations, and made 1,805 arrests.
  • Responded to 2,106 fire and emergency medical incidents.
  • Received $210,000 in grant funds.
  • Installed 130 Guardian Angel units, 14 smoke detectors and seven defibrillators.
  • Instructed 459 citizens in CPR and first aid.
  • Conducted 486 safety inspections.

Transportation and Drainage:

  • Completed 15 miles of slurry seal projects.
  • Provided construction oversight for eight new subdivisions.
  • Received grant for improving Airport Road.

Environmental Protection:

  • Coordinated neighborhood brush disposal and removal program that received more than 7,400 loads of vegetation.
  • Completed fuel break adjacent to Rodeo Ranchos.

Parks, Recreation and Library:

  • Assisted with Zane Grey Cabin replica and dedication.
  • Engineered ball field expansion project at Rumsey Park.
  • Completed capital development study for YMCA.
  • Increased Payson Event Center usage from 45 to 61 events.

Community Development:

  • Completed rehabilitation of six homes and five businesses.
  • Processed permits for 245 new homes and 15 commercial buildings. Processed eight new subdivisions.
  • Added new Main Street event -- 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race and Street Festival.

Miscellaneous:

  • Provided technical assistance to 14 local nonprofit agencies preparing grant applications.
  • Provided $125,000 in support for local non-profit agencies.
  • Completed the first Corporate Strategic Plan with ranked objectives. As part of that plan, the current council, town staff and council candidates ranked 17 objectives according to priority.

While the current council ranked "Secure new sources of water supply" as the number one priority, both town staff and council candidates ranked "Promote water conservation" as their first priority.

"Upgrade police and 911 services" was ranked second by the current council, while town staff ranked "Secure new sources of water supply" second and council candidates placed "Improve external communication" in the number two position.

Other items on the list of priorities include:

  • Improve streets.
  • Upgrade fire and emergency medical services.
  • Improve airport.
  • Increase parks and recreation facilities and services.
  • Develop a library expansion program plan.
  • Improve storm drainage.
  • Implement the airport business plan.
  • Enhance town's economic performance.
  • Develop event center complex.
  • Reduce number of unsightly properties.
  • Enhance economic performance of Green Valley Redevelopment Area.
  • Recycling.
  • Evaluate organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Two objectives added too late to be included in the priority ranking address work force housing and wildland fire prevention and protection.

Looking to the future, Carpenter acknowledged that the town faces many challenges.

"We have yet to resolve the problem of our long-term water supply," he said. "Although enabling legislation for the town to receive water from Blue Ridge Reservoir has been approved, many hurdles remain before we can secure this vital source of surface water.

"Street infrastructure deficiencies remain to be addressed and poor forest health in the vicinity of Payson continues to be a major concern."

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