Star Valley Ready To Begin Fire Break Around Town Boundary


The Star Valley Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to spend a $50,000 grant from Gila County to begin a fire break 300 feet deep and nearly 6,000 feet long.

Firefighters from the Diamond Star Fire Department along with a reforesting contractor will begin the four-phase project.

Fire Chief Gary Hatch said he hopes to tap into Payson's clearing project.

If Diamond Star can join Payson, it can avoid the delay of accepting bids and lock into the same rate per acre negotiated by the town.

Otherwise, clearing could run as much as $1,200 an acre.

"Most of this area has to be done by hand," Hatch said.

The entire four-phase project, Hatch added, could cost more than $1 million.

County Supervisor Shirley Dawson will present the $50,000 check at the firehouse Monday at noon.

The council also voted to create a Planning and Zoning Committee. The committee, headed by Councilor Art Lloyd, including other councilors, residents and a general contractor, will begin discussing town codes and ordinances.

Until then, Star Valley will adopt the county's standards.

The council agreed to accept a $40,000 profit-sharing grant from the Tonto Apache Tribe.

The town can decide where the money will be spent within the parameters of improving infrastructure and benefiting the community.

Lanny Sloan, town manager, will draw up an intergovernmental agreement with the tribe, formalizing the exchange of funds and outlining some of the beneficiary items.

The council also voted to allow the town attorney to act on behalf of the council to intervene in a lawsuit, which challenges the incorporation of Star Valley, between Roy Haught and the State of Arizona.

Since the town isn't named in the lawsuit, it has little influence on the outcome of the local impact of the litigation.

Once the town becomes a party in the lawsuit, the council has a better chance of enforcing its municipal rights.

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