Payson Ranger District seeks public comment

The Payson Ranger District, Tonto National Forest, is requesting public comment on the Final Report of the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) for the Shumway Mill Site. All public comments are welcome and will be accepted until the close of business May 31. Following this comment period, a final decision will be made by the Regional Forester, Southwestern Region, and the decision will be documented in a Removal Action Memorandum identifying the removal action decision. The purpose of the EE/CA is to present a detailed analysis of reclamation alternatives that can be used for decision-making. In addition, the analysis presented in this document includes discussion of background information, waste characteristics, applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARAR), a risk assessment, and the development and screening of reclamation alternatives.

The EE/CA concludes that the Shumway Mill Site has environmental concerns related to arsenic, copper, lead, mercury and zinc. The 10-acre site contains over 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated tailings, ore, and other debris. The recommended alternative will move the contaminated material away from the drainage and contain it on site so that it will not be washed downstream or be in contact with people or animals. Copies of the EE/CA and Administrative Record are available at the Payson Ranger District office, 1009 E. Highway 260 in Payson.

Call ahead to Walt Thole at (928) 474-7900 during regular business hours to schedule a time to view the documents.

Local groups donate money for fire break

Local organizations are picking up where government funding falls off to ensure that the Rim Country is ready for this summer's fire season.

The Central Arizona Board of Realtors (CABR) joined the Tonto Apache Tribe, the Rim Club and other private benefactors with a $5,000 donation to the Payson and Pine-Strawberry fire departments.

"We appreciate their support in this valuable project to make Payson a safer place," said Fire Chief Marty deMasi. "This fuel break effort is truly a community project. It shows how much they care."

CABR Vice President Deborah Hughes said area realtors feel a responsibility for promoting the well-being of the Rim Country.

To provide a financial cushion, CABR created a community emergency fund, available to agencies protecting public safety.

"The emergency fund assists in the prevention of and/or aid of potential emergencies in the community," Hughes said.

Organizations seeking grant money should write to CABR.

"The board of directors will discuss the request and vote," she said.

Past CABR contributions exceeded $40,000, benefitting local groups such as the Payson Unified School District Beautification Program, Habitat for Humanity and Payson Community Kids.

To request a donation, contact CABR in writing at 600 E. Hwy. 260, Payson, AZ 85541 or call (928) 474-1944.

Gila County celebrating 125th anniversary

The public will have a chance to take a close look at county facilities in Payson this week, as Gila County celebrates its 125th anniversary with an open house.

The open house will be held at the community development and safety office at 714 S. Beeline Highway.

Participating departments include: the justice court, sheriff's office and constable, county attorney's office, engineering department, recorder's office, assessor's office and health department. The open house is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, April 27.

ADOT offers training program at college

Arizona Department of Transportation and Gila Community College will again collaborate on their agreement to offer construction trades pre-apprenticeship training.

The next training will be offered from May 15 through June 23 at the Payson Campus of Gila Community College.

The six-week program includes 180 clock hours of training and an overview in the following career areas: flagging certification, carpentry, surveying, welding, heavy equipment operating, plumbing, electrical, cement/iron work, OSHA safety certification and blueprint reading.

Those individuals who complete the training will have an opportunity to be considered for employment by highway construction companies throughout the state. Orientation for the Payson Campus program will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, May 12. For more information, call (928) 468-8039.

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