Star Valley Council To Revise Water Agreement

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After more than an hour in executive session, the Star Valley Council directed its attorney to make revisions to a water agreement the Payson Town Council approved the week before.

Mayor Chuck Heron said the Star Valley Council will vote on the revisions at its Jan. 4 meeting before sending it back to the Payson Town Council for review.

"We are hammering out the details," Heron said after Tuesday night's council meeting.

In another issue focusing on water, the council accepted a donation of a water well from the Benjamin Trust for fire-flow protection.

The well, valued between $50,000 to $60,000, is approximately 5,400 cubic feet.

Town Manager Vito Tedeschi said the only cost to the town will be the $900 survey that has already been completed.

"By accepting this, it puts the town into the water business," he said.

Heron said the well is perfectly adequate for fire-flow protection.

"I think we should commend the Benjamins for offering this to the town," said Councilor Art Lloyd.

The council also discussed the hiring of a public works technician for $14 an hour, which drew the ire of Councilor Bill Rappaport.

Rappaport wanted to increase the responsibilities for this position, while increasing the wage to $30 an hour.

Tedeschi said he looked at what other towns pay for this position, adding that he included a few wrinkles to better reflect the town's needs and interests.

When asked if the town could hire a public works technician on an as-needed basis, the town manager said if there is someone on board full-time, a lot more things will get done.

Lloyd wondered if the town could find any skilled worker who would agree to work for $14 an hour.

Rappaport agreed with Lloyd on the wage.

"I do not think you are going to get anyone for $14 an hour for the skills we need," he said. "My recommendation is to pay this guy equal to what we pay the building inspector."

Tedeschi said, what he and other towns try to do is create jobs with equal responsibilities and wages to eliminate divisiveness.

Councilor Bill Heath said the council should approve the position for $14 an hour, adding it could always be changed in the future.

Heron asked Tedeschi if he would agree to a range of $14 to $20 based on experience and qualifications at the discretion of the town manager.

"It works for me," Tedeschi said.

In other news, the Star Valley Council:

  • Approved a grading and drainage ordinance by a 4-2 vote with Rappaport abstaining.
  • Approved revising filing fees schedule to zoning application submittals.
  • Approved an ordinance requesting the Arizona Department of Transportation to conduct a planning study for an alternative route southeast of Payson between highways 87 and 260.
  • Approved the purchase of two vehicles for the town for $30,000.

Editor's note: For more information about this water agreement, see the article, "Payson passes water agreement," in the Dec. 15 Roundup.

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