Town Plan To Reveal Priorities

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Town Manager Fred Carpenter recommends packing your dinner if you plan to attend the regular council meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Three presentations during the "ceremonial" portion of the meeting -- including an appearance by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard -- are scheduled before the council even begins to tackle a nine-page agenda.

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Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter, shown here at the last council meeting, says Thursday's meeting could be a long one. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Corporate Strategic Plan

Highlights of that agenda include a public hearing on the 2006-2011 Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP). As part of the 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 No. 1 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 No. 2 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. The council hopes to adopt the CSP at its Feb. 23 meeting.

Star Valley safe yield study

Also before the council Thursday evening is a council decision request by Public Works Director Buzz Walker to select a firm to conduct a safe yield study of the Star Valley area. The council voted to conduct the study several months ago in hopes of allaying concerns about the town's decision to allow a developer to pipe water from Star Valley to Payson.

The Diamond Star Town Council is negotiating with LFR Levine Fricke to conduct its own safe yield study, and Gila County is also going to monitor some wells in that town.

"It will be interesting to compare the results," Diamond Star Councilor Chuck Heron said.

Clothes washer retrofit

Clothes washers use 22 percent of household water consumption, and the council will consider a retrofit program that could save half of that.

If the council approves, the town will provide $200 cash assistance to replace high-volume washers with approved low volume types. The limited program, designed to determine the efficacy of future programs, is limited to 50 homes, at a cost of $10,000.

"Conversion of a typical residential clothes washer to a more efficient model can save significant water," public works director Buzz Walker wrote in his council decision request.

Bronze elk donation

The town's attempt to procure a $30,000 grant to help with the roundabout elk project was not successful, but the council will be asked Thursday evening to donate its matching share -- $4,500 -- to the project anyway.

"It is typical that a community would budget landscaping into a project such as a roundabout, and it would certainly help in our efforts to reach our goal," Jeanie Langham, head of Payson Gateway Project, said.

The entire project, including hardscape and landscape, will cost about $100,000. Local artist Jim Keller's clay model has been sent to a Valley foundry for casting.

According to the Payson Gateway Project's mission statement, the organization is "dedicated to establishing a visual sense of place" along the community's business corridors" through this and future projects." The elk is particularly appropriate for this roundabout because elk used to frequent the meadow where The Home Depot now sets, according to Langham.

Checks should be made payable to Payson Gateway Project and mailed to P.O. Box 1525, Payson, AZ 85547. Contributions are tax deductible.

For more information, call 474-6610.

AG presentation

During his presentation, Goddard will discuss "the impact of methamphetamine on our communities."

"Local governments are heavily affected by the meth problem," Goddard wrote in a letter to town officials requesting the opportunity to address the council.

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