Star Valley Created By Volunteers

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Ray Lyons is the epitome of the volunteerism that is going on in the Town of Star Valley.

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Ray Lyons stands outside his home in Star Valley. He has lived in the community since 1978 and has been a volunteer in some facet his whole life. "I am a property owner and have a big vested interest in the community," he said. Lyons owns Star Vale Park, a residential park for people 55-years and older.

The new town only has two paid employees -- the town clerk and town manager. The seven Town Council members work for free as well.

Lyons has lived in Star Valley since 1978 and has been a volunteer in some facet his whole life.

He said he got involved with the Diamond Star Coalition, which formed out of the fire district that is now a town, though he adds he was not really involved in the decision to incorporate as he was a new committee member at the time.

He volunteered on issues that related to water and fire and helped implement the town's animal leash law.

He said when the town decided to incorporate, he knew a lot of volunteers would be necessary to make it work.

He said the reasons for his volunteerism and getting involved in a number of committees were in part for enlightenment and in part self-interest.

"I am a property owner and have a big vested interest in the community," Lyons said. Lyons owns Star Vale Park, which is a park for people 55-years and older.

He said the incorporation pushed his volunteer to the next level.

"As soon as it became obvious we were going to incorporate, Barbara (Lyons' wife) and I really became involved," he said. "This is an interesting community. All of us live here by choice."

He said if a person likes where he or she lives, that person will try making it a place that is even more desirable. One of those ways is to volunteer for committees or other projects around the town.

"I would have been surprised if we did not have the number of volunteers that we have," he said.

"Everyone will be a volunteer at this point," he added, explaining that the future town commissions and boards will all be staffed by volunteers.

He said there is nothing in the world more important than water, and added that life itself is not worth much without water.

Star Valley was formed with two mandates from its residents -- protecting its water and enjoying the lifestyle.

Lyons serves on the Diamond Water Coalition that meets before regularly scheduled council meetings.

He said the volunteers have proven to be capable in helping the town get started.

Town Manager Lanny Sloan said Star Valley would not be able to survive without the help of volunteers.

"Volunteers are just vital to Star Valley," he said. "First of all, the whole town was started by volunteers."

He mentioned the former interim town clerk, Diane McDaniel, who volunteered her time for the town.

McDaniel worked 10 to 12-hour days for free as the town worked toward incorporation.

Sloan said the town will soon need additional volunteers as Star Valley takes the additional steps that are required by state law to become a fully functioning town.

"Committees we have had or will have will be staffed by volunteers," he said. "Everything is being done by volunteers."

-- To reach Michael Maresh call 474-5251 ext. 112 or e-mail mmaresh@payson.com.

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