Star Valley Meets July 1 Deadline To Put Services In Place

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Star Valley took some important steps Tuesday night in meeting the July 1 deadline to have some services in place for its residents.

When the town incorporated, it lost the free services it was receiving from Gila County as of July 1.

The first item the Star Valley Council discussed Tuesday night was contracting out with the Town of Payson for police service for $100,000 a year.

"As everyone knows we lose the law enforcement from the county as of July 1," said Town Manager Lanny Sloan.

Sloan said the town looked at two options - contracting out with Payson or the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

Sloan said the response time with the Payson Police Department would be a little quicker than the county.

He added that if there was a serious situation in the town, the PPD would probably be the first respondent even if the intergovernmental agreement was with the county.

Sloan said contracting out the Payson Police Department would save the town about $12,000.

The intergovernmental agreement, he said, has been approved by attorneys for both towns and meets Payson's approval.

The Star Valley Council had to declare this an emergency so it would have police service as soon as July 1.

The contract is for one year and will be renewed on an annual basis, Sloan said.

Councilor Art Lloyd said he liked certain parts of the law enforcement agreement.

"In this one, Payson is accepting the responsibilities of its officers as it should be (doing)," he said, adding that the Gila County Sheriff's Office would not indemnify the town.

"I talked with Payson and they are really excited about it," Lloyd said, moments before the council unanimously passed the agreement.

The council also approved contracting out with the Gila County Court as well, declaring an emergency, so it would be in place by July 1.

Sloan said this agreement was needed because the town will need a municipal court to handle issues like state citations, traffic tickets and animal control citations.

Sloan said the town's attorney, Fredda Bisman, has been working with Gila County Magistrate Dorothy Little.

He added that the town will likely have to contract out with Little, a prosecutor and a public defender.

Little's caseload in Star Valley right now is about four percent.

Sloan said as people receive citations, it will be a source of revenue for Star Valley.

Sloan said once expenses are paid out, the town could make in excess of $25,000.

"We expect it to be a revenue generator," he said. "We expect to make some money, but not a lot."

The council also approved the planning and zoning codes, which went into effect immediately.

"We worked hard on this, and we think this is a good viable agreement that fits the lifestyle of Star Valley," Lloyd said.

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