Town Saved From Faa Reimbursement

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The Town of Payson will not have to reimburse the Federal Aviation Administration $1.4 million if certain safety standards are met in the next five years.

Monday, Mayor Bob Edwards, town staff and representatives from local pilots' groups attended a conference call with the FAA and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

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Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter

"It was very positive," said Town Manager Fred Carpenter. "We worked out a deal with the FAA to include those projects."

The stipulations stand as long as the town includes two infrastructure upgrades -- a service road and taxiway improvement -- in its five-year Airport Capital Improvement Project (ACIP).

The Payson Town Council rejected those safety compliance projects at its June 22 meeting. That decision put the town in jeopardy of owing the FAA for the Airport Road improvement, finished earlier this year, and losing $850,000 for this fiscal year's funding cycle.

According to an FAA letter sent earlier this month, the federal agency construed the council's decision as a lack of commitment to the prescribed safety upgrades.

Airport Manager Ted Anderson said the ACIP must be submitted to FAA and ADOT by Dec. 15.

"What we have to do now is have a committee review the priorities and develop another five-year capital improvement program," Anderson said.

The Airport Advisory Committee is scheduled to comment on the report Nov. 28 and then it goes before the council Dec. 14.

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