Star Valley Founders Celebrate First Anniversary Of Town

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Among the 60 to 80 people that showed up for Star Valley's one-year anniversary on becoming a town Tuesday night were the residents who were instrumental in incorporating the community.

To usher in the first year, the town had four to five cakes and a sandwich/submarine bar.

Mayor Chuck Heron said he is more than surprised at how fast things came together for Star Valley.

"I am absolutely amazed at what we have done without a paid staff," Heron said. The only paid employees for the town are the city clerk and a town manager.

"Everyone else is voluntary, and that is unheard of," the mayor said.

Heron said he had a pretty good idea for a few years that the town could incorporate because of the volatility as well as a way to stay out of more and more lawsuits.

"The biggest challenges right now is bringing in more development to the town and (creating) the master plan," he said.

He said one of the first responsibilities of the new town manager is to get the land from the U.S. Forest Service, which is five acres east of the county courtyard on Highway 260 for the new town hall.

New towns can get 640 acres through the Forest Service, Heron said.

"It takes time," he said. "This five acres we could get quickly."

Mark Freegard, a resident who was heavily involved in the incorporation, said he thinks the town did a good thing.

"It's a beginning," he said, adding that some things have been done, but there is a lot more work to do. "We have to get the town hall. That is No. 1, I think," he said.

"It is good that we got the Payson Police Department to help us out," Freegard added.

Ed Blair, a Payson councilman, attended the Star Valley anniversary celebration because he considers the two towns one community. He mentioned Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota where they are linked and are often referred to as the Twin Cities.

"We are a part of them, and they are a part of us," Blair said. "They do their shopping in Payson."

Blair also said he could not believe it had been one year since Star Valley incorporated and moved onto their own agendas and possibly will soon be moving into a new location.

George Binney, who attends most council meetings, said the whole process was an eye-opener.

"It has been a lesson on (the lack) of freedom in this country," he said,

Bob Sanchez, a Star Valley resident since 1982, said he is happy the town took this first step. "I am so proud we have gone so far," he said.

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