Forest Edge Subdivision On Thursday's Council Agenda

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The Forest Edge subdivision, a proposed neighborhood that requires a zoning change for development, is on the agenda at the Payson Town Council meeting Thursday evening.

Developer Mark Perry, of the Terra Capital Group, is asking the council to approve zoning changes that will accommodate 31 homes on 64 acres. Forest Edge is located on Cedar Lane, and, in the past, has garnered robust public input. Out of the 54 invitations sent for the Sept. 9 citizen's input meeting, 30 showed up.

As part of its requirement, the builder has agreed to preserve vegetation and provide work force/affordable housing options, and will secure water through credits derived from the Tower Well.

The council will also vote to restructure the town's top leadership. Under the proposed organization chart, the town will reorganize and rename two key positions.

Buzz Walker, the town's veteran public works director, becomes the water superintendent.

Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett and the streets department move from under the direction of Walker to subordinates of Town Manager Fred Carpenter.

If the council passes this ordinance, Rick Manchester, incoming parks and recreation director, will also serve under Carpenter instead of Walker.

"The new organization will be more reflective of the actual practice," Carpenter said.

The lease agreement between Payson and the Forest Service also comes up for renewal. The airport provides space to the federal agency during fire season.

This year, revenue from the lease is estimated to bring in $35,000 a year -- that, according to a memo to the council from Airport Manager Ted Anderson -- is up $10,000 received in 2005.

Another fire-related issue amounting to $450,000 worth of equipment for the fire department will also be presented for council approval. Chief Marty deMasi has requested the replacement of a firetruck, including auxiliary and communications equipment.

The new truck will replace a 17-year-old vehicle that deMasi said has been reconditioned twice, is two years past its service life and does not meet National Fire Protection Association requirements. The funds were allocated in the 2006-2007 capital improvement budget.

A resolution to add a zoning district to the town's Unified Development Code also comes up for council approval -- a move that regulates Forest Service land within its limits.

And to protect an archaeological site the town acquired in a 1995 land exchange, the Rim Country Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Arizona has asked the council to designate the organization as the official steward of the Goat Camp ruins.

By volunteering for this designation, the group will agree to maintain and protect the 10-acre site.

The site is also slated for inclusion in the town's trails master plan, and to bolster its preservation, the college will work with the society and the town to find grant money.

The Payson Town Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 16 in town hall. To download a copy of the agenda and related documentation, visit www.payson. ci.az.us.

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