Star Valley Mayor Calls Water Agreement 'Presumptuous'

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The drafted water agreement between Payson and Star Valley was criticized by one council Tuesday night, and any future discussions are now back to square one.

Until the differences between the two towns are hammered out, there is no agreement between Star Valley and the Town of Payson in relation to water.

Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron said members of both councils met inside Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter's office Nov. 18 to discuss a drafted agreement.

He said all the principal players were not there, so the meeting was postponed, but concerns about the draft agreement were still discussed.

"This agreement given back to us (by Payson) was flawed and somewhat presumptuous all the way through," Heron said during a work-study session on Tuesday.

There were only two items the town could agree on with the draft document -- the safe yield study and that the Star Valley wells would not be damaged.

Another meeting with the Town of Payson has been scheduled for Dec. 4 and council members Randy White, Bill Rappaport and Heron will be representing Star Valley.

"Payson has made a statement that Star Valley does not own wells, so they do not have a dog to fight with," Heron said, adding that he has invited Bob Hardcastle from Brooke Utilities to join them at the December meeting.

He said any draft agreement will be started on "a fresh piece of paper."

Heron, after the meeting, said he has no idea what is going to transpire at the Dec. 4 meeting, but said the agreement was supposed to be bilateral to both towns, which was not what actually occurred.

"That draft document is nothing," he said. "It is not even a starting point."

He said he thinks the mayor of Payson, Bob Edwards, is hoping that an agreement will be reached at the December meeting, but it will probably take several meetings to iron out all the issues.

At the end of the council meeting, Heron told the public that the town had not given anything away.

"Everything you have heard recently is presumptuous and premature," he said.

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