Dr. Crinnian, in his letter Friday, makes some good as well as some irrelevant remarks about the usefulness of the Payson Airport to the community.
However, I think what is necessary here is to not let a small set of legitimate airport advantages become magnified so greatly as to create a wide-open double door to uncontrolled, federally baited, local-taxpayer augmented, enhancements and expansions.
Is there any circumstance at the airport now which impairs its usefulness in the manner Dr. Crinnian suggested -- with the possible exception of tourists?
Has Dr. Crinnian experienced unreasonable difficulties or delays in reaching Payson lately, or does he see difficulties such as these materializing in the near future?
If either of these is the case, then some choices need to be made. If not, then the existing airport is adequate and I suspect will likely remain so in the light of these limited uses for some time to come.
If that is not true, then the airport fans need come forward and challenge these words with verifiable facts and figures. No action without valid proof.
As things stand, Payson now has absolutely no attraction for -- and further has absolutely no prospects for the foreseeable future to have an attraction for -- either of light, clean industry or retail businesses: No family breadwinner who is paid on the wage-scales presently in effect or likely to be in effect in the future to employees of such industries and businesses can possibly afford to live in Payson.
Of course, there is always the myth of "affordable housing," which is again, of course, nothing but a bite on the taxpayers in favor of local industry and business.
There is no point in sending town money off to chase federally provided dollar-baits for some airport enhancement or other which would be "nice," but which is presently not capable of being economically justified -- keeping all factors in mind.
Payson is not a typical rural Arizona community and so cannot be lumped in with them when making such judgments.
How many necessary travelers have been killed or seriously injured which can be attributed to inadequate Payson Airport facilities in the last five years? Any?
Just this week, we have suffered the loss of two lives and one person extremely seriously injured on Highway 87 near Payson. The injury involved four cars on "death alley" between Pine and Payson.
Could it be that the money proposed to be spent on the airport over the next five years would go a long way toward repairing that section of Highway 87?
Allen N. Wollscheidt, Payson
Editor's note: This letter was shortened to fit within the Roundup's 400-word limit for letters to the editor.