'Still Work To Be Done,' Star Valley Mayor Says Of Water Study

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In its regular meeting Tuesday, the Star Valley Town Council unanimously approved the recognition of the safe-yield water study performed on Star Valley wells for the Town of Payson.

Mayor Chuck Heron said he felt it was important to recognize the study for its merits, but still insists that more work needs to be done to determine what happens to Star Valley wells.

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Star Valley has a new town flag, which was displayed for the first time at Thursday's town council meeting.

"I felt it was necessary to recognize what was done," Heron said. "It's a good study of our catch-basin."

Heron acknowledged that Clear Creek Associates, the hydrology firm that performed the study for the Town of Payson, used data from 1985 to estimate forest health and the impact that evapo-transpiration from the forest has on the watershed.

Heron said that with current forest health data, the amount of water available drastically decreases -- to a negative amount available.

"It has a serious impact on conclusions that can be drawn," Heron said.

The mayor also mentioned that water storage and water collection were not accounted for in the study.

Heron said that he is interested in working to resolve the water dispute.

"I wish to recognize and to go forward with the Town of Payson and the Indian tribe to understand the aquifer," he said.

Light control

The council also unanimously approved the first reading of the Outdoor Light Control Ordinance, which would set standards to control lighting levels for future developments in the town.

The ordinance was met with some concern and the council sent it back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a title change and some re-wording before it will have its second reading at an upcoming council meeting.

Heron said he wants the title changed to "Night Skies Ordinance," because the former title was misleading.

The ordinance would "restrict the permitted use of outdoor artificial illuminating devices emitting undesirable rays into the night sky, which have a detrimental effect on astronomical observations."

Heron said, if approved, the ordinance would only affect new developments and existing lighting devices would be grandfathered in.

"I believe it's a good thing to have a night sky ordinance," he said.

Heron said developers of Windmill Village, planned for the center of Star Valley, already comply with the standards in the night sky ordinance.

New town flag

On Thursday, the council also displayed the new town flag.

Heron acknowledged the town's volunteers and recognized National Volunteer Week. He said that Star Valley "was built by volunteers."

The council members also submitted six-month reviews of the town manager, Vito Tedeschi. Heron will compile and summarize the data and present Tedeschi's rating at a future council meeting.

Vice Mayor Randy White, council member, Mary Ann Kotelnicki, and council member, Art Lloyd were not present at the meeting.

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