Airport Leased To Regional Authority

Mayor, Ed Blair vote against starting event center design phase

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The day-to-day operations of the Payson Municipal Airport will no longer be in the hands of the Town of Payson.

A unanimous vote of the town council at last night's meeting awarded the lease to the Payson Regional Airport Authority.

The council, in concert, approved the agreement after discussions were settled about whether the town would lose some authority over the airport.

Dick Mumma of the PRAA said that any changes made to airport rules and regulations would be to improve old standards. Any changes, he said, would be brought before the council.

"You own the airport," he said. "Everything we do out there we want to coordinate with you."

Councilor Andy Romance was concerned with the town being held responsible for airport improvement projects, in the event that FAA funding, which is up for review in September, would fall through. The town has a five-year contract to pay for a portion of any projects at the airport.

Jon Barber of the PRAA said that the town would have no responsibility if FAA funding ceased.

"If FAA doesn't fund it, they don't require it," he said of airport improvement projects.

Romance suggested wording changes in the lease agreement to better protect the town. Once they were agreed upon, he said he had "no objection whatsoever" with the lease.

Former airport manager Ted Anderson had already vacated his role at the airport for a different position in Alaska.

The council also voted 5-2, with Mayor Bob Edwards and councilor Ed Blair in dissent, to initiate the design development phase of the Payson Event Center planning process.

There are eight stages of the development plan that will occur between October and June 2008. Among the first are the hire of an architect, the creation of a technical advisory committee and the establishment of objectives and potential uses for the renovated event center.

The first eight stages in the plan will require $80,000 in funding.

Edwards said that, although he agreed with the plan created by Manchester, he believed the hire of an architect, before uses were determined, was putting "the cart before the horse."

In other action the council

  • Voted unanimously to authorize the mayor to execute agreements with nonprofit organizations for the disbursement of public funds. The Payson Senior Center was removed from consideration, in order for the council to further discuss its funding.
  • Voted unanimously to execute an agreement relating to an outdoor lap swimming pool at the Rim Club. The pool was supposed to be installed by developers prior to the town's decision not to allow outdoor pools.
  • Voted unanimously to contract with Intermountain West Civil Constructors for the construction of a parking lot on Main Street near Westerly Road. The parking lot will provide 70 spaces.
  • Voted unanimously to allow the town's legal department to prepare documents for the update of 2006 Building Code.
  • Voted unanimously to allow the town's financial department to purchase an updated financial software system from Tyler Technologies.
  • Voted to allow extended fence work on the Rumsey Park tennis renovation project.

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