Town Image Begins With Neighborhoods, Task Force Says


The Beautification Task Force outlined four items it needs to work on for the future at a Monday afternoon meeting.

The four areas are the commercial streetscape plan initiative, neighborhood cleanup, incentives for neighborhoods that take action and the Highway 87 roundabout.

Task Force Chairperson Linda Parsons said Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low's image have improved dramatically over the past few years, while Payson's has remained the same.

"How can we get that sense of pride (here)?" she said. "Timing is the essence of so many things."

Mayor Bob Edwards, who attended most of the meeting, said the town needs to get neighborhoods working together under standards they agree upon.

The town then could honor neighborhoods that make an effort to beautify. He added that people like to be recognized in some form for all of their hard work.

Edwards said not all neighborhoods will have the same standards, but stressed that there needs to be a way to tell people when they are doing well.

Task Force member Jeanie Langham, chairwoman of the mayor's design and review task force, mentioned she was interested in starting a campaign to honor a yard of the month.

Edwards favored the Yards of the Month idea.

"If you are noticing and pointing it out, others will take notice," he said.

Task Force member Diane Baran said when she attempted to go out to talk to neighborhoods, it turned into a monster with people calling her about every issue.

Community Development Director Jerry Owens said the first few meetings may have to deal with public safety and resources so the police department will need to be a part of the process.

Parsons said the town and task force would need to empower the lower economic class to take part in the plan.

Edwards said the beauty of Payson is that when a neighborhood looks better, home prices increase.

Langham addressed the roundabout on Highway 87 by Home Depot and the work that is needed to complete the project. Edwards said he is optimistic that volunteers and commercial developers with big equipment would aid the town in this endeavor.

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