The mayor, councilors, town staff and task force members are to be commended for their work in providing for the future of Payson.
A year ago, the idea of getting a future Payson water supply from the Blue Ridge Reservoir was just that, an idea. In just a few months, actions have been taken to procure land for the site of a treatment facility. A task force has produced a wealth of information on the town's water supply with potential costs of Blue Ridge, negotiations with the Salt River Project for acquiring the water, and the start of acquiring preliminary detail cost estimates for an environmental study and construction cost of the pipeline and related facilities. A lot has been accomplished in a short period of time and more is apparently on the way.
Meanwhile, the consensus appears to be that there is sufficient water supply indefinitely for the present population. However, continued building and population growth will require a new supply of water and Blue Ridge appears to be the chosen source. Until a more definitive estimate is available for the cost of Blue Ridge, a temporary impact fee should be determined and assessed now on new construction.
Impact fees for infrastructure, water, streets, parks and recreation and services are assessed on the construction of new property and are intended to pay for and replicate the level of infrastructure that we presently have and ensure the continuation of "quality of life" here in Payson.
The increased cost of replicating, if not improving, the infrastructure for the future must be accurately estimated and put into place through impact fees by the town council with immediate dispatch. The present population has paid its dues. As each building permit is now pulled, the loss of needed increased impact fees is incurred by the town and its residents.
Jim Hippel, Payson