Mayor Asks Star Valley To Abide By Safe Yield Study

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After coming to the conclusion that the proposed intergovernmental agreement between Star Valley and Payson is not going to happen, Mayor Bob Edwards still wants the two towns to abide by the results of a safe yield study that is currently under way.

According to a written statement by the mayor, "When Star Valley asked the Town of Payson to undertake a safe yield study, they agreed that Clear Creek was a qualified company and that they would abide by the results. Now, they want the right to veto the results if they disagree with them."

That backtracking by Star Valley was one of the major reasons, Edwards wrote, that the rewrite of a water agreement was unacceptable.

If Star Valley was willing to return to the table with a sensible offer, the town would likely listen, Edwards said in a phone interview, but, he added, he does not think any new offer is forthcoming.

"We have to get on with our program," Edwards said. "We have a legal right to the (Tower Well)."

The Payson Town Council passed a version of the water agreement at its Dec. 14, 2006 meeting.

The agreement promised that Payson and Star Valley would not harm each other's water supply, that both entities would abide by the results of a $50,000 safe yield study paid for by Payson and scheduled for completion in January, and each town must collaborate on future water-finding efforts.

Edwards said, Payson will try to live by the agreement, but conceded that an agreement cannot be one-sided.

"What we did in December is the council put themselves on record," the mayor said. "We will live by the safe-yield study."

But the Tower Well is not owned by the Town of Star Valley and he does not want it to be treated that way.

"It is Payson's well, period," he said. "There are no restrictions on that well."

Edwards in his written statement released Jan. 16, he said the Payson Town Council will not take up the rewrite of the water agreement.

Edwards said, the draft offered by the Star Valley Council does not reflect the many hours of discussion on the matter of the Tower Well operation or the town's efforts to work together on future projects.

Edwards wrote that it is still his intent for Payson to be a good neighbor and to do no harm to the citizens of Star Valley or any of its neighbors in northern Gila County.

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