Payson Population Up 1,500 Since Last Census

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Since the year 2000, Payson has grown by nearly 10 percent, according to new census data released last week.

In July 2006, the population of Payson was 15,257 -- a jump of more than 1,500 people since July 2000, when the population was 13,690.

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The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce provides information for new residents about what the Rim Country has to offer.

Based on the same census information, Arizona's population has increased by about 20 percent in the same time period, or by a little more than 1.03 million people.

Mayor Bob Edwards said he was not surprised at Payson's growth.

"Payson is one of the premiere locations in the state, so it is going to grow fast," he said.

Edwards said that what is more important is the way in which Payson grows.

"We now have Payson on a smart path of growth," he said.

"The key is how (Payson) grows to that."

Barbara Ganz, executive director of Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation, said the growth adds to the town's tax base.

Ganz said that although the increase is nearly 10 percent, the age of the additional population may cause it to be economically misleading.

"Yes, growth positively impacts the economy, but we need to look at the age of the growth and what services are necessary for that population and what retail services we need to attract for that community," she said.

Ganz said she is proud of the way that Payson has grown.

"We work every day to grow smart," she said. "We've done an excellent job in managing growth in Payson. We've done an excellent job looking at smart growth rather than popular growth. We've made sure we've had a good infrastructure for growth."

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