Tentative $39 Million Town Budget Approved

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The Payson Town Council held a public hearing and approved a motion to adopt the tentative budget at last night's (Thursday's) council meeting.

The council voted unanimously to adopt the tentative budget -- $39,219,191 -- which also sets the upper limit for it.

An ordinance that would have rezoned 92 acres of land in the Mogollon Views subdivision near North Tyler Parkway for the development of homes was defeated in a 4-3 vote by the council.

Vice Mayor Tim Fruth and councilors Su Connell and John Wilson voted in favor of the ordinance.

Councilor Andy Romance said that he voted against the ordinance because he felt that the developer, Dave West, didn't follow through on some aspects of the project.

"It caused me to have questions on (his) follow-through," he said.

Connell said that she supported the rezoning because she doesn't want Payson to be known as a place in Arizona that is opposed to economic development and growth.

The ordinance would have needed a supermajority vote to pass, which would require approval from six members of the council.

The council also held a first reading and public hearing regarding the regulation of temporary signs in town.

Several small-business owners spoke out for their need for A-frame and other temporary signs to highlight the location of their businesses.

Barbara Kroeger of Cedar Lane Antiques said that her business suffers from current town code, which restricts some temporary sign usage.

"It's a little frustrating when you're not able to let your customers know you're available to do business," she said. "People aren't able to find us."

The council voted 5-2, with Mayor Bob Edwards and Fruth voting in opposition, in support of a motion proposed by councilor Mike Vogel to allow for temporary signs four days a week, instead of 12 days a month.

The council has also proposed the creation of a committee that will work with small business owners to determine the effect of temporary signs, including signs for small business advertising, special events and political signs.

The council will likely hold a second reading on the matter at its next meeting, which was moved to Wednesday, July 18.

The Payson Town Council normally meets on the first and third Thursday of each month.

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