Mayor Wants County Money To Help Town

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Payson Mayor Bob Edwards wants the Gila County Board of Supervisors to provide some county funds to compensate Payson for county residents' use of the Multi Event Center.

Edwards said, "A significant percentage, as high as 67-74 percent, of the regular users of the Event Center in Payson are county residents, yet we receive no compensation to cover their use."

Edwards said Gila County should reimburse Payson for some of the costs of operating and maintaining the center. That was not the only concern or problem Edwards confronted the board of supervisors with during the meeting Tuesday morning in Globe.

Edwards said there is a perceived disparity between northern and southern Gila County.

"You regularly grant more money to southern Gila County for their county fair than to us in northern Gila County."

Supervisor Shirley Dawson denied allegations the board showed favoritism toward southern Gila County.

"Anything this board does is for the benefit of all of Gila County, not just Payson or Globe," Dawson said.

Edwards also asked the board why they had declined to attend meetings between the county supervisors and Payson's town council, which had been scheduled by Edwards and others to be in held in Payson, instead of Globe.

Jose Sanchez said, "I didn't attend because frankly I didn't feel you had any authority to schedule meetings of the board of supervisors.

"We need to solve the division and lack of cooperation between our counties, we need every community represented equally," Sanchez added.

Edwards asked the county supervisors to consider building a juvenile detention facility in Payson.

"It would be a lot more practical to have a detention center in Payson, rather than having to use our police officers to transport juveniles down to Globe," Edwards said.

"It costs us time, money and we don't have those officers available to us in Payson while they are transporting juveniles."

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