Firewise Presentation Leads Off Payson Council Meeting

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"The Fire Guy" will return to Rim Country on Thursday with a special presentation to the Payson Town Council.

Jim Paxon, a retired Forest Service Ranger best known as the voice of the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire, will present a Firewise presentation.

Paxon currently works as a consultant and teaches at the Arizona Wildfire Academy that he helped establish.

The council will also decide on an amended version of a lease agreement for a hotel, conference center and restaurant on 10 acres at the Payson Rodeo Grounds.

The tentative lease was discussed at the last council meeting with the developer, Hospitality Support Group, and a few changes were made at the request of the council.

Among the changes are increased fire and liquor insurance and an annual audit report of hotel revenue, which may be conducted by the town to verify hotel revenue.

The hotel tenant, likely Hilton, would pay no rent to the town for the first 15 years of the lease, according to lease agreement documents. During years 16 to 20, the tenant would pay the town three percent of hotel revenue. In years 21 through 25, the town would receive four percent of hotel revenue. Years 26 through 35 of the lease would include five percent of hotel revenue for the town. The lease includes two successive 10-year extension options, for which rent is to be negotiated.

The hotel is to have at least 150 rooms, according to lease documents. The conference center is to be at least 10,000 square feet and the restaurant to be 4,800 square feet and seat at least 150 people.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in the council chambers at the Payson Town Hall building.

Star Valley council holds special meeting

The Star Valley council will hold a work-study session and special meeting tonight, Tuesday, beginning at 6 p.m.

The regular council meeting, originally scheduled for Nov. 6, was canceled due to the Gila County bond and sales tax election.

The work-study meeting to be held prior to the council meeting will focus on a presentation and discussion on a sewer treatment plant partnership.

Agenda items to be discussed at the regular meeting include the possible establishment of magistrate court fees, a discussion on whether to change the town banking services and a first reading on guidelines for the Design Review Commission.

The meeting will be held at the Star Valley Baptist Church.

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