Flooding Issues Top Priority List For Town

Task force created to study community's flood water issues


Star Valley knows the somber feeling of a rainy day.

The washes in town have been filling with granite, so every time it rains, many areas of town flood.


Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron and Building Inspector Joe Janusz mark the spot where a photo radar camera will be installed. The town should have the enforcement system in place before the end of the year.

"Some of the creek beds are four feet higher than they were several years back," Mayor Chuck Heron said.

The council addressed the rising problem at Tuesday night's meeting, establishing a Flood Water Task Force Committee.

The committee, to be comprised of five members, will work with the county and Federal Emergency Manage-ment Agency if necessary, Heron said.

Members thus far include, chairman Ray Lyons and members George Benney and Tommie Martin. Two other members will be selected by the end of the week, Heron said.

The specific tasks of the committee, outlined by the council resolution, include: reviewing and monitoring the flow of flood waters in and around the town; exploring, taking inventory and developing flood water abatement plans; working with agencies to establish a long-term flood water control solution; pursuing the aforementioned tasks in an aggressive manner and providing recommendations to the town council for consideration and action.

Heron said that the committee is the first step in the right direction.

"It's absolutely necessary," he said.

"We've got to get the stuff out of those washes."

Councilor Bill Heath was not present at the meeting.

Photo radar entities to meet

The process of bringing a photo enforcement system to Star Valley is rolling along.

All applicable parties, including town officials, Judge Dorothy Little, representatives from Redflex Traffic Systems, members of the Payson Police Department and ADOT will meet next Wednesday in a "kick-off meeting" to go over the formal process of approval from ADOT, Town Manager Vito Tedeschi said.

Tedeschi said that acquiring a permit from ADOT would be the lengthiest part of the process.

"It really depends on the ADOT permit process," he said. "They said it should take two months. We could probably get the rest done in 60 days."

Tedeschi said he is working toward an agreement with the Payson PD to review the citations. If an agreement can't be reached, he said there are several certified officers in Star Valley or other locations who have offered their services.

Another aspect of the process, Tedeschi said, is determining what compensation to offer the courts for their involvement in enforcing penalties.

"We're working on what cost it will take (with the courts) so that we can be sure to cover it," he said. "The courts really have the most work from this."

Street sign replacement project chugging along

The process of replacing the street signs in Star Valley is about "65 percent complete."

Tedeschi said he expects all of the signs to be replaced by the end of October.

The signs are larger and higher quality. Officials implemented the new signs to add uniformity to the roadways.

The signs are high prismatic, which means they reflect light better for improved visibility, especially at night, Tedeschi said.

New stop signs were also implemented on Moonlight Drive, in efforts to slow down traffic in that area, he said.

Election wheel begins spinning

The council approved a resolution setting up guidelines for the upcoming March primary and May election.

The date for the primary election is March 11 and the general election is May 20.

Positions up for election include the mayor and three council seats--Bill Heath, Mary Ann Kotelnicki and Art Lloyd.

Heron said he is seeking re-election.

The election will be by mail ballot.

Town clerk Sarah Luckie said no walk-in voting would be allowed.

"This is an all-mail ballot like the first election," she said. "They can be dropped off on voting day at town hall."

The deadline to register to vote in the primary is Monday, Feb. 11.

Candidates must file nomination papers at town hall by Wednesday, Dec. 12, to be included on the primary ballot. Nomination forms must include an appropriate number of signatures from active voters in Star Valley to be eligible to run.

There are 1,228 active voters in Star Valley and the signatures of 3 percent, or 37 people, are necessary to run.

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