After her letters to the editors almost weekly, C. Anne Boisvert's frequent criticisms of many aspects of the town's lease with the YMCA demands a response. I was going to wait until the lawsuit hearing is concluded, but my patience has expired first.
She laments in the Aug. 12 Roundup about "the beautiful park land" being used for a new YMCA recreation center. Let's talk about the land:
1) As I understand it, it was not tax dollars that bought it. It was a gift to the town from the Rumsey family/Forest Service and was to be used for park and recreation purposes. That eliminates all her comparisons with commercial property values because no commercial entity can buy or lease the land.
2) Some prior Council dedicated, for library use, some of the "beautiful park land" in the midst of ball fields, ramadas, tennis courts and pool. The citizens did not vote for it; but, now that it's there, and functioning beautifully, would anyone want it removed? Of course not! There is benefit for the citizens.
3) The five acres proposed for the lease are the same five acres of land with the same amount of trees that Parks and Rec proposed for its recreational building; however, the town has zero financial ability to build it. Six of us Council members voted for a lease to the YMCA; therefore, the town does and will continue to own the land. After the friends of the YMCA donate the $6 million for the building, and the YMCA runs it at no expense to the town for 35 years, it will still be the town's land.
What a deal to bring recreational space to Payson! Thank you, Valley of the Sun YMCA!
Payson Town Council