Payson Town Council Will Ponder Projects

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The Payson Council could face a long agenda on Thursday, Feb. 7, starting at 5:30 p.m. in town hall, with spirited debates likely about key projects.

A renewed argument about whether to extend Mud Springs Road to Highway 260 will probably spur most of the debate, with people expected to grab the microphone on both sides of the controversial issue when the council reconsiders a $42,000 design contract for the proposed highway roundabout.

Once the smoke clears from that debate, the council will face some other vital issues, including seeking a design for a proposed events center, making it possible for the Chilson Ranch project to keep moving, despite flood control issues and a report on how the town will decide on major spending projects in the next five years.

The Chilson Ranch project is part of the plan to turn the American Gulch into a major addition to the commercial possibilities of historic Main Street.

However, the developer of Chilson Ranch needs to change the flow of water down an existing wash, which requires approvals from the federal government that can take one or two years. So the developer has asked to council to let the rest of the project move forward, while he waits for federal approval of the grading plan.

In addition, Parks and Recreation Director Rich Manchester will ask the council to approve an $86,000 contract to Cleland Group Architects to start work on a design for the proposed Payson Events Center, an attempt to expand the possible uses for the rodeo ground.

The town hopes to redesign the rodeo arena and to add buildings on the 25-acre site to make it possible to host various events and festivals year-round. The upgraded Payson Events Center would sit next to a proposed 150-room Hilton convention hotel and just across the highway from the tribal casino.

The proposed design contract would finance a round of public hearings and a preliminary plan for what might be added to the rodeo grounds to make it a year-round facility with multiple uses.

In addition, Community Development Director Jerry Owens will brief the council on the process for deciding on budget priorities for major capitol improvement projects for the next five years. Currently, a list of the current priority projects is listed on the town's Web page.

STAC to hold Mud Springs meeting Feb. 19

STAC meeting does not have Mud Springs Road extension on its agenda this week.

The Town of Payson's Surface Transportation Advisory committee's (STAC) chairman, Tom Loeffler, said the next meeting will be Feb. 6, at 4 p.m. in the town hall and it will not include the Mud Springs Road extension.

A special meeting of STAC has been scheduled for Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the gym of Frontier Elementary School on Mud Springs Road. At this meeting suggestions and concerns regarding the Mud Springs Road extension, as well as the impact on Phoenix and Mud Springs Roads will be considered. The public is welcome.

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