Payson has halted all work on setting up a controversial street-paving improvement district on Cedar Lane while homeowners work out alternatives.
Some landowners along the deeply potholed, privately owned dirt road had petitioned the town to set up an improvement district to pave the street.
Other residents showed up at the council’s recent public hearing on the proposal to complain bitterly that they couldn’t afford the $6,000 to $12,000 cost.
The council had nonetheless directed the town staff to talk to an attorney that specialized in setting up improvement districts to nail down the costs of the proposed improvements.
However, last week Public Works Director LaRon Garrett advised the council to halt all work on setting up the improvement district to give the warring homeowners a chance to come up with another alternative.
Garrett wrote to the council that homeowners had met again since the meeting and “apparently they have come up with some other alternatives that they would like to pursue before moving forward with this district.”
The request that the council stop work on the improvement district came from the people who asked for it in the first place, including Joel Mona, a resident who also serves on the town’s planning commission.
The council approved the recommendation on its consent calendar without discussion.
The unpaved road east of Mud Springs had been deteriorating for years, ever since the town decided to stop doing even minor maintenance on privately owned roads in the town limits.
Unfortunately, the town had laid down a thin layer of chip seal shortly before halting all maintenance. The layer of chip seal did sharply reduce the dust for several years, but once erosion began to eat through the chip seal, the layer created much worse potholes than would have formed on a dirt road.