A no-strings gift from the Tonto Apache Tribe will enable Payson to complete sidewalks around Payson High School and Rim Country Middle School.
Moreover, bids for the $50,000 project came in about $10,000 below expectations, a boon for a budget-plagued town council.
The town has been ransacking its cupboards for a couple of years trying to come up with the money to install a sidewalk for kids heading to school on Wade Lane between Meadow Street and McLane Road. The just-approved portion will cover the stretch encompassing the high school and middle school.
The tribe recently gave the town $51,000. The council allocated $5,000 to cover its promise to pay seasonal ranger salaries if State Parks reopened Tonto Natural Bridge.
The rest of the money from the tribe will now go to the sidewalk project.
The town received eight sealed bids on the project. Bid-winner Wantland & Sons Construction came in at $30,435. Four Corners Concrete submitted the high bid at $48,186.