Star Valley Looking At Lot For New Town Hall

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Six months after deciding not to buy a three-acre lot at the north end of town to house a permanent town hall, Star Valley at a Tuesday night work-study session will again consider building a town hall on the same site. This time, however, it would be owned by the Hellsgate Fire Department.

In August, former Town Manager Vito Tedeschi proposed the town buy a 3.1-acre vacant lot on Highway 260 near Valley Road for $350,000. Tedeschi dreamed the town could build a town hall, court, police station, building department and council chambers on the site, but town council members decided not to buy the land because of expenses.

Now Hellsgate is in the process of buying the land to build a new fire station.

Town Manager Tim Grier asked Chief Gary Hatch to meet with the council and discuss the possibility of the town integrating with the fire department in the new space.

“We don’t know the possibility of it actually happening, we are just looking at it,” Hatch said. “But the town definitely needs something.”

Hellsgate was planning to buy the land with money earned from fighting wildland fires. Hatch said building the new station was a long-term goal until recently, when Payson’s Mayor Kenny Evans put in a bid for federal money to build a $4-million fire station for Payson and Star Valley, meaning the station could become a reality sooner.

The proposed fire station would provide coverage for sections of both Payson and Star Valley. Hatch said Hellsgate outgrew its current station, which sits on half-an-acre, almost six years ago.

Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron said talks of a town hall are in the preliminary stages, so much so he does not even know where they stand.

The town will meet with Hatch at 5:30 p.m. at the Star Valley Baptist Church. Following the work-study session, the town will hold its regular council meeting at 6:30 p.m.

On the agenda is the possibility of applying for tribal gaming grants from 12 Arizona casinos. The town would use the funds for law enforcement services and a future town hall.

The council could also change worker’s compensation companies and save the town $75 a month.

The town currently pays SCF Arizona $.24 per $100 of salary paid for office employees and $2.69 for other employees. If the town switches to Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool (AMRRP) the new rates would be $.27 per $100 of salary paid for office employees and $1.45 for other employees.

Town Clerk Sarah Luckie said the billing from AMRRP is based on actual past payroll, so it is more accurate and timely.

Deputy Town Clerk Stephanie Jones will also discuss senior programs, including the Meals on Wheels program and van ridership.

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