I would like to address this letter to the Honorable Mayor Evans. While you were hatching this scheme to make Payson a college town, did you check with anyone who lives here. Most people that I have spoken with came to Payson for its small town feel and atmosphere.
Those of us that have lived in college towns left them for good reason. Is ASU going to provide more law enforcement or is the financially strapped city going to pay for that? Is there enough water to go around?
Stage one rationing has already become the standard and Blue Ridge water is still way up the mountain. Can the water treatment plant handle that much more demand? What about the roads that have not been properly repaired this season? By the time the city puts down a shovel full of asphalt patch, the rain and traffic hydraulic it out taking more of the existing roadway with it.
If the city can’t afford to repair roads now, what will it do with another 6,000 cars in town?
Having been part of the system that relies on grants and loans, I believe the only business that will prosper are the fast food chains. Financial aid will generally cover tuition, books, housing, and some living expenses. The students will not be making large purchases such as homes and cars. They will get their education and move on, hopefully without leaving too much devastation in their wake.
The retired people that are moving into the area are supporting Payson with home purchases, upgrades, landscaping, as well as day-to-day living expenses. People that have not made the commitment to retire to Payson may have second thoughts about their choice.
Would you rather have a stable population of retired people, most of whom are pretty well off financially, or a transient population of starving students? I believe this is the choice that you are making for Payson.