When the idea of a four-year college associated with ASU, situated on a 360-acre parcel on the west side of Highway 260, was first brought up I was in favor, but my position has changed.
Recently we learned, by reading the Roundup that the “first phase” will be on 50 acres to the north of the highway; groundbreaking is planned for this December.
The remainder is supposed to start when the town concludes purchase of the larger piece of land now owned by the U.S. Forest Service.
I wrote a letter to the mayor regarding my concerns and why those of us who live right behind this smaller area were never apprised of this new plan.
Building on the east side would entail a lot of left turning in an area where it is even now difficult and hazardous for residents and Gila Community College students. A campus on both sides of this already overstressed highway; is that a good idea?
My answering letter from Deborah Galbraith indicated that things would be “taken care of” and that if I were not in favor of the college I was against growth and prospering in Payson.
In fact, I see growth as a necessary part of this town where jobs are so sorely needed; but there are too many questions left unanswered in this situation. Now, with the latest article regarding this campus I have even more questions; no wonder Gila County did not agree to partner in this convoluted scheme.
Here are a few of my questions; perhaps we should all be asking these and more!
First, show me the money! Who purchased the land on the east side of 260, for how much, and who owns it?
Next, just exactly what will be built on this smaller parcel, and how does the town propose to mitigate the traffic situation?
Who will pay for the needed road improvements?
If ASU has not committed to extending their offerings onto a Payson campus, then who else is interested; now?
Precisely who are the parties paying to build this campus; is the money a gift or a loan, and how much is definitely there?
If not gifted who repays the loans?
Finally, what is the time frame to start, and complete, the larger portion of this project; is the money there, now?
Yes, Payson could benefit from such a project — could. But it is my considered opinion that the citizens of this town deserve to know more before we get into something that may not fly in this economy.
This is something that could leave us with a huge liability or a partly completed project. If jobs are one of the major reasons, I think that the government in Payson would more easily, and with less risk, benefit by improving their attitude toward attracting light industry.
The dependence on construction here has already proved to be disastrous. Before starting, we need to know much, much more.
In my letter to Kenny Evans I asked, “why the rush?” Perhaps others are wondering as well and maybe they deserve answers, not the patronizing that I received. The answers should be posted in this newspaper where more of us have access.