Youth Council Changes Its Name, Broadens Its Scope

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Goodness: Rim Country’s “era of good feeling” keeps spreading.

Case in point: The Payson Youth Advisory Council is changing its name.

Henceforth, the group of teenagers Payson appointed to an advisory panel will be known as The Payson Area Youth Advisory Council.

Youth Council Chairman Dillon Walker appeared before the Payson Town Council last week to ask for the name change.

He said two of the council’s board members live in Star Valley, two live in Pine and one lives in the Tonto Basin — with the rest happily settled in Payson.

“So we’re really from the whole area — not just Payson,” said Walker of the band of high school students who have mounted fund-raisers and dances, surveyed students on suggestions for town activities and priorities and now and then shown up at council meetings. Moreover, the youth council recently appeared before the Star Valley council, to ask the town to appoint a council member as an adviser to the advisory council.

Expanding the youth council to embrace both Payson and Star Valley represents the latest warm hug in the transformed relations between the once-warring neighbors.

Four years ago, Payson’s acquisition of the Tower Well in Star Valley stirred such fears of a dwindling water table that it spurred the incorporation of Star Valley. Since then, Payson and Star Valley have negotiated a whole new relationship — marked recently by Star Valley’s agreement to buy three unused wells from Payson. At the same time, Payson agreed to let Star Valley connect to its water system so Payson can provide a backup water supply for its neighbor in a pinch. Moreover, Star Valley agreed to partner with Payson to create the Separate Legal Entity, which will build a university campus here.

So now, the two councils have one more thing in common: They’ll both be getting free advice from the same Youth Advisory Council.

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