Star Valley officials won’t say how negotiations with Brooke Utilities for the Payson Water Company are coming along, but hinted things are going well.
Town Manager/Attorney Tim Grier is acting as the town’s chief negotiator along with Councilor Vern Leis. The two have met with Brooke President Robert Hardcastle several times in the last months after Hardcastle asked the town if it was still interested in purchasing the 300-customer water company.
Grier gave the council an update on negotiations in a closed-door executive session Oct. 4.
Grier and Leis met with Hardcastle Wednesday, and Grier plans to deliver another update at an Oct. 18 council meeting.
Grier said he remained optimistic the sale would happen, but would not go into details for fear it could hurt negotiations. He said Hardcastle wanted to remain quiet on the deal and he was respecting this request.
The town tried to buy the water company shortly after it incorporated, but backed away just before condemnation hearings were set to start, over fears the price tag would be too high for the town of 2,300.
Also at the meeting, Town Clerk Lois Johnson announced the town would hold a primary election March 13 with a general election May 15.
Councilors Barbara Hartwell, Gary Coon and George Binney’s seats are up for re-election. Anyone interested in running can pick up a packet starting Oct. 12 with packets due back by Dec. 14. Terms run four years.
Coon and Binney said they had not decided if they would run, but plan to take out a packet. Hartwell said she plans to run again.
The town council and commissions will meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park for an annual retreat.
The event is open to the public and topics include planning and zoning and creating town goals and priorities. Ken Strobeck, executive director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, will also deliver a speech.