Popular Cable TV building makeover stars should have spent the past 12 months shadowing Gila County Government’s team from Facilities & Maintenance. 2020 has marked a year of progress in Payson – a ribbon-cutting a year ago for the 5,700 square foot Teens At Hope center and offices for Gila County Probation staff and the ribbon-cutting just a few weeks ago for the new Gila County Health Center office and clinic space at 110 W. Main Street.
Staff recently began moving into new offices and clinical space, which marks another accomplishment in the county’s Strategic Plan and continuous improvements in how staff can better serve Payson and Rim Country residents.
Social media is filled with memes and cartoons saying 2020 is a year that just can’t end too soon – but here in Gila County the past 12 months have seen much progress.
For one, the Gila County Board of Supervisors recently voted unanimous approval for an intergovernmental agreement with the Town of Payson to proceed with plans for a regional drainage project to alleviate storm water runoff issues in the area of Frontier, Colcord and Main Streets.
Design is scheduled to be completed in December, with an updated report on expected construction costs to be presented once that part of the project is done.
Probably the highest profile project is a new 11,000 square foot multipurpose complex to be built near the crossroads of Colcord and Frontier Street, just north of the existing Gila County Court facility, and designed to encompass elected officials’ offices, a new Board of Supervisors meeting room with state-of-the-art audio and video streaming capacity in order to improve connectivity for meetings that are increasingly live streamed and broadcast on YouTube – and innovatively doubling as a Superior Court room. So at long last, Superior Court trials can happen right here in Payson. Site preparation commenced in late November, construction should begin this month or in January.
“Adequate, suitable space — within which to provide our many services and be able to grow for years to come in northern Gila County — has been an issue of mine for the past 16 years,” said District 1 Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin.
“It finally brings us the ability to have local jury selection and hold trials, and thereby fulfills one of the earliest requests made of me by residents of northern Gila County. Folks around here will no longer have to drive to Globe for jury needs, something northern Gila County residents have needed for years. This was on the top of my ‘to do’ list from the beginning”
Gila County’s chief building official, other staff, and representatives of the Town of Payson are still reviewing plans for the new complex. To clear the site for construction three obsolete older buildings were removed; unfortunately some trees had to be removed during site preparation, but Gila County is committed to landscaping the new complex that will include 26 new trees, 165 shrubs and 88 grasses, ground cover plants, and perennials.
Over the past few weeks staff of Gila County Community Services department, along with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Service vacated the old buildings and moved into temporary office space at 512 S. Beeline (the Twin Pines Plaza), allowing obsolete buildings to be removed and site work to begin.