Demolition Green Valley Park building for splash pad

Local photographer DJ Craig caught a shot of the demolition of an old town building in Green Valley Park last week.

Town of Payson plans for its splash pad took a step forward with the demolition of an old building in Green Valley Park near the Rim Country Museum on Sept. 15.

Local photographer DJ Craig snapped a shot of what he called the former economic development building halfway through the demolition process. His social media posting unearthed some of the building’s history.

Becky Kilgore Sopeland remembered it was “Forest Service employee housing before there was a Green Valley Park.”

Cathy Boone remembers spending “many hours of cold winters in there” as it was the Town of Payson’s Main Street office. Minette Hart remembered that too.

The idea of a splash pad has sloshed around for more than a year. The council has now put aside $300,000 for the project in this year’s budget. The town hopes to have the splash pad by next summer.

Courtney Spawn-Kort, director of Payson’s parks, recreation and tourism, has taken the lead on the project.

At the last council meeting on Sept. 10, she announced a grant to help pay for the project and a bid on the equipment.

Spawn-Kort announced the grant had some limitations.

“If this grant is awarded,” she said, “Green Valley Park would be protected into perpetuity.”

The grant would designate GVP as a legacy outdoor recreation area free from development.

Spawn-Kort had to make sure the council understood the limitation of the grant before applying. The council directed her to apply.

The equipment bid from Vortex came in at around $147,000 and “does exclude the installation” cost, said Spawn-Kort.

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