MHA Rim Country Education Foundation breaking ground

Much of the controversy between the SLE, Town of Payson and MHA Foundation has to do with the removal of trees on the SLE's land off of Mud Springs road.

The Payson Town Council and Rim Country Educational Foundation will meet Wednesday, Aug. 28 to discuss a community center the foundation wants to build on the east side of town off of Mud Springs Road.

Payson has long sought solutions to the lack of recreation facilities on the Highway 260 side of town, said Courtney Spawn, Payson Parks and Recreation director.

RCEF will bring its consultant, Community Center Partners, to the meeting to answer questions the council may have regarding the design of the building and “to find out their level of interest,” said Kenny Evans, with the RCEF.

Evans hopes the town will see this as an opportunity to improve its recreational facilities.

“Our goal is to bring health and education to Payson,” he said.

With a portion of the Payson Area Trails System next to the RCEF property, Evans said the new community center could serve as a gateway to that recreational opportunity. The plans for the center also call for a pool, a much-needed amenity for the town as its pool is too old that staff couldn’t find equipment to repair it if it fails.

The challenge with any town building is not the cost to build, but the ongoing maintenance and operations, said Evans.

To solve the ongoing costs, the CCP consultants have identified 13 potential sources of income for the community center, including involving the town as a tenant.

“As a tenant, they would be a participant with operations and maintenance,” said Evans.

What the RCEF would like to make perfectly clear, “We’re not asking for a capital contribution,” said Evans.

“From my perspective, we’re going to build some ballfields because we desperately need them,” he said. “We’re stepping up as a nonprofit as this is in the best interest of the community. It’s the same as putting playground equipment at a school.”

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