Some of the more regular — and underreported — agenda items the Payson Town Council passes have to do with plats.

Plats show property boundaries, land size, flood zones, the surrounding neighborhood, easements and monuments, according to Wikipedia.

Basically, a plat is a map.

Often, the town council will vote to accept changes to a plat such as taking a storm drain or a water system from a new development.

During the Oct. 24 council meeting, Vice Mayor Janell Sterner clarified if voting to take on several plat changes would cause potential liability to the town.

“I just want to double check before there are issues that will pop up,” she said. “How often will this easement be maintained? And about how often is often?”

Sheila DeSchaaf, acting town manager, quickly explained that the town has a process designed to ensure the safety of its citizens.

“The drainage is reviewed by the town so that post development, off-site properties are not affected by (drainage issues, etc.)” she said.

In fact, the town has a very defined process to make sure developers build for the long run with safe and adequate infrastructure, said Doni Wilbanks, planning and development director.

“We see all the plans before a developer builds,” she said.

DeSchaaf agreed.

“The Town oversees and builds most projects that come from capital improvements planning,” she wrote in an email.

DeSchaaf explained, once a developer plans to build a subdivision, the town requires the developer to “construct all of their own improvements to serve new development and then dedicate those improvements to the TOP (town of Payson),” wrote DeSchaaf.

The town’s process requires all plans for putting in water and sewer lines, storm drains and roads go through a design review process. Once all town departments, including fire, police, engineering, construction, permit, sanitary and water departments, approve of the plans, construction starts, but the town’s involvement doesn’t stop there.

“Appropriate personnel inspect the installation of those improvements,” said DeSchaaf.

The final step requires the council to take on the responsibility of installing water meters and maintaining the pipes and roads used by the community.

The other utilities revert to their appropriate governing bodies.

“Sewer lines become the property of the Northern Gila County Sanitary District. Gas lines become Alliant’s and so on,” said DeSchaaf.

Once Sterner’s questions were answered, the council voted unanimously to approve two plat changes on its Oct. 24 agenda.

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