That’s Not the Way Payson Does It
By Steve Otto
I wrote an article in The Payson News recently about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) settlement announced at the October 13, 2022 Town Council meeting. That was a lawsuit that town staff said wasn’t a lawsuit; they said it was a self study that was mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice, identifying years of neglected maintenance that was brought to light. I was told, via email, results of the Key Bridge Foundation mediation are sealed by the the judge in the mediation. All the required construction projects are on course for completion by the Town of Payson. Maybe.
May through June of 2021 some concrete work was required at Green Valley Park as part of the ADA settlement. The town staff panicked when they thought ADA inspectors were coming to Payson and let a ‘no bid, no set price contract’ for concrete for curbs, sidewalks, and handicapped access points. I am going to submit a Freedom of Information Act request for that contract. Strict monetary limits exist on no bid contracts and contracts let without express approval of Payson Town Council. I’m sure it was handled correctly but let’s verify.
I have an email indicating a schedule exists for the completion of handrails at Green Valley Park and that those handrail projects are 16 months behind schedule. The author of the email says town staff have been made aware of the tardiness in completing the project but he is just paid ‘lip service’. The last time this ADA complaint was paid ‘lip service’ it cost the residents of Payson $11,000,000 so I would encourage town staff to stop talking and start doing!
In preparing for the work study meeting regarding Hillcrest Residents vs the Town of Payson I came across an agenda item accepting grant monies for road work on Granite Dells Rd from Safeway to Mud Springs Rd. I’m sure there is a time limit to complete the renovation of the road but I haven’t heard the road mentioned in the last year. Is it still a project? Did the town have to give the money back? And how does this fit with the “More Progress, Less Politics” claim of a Mayoral candidate? Some FOIA requests will be submitted about this stinker!
Now that I’m on the topic of stinkers let’s talk about the Splash Pad. Payson Town council approved the project and town staff drug their feet and slow rolled the splash pad. I was on the Parks and Recreation Commission and saw town staff kept adding impediment after impediment to the project. The cost has ballooned to over double the original figure. The town hired a project manager over a year ago and yet Payson residents see nothing from the “I know how to get things done” Mayor. Maybe a call to Kyrsten Sinema can get the Splash Pad completed. Star Valley announced their Splash Pad will be opening next spring and a RV park in Heber already has one.
I’m sure the FOIA answers to my questions will provide some interesting
fodder for future articles. Keep reading The Payson News.
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