There is probably no more critical topic put before the Payson citizens, than the prevention of fire.
While this is a forever issue, certain years such as this one, require extra effort and vigilance. A few months ago, the Fire Department put forth a proposal to approve the International WUI codes which created strict regulations and were very difficult to implement and enforce. A key issue for those opposed was the impact that the new regulations would have had on private property rights. Several citizens voiced their concerns and the Council voted it down. Also voted down was a follow up attempt to rewrite the existing fire codes. A group of citizens with the Fire Department then formed a “Firewise Committee” to work on the fire prevention education and communication for the town.
My belief is that we can work with the existing codes to accomplish what is needed. Once the town is “firewised” we can go back and address the codes to be sure on a go forward basis it will stay cleared and clean. As Mayor, my intention would be to continue to support the necessary education, to propose that we increase the number of brush pits, and to keep them open 7 days a week. I will also look into establishing a fund for financial assistance for properties who qualify. The committee is considering other types of assistance for our town, including available grants.
A fire safe community is a safer community.