Payson is stuck with a $21 million tab because City planners in the 1930's could not foresee the City's future growth, according to City Manager Rich Nelson. A 2008 estimate puts the population at more than 17,000.
Payson often floods. The problem is storm drains. Many of them don't work.
An elderly woman named Betty Quinn told us about hauling sandbags in the rain to divert water down a drain on her street. She says the experience is awful. By the way, about 200 other home owners on Betty's street have flooding problems as well, according to Nelson.
Payson's City Council voted to start fixing the problem along 900 East at a cost of $668,000. Crews will dig up the street, put in new drains and repave the road. The fix could not have come at a worse time. The City is struggling financially because of the poor economy and it will take between 10 and 20 years to fix the entire City.
I can't help but internalize stories like this one. Payson's City planners were probably great and capable people, but they lacked one thing according to Nelson- foresight. The lack of foresight is enslaving the City and it's residents today with $21 million tab and chronic flooding problems.
This story makes me wonder how the decisions we make today will influence the generations that follow ours.