A university in Payson is one step closer to reality, as another hurdle is cleared.
While consultants found no problems with endangered species or other hot-button issues, they did find suspected pottery shards in 11 locations and signs of an encampment in one of those locations. No evidence of a major village or site was found. The most significant potential site sits on a ridge near a cluster of boulders where the backers didn’t plan to build anything
Federal rules relating to historical sites prompted the Forest Service to insist on more study and a commitment to preserve any artifacts unearthed. The Alliance is putting up a $500,000 bond to guarantee completion of the archaeological work no matter what the consultants find and no matter what happens to the overall university plan.
It was reported in the Payson Round Up that sources close to the negotiations say ASU and Alliance representatives have had recent discussions, but not yet reopened formal negotiations.
Bosworth’s signature this week, guarantees the Alliance will get the land and satisfies one of the key conditions ASU set before committing to partner with the Alliance to build and operate a 6,000-student university in Payson.
Studies of the economic impact of the planned university in Payson, suggest that the campus alone will inject $100 million to $150 million into the local economy annually, much of the impact being in the normally slow winter months that are absent the summer tourism boost from the valley residents escaping the heat of the valley to the south.
The project will also include a 500-room conference hotel, industrial research parks, an innovation center to convert research into products, an upgrade in Internet capacity that will make the entire town a Wi-Fi hot spot.
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