Cities examine site proposals for joint public safety project
On May 31, East Carbon and Sunnyside city officials presented possible locations for the communities joint public safety building to deciding board member Liz Kourianis.
For more than a year, the two cities have been in negotiations with the purpose of taking a joint proposal to the Utah Permanent Community Impact Board for funding on a safety building.
Sites proposed include the Butler property on Denver Avenue in East Carbon, the Elsie Parker property on U.S. Highway 123 in East Carbon and the Circle Way property on Utah Highway 123 in Sunnyside.
East Carbon City is requesting that the property be located on the Butler property.
"As we have done more research on the Sunnyside property, there is no way our city can support the construction of this building on or near a flood plane," said East Carbon Mayor Orlando LaFontaine.
East Carbon's disaster plan shows that, if something were to go wrong and a catastrophe were to occur at the city's reservoir, the mayor indicated that emergency personnel would have no way to get to essential equipment within the public safety building.
"Even if the building itself is not directly on the flood plane, the access road is," continued LaFontaine. "It makes no sense to me to put the building in an area where when an emergency happens we may have no access to our fire trucks. East Carbon is already making a concession by moving the building to the city's borders," said LaFontaine.
The Denver property sits adjacent to the Sunnyside-East Carbon division.
"The growth in our city is going to happen with East Carbonics and the Lila and Columbia mines. We are conceding the movement of our fire department away from the middle of our town. I can't concede that it be built on or near a flood as well," continued LaFontaine.
The mayor listed the Denver property's assets as being set above the flood and being located close to the new elementary school and senior citizens center.
According to LaFontaine, the school's football field could be used as a helicopter pad in time of emergency. The senior center's food preparation stations could be combined with all other buildings to serve as a triage area in a time of need.
Carbon Commissioner Mike Milovich also had an issue with the Sunnyside Circle Way property.
"I don't know how they are going to get that building funded if they build on or adjacent to a flood plane," stated Milovich. "We are prohibited from using federal monies to build on a flood plane and mineral lease money from the CIB is federal money."
Officials from Sunnyside city disagreed with LaFontaine's and Milovich's analysis of the property.
"We feel the property on Circle Way will serve well as a location due to its accessibility and low traffic," said Sunnyside Councilmember Doug Parsons.
The member of the Sunnyside City Council fielded a question about the flood plane raised at the meeting.
"Where the building will be set in not in the flood plane and if the access to the building is engineered correctly with proper drainage there should not be a problem. When the plans for this building were originally taken to the permanent community impact board, they were accepting of the design," pointed out the Sunnyside councilmember.
Parsons' concerns about the Denver property in East Carbon centered around child safety with the school in such close proximity.
"There is the potential to have elementary age children all over that area and that is a dangerous situation due to increased vehicle traffic," continued Parsons.
According to Carbon School District employee Scott Robertson, the district has not decided whether the children will be transported to the school via Valley View in Sunnyside or Denver Avenue in East Carbon.
"That decision will not be made until all address changed are submitted to the district in the next few weeks, however because the school has been moved into the middle of the community many students will not be bused due to the fact that they live within the mile and a half cut off for district transportation," said Robertson.
Elementary age children must live further than one and one-half mile away from the school in order to be picked up and dropped off by district buses.
"We live in a rural area with a lot of land," stated LaFontaine. "Why put such an important building in an area where there is even a potential for problems with flooding?"