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Front Page » January 10, 2008 » Local News » Special service district approves funding for Wellington ...
Published 2,826 days ago

Special service district approves funding for Wellington City Park

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Sun Advocate reporter

The outdated playground equipment in Wellington's city park will be replaced with structures similar to the ones in Sunnyside's park (below).

It should be a colorful spring for Wellington's youth after the county recreation/transportation special service district approved $30,000 to equip the city park with new play structures at a board meeting Monday.

Councilman Ed Chavez originally approached the district board with the proposal for the equipment at a Nov. 12 meeting.

But at that time, a funding moratorium was in place and the request was carried over to be considered at the first special service district meeting in 2008.

"I believe people in the Carbon County area will benefit from Wellington's park getting upgrades," said boardmember Sam Quigley after the vote to fund the project was taken.

Chavez told the board that after the Nov. 12 discussion he went back to the city council and asked that money from Wellington's budget be fronted to cover the cost of equipment with the hopes the special services district would reimburse the city.

"We should be getting the equipment in a couple of weeks and we hope to have everything done by the spring," said Chavez.

Boardmember Bill Krompel was one of the project's strongest supporters and had pushed in November for the funding to go through despite the moratorium. He seemed pleased with the district boardmembers' unanimous vote on Monday.

"It's the right thing to do," said Krompel. "We've provided recreational funds for other cities such as Sunnyside."

In order for the district to move forward with the grant, attorney Nick Sampinos advised boardmembers that there needed to be clear justification for the funding decision.

The city is to receive a $30,000 grant from the Recreation/Transporation Special Services District for the project.

Quigley provided the wording to go into the minutes to justify the $30,000 allocation.

"This amount to build a park makes a lot of economic sense," said Quigley.

Boardmember Tom Bruno added that the Wellington park is used not only by the town's residents but by Carbon County residents as well.

Another project caught in the crosshairs of last year's moratorium also got the green light at Monday's meeting.

The special service district board approved $35,750 for artist Jim Young to complete a nine-foot art piece that will grace the walls of the county's new event center.

Young's work will bear the faces of coal and gas workers as tribute to industries that fuel the economic life of Carbon County.

At the Nov. 12 meeting Quigley fought hard to get the money for Young to begin work as soon as possible, despite the moratorium.

"In 30 years when that facility is torn down, the only thing of real value left will be the art work done by our own local artist," emphasized Quigley sat the November special service district board meeting.

His passionate pleas weren't needed at Monday's meeting, however, as the new year brought the flexibility in the special service district's budget. The money was approved with full support.

"We are at a time where we might want to bite the bullet and get this done," said Krompel.

Krompel pointed out that the event center schedule is filling up fast with groups and organizations who have booked it.

Young who sat quietly through the discussion told the board that he would do it as fast as he can.

Quigley closed the discussion by urging the board, "Let's get this installed as soon as practical."

While the two projects carried over from last year were moved forward, a new application from Sunnyside city for a new concessions building at the Little League field was sent back to the drawing board for more information.

The majority of the discusion regarding the application from Sunnyside took place before representatives from the city actually arrived at the meeting.

Question after question arose as the board members looked at the document.

Boardmember Pace Hansen raised concerns because the application was signed by the interim mayor.

Quigley said the special service district board needed to find out what the damage to building was and how the city would prevent that type of damage in the future.

In addition, the actual amount being requested by Sunnyside raised several questions as well.

The city is seeking $73,000 from the district for what it has estimated to be a $113,000 project.

"We have a lot of questions," said Quigley. "Do they (the city officials) actually have competitive bids to support this (the project costs)?"

When the city's representatives arrived at the special service district meeting, they told the board members that the Little League field is used by both East Carbon and Sunnyside.

They said there are four teams that use the field and as far as the costs of the project they were planning to do a lot of the work themselves.

The board directed the representatives to come back with letters from both city councils and both mayors showing support for the project.

Discussion of Sunnyside's application brought a general recommendation for future applicants.

Krompel suggested it be a requirement that jurisdictions coming before the district board provide documentation that the particular project they are seeking to fund has the full support of the community and its leaders.

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