Special service district board considers East Carbon walkway project proposal
|The new Little League concession stand, which will rise at this site, is coming closer to reality in Sunnyside city officials reported at this month's Carbon County Recreation and Transporation Special Service District meeting.|
East Carbon's request for $75,000 for a walking trail was received positively by the Carbon County Recreation and Transportation Special Service District board at its April meeting.
Mayor Orlando LaFontaine appeared at the April 1 meeting to present his town's request for the funds that would be used to create a one-and a-half mile paved path which would connect East Carbon and Sunnyside cities. He submitted documents showing that the town had already raised $218,197 in funds and in-kind services to put towards the estimated $286,394 by partnering with Utah State Parks and East Carbon Development Corporation.
"Parks is giving us $148,000 and ECDC is contributing $70,000 in in-kind work that will help us with the whole project," LaFontaine said. "This has been in our city plan for sometime now."
He explained that the 10-foot wide path is a further effort in East Carbon's move to help its citizens get more healthy. The paved path would come on the heels of the city opening a community fitness center in February.
"This will give people an opportunity to get healthier and will unite the two cities," he said.
The fitness facility won the town major kudos and a bit of impetus for further support from one board member.
"They did a recreation project on their own," Boardmember Neil Breinholt said. "They opened this fitness center which is one of the most impressive things I have seen without a penny of help from us."
While the paved path concept didn't meet with any real opposition from the special service district board, there were issues and concerns raised by the members.
Given careful consideration was just how to keep four-wheelers from trying to hop on the path.
"How're you going to keep the ATVs (all terrain vehicles) off of it?" asked service district boardmember Sam Quigley.
LaFontaine had a few ideas and said with a laugh, "barriers, signs and people going to jail."
He went on to explain that the column-type barriers would restrict access but that there was a system for unlocking and removing them for emergency vehicles.
However, the East Carbon mayor did admit that keeping some of the more determined riders off might be problematic.
"It seems there's nowhere those four-wheelers won't go," said LaFontaine. "They can get into anything and everything."
Boardmember Bill Krompel asked whether the town had secured the rights of way for the entire length of the path from Viking Park in East Carbon to Sunnyside Park.
LaFontaine assured the board that his city owns the property up to the portion of Sunnyside Park where the trail will end.
Quigley sought answers on what plans the city had for maintenance of the path once it was finished.
"As one example I saw the walkway in Helper and it's not looking good," he said.
The mayor said he is working with the same people who were involved with Helper's project and that recent experience had taught them some valuable lessons.
"For one thing they will be using a higher quality coating," LaFontaine said.
One concern was that the $286,394 price tag may not be firm as it wasn't recent.
LaFontaine was asked to get a new bid, produce a plan for long-term maintenance and protecting the path from ATVs and return to the next meeting of the district for further consideration.
"I will get this done right away," he said. "I am just keeping my fingers crossed we will be able to keep it within the budget.
In other business, Sunnyside city representatives were on hand to update the district board members on the progress of the town's Little League concession stand.
The special service district pledged $80,000 toward completing the project at the beginning of the year.
Sunnyside City Councilman Mike Marquez and City Recorder Polly Sanderson reported that old two-story structure had been completely demolished and the work on the one-story building fashioned after Price's has started.
"We are ready to pour the footers and the block work should be starting in the next couple of weeks," said Marquez.
To date, the special service district has cut $50,000 in checks to cover the costs of the project and were assured by Sanderson that no more money would need to be issued for awhile.
There won't be anymore draws until it's complete," she said.
Sunnyside's request was easily granted once all the paperwork was together in March, as district board members expressed admiration for the community support of Little League in Sunnyside and East Carbon.
The district board learned that between 40 and 50 children ages 8 to 12 play on the field.