Helper decides to pay big power bill
As Helper City nears the end of the year, several issues from last year were resolved on Dec. 17. One such issue involving Utah Power and Light related to a disputed power bill in the amount of $60,000.
The amount of the bill was due to a faulty meter. The dispute has been ongoing since last spring. The city has agreed to pay the amount in $5,000 monthly installments.
According to Mayor Dalpiaz, the agreement was slightly less expensive than the original amount, but will still need to be paid to avoid legal actions.
The council also considered a possible engineering study that would evaluate the city's electrical grid. Although no decision was reached, it was suggested that the city locate a similar study conducted in the early 1990s. However, the council was in slight disagreement as to whether a new study was necessary because the old one remains in place.
"Back in the 90s, we started upgrades which were about $30,000 to $40,000 a year. Do we have enough power for Morgantown? Yes. Does it need an upgrade, now? Yes," said Dalpiaz.
Councilman Dean Armstrong was in favor of an up-to-date study, as well as capital improvement plans. He indicated that some of these options would possibly have helped the city obtain stimulus money.
"The last capital improvement plan was in 1986; in today's economy you need these things engineered and ready to go (to get stimulus money)," said Armstrong.
According to the mayor, the previous study, conducted by Utah Power and Light, recommended upgrades. However, Armstrong was not in favor of consulting a 20 year-old study, saying it was almost as good as no plan whatsoever.
Once the council has a chance to review the old study, a decision will likely be made regarding a new one. In other business, the council indicated that Helper will be ready for a Jan.14 deadline in order to be in compliance with state water conservation regulations. While the regulations required no major overhauls, the mayor made it clear that the city is already in compliance.
"Our existing plan is pretty general, but this one is more specific," said Armstrong.
Next year, the city will meet once a month, as opposed to its current twice monthly schedule. Within the new schedule, the council will meet on the first Thursday of every month beginning Jan. 7.
Finally the council decided not to donate money to the new Boys and Girls Club. They are, however, considering providing a space for the club to meet. Councilman Kirk Mascaro wanted to thank all who helped with the light parade. He congratulated the mayor on his service to the city.