Doug Parsons on Sunnyside's future plans, projects, goals for mayoral term
New Mayor Douglas Parsons hopes that the new ATV trail running through Sunnyside will increase visitors to the city. The trail which passes close to the little league baseball fields is relatively new and he believes it needs increased publicity.
Currently the restrooms located at the ball field are in need of repair due to vandalism. Rocks have been dropped into the sewer system have caused problems and a new facility is needed. This new restroom would serve riders along the trail as well.
When asked about how the city could expand he noted the city is landlocked and would need citizens to give up property to increase the area of the city. Wanting to ease fears about rising water utility rates, he stated the bond payment currently in place is covered by the fees collected so there is no reason to have a rate hike.
In his mind the average citizen is pretty satisfied about how the city is run, although there is not a lot of input into the matter. He noted that it is unfortunate about the taxes being raised last year but with costs going up everywhere the additional costs are passed on to tax payers.
Five years down the road he wants to see the city paying the same taxes and city improvements accomplished. The city does not have sidewalks or curbing on some of their streets. Parsons isn't sure where the money to do these projects will come from. He noted that more research into the matter is needed before the city can move forward with projects.
He also wants to improve the relationship between Sunnyside and East Carbon. To accomplish this he thinks that better communication is needed between the two cities. Noting that different people have different views, it is important to work towards a resolution of problems.He believes the animosity between the two cities came about when the consolidation of services was implemented. When he first moved to Sunnyside in 1973 there wasn't talk about these issues. Resident thoughts on whether or not the cities should be consolidated remains split. There are some who are in favor of the merger but others who want the separation. This has always been a concern for the public.
If money were no object to the city Parsons would hire additional employees to help with maintenance and also the renovation of the Peterson School, where city hall is currently housed.
Parsons said the biggest issues facing the city are road maintenance and a need for a newer fire truck. The biggest source of income for the city is taxes, with the power plant and the store being major contributors. Home owners are not a big tax base in the town and funding is limited. Consequently new projects in the town can't always get done with the quickness Parsons would like to see.
He would like further input about any grievances the citizens might have. He says without feedback there can't be any resolution to problems. He noted that drug use is a problem and vandalism has occurred in the past. Much of it occurs in an alley in town that he would like to see closed. He thinks that this would curtail the vandalism and stop people from trespassing on various properties.
In his time in Sunnyside there have not been any large changes, mainly losing the older residents due to age. He says the main goal of his mayoral term is to continue running the city how it has been.operated, while keeping taxes down and improving city streets and other projects.