East Carbon council discusses park project, power upgrades
The East Carbon City Council met Tuesday in a regularly scheduled session.
The first item of business at the March 28 meeting was a presentation of plans for a new restroom at the Columbia City Park by Sherry Agnew.
Agnew told the councilmembers that plans were fully drafted with an engineering seal. All that remained to do was secure funding for the project and develop a definite plan regarding where to locate the facility.
East Carbon Mayor Orlando LaFontaine told Agnew that the park project had been included in a recent CIB bid, but funding might not be available until next winter.
The council then discussed possible locations for the new restroom facility and the possibility of beginning some work on the project this summer with donated time and materials.
In an unrelated matter, Debra Dull, who represents Utah Power & Light, then gave the council and interested citizens an update on recent power upgrades within the city.
Dull said UP&L is deactivating the old Dragerton substation and updating the Sunnyside substation, explained Dull.
Some power outages could be expected through the summer as the power is transferred, but notice will be given at least 48 hours in advance of stoppages.
Dull also discussed UP&L tree trimming operations in the city and the disposal of the company's old substation power units.
In addition, Dull told the East Carbon officials that ownership of Utah Power was recently transferred from Scottish Power to MidAmerica Holding Company. Local service and rates should not be affected, but MidAmerica will be restructuring the company and UP&L will be a part of a new intermountain regional organization.
Acting on a different city matter, the council passed a resolution to provide East Carbon firemen with a $25 per month discount on utility bills as a part of a compensation package.
A second resolution was passed authorizing the mayor and city council to apply for a series of grants totaling nearly 500,000 dollars, through various government agencies.
The council discussed various issues and needs for the grants, and the prospects for securing the grants.
In council member reports, councilwoman Joyce Caviness reported that the city planning and zoning committee is working on a ten year plan for the city. The general plan will include such items as the proposed ATV trail through town, perceived future development, and long-term city needs. Caviness said that the plan is still in the development stage, and she invited interested citizens to offer their input. Citizens can contact her or Donald McCourt with their suggestions and comments.
Councilwoman Darlene Kuhns commented about a recent fire in East Carbon City, and how well the local volunteer fire department responded. She told of a citizen complaint about perceived slow reaction time, but said that the volunteer fire fighters had performed admirably and responded within 4 minutes of the call. She then read a copy of a letter she had sent to the complaining citizen outlining her view, as chief executive of the fire department, on the matter.
Kuhns said that the recent fire had been a great training exercise that identified several problems with fighting fires in the city. One of those problems is access to the rear of buildings that are fenced or littered with obstacles. Another is the presence of explosive materials. She said the site of the recent fire contained oxygen and acetylene bottles, as well as other flammable and explosive chemicals.
"After investigating the scene, the state fire marshal said we were very lucky we didn't have an explosion at that fire," Kuhns said. She said the city will be conducting a survey to review other areas where fire fighting access might be restricted and where other explosive or incendiary materials might be stored.
Kuhns also expressed her appreciation to the Sunnyside and Wellington City fire departments who responded to the fire to provide backup.
Councilwoman Darma Lopez told of attending a recent coalition meeting where several upcoming events were discussed and coordinated. Among the events is an easter egg hunt for children at the Sunnyside Park on April 15.
Lopez said she recently attended a regional emergency response meeting where the recent truck incident at Walkers in Wellington has identified several issues the county needs to address. Issues of how to evacuate people in an emergency and alternate routes around and away from a disaster are major items of concern.
Councilman Dave Maggio said that he will borrow a street sweeper from ECDC to help with city cleanup in the next few weeks, and said that a day or days will soon be set for community cleanup efforts. He also addressed the possibility of granting a dog kennel license at the community industrial park, outside of town, and said he would meet with business license petitioner Wayman about that possibility.
Councilman Joe Manley said the community newsletter will come out next month and any citizen with input for the newsletter should contact him as soon as possible.
The council then passed a resolution granting a donation to the Carbon High School graduation spectacular event. A dollar amount was not set, but the council agreed to give the same amount that was donated last year.
Mayor LaFontaine then introduced Ruby Cordova, who will be over the city's Cinco de Mayo celebration in May. He thanked Cordova for her efforts on the city's behalf, and told those assembled that Cordova had recently filed to run for School Board member in the next election.
Cordova made a short presentation and told the council that she is planning to combine the Cinco de Mayo celebration with the opening of the city's Little League season on May 6. "People can celebrate Cinco de Mayo and watch the opening Little League game too," she said. "We don't want families to have to choose between these events."