|County property adjacent to U.S. Highway 123. This property has been selected to serve as the building site for the joint East Carbon/Sunnyside public safety building. Local officials from both cities will present a funding request to the CIB at their July funding session.|
On July 2, tie breaking East Carbon-Sunnyside public safety building board member Liz Kourianos provided her decision concerning a building site to the two east county cities.
Kourianos concluded that county owned property on U.S. Highway 123 in Sunnyside was the best site for the proposed joint public safety building.
According to a document written by Kourianos, the relevant and comparable issues evaluated in her decision making process included:
Kourianos reported that she qualified her point system analysis of the properties by taking three unbiased volunteers on individual site tours.
According to board member's documentation, all three volunteers ranked the building sites in the same order produced by her point system evaluation without knowing the results of the point process.
The ranking had the Sunnyside property as the consistently favored site. The East Carbon Parker property ranked second and the East Carbon Butler property came in as the last option.
According to Kourianos, "all three individuals noted the mitigation possibilities to resolve the flood zone issues for the Sunnyside location, pedestrian and access concerns for the Butler property and the irrelevance of the Parker property in relation to the common public facilities and housing units."
"By its own merits, the Sunnyside site proved not only the best of the three sites presented, but a site that is fully conductive to the intended use of the Public Safety Building," explained Kourianos.
The documentation details the advantages of the Sunnyside city property, as reported by Kourianos.
"As per original city planning, Highway 123 was clearly intended to be the main traffic carrier road for both Sunnyside and Dragerton communities. Highway 123 also expedites response to housing units in Columbia. As per planned design of this site, access to Highway 123 will be reserved for emergency vehicle egress only," noted the joint building board member.
Kourianos was selected to serve as the seventh and, therefore, tie-breaking member of the board earlier in the year.
East Carbon and Sunnyside have been working together to hammer out a consensus agreement finalizing the details of the planned public safety building for more than a year.
"We now can approach the CIB as a unified community," said board member and Sunnyside city councilmember Doug Parsons. "I think Liz really listened to both cities and the amount of time she took to make this decision shows just how seriously she took this responsibility."
According to Parsons, the cities plan to approach the Utah Permanent Community Impact Board during the state panel's July funding session to seek the grant money that will make the communities' joint public safety complex a reality.
However, East Carbon officials have concerns about Kourianos' decision.
"If the building is to be built in Sunnyside, East Carbon would no longer have a department and, with that, our rating will go down and our insurance rates will go up," said Mayor Orlando LaFontaine. "I am very concerned about the Sunnyside property being in a flood zone. I do not believe the CIB will fund a public safety building the resides within a flood zone."
East Carbon City officials have called a special council meeting on July 3 to discuss Kourianos' decision.
"I see our town growing," commented the East Carbon City mayor "But all that growth is on the west end of Highway 123 and in Columbia . How do I explain to those citizens that we have moved their emergency personnel away form them in a time of coming growth?"
"We need to be one community. If we could see fit to become one community we wouldn't have these problems with moving a fire department out of one city and into another. We would be planning within one community as whole and to me that is the best way for us to move forward," concluded LaFontaine.