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Special service district tackles budget matters

Sun Advocate reporter

The $100,000 allocated in the special service's budget for the senior center is a bit short as the projected cost for remodeling the center and making it usable is $5.5 million district board members learned Dec.3.

The $1.4 million flood relief project slated for Spring Glen moved a little closer to reality with adoption of the 2008 recreation/transportation special service district budget at the Dec. 3 meeting.

District board members approved the $7,138,900 budget that includes $500,000 for the widening of 2000 West in Spring Glen and the addition of curb, gutter and storm drains.

Residents reviewed the plans for the project at an open house Nov. 12 and expressed the desire to see it go forward.

In addition to flood relief, the funds for 2008 are also earmarked for new projects and completion and enhancement of existing projects, including several at the fairgrounds.

The district will provide $150,000 for the fish pond and $300,000 for additional projects at the county fairgrounds.

In addition, the county's recreational life may get a boost as the developers of a mini-golf course received $150,000 in funds earmarked for their use as they try to move ahead in fulfilling their vision.

The county's public safety system was given a leg up in the new budget as $450,000 was included for a new search and rescue building.

"We have been able to add extended functions to the use of the mineral lease funds," said district board member Bill Krompel about the line item for the search and rescue building. "We have added fire protection and animal control."

While a plethora of projects were benefactors of the new budget, the bulk of the special service district funds are dedicated to county road improvements and maintenance projects, according to Krompel.

Nearly $3.6 million is allocated for county road contracts.

Krompel recounted several projects that were completed under the 2007 budget, including:

•Approximately two miles of armor coating in Nine Mile Canyon.

•Chip and seal on Soldier Creek Road.

•Miller Creek Road improvements.

•Improvements on two miles of ingress and egress on the road leading to the CO2 plant across from the entrance to Utah State Road 123.

•Slurry sealing in Westwood, which included curb, gutter and sidewalk from the hospital.

While the 2008 budget moved seamlessly forward at the special service district meeting, it was the adjustments to line items in 2007's that took up the bulk of the discussion.

To cover the total costs of the Nine Mile Canyon improvements $72,000 was added to that item.

The county's event center had costs overruns of more than $172,000 and $180,00 was culled from other items to ensure the completion of projects, including asphalt, landscaping and lighting.

Boardmember Neil Breinholt was interested in seeing that the lighting projects at the center were completed, including floor lighting and of course the parking lot lights.

Lighting became an urgent issue following the Southeastern Utah Energy Producers Association's Nov. 8 dinner reported the attendees were daunted by the darkness of the parking lot.

At the recent summit on the changing demographics of Utah's labor force, also presented at the center, two of the participants recounted a that someone they knew who went to the SUEPA gathering couldn't find his car because of the inky abyss in the lot.

Krompel affirmed that shining light on the asphalt was indeed a priority.

Though there were several projects that went into cost overruns, there were some items where the monies remained intact, $100,000 that had been allocated for the Price senior center is still sitting untouched.

According to County Commissioner Mike Milovich who attended the district meeting the historic building which houses the center has been deemed too expensive to remodel. He said that architects looking at the structure said that it would cost upwards of $5.5 million to bring it up to codes and make it usable, he pointed out a particular problem with the flooring.

"Whoever put in the floor poured slab over garbage and there are no joists beneath it," said Milovich. "With all the continued use the floor is failing."

The line item adjustments approved at the last district meeting required no outside review because the total of the $7,655,147 budget wasn't changed, according to Linda Ballard, district administrator.

However, if more funds are needed to balance the 2007 budget the public must be included in the decision, she said. The district boardmembers gave the nod to scheduling a public hearing on the budget for Dec. 27 at 9 a.m. in the conference room of the planning and zoning building, 65 South 100 East. For more information, residents may call Linda Ballard at 636-3263.

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