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Sunnyside city reviews building plans for '09

Sun Advocate community editor

After discussing a land swap last year, Sunnyside city eventually moved into the Petersen building as a donation from Carbon School District.

Since the move, the city has worked on improving the old structure and making the Petersen School building available to the public.

Officials contracted Siemens to conduct a feasibility study into making the structure more "green" while cutting the maintenance and operations costs that are substantial in the large building.

Following the original report from Siemens, Sunnyside officials started work on a grant application that would include structural improvements and a geothermal heating system capable of heating and cooling different parts of the building only when needed by an occupant.

The units would use an exchange system that is environmentally friendly, according to the officials.

But decay in the west wing of the building has increased and local officials are considering changing the city's application to include the destruction of that portion of the structure.

"The west wing of city hall really is in bad shape," said Sunnyside Mayor Bruce Andrews during a council meeting on Dec. 16. "It has settled substantially and windows are starting to break."

In a July 19, Sun Advocate article, superintendent Patsy Bueno explained that the school district had completed a project to level the Petersen building and insure the safety of the facility.

According to city officials, the building has continued to settle around the support system installed by the district five years ago and needs to by addressed.

The building was deeded to the school district in 1956 by Kaiser Steel, minus the mineral rights. After the legalities of ownership were worked through by the school district's attorneys, the property was donated to Sunnyside.

Since that time, Sunnyside has moved the city's offices into the building entry.

The city is currently using the west wing along with the gymnasium for community programs.

For example, the Dragerton Diggers wrestling team practices there.

Following some discussion, Sunnyside decided to examine the area after officials at the last council meeting considered having engineers explore the part of the building to see if demolition of the wing would be best for the city.

"Let's have the engineers come down and look at it. It really has gotten worse than when we started with the building," said Sunnyside Councilmember Sherri Madrid.

Continued discussion involved removing the contents from that area of the building. Additionally, the council discussed an expansion of the city's cemetery as it is currently reaching full capacity.

While two properties were discussed, city officials settled on moving forward with a strip of land that runs parallel to Valley View near the current cemetery grounds.

The city has rights to a portion of the land and has contacted Breland Corporation a subsidiary of Utah Reverse Exchange, about purchasing the land.

According to officials, the city offered the corporation $300 for the small portion of land-locked property.

Officials indicated in the city's letter that, if the company was not interested in selling the land, Sunnyside would start condemnation proceedings on the property.

At the Dec. 16 meeting, city officials discussed the progress of the joint East Carbon-Sunnyside public safety building.

The metal and trusses are currently being finished on the roof and when that process is finished they will clean out the structure, install the windows and doors and begin working on the inside, as winter weather closes in.

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