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City reviews options on new building

The Janet Street railroad overpass in Helper is showing signs of separation. The 70 plus year bridge is also losing chucks of concrete in some places.

Sun Advocate reporter

On Thursday night the Helper City Council considered the possibility of building a new facility for Helper City employees as well as city equipment.

The proposed 7,200 square foot building would encompass three bay doors, two office spaces, and will be a "good place to work," according to the project's proposer, councilmember Kirk Mascaro.

Costs and space are two of the primary motivations for the project, because according to Mascaro, the current building has no bathrooms, and while he estimates the total cost to be around $73,000, he adds that it will be cheaper than in years past.

"Economies are hurting, there are contractors that need work. I think that for less than $100,000 we could have a 7,200 square foot building," said Mascaro during the meeting.

Additional sources of funding were also presented by councilmember Dean Armstrong, including the Utah Permanent Community Impact Board (CIB).

"We still have obligations to go through CIB, they've kicked in money for other cities and the county before," he said.

As for possible locations, it is still not clear where the facility could be built, but one possibility is the space behind the current city buildings.

However, it was agreed upon by the council that the building is a "good idea," as stated by Mascaro.

In other Helper City financial news, the city has been made aware that they have under payed their power bill to Rocky Mountain Power by $62,000 due to a malfunctioning meter.

The meter, when discovered, was determined to be about a year behind, and was slowing down, but council members were concerned as to the accuracy of the bill presented them.

Armstrong wants to know how they calculated the number and wonders if the city, "ought to make a counter offer."

It was clear however, that city was behind and did use the power, but as to the clarity of Rocky Mountain Power's method in determining the amount owed, council members were skeptical.

"Do we take whatever number they give us, or do we question it? They can tell how slow it was (the meter), at the time they tested it, but was it a gradual drop,or a one year drop?" said Armstrong.

Compared to years past, Rocky Mountain Power is implying that this years bill is about 25 percent lower.

"We need to do some more research," said council member Larry Ganser.

"It's not that we don't want to pay them, it's just that we have an obligation to the public to make sure it's right," said Armstrong.

The issue was tabled in order to gather more information to proceed.

The council was also made aware of a potential safety issue involving a 73 year old railway overpass bridge on Janet street in Helper.

"I've had complaints about the railroad underpass and called Union Pacific, and was referred to their Denver office," said Mascaro. "I don't know who owns it, but last week a big chunk of concrete fell off of it."

When Mascaro got into contact with Union Pacific, he said they were quite concerned, and he believes that the city will see some cooperation from them.

It is however still unclear who owns the bridge and as Marcaro said, "It could fail 100 years from now, or it could fail tomorrow."

The issue was also tabled for more research.

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