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Price city reviews tree trimming policy

Sun Advocate writer

On July 22 the Price city council met to discuss the possibility of giving prior notice to citizens who have trees that need to be trimmed for utility or safety purposes. The issue has been brought forth during previous meetings, however no resolution was made.

One of the problems that councilmember Kathy Smith described was the lack of aesthetic detail that is utilized when the city trims trees. Smith who requested the clarification, would like the city to give prior notice to residents who own trees that need to be trimmed. However city street supervisor Scott Olsen, who was present found errors with the idea of prior notice because it puts the city in a liable position if an accident were to occur.

"We only trim trees based on safety issues like obstructed stop signs or lights," said Olsen during the meeting.

The city only trims private trees for two reasons, safety issues and electrical ones. And while the city streets department takes care of the safety obstructions, the power company typically handles electrical lines as they are trained to do so. But after a lengthy discussion, the council decided that notice should be given when possible, but that the public's education on the issues is more important.

"People need to be aware of what their trees are doing. Citizens should take care of as much as they can." said councilmember Jeanne McEvoy.

A motion was passed to further educate the city streets about cutting trees as well as a more informative public education campaign.

"We need to educate our citizens about their responsibilities," said mayor Joe Piccolo.

Utilities were also a part of the agenda, as the city's sewer cleaning project from last year has been paid for with $19,852.65 going to Twin D Environmental Services. However an additional $1,400 was added to accommodate for living expense increases. The additional $1,400 was still below the next lowest bid for the job. For the coming year's sewer cleaning project, the council moved to open the project to bid again as it's costs have changed.

Out of town county projects including the Children's Justice Center Senior Citizens Center and the Carbon County Sheriff's Office are in need of fiber optic cable for internet access. The council agreed to support the county by sharing it's lines through a cost sharing agreement. For the lines to reach the new facilities, the county will finance a new electrical pole to reach them.

"Happy wiring," said Piccolo to Barry Horsley from Carbon County.

Other communication issues that were brought forth included Emery Telcom's proposal to improve it's infrastructure, and while the council has yet to make a decision Emery Telcom would like a longer commitment from the city.

"It's difficult to justify spending millions of dollars for a project with just a five year guarantee." said Emery Telcom's representative Jared Anderson, who would like to see the city commit to a 15 year agreement, or one that is divided into five year renewals. The issue was tabled until August 12, so councilmembers could read over the proposal and decided.

Finally the council looked into the issue of the Price City Auditorium, as the facility has fallen into disrepair. According to Smith the auditorium is in need of better lighting as well as a thorough cleaning, but as many other problems exist, it was unclear what should be done first.

Last year the city budgeted $30,000 for an assessment of the auditorium, and while it was spend on a heating and air conditioning system, the facility is still in need of other repairs.

"We need the right order of repairs and to do this, we need a good assessment," concluded Piccolo.

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