Last week, on Jan. 13, Price City Council passed several measures and awarded thousands of dollars to various causes across the county. The group that received the highest amount was the effort to bring the Boys and Girls Club to Carbon County. This organization received around $15,000, pending that they meet stipulations set by the council.
"This is going to work. I know it is," said Councilwoman Jeanne McEvoy. "I would like to see the stipulations met and award them the $15,000."
In order for the club to be awarded the money, it must first provide a list of other funding sources as well as prove that it has formed a board of directors. The organization is also required to update the city on a periodic basis. Before the council agreed to the funding, the group made it known that they had around $4,100 in the bank, use of Mont Harmon Jr. High's facilities and a promised donation from East Carbon City ($300). The organization is still short the $20,000 it needs to hire an executive director.
"I perceive that you want Price City to put our neck on the chopping block for you," said Mayor Joe Piccolo, during the funding request. "But, remember, this is a one - time shot. This money was given to Price City as a one time benefit to the community."
The money was originally granted to the city under the Utah Fast Pass program in two installments; $12,500 in 2006 and another $5,000 in 2007, according to city accountant, Pat Larsen. With only $15,000 being given disbursed, $2,500 remains.
Aside from the stipulations, a few questions remain about the longevity and sustainability of the program. As a group, the Boys and Girls Club has approached most of the Carbon County city councils and the county commission asking for support in terms of cash donations. They were turned down by the county due to the fact that such donations must be budgeted.
In Helper and Wellington, the action received vocal support and the club was offered in-kind donations.
All of the Price City Council supported the action except Councilman Richard Tatton.
"With some of the information, I didn't have a good understanding on how concrete those figures were. I question the longevity of the program," he said, adding however that he supports the club's intentions.
In other business, the council accepted and approved an audit report from accounting firm Smuin, Rich and Marsing (SRM), which approved of the city's accounting practices and gave a favorable, unqualified opinion. Although the report was one of the longest the city has ever received, it was also one of the least expensive, coming in at $11,200 as compared with 2007's $13,500. While the report was completed by the company, the city has been able to save money preparing it, because its employees have been able to prepare many of the statements in-house.
"They (SRM) come in and verify that the statements are correct with certain procedures involving random samples of payables and standard accounting practices," said Lisa Richens, former Price city finance director who used to work for SRM and helped prepare the audit.
As far as a city water line replacement involving the division of drinking water, the council has received a total of 17 bidders since Jan.11. Although the bids came from all areas of the state, a low bid of $938,000 was received from Terry R. Brotherson Excavating, Inc., of Mt. Pleasant. Around $1.3 million was budgeted for the project. Although the bidding was competitive, the Mayor Joe Piccolo made it clear that he wanted to make sure that the city would select a reliable contractor.
"When times are tough, bids get cut real thin, but we want to get someone who can finish the job," said the mayor.
The council also unanimously approved an 11- item consent agenda. Items on the agenda which concerned expenditures included: filter room light for the water treatment plant $3,053 budgeted, a release of $7,200 to the Green Team to purchase two 5x8 trailers to help recycle paper and aluminum which will likely be placed at Sutherlands, payments for 100 E. road construction totaling $82,193 and payments for a Homestead Blvd. loop drainage project totaling $20,680.
As a final announcement, the mayor made it known that he will notify the city department heads to ask them to make a 6 percent cut in their expenditures.
"At this point, I'm asking the departments to voluntarily make some cuts because the city is experiencing some lower revenues," concluded Piccolo.