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Price alley to open for access

A curb cut and power pole guylines are just two adjustments to be made on the newly opened alley.

Sun Advocate reporter

An alley in Price previously landscaped for years by local residents will now be opened up for public access, according to Price City council members.

Sewer pipeline work in Price City brought up the question of whether the alley, located at 450 E. 600 N. in the Parkdale Townsite subdivision, was considered to be a public right of way. The area in front of the opening to the alley was previously landscaped with grass and bushes. In order for work to be done on the sewer line the grass and bushes were removed, leaving the area with a dirt road. A majority of the alleys in the city currently have gravel or dirt roads.

One main question that needed to be answered was whether or not to allow the residence located near the opening of the alley to landscape the area or to leave the alley way open.

The city explored different options to replace the sewer line including using the technique of pipe bursting so as not to disturb the area. The technique has been used by the city during the sewer line work throughout the summer, but the cost for using the pipe bursting technique would cost around $76,000, according to Russell Seeley, city engineer with Price City.

The replaced sewer main was in approximately two-thirds of the alley and was being replaced because it old, deteriorating and substandard. The sewer line was made from a clay tile pipe that was considered to be 80 years old, said Gary Sonntag, public works director with Price City.

For businesses like Rocky Mountain Power, Emery Telcom and the Price Utility Department, limited access to the alley has presented a problem for them, Seeley said. Because of the size of their vehicles, they are not able to maneuver around the area and if they enter the alley way from the South they must back up to get out from the way they came in. The access to the alley in the winter season causes more problems as well.

In 1914, the public town site was established and plans showed that the alley was considered to be a public right of way, Sonntag said.

"It's pretty clear that it (the alley) was intended for public use," Sonntag said.

The city has a few options from which they can choose from to fix the alley including surfacing the area with pavement, gravel, black top or installing a grid-like grass system. The least costly would be the gravel, Sonntag said.

Councilman Jeff Nielson questioned whether the city should spend money on the alley on a solution such as concrete when there may be a situation that requires having to dig it up in the future.

Also with the alley being considered a public right of way, a curb cut will need to be constructed for vehicles to enter the alley, Sonntag said. Another issue that will need to be addressed are the support wires that are connected from the poles into the ground. While it is more work that needs to be addressed, Councilman Richard Tatton said that he didn't think the wires would pose a problem because of a previous example in town where the situation was handled.

Because of the situation and the uniqueness of the alley, the city council was in agreement suggesting that the city should go in and help maintain the area.

One possible option to reduce the amount of rocks, dirt and dust from disturbing local residents include installing a barrier along the alley.

A motion was passed by the city council to consider the alley a public right of way and there would be a reasonable accommodation with the city and the residents in the area to come to a compromise on what will be done with the alley.

"This is a unique situation," Piccolo said. "There is room to negotiate between the city and local residents."

Within 30 days, residents in the area will be working with the city to come up with possible proposals and solutions that could be discussed and followed through on going forward.

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