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1958: PRWID debated, broadcast TV irks cable firms

While chains like Woolworths were moving into the area, the Price Trading Company, one of the oldest businesses in Carbon County was still going strong in 1958. The store sold just about everything in its heyday.

Sun Advocate publisher

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of articles about the history of the Sun Advocate and the county it covers as a newspaper. These articles are being prepared in commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the newspaper's birth in 1891.>

The beginning of 1958 saw the first mention of the idea of having a consolidated water district for municipalities within the county and the area as a whole.

A report by an engineering consulting firm stated that the "need for an over-all authority to govern the municipal and industrial water supply and distribution problems of the Price River valley" was needed and to that end the "creation of a special improvement district that would provide the central power required to construct and operate water treatment plants" and that would "supply and distribute water to the several municipalities and industries located in the area.

Later that year (in September) the first steps were taken to create such a district by the Carbon County Commission by passing a resolution to create the Price River Special Water Improvement District. In late November, as the idea became more and more controversial the county commission decided to study the idea further, which delayed any action on it into at least 1959.

In late January four men were killed in the Spring Canyon Coal Company mine when a bounce and then an explosion rocked the mine. Killed in the disaster were William Daniels, Dean Nielsen, Cecilio Garcia and Keith Anderson.

The building boom of 1957 started to show results in early 1958 as the new Price City Library was dedicated. It was a project that actually began in 1946 when voters approved bonds to build the building and by 1956 the city was ready to move on the plans. The library opened for regular business on Feb. 24.

In March, Price welcomed a new chain store to the town in the form of the F.W. Woolworth Company. The 12,000 square foot retail enterprise opened on the corner of 100 East and Main Street (where the Southeastern Utah Health Department is now housed).

In those days, this was a version of a big box store, being part of a chain that had stores all over the country. The store would make the news two months later when a car driven by a Spring Glen man jumped the curb when the brakes failed and the vehicle plowed through the new building's front door, breaking the doors and slightly bending fenders on the car.

In 1958 television was becoming more prevalent across the country and the first color sets were being introduced locally. Carbon County commissioners decided to erect a translator station to send signals from the Salt Lake stations to the county. However private concerns in the area that wanted to profit from such transmissions said that the equipment being installed did not meet the requirements of such an arrangement that had been set forth by the federal government. The fight over television and radio translators in the area goes on to this day. In August a number of private concerns including Price Community TV and Helper Community TV filed a motion for a restraining order against the county from setting up a broadcast system in that service was already being supplied to many residents through a cable system.

In December the Price City Council passed a resolution asking that Carbon College become a branch of the University of Utah. The thought was since Carbon County was a principal mining area in the state the school would be ideal as a school of mines for the state.

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