East Carbon-Sunnyside City Council Members Nola Porter and David Maggio listen as Mayor Doug Parsons reads a letter concerning the new town's name. The council votes 7-4 to keep the EC-SS City name.
East Carbon-Sunnyside Council members (from left) Bruce Andrews, Barbara Robinett, Mayor Doug Parsons, Phil Holt, Nola Porter, David Maggio, Larry Wood and Froy Garcia hear from the town's residents.
Like a spouse who can't quite decide to drop his or her birth name, East Carbon and Sunnyside have decided to hyphenate. By a council vote of 7-4 the city's official name will remain East Carbon-Sunnyside City. For now.
The East Carbon-Sunnyside title was assigned to the newly-formed city as a place holder, for lack of a better term, when the residents of each city voted to merge the towns in November 2013. Since that time, the council and residents alike have debated a multitude of possible titles. While those from the former town of Sunnyside voiced a liking for that name, those who live in what used to be East Carbon seemed to favor a change back to Dragerton.
East Carbon was called Dragerton until the mid-1970s. Many residents who spoke during Tuesday's council session said that if the name didn't remain East Carbon-Sunnyside, a completely new town name needed to be developed in order to start fresh.
City council member David Maggio, propositioned that the area be known as East Carbon and that it contain the three subdivisions of Dragerton, Sunnyside and Columbia. New names proposed for the city included Bruin Point City, Cedar Valley, Bookcliff Valley along with many others. While the list of names was not lacking, a majority in the room stated that any change would create an undue expense for the city and a burden for its residents.
"I have never really liked the name East Carbon," said newly appointed council member Larry Wood. "But when you're in the position we are in I feel you have to do what is best for the community and not follow what is on your personal agenda. When I look at what the residents of this area are going to have to go through and do, I think we need to do a little research and see just how this is going to affect people."
Mayor Doug Parsons led the discussion and answered several citizens who had asked that the town's voters be allowed to choose the name.
"I follow Facebook," said Mayor Parsons. "And the reason I feel the citizens don't get to vote is that there is a partiality of three to one between the resident of Dragerton (East Carbon) and the residents of Sunnyside."
The council questioned whether there would be any changes concerning global positioning and if shipping would change. They came to the consensus that those in charge of global systems would have to make their own changes and that all shipping was directed by postal zip code. The council also said that because the two zip codes assigned to the area would not be changing, mail should not be an issue, regardless of the name change.
While many comments were taken during the session, the only piece of correspondence came from resident Karen Andrews, who voiced a strong want for the name Sunnyside on behalf of what she called "the voice of this community."
"We feel the attorney should not have a voice in the name of the town," said a portion of the letter. "We feel the name East Carbon has no history as the name Sunnyside does. Whenever that name is mentioned everyone has a bad taste in their mouth because of the shame that has been brought to the city."
Andrew's comments drew the ire of former East Carbon residents who asked the mayor for more information concerning the shame.
"I'd like a little further explanation on the shame that has been brought onto Sunnyside by the East Carbon residents?" asked former East Carbon citizen Joyce Ellis. "I have lived here for 60 years and I haven't shamed anybody."
As discussion continued, a gap continued to be wedged between those with opposing views. Seeing this, the council began making motions and voting.
The name Sunnyside was defeated by a 3-8 margin. Bruin Point City was defeated 2-9, before East Carbon-Sunnyside was motioned for and was passed.
It is still unclear just how the change in name will effect town residents or the city, the number of situations were town title could come into play for an individual are nearly infinite.
"You don't realize all the little things that have to be changed. And those little things can be quite important," said city recorder Liz Holt. "
While those in attendance applauded the council's decision to hyphenate the town name, not everyone is happy. A petition has been started to change the city's title on Facebook at East Carbon Daily News.
Mayor Doug Parsons also reported the possibility of a change.
"I'm fairly certain this issue is not over," he said Wednesday. "This issue will be brought before the council again."
Water rate adjustment
In a unanimous vote, the council voted Tuesday night to change resident water rates across the board.
For those who resided in the former city of East Carbon the change to a uniform $65 utility rate means a monthly increase of nearly $11 as the rate was increased from $54.10. Adversely, former Sunnyside citizens will see a cost savings, seeing their rate drop from $79.60. The $65 rate for residents includes 8,000 gallons of water along with their sewer fees and garbage collection. East Carbon residents were only allowed 6,000 gallons per month at the base rate prior to Tuesday's change in the rate structure.
The change in rate will mean a net gain for the city's coffers as the former East Carbon accounts for 1,300 of the new town's residents and 736 active hookups. Taking into consideration the net loss in revenue from Sunnyside's 150 hookups, the total gain in revenue will amount to approximately $5,800 per month. This increase, was questioned by some in attendance at Tuesday's meeting.
"How much of the increase I am going to see will go into the town's slush fund?" asked resident Marcus Palacios.
According to the council, $2 from every bill will be moved into a fund which will be saved for emergencies or costs associated with repairing utilities. Mayor Doug Parsons reported that the Utah Permanent Community Impact Board requires cities to have such a fund and to keep a certain amount of revenue in it. He also stated that the city was required to keep one bond payment in advance in their accounts, a matter the raise in utility rates should account for.