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Helper officials field inquiry, consider outlining rules for sexually oriented businesses

Sun Advocate reporter

A Helper City Council budget work meeting last Thursday also turned into a discussion about an inquiry from a potential businessman about setting up a sexually oriented business in the community.

"This is something that we have had an inquiry about," indicated Mayor Joe Bonacci. "We can't turn them down, but we do need an ordinance that spells out the specifics."

City attorney Gene Strate explained that the Helper will need an ordinance that does at least two things.

First, an ordinance must be specific on what services may be provided or what a business can do legally within the city limits.

"For instance, the West Valley City ordinance allows for various businesses from escort services to adult stores," pointed out Strate.

Second, an ordinance should spell out exactly where sexually oriented businesses can be located.

"I think part of this is that the zoning commission needs to come up with a zone where these kinds of businesses can be placed," said Councilman Chuck Buchanan. "I'm not sure we'd want them right downtown."

But Councilman Bob Welch indicated that the businesses shouldn't be pushed "out into residential areas" in the city.

Discussion ensued about moral issues and the image of the town.

As the council talked about the matter, the officials decided the best way to control the situation without getting into legal problems would be to have Strate draft an ordinance for the city's consideration.

"It was just an inquiry and that type of business may never transpire here," said the mayor. "But we ought to be prepared in case it does come up."

Another issue that arose for discussion during the meeting was the possibility of coming up with a secondary water system for all west side Helper residents that would be connected to the proposed Bryner-Ploutz pressurization project.

"There's a lot of interest in getting a system similar to what Wellington did a few years ago on that side of Helper," noted the mayor. "If it is something we want to get into, it should be done while construction is going on on the approved system."

Bonacci explained that all west Helper residents could access the system without owning water shares if officials decide to commit some of the city's shares to the project.

"Under that scenario, it ought to be available to everyone for a small monthly fee," said the mayor.

But Bonacci also explained that no one at the city level is sure about proceeding with the project until Helper officials can get professional advice regarding the matter.

Buchanan indicated that the city's shares could be in jeopardy because the water has not been used for a long time.

Another potential concern emerging from the discussion was that a water system funded by the federal government is for agriculture, primarily to control salinity in the Colorado River Basin.

Watering lawns and bushes does generally not contribute to salinity problems so the situation involving a secondary system could be problematic.

However, the majority of the Helper council members appeared to feel that the situation was not much of an issue.

"The system is not even designed yet," stated Councilman Tony Gonzales. "The best thing to do is to get the shares in place, meet with the ditch company and see if we can put the citizens on it. It would be much cheaper to do now than it would be later."

But of course the cost of putting a secondary system to all the citizens of West Helper would be much more expensive than just putting it to those who presently own water shares. That means someone would have to pay for the installation of laterals.

"The cost of those improvements for property owners would be paid for by those people," the Mayor explained to the council. "We would supply the shares at low cost."

Based on information at the meeting, Helper City owns shares of water in the Carbon Canal, the Price Canal, the Stol Ditch, the Spring Glen Canal and the Oberto Ditch companies.

Strate said he would look into some of the legalities on the situation and report back to the council at a future meeting.

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