While the issue wasn't exactly on the agenda of the East Carbon City Council on Tuesday evening, the subject of a potential land swap between the Bureau of Land Management, the State of Utah and Hunt Oil in the mountains above the town was one of the highlights of the evening.
"All I can say is that the trade would be a salvation for businesses that are here and those that may open," said Councilman Dave Maggio. "The county has spent a lot of money on advertising and promotion trying to get people to go up Nine Mile Canyon, but when they do they run into a dead end as far as looping past here. They either have to drive back the way they came or they drive to Myton. They can't get to us the way the road is now. But with that swap there would be a loop and they could go up Cottonwood Canyon and through our town."
The pending land swap includes land in the Desolation Canyon area, around the Cold Springs area and some property that had been a part of the Nutter Ranch. A road through the Cold Springs, connecting to Cottonwood Canyon would create the throughway that Maggio mentioned.
The discussion went on between the few people who were attending the meeting and council members about the situation. There were suggestions that if it happened the town might be able to do some advertising promoting the fact that the road would be a loop through East Carbon and that services are available.
The conversation also tied into the fact that the old Dragerton Department Store has been purchased and the man who bought it wants to put new businesses in the building. At the last council meeting (Sept. 14) he told the council that he intended to put in commercial ventures such as a pizzaria, possibly an Italian Restaurant, a bakery, a laundromat and an ATV shop, among other things.. All these things could add to the service base people who would take the road could use.
There was discussion about the ATV trail that some Wellington interests are trying to put together along the same route, which also could add to East Carbon economically. Mayor Dale Andrews said he has had some discussion with members of the Carbon County Transportation and Recreation Special Service District about helping with some of the costs for improving such a trail and that they seemed interested in supporting it.
The council also heard from Lewis Larson who has been examining an old service station that the city was given that they want to remodel into a new fire station.
"Structurally the building is in very good shape," he said as he described the supports and footers under it. "As a concrete contractor I believe that floor would be strong enough to support two fire trucks with water in them. There is a steel deck under the floor, which makes it very strong."
He also addressed the condition of the outside of the structure as well, saying that despite some stress points on the corners of the building, some anchor bolts with strapping and a concrete overlay would not only make the building very strong but would also add to it's looks as well.
"It is actually a fairly easy fix," he said.
The council asked him if he had come up with an estimate to repair the building and he told them he had not, but that he would do that soon so they could look at how to finance such work.
Andrews also pointed out that there is another possibility on the horizon for a fire truck garage with the city being awarded the old school district bus garage very soon.
"There will be five garages with solid concrete floors," he said. "These buildings need new metal roofs on them and a lot needs to be done with the yards surrounding them, but those are another possibility. With the possibility of consolidation (East Carbon and Sunnyside which will be decided Nov. 2) in the offing there are a lot of things that can be thrown in the mix."
The school district is building new garages for the buses used in the area near East Carbon High School.
Maggio also discussed a building the city owns that they recently rented to a business. He stated the building needs some repairs but he thought that the rent that is being paid for the facility will take care of most of what needs to be done. He also discussed the city's gun range which he is over in his position as councilman. He asked that citizens who use the range keep it clean and orderly.
"I just hope that people won't take their old appliances down there and shoot them up, " he said apparently referring to a practice that has been followed in the past.
The Mayor also said that work is progressing well on the city's water tank which is being revamped. He also said that a study that is being conducted on the sewer lagoons is progressing well, as the engineers the city hired continue to study the situation. The hopes are that a rebuild of the lagoons can take place in the Spring. The state awarded the town $19,000 for the study this past summer.
One of the last things discussed was the situation with youth in the community and the suicides that have taken place over the last couple of months.
"These kids grew up here," said Liz Ferguson. "Something needs to be done to heal this community."
She pointed out that a suicide prevention conference will take place at the Holiday Inn in Price on Oct. 7, but that there is also a program coming to the East Carbon/Sunny side area on Friday of this week. The workshop is called "Healing our children in crisis" and it will be held at the ABC Learning Center from 3-5 p.m. for teenagers and from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for the entire community."
In monetary matters the council approved $325 for educational materials for National Fire Prevention week as well as money to hire a company to crack seal roads in the city. They also approved the purchase of truckload of blacktop to fill in chuck holes and for some small projects on various roadways.