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Representatives from municipal departments report status of city functions to Helper council

Staff reporter

Reports on various city functions followed the regular agenda at the Helper City Council meeting last Thursday night.

Reports from various department members included everything from allowing children on ATVs in Castle Gate subdivision ride on the roads to the status of money requests the city made to the restaurant tax committee last week.

Police Chief George Zamantakis brought up the fact that his department is once again receiving complaints from residents of the Castle Gate subdivision that kids are riding ATV's and motorcycles up and down the streets in that area to reach some dirt trails they ride on.

"In the past we came to a peaceful coexistence with the kids on this," he told the council. "We told the kids that if they ride very slow and to the right of the road to get to the trails we won't bother them. But we will go after them if they are riding fast and causing hazards or a lot of noise."

Zamantakis also stated that his department will watch for those that are using the machines to go from place to place in the subdivision rather than just to the trails.

"We don't want them using the machines as transportation around the subdivision or to go to their friends houses," he told the council.

Gene Strate, the city attorney, brought the issue of a letter the city had received from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) about changes they are permitting in building in flood zones.

"It used to be they did not allow any crawl spaces under new construction, because of the problems those cause during floods," he told the council. "But they have changed that and are allowing two foot spaces now. They have left it up to each individual city to decide whether they will allow the changes."

The humor of the situation did not pass the council by since everyone had just discussed how little water there would be this year, but just the same, the city decided to leave the building restrictions in the flood zone (along the river area) the same.

Councilman Tony Gonzales reported that a number of projects in town are being worked on.

First the city is about finished replacing the left field fence at the little league baseball park.

"I'd also like permission to pull those old wooden bleachers out of there," he said. "I think they are dangerous. They need to be pulled out of there before someone gets hurt. We can replace them later."

He also reported that the city was getting ready to pave the rest of Orchard Street where it was recently torn up.

"We also have a problem with the bridge over Spring Canyon Wash," he told the group. "It is in bad shape. But we have solved the problem. Plateau Mining has agreed to donate some poles as new supports and Utah Power and Light has agreed to move the poles to the site for us."

Gonzales also brought up the fact that the Helper is looking for a motorbroom for city streets. He stated there is plenty of money for the purchase.

The problem of a torn up sidewalk also came up. Apparently the city tore out some curb and gutter a couple of years ago to replace a leaking water line, but that section of improvements have not been replaced.

"We had a very hard time finding a cement contractor that would do such a job last summer," said Gary Harwood of public works. "They seemed to be in short supply. But I think I have found someone who will do it this year and also do another project that needs to be done as well."

Gonzales also stated that the city will be probably purchasing more jersey barriers from the Olympics for use around town.

"We may need some when the new interchange is put in, particularly down by where the new fishing pond is going in," he said.

That pond is presently under construction by the Division of Wildlife Resources and is planned to open on May 24.

Gonzales also asked for ideas from the council on doing some maintenance work on the benches and tables along the Helper Parkway.

"They are in pretty bad shape, in need of paint," he said.

Suggestions included contacting the junior high for a service project team or even United Way.

He also brought up the fact hat the property around Helper Park does not belong to Helper but to the railroad.

"I am going to see what we need to do to secure that property," said Gonzales. "Presently we are taking care of it, keeping the weeds down and cleaning up the trash."

Councilman Robert Welch reported that Joy Technologies has offered to paint all the machinery at the outdoor museum the proper colors in the next couple of week.

"They are sending out their painter and 110 gallons of paint to do the job," he said. "I just want to be sure there are no weeds around the machines."

Councilman Kirk Mascaro reported that the library board is looking for members and he will be searching for interested people.

A discussion regarding long individuals can serve on the board ensued and Kirk said he will have Debbie Peterson, the city librarian look into that.

Mayor Joe Bonacci also had a number of issues he wanted to address.

First he told the commission that he has finally been able to find enough community members to serve on the planning and zoning commission for the city.

The people involved will be Chuck Buchanan, Charlie Jones, Gene Carlson and Tom Paluso. Tony Gonzales will be the council member that will act as the liaison to the group.

The mayor also informed the council members about a recent meeting with the restaurant tax committee.

He told the council that the committee had turned down the cities request for money to help run the Helper Arts Festival.

"They turned us down," said Bonacci, "If we can't find the money the festival will probably not be held this year."

He did, however, indicate that the city would be approaching the county commission to see what Carbon lawmakers could do to help.

The city did, however, receive $26000 from the committee to help cover the costs of improvements on the Helper American Legion Field.

The money in question came through the hard work of Jeff Jewkes and Jeff Cisneros, who manage the Helper American Legion Team, according to the mayor.

"I am very appreciative of those young men and the work they do to get money for that field," said Bonacci.

He also pointed out to the council that money requested for restrooms at the new fishing pond had also been turned down by the committee members.

The reason identified by the restaurant committee for refusing the city's funding focused on the fact the improvements were to be completed on private property rather than on public land.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is leasing the site of the fishing pond from private property owner Ross Gigliotti.

The money coming from various grants and other sources brought up another point of discussion during last week's public gathering at the Helper City Hall.

"I really appreciate all the people who work to bring money to the city," stated Bonnaci. "And I want to in no way discourage those who do it.'

"However, when money is requested by grant or otherwise in the name of Helper, the city needs to know about it for both planning and proper purchasing practices," indicated the mayor.

The meeting concluded with the council members discussing all the funding options available to the city. The officials also discussed how the Helper council and mayor could maintain better contact with the individuals who are working to promote the well-being of the city and local citizens.

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