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East Carbon discusses applying for contaminated soil cleanup funding

Sun Advocate reporter

The East Carbon City Council met Tuesday night. The regularly scheduled meeting was sparsely attended and there were no petitions, concerns or communications to the council from the citizenry.

The agenda went directly to council member reports.

Councilwoman Joyce Caviness reported that she is working on a grant to try to gain outside funds to help clean up oil contaminated soil around the old Rasmussen building.

She explained that there is government money available for such cleanup projects and the technical term is a "brown field" grant.

The Rasmussen building was once a garage and service station that the city plans to renovate and use for city purposes.

Caviness said the grant application process is in the early stages and she will keep the council updated on the progress.

Councilwoman Darlene Kunz talked about losing people at the fire department due to job cuts at the ECDC landfill.

She recommended that the city write a formal letter to the people to extend the city's appreciation for their service to the fire department.

The council passed a resolution to write the letter of thanks.

Councilman Dave Maggio mentioned that a Utah tax reform session was in progress in Price while the East Carbon officials were metting.

Maggio said he wished the state people had offered the cities in the local area a chance to comment on the time and date of the scheduled tax reform meeting. The council would have liked to have a representative at the meeting.

Maggio also talked about a need to relocate a dog kennel in the East Carbon area.

He said a local dog owner had been granted a business license and a kennel permit for keeping hunting dogs, but the council was receiving complaints about barking dogs.

Maggio explained that the dog owner kept a clean kennel and it had been located far away from any residences, but the barking dogs were still causing a disturbance.

Maggio suggested that the city lease the dog owner a piece of ground at the city industrial park so the kennel could be located farther from town.

Councilmembers were generally in favor of the idea and the mayor said the kennel owner should draft a proposal for presentation at the next city council meeting.

City secretary Liz Marquez said that the issue was already on the agenda for the next meeting.

Councilman Joe Manley then gave a report on a recent carbon county recreation meeting he had attended. He told the council that county soccer and football programs had recently ended for the year. He said that East Carbon youth represented 7% of those participating in the programs. East Carbon had 11 young people participating in soccer and 16 in the football program. The county basketball and wrestling programs will begin in December.

He also said that the county was going to ask each city for an increase of 10% in fees to fund next years recreation budget.

Manley then reported that the city is going to propose to the carbon school district that the gymnasium at the recently closed high school be opened for community use at least one night each week. Council members then discussed possible issues concerning security, chaperoning, heat, lights, water, and toilet facilities.

Mayor Andrews then read a letter he had received from the state of Utah and the federal rural development agency. He said that monies are being made available to certain low income people who own single family homes. The money is to help with certain renovation and remodeling project that have to do with safety and health issues. The money is only for those too poor to pay for the work themselves and who are unable to borrow money through normal channels.

The mayor said that a copy of the letter would be posted on the bulletin board at the city hall.

The mayor then talked about a community development block grant the city is applying for to renovate the old Rasmussen property. He said that a structural engineer had studied the site and reported that because of inadequate flooring, the building was unsuitable for use as a fire station. The engineer's estimate was that a new building could be built cheaper than remodeling the old building.

There followed a discussion about the need for a new fire station and the prohibitive cost of constructing a new building.

The council finally settled on a proposal to move the city maintenance department to the Rasmussen building give the current maintenance building to the fire department. The issue of steel reinforced concrete flooring would not be an issue for the maintenance crew because they do not park heavy trucks inside the building.

It was resolved that the city will have the structural engineer do a re-evaluation of both buildings to check on the suitability of switching buildings between departments.

The question then became whether or not the community development grant could be adapted to suit the change in plans. The mayor said things would have to move fast because the deadline for application is mid-November. The council resolved to do all they can to get the grant accepted on those terms.

The mayor also reported that a dam safety study was being conducted by MSHA because of longwall mining activity near the city water reservoir. He said that the study had determined that the city water mains were leaking near the dam site. Portions of the sixteen-inch waterline was dug up and installed with three wrap-around patches. New concrete abutments will be poured this week, he said.

The mayor said he was consulting with the rural water board about the possibility of applying an outer sleeve or an inner liner to the fifty-year-old main to prevent further leaks and deterioration.

Councilman Maggio then made a motion that the city authorize whatever work is needed to repair the line. The resolution passed unanimously.

The mayor then talked about a meeting with Utah State Treasurer, Ed Alder, in regard to repayment of bonds and loans owed by the city. He explained that because of cutbacks at ECDC, the city had an unexpected revenue shortfall this year of $500,000. He said that payment plans are being revised and worked out to accommodate the city. He quoted Mr. Alder as having said, "We have never had a city go bankrupt, and we won't let you be the first."

Mayor Andrews will meet with the state people again in early December to work out the final agreements.

It was also reported that Nielson Construction will begin work on the city sewer lagoon again as early as Friday. The date depends on the contractor finishing another job in Price canyon.

Before adjourning, the council passed a resolution to cancel the next city council meeting because it was scheduled for Election Day, November 8th. The next city council meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 22.

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