Huntington City discusses safety and the school
|Parking around the school is a problem before and after school.|
The safety of students attending Huntington Elementary has been an ongoing concern for several years. Huntington City Council met on March 16 in a public hearing to discuss safety issues.
This public hearing was for the purpose of gathering input related to installing a parking lot area at 40 North 45 East Center, where the old maintenance shop building is located presently. The idea behind this proposal is to provide parking for faculty and staff at Huntington Elementary, and alleviate the parking and traffic congestion that is currently being felt on 100 North.
Huntington Elementary Principal Tom Baltzer stated that a major concern is the congestion in front of the school and surrounding the post office. Many near-miss accidents have happened during peak hours when parents are dropping off or picking up students. The designated drop off/pick up area is on 100 East, and many parents do not use the designated zone.
Emery County School Superintendent Kirk Sitterud stated that he appreciates Huntington City's eagerness to solve the problems surrounding the congestion. The district has studied the proposals outlined by Huntington, and the district is also investigating other possibilities, including a faculty and staff parking lot to the east of the school.
Marie Guymon Johnson stated that the area where the old maintenance shop is located will hold approximately 20 cars, and the number of cars that are parking on 100 North is twice that number. It was her opinion that the area in question is not large enough to accommodate faculty and staff parking.
Supt. Sitterud suggested forming a committee composed of Huntington City and school district personnel whose duties would be to do a hands-on study of the locations and compose a list of all possibilities. When more final proposals are reached, the findings can be brought before the council at the council meeting in April. It is Sitterud's hope that solutions will be found and be implemented before school starts in the fall. "We are more concerned with solving this problem than ever before. It has been a problem for many years and we want to solve this now," said Sitterud.
The second agenda item of the public hearing was for comments on a proposed amendment to Chapter 4 of the zoning ordinance related to mobile and manufactured homes within Huntington City. Councilman Norm Dingman explained that the current ordinance contains some vague and confusing language and this ordinance will clarify those issues.
Councilman Dingman also explained several updates proposed to be entered into the ordinance. Councilman Bob Mills raised the question of moving buildings and pointed out that the proposal contains some unclear wording. Mayor Wilson said the city's lawyer will review and clarify any questions.
One resident on hand for the public hearing stated his agreement with the portion of the ordinance concerning pre-1976 mobile homes. He stated that mobile homes constructed prior to 1976 do not meet fire or safety codes, and it is his opinion that the city is doing the right thing to eliminate those mobile homes.
The other public hearing was to gather comments from residents concerning the projects to be completed with funds from the Community Development Block Grant.
Councilperson Julie Jones stated that the equipment list that was on the initial grant application was a water fountain, eight tables, three trash receptacles, two bike racks, and several games such as volleyball and tetherball. These items may be changed in the final application depending on the comments from this public hearing. Jones said that landscaping and fencing will not be obtained from the CDBG funds in this round.
One comment from a resident was that the tables seemed to be expensive, but that they were very well made and would last many years. Mayor Jackie Wilson stated that the tables are similar to the ones at Little Bear Campground. With no additional public comment the public hearing was closed.