Ferron holds public hearing
During the recent Ferron City Council meeting, a public hearing was held to gather input from residents on whether the city should abandon two road segments. One segment is located at 290 West 300 North, and the other is located at 200 East Main Street.
Mayor Gil Bowden explained that in 1896, when early residents were considering a city master plan and designing the street layout, these two portions were in that plan. Over the past nearly 100 years, building and growth has continued around these two unimproved road segments and very few people are even aware of their existence.
City resident John Healy was the first to speak. "When we acquired this piece of property in Ferron, we were not aware that a road should be in it. It would be very costly to put a road through there, and if a road was built, our piece would be cut off. Our desire is to be able to use the piece."
Pat Behling said, "We had no idea that this piece of property did not belong to my mothers property. The garage has been there well over 75 years; we had no idea that it sat in the middle of a roadway. We have done a lot of upkeep on this piece of property, including stump removal, which is very costly. The piece in question is not large enough to build on and it would be better to abandon it so it can be included in another property owners parcel."
Roger Killpack added, "There is already some discrepancy about a fence along the roadway. Last year when the sidewalks went in, the city abandoned 30 feet."
Councilman Gordon Bennett stated, "Allowances have been made in the past that are altering placements and property lines now. There are many unanswered questions concerning actions in the past."
Eric Howes, who runs animals on the property in question said, "I want it to remain the same. There is not enough property involved to do anything with anyway. These changes sound good to me."
Dixie Swasey, county recorder, was on hand to answer questions. "We have no recorded ordinance stating ownership of these parcels. They belong to the city. As for payment for the properties, the city's attorney will need to be brought in."
Mayor Bowden informed the council of several comments he has received from residents prior to this public hearing. All of the comments were for the city to abandon the property and sell it to the adjacent property owners. The city does not hold deeds on these pieces, but it does own the rights of way.
After all comments were heard, the public hearing was closed and the council discussed the issue and approved to draw up an ordinance abandoning the street segments. The value of the property will be researched, a value will be set, and who will be responsible for the expenses incurred with this issue will be decided. An ordinance will be drawn up to include both road segments.
In other action at the council meeting, Ferron Elementary School Principal Brian Dawes expressed his appreciation of the Ferron Fire Department. "We recently had a fire at our school, and I want to take a minute to thank Randy Nielson and his fire department crew for the excellent job they did in extinguishing the fire. As for Ferron City, I want to applaud your decision to acquire the foam machine and equipment to fight fires. Due to the use of the foam machine, we had zero water damage during the fire. The foam worked great.
"There was a floor refinishing crew working in our school, and residue from the project was placed outside the building. Due to spontaneous combustion, the fire began. We were lucky to have a staff member who was in the playground with her grandchildren, and the report was made immediately. The Ferron Fire Department responded so quickly, administered the foam, and put out the fire, that our school evaded a major disaster.
"On behalf of the school, thank you. The right resources were available, the great crew was efficient, and I greatly appreciate the fire department. I met yesterday with the fire marshal and the risk management people, and everyone was very impressed with the Ferron Fire Department," said Dawes.
Bids were opened and Mike Riley Construction was awarded the bid for the sidewalk installation to be completed this season.