Huntington City discusses beautification projects
A concerned citizen was at the recent Huntington City Council meeting to get answers to his questions concerning several unsightly lots in town. His concern is for three abandoned homes on Main Street that are in need of cleaning up. He said he has tried to contact one owner who is out of state and has had no luck. "What can I do as a resident of Huntington to bring about change and get those lots cleaned up?" he asked. "Not only are they unsightly, but there is also a safety issue here."
Mayor Jackie Wilson stated that the process is to sign a complaint with the city and the city will pursue the avenues available to it. At the present time, a question has arisen concerning the city's ordinance enforcement officers and their ability to issue citations. The ordinances have been sent to the city attorney and an answer is forthcoming. Wilson promised to address the resident's issues with the three lots as soon as the attorney has responded. In the event that the attorney finds that the city's officers cannot issue citations, the sheriff's office will be notified of the violations and it will be handled from there by the sheriff's office deputies.
A business license was issued to a new resident in Huntington. The business is a distributor for handicapped accessibility equipment, and will be home based. The council approved the business license and welcomed the residents to Huntington.
Jimie Dawn Jones presented the election results to the council with the new totals having counted the provisional ballots. The total number of voters in Huntington was 566. The council reviewed the totals and accepted the canvass of the election.
Mayor Wilson instructed the council about purchasing policy procedures. Huntington's purchasing policy requires that an estimate form be complete and filed before any and all purchases by a councilmember. It appears that the council and the mayor have been approached by residents concerning purchases by councilmembers. "It is not a question of integrity, but that we are legally in line with our purchasing policy," said Councilman Bob Mills.
Following a discussion about the purchasing policy and several purchases made in the past, along with several to be made in the near future, the Huntington City purchasing policy was clarified for the council. Any purchase up to $250 can be made without prior notification. Purchases totaling $250-$500 must have three verbal quotes before that purchase can be made. Those purchases which total from $500-$8,000 must have three written quotes before approval. Any purchase more than $8,000 must follow the bid procedure which calls for advertisement in the newspaper and acceptance of a bid.
"Contrary to many of the accusations, business owners do not get elected to further their private agendas. They are serving the community like those others who are officers. We are not allowed to vote on or sign anything regarding our private business, and everything is approved by the council. I do agree that wherever possible, Huntington businesses should be supported by the city in the manner of purchases and services," said Councilman Mark Justice.
Mayor Wilson reminded the council that the auditors who complete the city audits are getting more strict, and are looking for any indication of anything out of line. She reminded the council to follow the city policies faithfully.
Councilperson Hilary Gordon, who presides over the beautification committee informed the council of a project that she would like to have considered. There are funds remaining in the beautification budget to begin the process for this project. The project consists of installing artwork in the form of metal cut-out sculptures around the city, beginning with city hall. A resident of Huntington is willing to donate the labor for this project, and the city will pay only for materials. Councilperson Gordon also requested permission for this person to install lights on two of the Welcome to Huntington signs. The lights will be powered with solar panels. The council approved the concepts, and will proceed with the investigation of the city ordinances and contact UDOT for their regulations concerning installation of the artwork and lights.
Councilman Norm Dingman stated that Sydney Fonnesbeck and Meg Ryan have visited and reviewed Huntington's ordinances and general land use plan. The state reviewers have suggested some modifications and updating to several of the city's ordinances and general plan. He will be working on this project with the planning and zoning committee, and requested any input from the council.
Councilperson Julie Jones announced the youth city council will again be hosting a Santa and gift party at the elementary school. This will be held Dec. 16. She also stated that sealer has been ordered for the replacement headstones at the cemetery. As the weather permits, the work will be completed.
The next Huntington City Council meeting will be held Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m.