Green River reviews city projects and budget
|Zina Willard presents Bill Adams with his volunteer of the month award.|
During the May council meeting in Green River the council discussed an upcoming eagle scout project by Brennan Bigelow. He is proposing to put up a bulletin board outside the post office. The new bulletin board will be along the fence between the post office and the Chow Hound. The project was approved.
The volunteers of the month were honored. Zina Willard made the presentation. "They are the chairmen of the beautification committee. June and Bill help with the marketing of Green River. They are active with community fund raisers for church and the community center.
"Bill shares his magic tricks with the world. They follow through on what they commit to do. They have spent hours and hours working to restore the Bible Church for the 100 year celebration of Melon Days. We are happy to present Bill and June Adams the volunteer of the month award," said Willard.
The council approved the motion to allow the state to purchase the golf club house parking lot property from the city. The state parks is still working on funding to be able to add another nine holes to the Green River golf course.
Mayor Ed Bentley approached the council with policy changes for city employees. He is proposing a 3 percent cost of living adjustment. This increase is included in the budget figures. He also proposed that city employees accrue four hours of sick leave per pay period. He proposed a 50 cent per hour pay raise for city employees and $1 per hour for any employees with advanced certifications and degrees. "It shows the quality of a worker who receives certifications and they deserve a reward and enticement to stay at the job. We want to make the city more attractive for employees to stay." The mayor also said that on paid city holidays, one employee has to remain on call for the water plant. On these days he proposed they receive their holiday pay and eight hours for duties on that day. "The money for these raises is already there," said Mayor Bentley.
Councilman Dan Harrison asked that these raises be given at the same time each year. The former mayor gave any raises in November and it was determined since the budget year runs from July to July, the raises would come into effect then.
The 2005-06 budget was opened and some necessary adjustments were made. There is a shortage in the solid waste fund and monies from the general fund will be transferred to cover the shortfall.
Mayor Bentley read a letter outlining some plans for the city. He said plans are underway for a new emergency services building which will house the fire trucks and ambulances and provide storage. The money for the project will come from a partial grant and loan for $750,000.
Plans are also underway for improvements at the airport. This is a 10 percent match for the city and 90 percent from the aviation division of UDOT.
The tentative budget has been approved and a budget hearing will be held at the June city council meeting.
The city has several projects going including tourism, a drainage project, building improvements.
The question was raised whether water or sewer rates were going to go up to cover shortfalls, but it was determined not to raise any rates this year. Many Green River residents are on fixed incomes. The mayor said the museum is in need of volunteer help and anyone wishing to volunteer at the museum should call the museum or city hall.
The city made donations in the total of $5,000 for the MECCA bike club, special olympics, Green River High School and the cemetery fund.
Plans are underway for improvements to the old ball field behind the city park. This will provide more recreational opportunities for the youth of Green River. The field will also be used for soccer. Improvements are scheduled to be finished in time for the Melon Days softball tournament.
"I am thankful for the support of the citizens of the city. I maintain an open door policy and we are trying to make Green River a better place for the kids to live and stay and for our grandchildren. The budget will be open for view for a one month period. Then it will be discussed and approved. June 13 is the next city council meeting and the budget must be in place by June 22," said Mayor Bentley.
One citizen wondered if the water and sewer should be self-supporting. The mayor said in the future they will either need to raise rates or take money from other projects.
Councilman Trent Fluckey suggested they review the water and sewer rates each year. The mayor said he would like to postpone any rate increases as long as possible.
The possibility of a property tax was discussed and those present seemed to think a property tax would be a smaller impact on residents than increased water and sewer rates.
They also discussed the state's proposal to remove the sales tax. They said this would effect the state's portion of tax, but not city revenue. The mayor said they are trying to avoid a property tax increase if possible.
The council voted to reject the bids on the airport project and reopen the bidding.
Mayor Bentley commended Conae Black for her work on the budget.
The city opened the bids to maintain the heating and air conditioning for the city hall and museum.
In the council reports, Phillip Engleman said they are still working on upgrading the water lines.
Kerry Bigelow reported that state parks received some money for events at the state park and some for Melon Days.
Walt Maldonado reported they received $1,000 for signs for the shooting sports park.
The museum wishes to raise the admission fee at the museum and the daily use fees. The government agencies use the museum building for free but are encouraged to donate to the museum.
Connie Copenhauver reported they would provide free advertising to the museum gift shop in the Green River Currents newsletter. She suggested one clearance item on sale each month.
The softball tournament has been contracted out to recruit teams and register them. Everyone was encouraged to tell their families about the tournament and register early to secure a spot. All three ball diamonds will be in use during the tournament. The Melon Days committee also wants to include fireworks this year to mark the 100th celebration of Melon Days. They are also planning a watermelon catapult contest.
Copenhauver reported they have made changes in the curb and gutter ordinances.
Commissioner Gary Kofford met with the mayor and showed the plans for the senior citizens center. The proposed plan doesn't meet Green River's requirement for parking. They are now discussing a trade for property by the high school. The city would like to keep the old senior citizens building and possibly use it for an archives or a museum.
Work is also being done on a home business ordinance.
Joni Pace reported on the two ads appearing in the Inside/Outside magazine. The ads will advertise Melon Days and Green River.
The Americorpsteam recently left Green River. They were involved with substitute teaching and their work with the second graders really paid off as they scored 90 percent on their testing.
Five teams of Outward Bound West will be doing projects from June 5 through August. These groups include approximately 30 people who will work for four-five hours on a specific project.