Huntington Council Discusses Abandoned Buildings During Meeting
The Huntington City Council met in their regularly scheduled meeting on June 19 at 6:30 p.m. Mayor Jackie Wilson and council members Paul Cowley, Hilary Gordon and Mark Justice were present.
The first item discussed was the Gibb property which includes two buildings on Main Street. Garth Childs was on hand to give the report on the asbestos testing which had taken place recently. He explained the terminology for a homogeneous area. He said a certain amount of samples are taken from each area to be tested. He explained the vinyl tile in the entry way to the old house was found to contain asbestos. Also in the apartment above the old restaurant there is a problem with the spray on ceilings and walls. To dispose of the spray on properly it will need to be contained and removed with a containment operation which includes a clean room and showers for workers plus a double thickness of protective clothing and head protective gear. Air samples would also need to be taken during the cleanup.
It was noted that personal property owners are not regulated and can tear down and dispose of their own buildings. If a contractor is to do the job then they fall under the agency provisions and full asbestos removal would need to take place. Mayor Wilson said they have contacted two different contractors but were not able to get a definite quote yet because each room will need to be measured as the companies charge by the foot for the cleanup work. They will also get a quote from Nielson's Construction for the demolition of the buildings.
It was pointed out if the city obtains the property that when they sell the property it will need to be put out for a bid. A property owner in the area, Percy Mounteer expressed interest in obtaining the property. Huntington City Attorney, Dave Blackwell said he would contact the Gibb attorney and let him know of the interest expressed by Mounteer. Mounteer would take over the cleanup of the property and ensure that it would be done properly. Cowley pointed out if the new property owner tore it out himself the city would have no complaints and they would be home free.
It was mentioned that the sentencing date for Gibb is July 11 and possibly he would want to act before that time. Blackwell said Gibb has been convicted of failure to obey a building officials order and that sentencing has already been delayed twice. Gibb would have 30 days after the sentencing to appeal, but Blackwell pointed out that Gibb's lawyer has been good to work with and that both Gibb and his attorney wanted to resolve the matter.
The council agreed that for the beautification of Huntington and public safety that this terrible eyesore be taken care of as soon as possible.
The next item on the agenda was to reopen the 2001-02 budget to include the $222,500 grant and loan from the community impact board. Also the matter of transferring $170,000 from the general fund into the capital projects budget was approved. The CIB funds are being used for the curb and gutter project.
The next item was the public hearing for the consideration of the 2002-03 fiscal budget for the city. The council members were given comparison sheets for the previous budget and the current proposed one. Each line item was discussed on an individual basis. Justice said he would like to see a cost of living increase for all part-time employees of 3 percent. It was also pointed out that a 5 percent increase in garbage collection fees would come into effect in August. Justice also requested that additional funds be transferred to the park maintenance budget for anticipated replanting next year of grass in the parks which is dying out due to the drought.
The final budget was approved with the changes made. It was also explained that the increase in the Heritage Days budget was due to the added rodeo purse.
The next item on the agenda was the approval of the May 15 minutes. It was mentioned that letters will be sent to property owners in the city who need to cleanup their property. The next item was to approve and accept the city claims for the month. The next item was the issuance of business licenses to TNT Fireworks and Golden Spike International. The next item on the agenda was Judi Bishop and Debbie Wilson from the American Cancer Society with a request for a donation to Relay for Life. Bishop said that cancer is the leading cause of death in working age adults. She explained the purpose of relay and challenged the council to form a team and participate. The council approved a $200 donation to the relay.
The next item on the agenda was Marlin Eldred the new Emery County Economic Director. He said he has a commitment to Emery County and to local business. He wants to help businesses develop themselves and to grow the businesses we have in place already. He also spoke of the revolving loan fund and it's loaning capabilities. He said the fund can loan a maximum of $40,000 and he can assist qualified people in applying for loans from other sources as well. When asked about tourism, Eldred said that there is a change coming; with SUWA and their wilderness proposal and a monument and heritage area. "We need to find some medium ground and guide ourselves down the path and not be forced. Please refer businesses to me at the economic development office for assistance," said Eldred.
The next item on the agenda was the discussion of a proposed truck ordinance. Currently there isn't a specific ordinance dealing with truck traffic. Heavy trucks have been damaging city roads and parking in residential areas and creating possible hazards. Trucks do not belong in residential areas. Trucks will be able to access the hills and desert areas on certain city streets. The big concern expressed by the council was the issue of trucks and children. The problem of trucks parking on city streets was addressed. Some possible parking options could include the parking lot by BKs and out by the gypsum plant north of Huntington. The need for alternative parking places was stressed. Justice mentioned that long haul truck drivers do not have any other form of transportation and their truck is their vehicle.
It was pointed out that with an ordinance in place, the sheriff's office would be able to issue tickets for parking violations. It was pointed out that the ordinance has two parts, one that deals with parking and the other which shows designated travel routes for trucks. Justice said an adjustment period should be observed during the phase-in period of the ordinance. He suggested warnings be given during the first six months. Others on the council thought three months would be long enough. Letters will be sent out to trucking companies involved to inform them of the new ordinance. Delivery trucks and others will need a permit from the city hall to enter the city streets for deliveries. The permit will be at no charge and will be good for the entire year for that company. It was suggested that maybe these permits should be sent out with the letters explaining the ordinance. A noise ordinance was also discussed at the meeting. Further discussion of the new ordinances will take place at the July city council meeting which will be held on July 17 at 6:30 p.m.