Ferron City Council Appoints New Mayor
Ferron City met in their regularly scheduled council meeting on July 3 at 7 p.m. Those present were council members Phillip Jensen, Gordon Bennett, Kent Larsen, Laurie Pitchforth and Bryan Erickson. Also Brenda Bingham, city recorder was on hand to record the meeting.
Erickson led those gathered in the pledge of allegiance. Kent Larsen acting as Mayor Protem conducted the meeting. The first item was the adoption of the agenda. The next item was to approve the minutes of the previous meeting. The next item on the agenda was the approval of a business license for Paul Hunsaker for handyman jobs.
The next item on the agenda was the filling of the vacancy in the position of mayor due to the resignation of Mayor Garth Larsen. A motion was made, seconded and approved to appoint Kent Larsen to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of Mayor Larsen.
The next item on the agenda was the discussion of water. Bennett said he had met with Darrel Leamaster of the Castle Valley Special Service District and the Ferron watering schedule is where it should be. Ferron has been using five acre feet a day and increased to six acre feet this past week with the hotter weather. Bennett said there is a volume and pressure problem on the west side of town mostly with the east side having more volume and pressure. Leamaster had checked the volume and pressure and suggested one thing that might help by having those on the west side with odd numbered houses watering only from 6-9 a.m. and that same day those on the east side watering from 6-9 p.m. He said this type of a schedule should pick up the volume.
A citizen was on hand to say he didn't have any water pressure. The churches, schools and the cemetery might be put on alternate morning or evening watering only as well. The possibility of watering at the junior high during the night was also discussed. Custodian Lane Justice said they are only watering the football field and other small areas and have let most of the lawn go.
Bennett said the system has been checked for leaks and the valves are all full-on and working properly. It was determined that a new watering plan would be set up and the citizens would be notified by letter.
Tracy Behling was next on the agenda to discuss water storage. He said they are where they need to be with allocations and cannot allocate any more water. Utah Power has the majority of the storage and their water year runs from April 1 through April 1. Behling said they are looking at an area in Rock Canyon for water storage. Any water that runs over the spillway in the spring is wasted water which just runs down the creek. Additional water storage could help save this water.
A preliminary survey will be done to look at additional water storage. The mayor said he would like to see the city pursue other water storage and go after CIB funds for the project. It was agreed that the mayor would meet with Behling and come up with a game plan.
Pastor Tim Lacock from the Baptist Church was next on the agenda. He said his family lives above the church and he wanted to introduce himself to the city council. The council welcomed Pastor Lacock to Ferron. Pastor Lacock said he appreciates being in a place where they say the pledge of allegiance. He said they have plans to place a fence between the church and the Ferron Merc and want to make everyone aware of the project. He said there has been traffic using that as a shortcut for a long time and with the fence and future landscaping in place the traffic will not be able to do that. He said they will use reflector tape to make the fence noticable and Bennett suggested a sign which states 'no through traffic' would be a good idea. The project will begin on July 13. Pastor Lacock also said that Ferron could count on the Baptist Church for support during Peach Days.
The next item on the agenda was the discussion of the new fire station which is a priority. Firehouse committee members were appointed with Leslie Danzer as the chairperson and Lou Sansevero on the committee. They will meet and look at possible locations for the new fire station. Bennett pointed out that the old fire station doesn't have enough room. He also said they are looking at funding for the project. They will apply for CIB funds and pursue other avenues as well. Pitchforth said they are planning a fund raising dinner for the fire department on the Saturday night of Peach Days.
The next item on the agenda was the discussion of the historical preservation committee for Ferron. Applications can be picked up at the city hall and filled out. Members who have a knowledge and interest in historical preservation will be selected for this committee. Pitchforth said this committee must be in place so they can apply for grants from the state historical society.
The next item on the agenda was the discussion of an appointment to the ad hoc committee for the prevention of disaster losses. This committee will be composed of people from counties and cities who help with the planning efforts. Mayor Larsen mentioned that he would like Bennett to serve on the committee and they would table the discussion until more information regarding what is involved could be obtained.
The next item on the agenda was the amending of the nuisance ordinance to include engine brakes. These brakes cannot be used within the Ferron city limits. The ordinance was changed to include this provision.
The next item was the discussion to increase the sewer and secondary water fees. Bennett said the last increase in sewer fees was in 1987. The question of whether or not to increase fees to break even or to have a little surplus to set aside for needed repairs was discussed. The consensus seemed to be on the council that fees needed to be raised to have money available for future expenses. The fees in the past have not been adequate to cover the costs.
Mayor Larsen expressed concern for a bill being considered by the legislature which would do away with any district receiving tax money. This would do away with the service district. Mayor Larsen said to let your legislators know you are against any such legislation. If this were to pass cities would have to cover all expenses and individual rates would sky rocket the mayor explained. A public hearing was set for the next council meeting to discuss the proposed rate increase.
The next item on the agenda was the discussion of ear marking money for a capital improvement project. The mayor encouraged council members to think about the project they feel is top priority for the city and it will be discussed at the next meeting.
Pitchforth gave her council member report. She is the council member organizing Peach Days and she said the Peach Blossom and Miss Peach Days pageants will be held on Aug. 8. She said they would like to honor the fire department at this year's celebration and would like the grand marshal to come from that group. Pitchforth said she needs help with the horse races, someone to line-up the parade and with the demolition derby. A committee will be formed to go over issues associated with the demolition derby. Ronda Cozad will announce the parade. Pitchforth said, "We put on a wonderful celebration and it is a good tradition that is worth keeping. We appreciate all of the help we get."
The next item of discussion was the Millsite Restaurant. Mayor Larsen said that with the drought things are tough at the golf course. Business is down and the city doesn't have any money to help. The golf course is in the hole $12,000 so far this year. Bennett said it is a benefit to the community to have a restaurant at the golf course for the out of town golfers and also for community members who enjoy the restaurant and are not golfers. He also said if the restaurant is not there then it is wasted space.
Mayor Larsen said at one point the city council did not want to be in the restaurant business, but maybe this council has a different view he said. He asked the council to think the matter over and it would be discussed at a later meeting. Gaylene Conder who is currently operating the restaurant spoke to the council saying she has made enough to pay for the food and to meet her payroll. She has hired 10 local people to work for her and expressed satisfaction in helping to employ people at the restaurant. She has not made enough, however, to pay herself any type of a wage. She said new signs will be installed to let people visiting the area know that the restaurant is there.
They discussed the possibility of having a city employee on contract to operate the restaurant much the way the golf course operates. The mayor said they will discuss the legalities of this with their lawyer to see if it is feasible. The mayor also expressed appreciation to the golfers in our area who have continued to support Millsite. He also said the state park is not out of the woods yet as the legislature told state parks they did not cut their budget enough. It was also noted the city does not recoup any tax money from the golf course or restaurant because they are in the county and not the city.
Erickson also said the community needs to support the restaurant. He said it presents a challenge when businesses close down and it makes it hard for other businesses to succeed. We need good things going on in our community. The council also expressed appreciation to Gilly's for being willing to invest in the community with the building of seven new cabins on their property.
The next item of business was the discussion of the vacancy on the city council. Anyone wishing to fill this seat should write a letter to express their interest to the council.
Sidewalk projects in the community are also moving along with the Grub Box sidewalk corner in the works and the project on 4th West nearing completion.
The next regularly scheduled city council meeting will be held on Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.