Huntington City holds hearing on Crandall Canyon expenses
|Mayor Hilary Gordon receives a plaque from the Council of Governments which is presented by Emery County Commissioner Drew Sitterud, applauding the work Huntington City did during the Crandall Canyon Mine Disaster.|
Huntington City held a public hearing prior to their recent council meeting to explain and receive public comment on the city's expenditures during the Crandall Canyon mine disaster. Mayor Hilary Gordon explained each expenditure and an additional correction to the wording in the minutes concerning the money dispersed to Zions Bank for the miners families.
Mayor Gordon said she had contacted the city's attorney David Church and asked for direction with the miswording in the records. She explained the situation to him and he advised her to just change the wording, but she felt it was important to hold the public hearing and explain to the residents of Huntington.
"The funds that were coming in to Huntington City as donations to the families of the miners could not go into our accounts. It was necessary for us to take the funds to Zions Bank for deposit in a special account to be administered by the bank. Every penny that came into this office was taken to the bank and none of those funds were mingled with the city's," said Mayor Gordon. "When the time came for us to note it in the council minutes, the word donation was entered and that was the wrong word. We have reworded and made the correction to the minutes to note that it was not a donation." Mayor Gordon explained the error and apologized to the residents of Huntington for the misunderstanding.
The expenditures to be discussed were: Nielson Construction Inc. for sand and gravel for parking area at the rodeo arena-$4,721.13; Hometown Market for meals for the mine investigation meeting-$161.63; Castle Country Pumping for porta-johns for the miner's memorial concert-$870 (half of the total bill); Hometown Market for meals and food items for miner's families-$521.85; Maverik for food items-$179.75; and Family Dollar Store for a portion of the candles used at the vigil-$183.36. Several residents complained the amount spent for the sand and gravel for the rodeo grounds was an expenditure that did not need to be made. This purchase was made for the Celebration of Heroes in September. "It was the governor's party, let him pay," said one resident.
Mayor Gordon explained that Nielson Construction only charged about one-third of the actual cost. "I was reassured the Governor's office would pay this expense if it would put a hardship on Huntington. After consultation with the city treasurer, and noting the amount budgeted for emergencies, the decision was made to pay the bill from the emergency funds," said Mayor Gordon. She went on to say that the sand and gravel is still at the rodeo grounds and can be used by the city for other purposes.
Following the public hearing, the regular city council meeting was held. During that meeting, the council approved to appoint Claron Durrant and Gary Arrington to the planning commission for Huntington City.
Mayor Gordon reported the Governor's office has requested Huntington City to spearhead the project to erect a monument in honor of those who lost their lives in the Crandall Canyon mine disaster.
Representatives from the Governors office are coming to meet with the families and Huntington City to discuss the proposed monument.
This meeting will take place Nov. 8 at noon.
Mayor Gordon also announced the Utah Department of Transportation survey related to the stop signs is not complete yet.
Several signs have been removed on the recommendations of the survey team.
When their final report is complete, more changes may be made.