Huntington City discusses nuisance properties
Huntington City will be the home to three new businesses as licenses were granted at their August meeting. Mark Tanner will open a law office at 620 North Main. Angela Baumgartner will open Clear Sight Glass Solutions at 253 South Main. She will do auto glass repair and replacement. Vickie Kinder will have an office in her home for her business of support coordinator. She will do home visits to work with people with mental handicaps and brain injuries.
Bennett Ray Gunderson visited with the city council on a matter of trespass and destruction of private property. He owns the 17 acre parcel of land behind Huntsman Motors over to and crossing the Loop Road. He said his fence has been destroyed on this property and his property boundary marker has been removed. A road has been placed through his property without permission to access the rodeo grounds. He said permission was never asked for or granted to use his property to put a road into the rodeo grounds. Soil was placed on his property when the new RV dump was placed in the area. Someone smoothed out this soil and destroyed his corner post. It was determined a price will be negotiated on the value of that small piece of property and the city will purchase the property if they can afford it.
Jim Hansen came to the meeting to voice concerns over junk, refuse and fire hazards at the property located at 320 West and 200 North. He is also concerned with all the weeds throughout the city. Mayor Hilary Gordon told Hansen they have concerns for several such abandoned properties all over town. The city is addressing these clean-up issues one by one. Letters have been sent to the most serious offenders and steps are being started towards getting these problem properties cleaned up. A letter will be sent to the property owner where Hansen has concerns.
Councilmember Travis Larsen said beautification is where he puts his efforts. He said, "Just because you live in Huntington doesn't mean you should be held to a lower standard. Some of these properties have years of neglect. Some people care about their property and some people don't. Hopefully we can raise the standard."
It was mentioned that Hansen was the first person in a long time who came to the city council to voice concerns over nuisance properties. They thanked him for voicing his opinion.
Councilmember Cowley said the city is really addressing the problem and things have improved and will continue to improve because of enforcement. She also mentioned that individuals can contact the public health department and some properties can be condemned and cleaned up because they pose a risk to public health.
More people need to get involved in wanting to clean up Huntington. Larsen mentioned that all Huntington City ordinances are on the Internet and everyone is welcome to look them over and see what the ordinances entail. Hansen also said Huntington City is one of the offenders for having weeds on city property. When a property is set to be demolished it must be demolished on the site and then the debris hauled to the landfill. Gordon said the city is working on mowing and spraying their weeds.
Under public comments, Patsy Stoddard from the Emery County Economic Development Council told the city council of the Revolving Loan Fund the economic development council has to loan money to small businesses wishing to start-up or expand. The low interest loans can be given up to $40,000 to qualified businesses. Any small business wishing to know more can contact Mike McCandless at the economic development office at 381-5576.
Gordon reported on the Fast Pass cars which stopped in Huntington. Huntington City provided lunch for them. They made a donation of $2,000 to go into the park fund. The auditors have been working on the books and everything was very well kept. Gordon said JimieDawn Jones will be leaving her position as recorder and the city wishes her the best.
Cowley reported they hung two signs at the local parks about tobacco use. The tobacco coalition gave the city $250 to keep these two signs up for two months. She met with Julie Jones and Mayor Gordon on the CIB grant and the city will be using what is left from that grant to add better lighting for the rodeo arena. If the money from the grant isn't used then it will be returned to the CIB. The soccer field is looking good and will be ready for play. She is having the goals refurbished for the soccer field. Cowley reported they have had trouble with the sensor at the splash pad. It only needs to be touched to come on and some people are using more force than necessary to get the water on. Also there is a small delay after touching the sensor before the water comes on. The city will install a fence around the control box. Concrete will be installed along the soccer field to mark the area for parking, so no one will drive upon the field and damage the sprinkling system.
Councilmember Jerry Livingston reported on the sidewalk projects coming along in the city. He also met with Rocky Mountain Power on getting power poles moved throughout the city.
Larsen said they are ordering four more benches to place at the welcome signs at the entrances to town. Councilmember Bob Mills reported the city will have enough water to take care of the watering needs for this season.
Councilmember Julie Jones reported she attended the economic development meeting and they are holding a tourism/customer service workshop in November in Green River. An agricultural summit for farmers will be on Oct. 8. The representative from Harward Farms will be there to discuss his business and pest control. A business expo will be presented on Sept. 17-18 at the Carbon County Events Center. It will have booths from local businesses and a food court and will show what Carbon and Emery counties have to offer. An eagle project at the cemetery has been completed for an information kiosk and Nielson Construction donated the cement. Jones reported there are several diseased trees at the cemetery that need to come out. To remove three trees and a large stump will be $3,000. Jones was instructed to get another bid for the project according to policy. An ATV problem at the cemetery was discussed. ATVs are climbing the hill by the road. Jones said she is trying to get a grant to develop that portion of the cemetery. One possible solution for now is fencing so ATVs can't use the hill. The lights at Lion's Park do not work and someone needs to find out why because they are needed. It is Lisa Brower's last day as a cemetery worker on Aug. 31. The council elected to re-advertise for the position for the remainder of the season.
The old Helmer problem property was discussed. Planning and zoning administrator Gary Arrington has sent a number of letters out to offenders. Most of the places he has talked to more than once. It is a long process. As a last recourse on some of the properties, the city can clean up the property and send the owner the bill. If they don't pay the bill it can be taken to court and/or attached to their property taxes. Asbestos studies have been done on three offending properties and after the necessary steps are taken, the fire department can burn the home on site and the refuse will be hauled to the landfill.
Mayor Gordon said they are taking one property at a time due to expenses. Arrington requested planning and zoning be given a budget so they can send letters and take care of expenses related to cleaning up properties.
Cowley discussed the improvements at the concession stand in the city park. At the Fourth of July it became obvious that something needed to be done with the electricity in the building. A long counter will be installed with a hot water heater and the electricity will be upgraded for a cost of $1,000 which Cowley said is within the budget.
A nonconforming use permit was granted for the Sharon Earl property which houses her tax business and Quilted Treasures. The council set the number of businesses allowed in that building at three. Parking is the biggest issue around the building at tax time, but parking is available on the side of the building and proprietors sometimes park behind the building.
Arrington showed the land use zoning map with the featured changes. The council adopted the new map.
The council discussed the sanitation contract. The contract includes weekly pick-up at the residences and the emptying of roll-off dumpsters behind the complex. The five year contract was awarded to Emery Sanitation. The council expressed their appreciation to Kent Wilson and company for their service which goes above and beyond what's required. They thanked him for their accessibility and willingness to work with the city. Wilson said as the city does clean-up projects he will be glad to provide roll-offs. The next Huntington City meeting will be on Sept. 16.