Emery looks at parking ordinance
Emery Town held a public hearing for public comments on establishing a resolution to deal with off-street parking. Off-street parking is defined for the purposes of this resolution as follows: Parking off the main right of way, but still on town property. Regulations: 1. All vehicles parked on town property must be moved to allow for snow removal, street repair and construction, and any public utility work necessary. 2. Vehicles may be parked on town property for a maximum of 72 hours consecutively. Vehicles may not be parked in such a way that they may obstruct traffic.
The town council reviewed the resolution. They said it is hard to define where town property begins and ends, especially in areas where there isn't any curb and gutter. There were also questions on how to enforce the resolution. It was determined it cannot be enforced if it is a resolution, but must be an ordinance in order to be enforced. Letters can be sent out to offenders and if offending vehicles aren't moved then they can be impounded and the expense of the impound charged to the vehicle owner. The resolution will be worked into an ordinance and will be brought back next month.
Emery is still working through their planning and zoning procedure book. Changes this month included everywhere the words one acre feet of water are mentioned will be changed to one water share. It was mentioned that you can't compare one acre foot of water to one water share. Merlin Christiansen wondered why one share of water is required anyway when you don't need that much to build. Mayor Mistie Christiansen said it's done so the water isn't over allocated and enough water is secure for the needs of the town.
The council passed the revisions to the chapter.
The council discussed the ramifications of someone who is leaving their secondary water on continually. They wondered if they can shut off the water of someone abusing the system. Because the water isn't metered then, there aren't any restrictions in place. The town encourages watering only between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Merlin wondered why if there isn't a reservoir or any water storage for Emery they can't water at all times of the day and night. Mayor Christiansen said the town is encouraging people to make better use of their water.
Sgt. Tom Harrison from the Emery County Sheriff's Office congratulated Emery on starting a CERT program. He discussed the reverse 911 system in the county and offered the benefits of the system to Emery to notify its citizens in emergency situations. He said the system was used recently in Huntington for the Tie Fork fire to alert Huntington residents of the poor air quality. If you have a cell phone with a ring back tone then the calls don't work. "It's a good idea to register your cell phones so you can receive these alerts. Then if you are out of town you can still be notified of what's going on in the county. The money for the system came from Homeland Security. We have the sheriff's posse on the system and XTO workers so if there are any problems with their pipelines they can be notified.
"We have packs bought by Homeland Security for the CERT program and these will be passed out as people become certified," said Sgt. Harrison. Dave Mangum said the CERT training will be the third Wednesday of the month.
Sgt. Harrison said as people become certified if Emery would like to have a training where the haz-mat team from the county comes down they would be glad to train with Emery.
Martin Wilson from the state office of Homeland Security was also at the meeting. He said CERT has been placed back under Homeland Security. The CERT teams are trained to help communities take care of themselves until help arrives if it does.
Sgt. Harrison said they have a man to help them bring their emergency operations plan up to date. When the plan is complete he will bring it back to Emery for their review.
Bryan Christensen demonstrated security systems for the town council. Christensen explained how the system works and that the time to consider a system is while the new fire station/town hall is being constructed. It's a card access system. You don't have to deal with keys and who has a key and lost keys. One card can allow access to all doors or restrict access to only one door depending on what access the individual needs to the building. "Some people think, well it's just Emery County we don't need to worry, but it's not just a security factor, it's convenience too. It controls who is in the building and gives a log of who has entered the building and through which door. You can also use the system to lock down all doors. You can also access the system from a remote location if someone needed to get in the building and didn't have an access card then a person in authority could allow them access. The system has a battery back-up. An alarm will also sound if a door is opened without a card being swiped," said Christensen.
He said if Emery wants to install a system like this it needs to be during the preparation work of the new building so appropriate conduits can be installed for the wiring for the system which is low voltage. Access would also be controlled into where the ambulance is stored to avoid any thefts of items from the ambulance.
The council thought it sounded like a good idea and Christensen will sit down with the council to discuss costs. Mayor Christiansen will talk to the engineer and see if the costs of such a system would be permissible under the CIB grant/loan the town is using to construct the building. The system can be programmed to have certain doors unlocked during business hours and can be programmed for holidays when the building would be locked. Mayor Christiansen is going to provide a copy of the building for the council members and ask them to mark which doors they feel would work well with this system and to write down any comments and ideas on the paper. The system can also include surveillance cameras if the town decides they need them. The security system is controlled by computer.
The beautification committee report was given by Amy Sundstrom, she said they are considering the sites for the placement of the welcome rock signs at the entrances to town. The location the council liked the best was Easter Hill on the north and Russell Jensen's property on the south. The council will talk to the property owners involved to see if they would allow the rock on their properties. Mayor Christiansen said some people are donating the money for concrete for the pad and they need to move on the project.
The historical society is identifying previous owners of property for each lot in Emery. This information will be added as an addendum to the town history book.
The council approved the striping of parking lines at Randy's Service and up the street and around the corner by the church and also by the ball field. A volunteer is painting the stripes for just the price of the paint. The council approved the project and requested the parking spaces be a little wider than those at the library.
The council discussed the policy for part-time employees including duties and benefits. One employee has been working more hours per week than was originally in the policy which puts her in a position to qualify for benefits. Patrick Sundstrom said he is OK with vacation and holidays, but if the position was hired based upon a part-time status they should stick as close to that as they can. The decision was made to table the discussion until next month.
The town has compiled their CIB wish list of projects which include the reservoir, street lights, curb and gutter and sidewalk and remodel of the old church.
Mayor Christiansen said Sen. Bob Bennett has put the Emery reservoir on his five year list of projects to be completed. So she encouraged everyone to help Sen. Bennett retain his senate seat. The mayor reported the Castle Valley Special Service District will visit Emery next month to explain the bond election in November. She said the CVSSD projects make a big difference in the towns and the bond needs to be approved so these projects can continue. The CVSSD is looking at increasing connection fees to their systems.
With the tight economy, the auditors have told Emery to reduce expenses or look for ways to raise revenues. The mayor said along with the land use bill legislation for Emery County they would like to include the connector system for all the towns to allow open ATV routes into and out of towns. When Richfield has their ATV jamboree then all the streets are open for ATV travel during these times. The mayor sees a possible economic benefit to Emery if trails become developed into and out of the town. The town needs to look at ways to capitalize on the ATV users maybe with an ATV park and other amenities for the ATV riders. Any sales tax revenue for the town would be welcome as the sales tax is very minimal in Emery. The trail system to connect the towns would be included in the legislation. "Emery Town would be a good place to stage rides. We need to think of ways to create revenue," said the mayor.
Robert Stocks, Emery resident discussed the use of ground source heat pumps for the new fire station. He said Emery could qualify for a grant through the government since Emery doesn't have access to natural gas. The drill holes are 100 feet deep and extract heating and cooling from the ground. The initial expense is higher than a conventional system, but such systems pay for themselves within five years said Stocks. The council will look at the costs of the system.
The next Emery Town meeting is on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.