Ferron City swears in council members in January meeting
Ferron City began the new year with the swearing in of the elected officials. Mayor Joanne Behling and councilmembers, Garrett Hansen, Mike Behling, Joe Trenery and Trent Jackson were all re-elected to their positions. Mayor Behling asked the council for their reports. Jackson reported the new tables had arrived and they would save the old tables to use at Peach Days. The beautification committee is looking at new banners/flags for the poles. They will get a quote from Sign Edge.
Trenery reported they are gathering all the information for the Safe Kids grant which will help with sidewalks leading to the school. Mike Behling reported a water leak near 800 west and will get that figured out and solved. Hansen said they are having two dog clinics for rabies and other vaccinations. He said one of the vets said the city is requiring the dogs to get their rabies shots too soon. Ferron ordinance says the rabies vaccine must be current for the entire year before a license can be issued. If the dog's rabies shot expires in October or later in the year, then the dog must be revaccinated. Adele Justice said other vets have said it's OK to have the dogs revaccinated early, but one of the vets said it isn't good. The council will gather more information and make a decision as to what to do. For now it will stay the same. Hansen reported two dogs have been deemed as vicious in Ferron.
Under the planning and zoning report Councilmember Ron Bloomer said they are looking at amending the ordinance involving breeding animals. The ordinance currently states that no breeding animals should be kept within city limits. But, the ordinance will be amended to allow these animals if they are properly enclosed. There will be a height requirement and fence requirement for these animals. Another item of zoning business was a wording change to make it clear that Ferron is currently contracting with Emery County for building inspections.
Under the public comment period several people spoke concerning possible increases in the overage fees for water use on outside city limit connections. Kent Petersen said there is a long history of outside water connections. Around the same time as Millsite was built ranchers put in stock watering lines at considerable expense to the individuals. Saving water is a benefit to all.
The Castle Valley Special Service District takes in the cities and the power plants as their tax base and they provide water treatment facilities, sewer, drainage and road work throughout the county. Rocky Mountain Power remains a major tax payer in the county. The city dwellers pay a tax to the CVSSD for these services. Each water user also pays a monthly water bill to the cities. The cities then pay the CVSSD for the water used in their city.
"The major funding for the district comes from others than the taxpayers. Any increase should be fair. We should not be gouged more than our share. If they can hold back a couple of years we will have our stock water lines in place," said Petersen.
Mayor Behling said Ferron is unique because they have 90 out of the city connections. Castle Dale has 17-21, Orangeville has two-three and Huntington has a few, but Ferron will be the most affected by increases. Mayor Behling said when the matter is discussed at the CVSSD meeting on Jan. 21 she will request that fees don't go up.
Higher rates for out of town users are meant to discourage growth in a doughnut around the cities and keep people in the city limits. It forces people to stay in the cities or annex into the cities. Mike Behling pointed out that many of the water users outside the city live in the city and do pay those taxes to the district.
Mayor Behling said Ferron City still wants to be able to give outside connections. The water plant is only running at part of its capacity and the water isn't the problem.
One rancher reported that on the north end of the county, North Emery Water Users has 485 miles of lines and almost 500 hook-ups. To get a hook-up with North Emery you need four shares of North Emery water and a $1,350 hook-up fee and the monthly fee is $26.50 a month for up to 30,000 gallons and after that is $1 per thousand overage.
Mayor Behling encouraged everyone who could to attend the CVSSD meeting to let their opinions be known.
Ferron City was encouraged to get a team and participate in the Relay for Life event coming up in June.
Jerry Stottler talked to the council about the Ferron general plan. Stottler said the general plan required setting goals for the next 20 years. Cities are required by the state to have a general plan and to follow that plan. Cities are not allowed to do things unless they are in the general plan. If they do something not in their general plan then they are in violation of state law.
Mayor Behling said in cases where the city needed to complete something not in the general plan, then the plan can be amended to adopt whatever needs to be accomplished.
Stottler said a general plan is meant to create cohesiveness between councils as people on the councils change but the general plan should remain constant. Stottler said the general plan should reflect what the citizens of Ferron want for their town. In a survey conducted it said three fourths of the people want economic development in Ferron. Meetings will be held to discuss the general plan and how to implement it. Stottler said he wrote the plan, and he is looking for help to perfect the plan and make it reflective of what Ferron wants.
Stottler said it is important to set goals. He referred to a Harvard study where they surveyed graduates and those who had written goals was only 3 percent, but that 3 percent earned more income than the other 97 percent combined.
"How efficiently we plan for growth is part of the plan," said Stottler. He said the city must be examined and areas which are feasible be designated as growth areas. Trenery said the annexation plan in place for Ferron lists those areas for expansion.
Stottler said he needs help with the plan so it fits the needs and goals of Ferron.
The next Ferron meeting will be Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.