The Huntington City Council Meeting was held Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the city hall. After roll call and the pledge of allegiance, the council members approved this month's agenda and time schedule, and approved the minutes from the Dec. 18, 2002 meeting.
The first item on the agenda was business license applications. Lori Prince, of Farm Bureau Financial Service, requested a license to move the Castle Dale office to Huntington. The license was approved. Don Johnson requested a license to start Johnson Diesel Service, a diesel repair shop, for pickups and small semi-trucks, under 32,000. The council discussed issues of oil containment and other safety requirements, since the shop will be run out of Johnson's home. The licensed was approved. Dan Pulli requested information on the city regulations required for business relocation. He is selling his current property and plans to move his shop to a new location in Huntington. The council advised him that he must have an eight-foot fence surrounding the scrap yard. After selling his property he will need to obtain a building permit to build the new office building.
There were no public comments at this month's meeting. The council then went over the city claims. The amounts were approved.
Next on the agenda was Joel Christiansen with information for the council on buildings and ordinances. He presented the council with a summary of court cases in the state, showing the city's abilities to act on private properties in order to keep the city safe and clean. In Huntington's process to clean up the city, this plan would provide a method to notify the public of areas needing work, give them a grace period to take care of it on their own, after the grace period there would be a property inspection, and then another shorter period to take care of any remaining work before fines start taking effect. The plan also provided for a "peace keeper," an officer who would come during city enforced clean up to keep the peace. The fines incurred by the plan could then be attached to the property.
The council agreed that some firmer action was needed. They referred to their current ordinances and found similar plans that have not been previously enforced. The council discussed the need to start strictly enforcing these ordinances. The council has a long list of individuals whose properties are in need of work and in risk of violation of these ordinances. They discussed the strong need to stick to the strict time lines in the ordinances. The plan presented to the council has been enforced in larger cities throughout Salt Lake and Utah counties. Christiansen gave the council the name of an advisor for the program, if they had further questions.
The next item on the agenda was a request for a street light at 350 North and 300 East. The motion was approved. There was also a request for stop signs at 200 West and 400 South. The council discussed it and decided to investigate the situation further.
Next, Julie Jones displayed a map showing the city roads that have been paved, and have curb and gutter installed. The contract for curb and gutter ran out in Dec. 2002 and so far there is no budget for curb and gutter this year. The budget has allowed for 12 and one half streets to be paved this year ("street" meaning one side of the road). The council discussed the proposed roads to be paved. It was suggested that the city pave all of the residential dirt roads before making improvements on previously paved roads. It was also suggested that the council look at paving 400 North and 400 West, where there is a school bus stop. Jones mentioned that anything previously curbed and guttered will be paved.
Next there was a discussion about 200 West and 400 South. In order to build this subdivision, the city required the builders to pave half of the road in front of it, which cost the builder over $3,000. The city then allowed the other side of the street to be developed without the same request. The builders are requesting that the council look at this as an injustice and reimburse the builders the cost of the road.
The council then approved a request for Utah Power to relocate nine power poles.
Next, the council discussed plans by UDOT to improve Huntington Main Street this summer. UDOT is giving the city the option to use the old asphalt. The city will look at optional uses for the asphalt and discuss it further. It was suggested to use it for some of the dirt roads that need to be paved, or for the rodeo grounds parking lot. It was also suggested that any sewer problems be taken care of before the new asphalt is laid.
The Gibb property was discussed next. The mayor had received faxed copies of all legal documents needed to conclude the business deal. The original documents are en route to Huntington. Once they are received, within two to three weeks, the building should be demolished and asbestos removed. The council will then place the property up for bidding. It was suggested that the council use the abatement ordinance to go in and demolish the property immediately versus waiting any longer. The council denied this suggestion stating that it would cost the city money and they would not own the property to make up the cost. It was then questioned as a matter of public safety if the city could take care of the property without owning it. The state ordinance provides that the city can only barricade the building to prevent people from entering. The council made a motion to stay with their original plan, and if by the end of the three weeks no action has occurred, the council will then reconvene to discuss the current abatement ordinance, and the plan presented by Christiansen earlier. The motion was approved. The council hopes to have this matter resolved before the next meeting.
The mayor gave her report next, followed by the individual council member's reports. Norman Richardson reported that the next beautification meeting would be held Thursday at 5 p.m. Mark Justice reported that he would like to incorporate a city youth employment project if possible, offering temporary minimum wage office and manual labor jobs to high school seniors. Jones commented that she would like to see 400 East cleaned up and paved and she would also like to hire someone to spray the weeds before they start coming through the curbs and gutters. Hilary Gordon concluded the council report with an update on Heritage Days. The rodeo will be held early this year, on the sixth and seventh of June. The rest of the Heritage Days celebration will take place on July 3-4. She also mentioned that the cemetery was in need of a lawn mower and a new watering system. The council then motioned to adjourn the council meeting. The next Huntington City Council will be held on Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m.