Ferron City Recorder Brenda Bingham administered the oath of office to the newly elected councilmen and mayor of Ferron City at the years first meeting on Jan. 8. Re-elected Mayor Kent Larsen and Councilmen Gordon Bennett, Joe Trenery, Randy Fox and Melinda MECCAriello each promised to uphold the laws and ordinances of the United States, the State of Utah and the City of Ferron.
Mayor Larsen told the new council, "You are now the policy makers for the city of Ferron and you will be called on to make tough decisions. You are to be commended for doing this job."
The new fire station for Ferron City is in the planning stages and at this meeting the bids were opened for the construction phase of the project. Sixteen bids were received and the process of the bid opening began with Lloyd Knowles, the architect from Archos Design, opening the envelopes. The bids ranged from $700,000 to $1.18 million. For the alternate portions of the bids, they ranged from $9,612 to $39,545, for alternate #1; and from $1,500 to $14,400 for alternate #2.
At the conclusion of the bid opening, Mayor Larsen and Knowles both expressed their concern over the amounts of the bids. To this point a little more than $500,000 in grant money had been acquired. An emergency meeting for the council was scheduled for 10 a.m. on the following morning to discuss options and decide about the redesign of the plans for the fire station.
Mayor Larsen made the council assignments. Councilman Bennett will responsible for the fire department, board of adjustments, beautification and watershed development. Watershed development is a new task force being formed in Emery County to address the concerns over the water situations. Each town will have a member on that task force.
Councilman Bryan Erickson's assignments will be: cemeteries, OHVs, trails and jamboree, economic development and Mayor's Park. Councilman Fox will be responsible for water, sewer, garbage, utility billing, animal control, business licenses and county fair board. Councilman MECCAriello will be over the road department, the city's emergency preparation plan, youth city council and media development. Councilman Trenery will be responsible for planning and zoning, Peach Days, fairgrounds, asset management and maintenance of the city's property. Mayor Larsen will be responsible for the golf course and the special service district.
Mayor Larsen asked the council for permission to assign Steve Burke to be the representative on the county recreation board.
Mayor Larsen then expressed his plans for the coming year. "There are many projects going on in Ferron, our goal is to keep them going," said Larsen. 'I would like to see some kind of program for the youth of the city this year. Also, the council and I need to be more active and present in the schools in Ferron.
"We all know the situation with the water and how critical our storage problems are here. We need a task force now to review our options. There are several options on the table and decisions need to be made.
"Discussion on the special events center is underway and the city needs to keep investigating that situation. Also the new fire station is moving along and some decisions will need to be made concerning the revisions. Some time in the next two weeks, we will be looking at appointing a new councilman.
"Mayor's Park needs some work and there are also a lot of Eagle projects at the cemeteries. We also need to upgrade the city's equipment. We also need to meet with UDOT concerning some highway problems in town. Also, some improvements need to be made to the main corridors through the city, as far as beautification and clean up.
"Contact needs to be made with PacifiCorp concerning some of the utility poles, repair work needs to be done. Ferron City's website is also in need of updating. Our sidewalk projects are moving along and we need to continue this effort, and progress on the sewer lagoon project is also moving along," said Larsen.
Councilman Trenery expressed his concerns over portions of the events center planning and projections. He also expressed his wish to see the old barn at the fairgrounds renovated soon. He added that the city should become more involved in the stock show and the need for the Molen Ditch to be piped.
Councilman Erickson informed the council that he has accepted employment elsewhere and will be submitting his formal resignation in the next few days. Before he leaves, he will inform his replacement of the duties of the position on the council and bring that person up to date concerning the projects that he has begun, including landscaping and fencing work at the fairgrounds.
Councilman Bennett expressed his desire to see the priority list for the council reviewed and reevaluated. He also stated that the lower park needs some improvements. "I also want to commend Lou Sansevero for all his hard work in helping the city write the grants and obtain the money for the new fire station. He has done a great job," said Bennett.
Councilman MECCAriello expressed her eagerness to begin her duties. She has several ideas for beautification and feels the necessity to cultivate more community pride and awareness in Ferron.
Councilman Fox inquired why the dumpsters where removed from the fairgrounds. Mayor Larsen explained that it was because of the content of the trash that city residents were dumping in those dumpsters. The county landfill could not accept the hazardous materials that were being placed in the dumpsters.
The next Ferron City Council meeting will be held on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.