Mayor Neal Peacock and councilmembers Jeremy Jewkes and Julie Johansen take the oath of office for Castle Dale City.
Castle Dale City Mayor Neal Peacock opened the first city council meeting of 2010 recently by expressing great thanks to GayLee Jeffs and Jack Rogers for their service to the city. "Change is emotional, it always is. It has been a great pleasure to work with GayLee and Jack. Your service is incredibly appreciated," said Mayor Peacock. He then gave each a plaque of appreciation.
Jeffs and Rogers' terms were complete and the newly elected members of the council were then given the oath of office. Julie Johansen and Jeremy Jewkes, along with re-elected Mayor Peacock, were sworn in by city recorder Linda Turner.
Assignments were then given to each of the councilmembers and the mayor. Mayor Peacock will oversee code enforcement, elderly and senior citizens, Main Street and businesses, the forest service house project, and city hall employees and cleaning.
Councilman Brad Giles is over streets, water, drains, sewer, cemetery, Cheddar Park and ball field, Little Valley View Park, and the special service district.
Councilman Joel Dorsch will oversee maintenance workers, Blue Sage Arena, rodeo grounds, parks, ball fields, city hall maintenance and lawns, and city hall park.
Councilperson Kollette Cologie will be over city celebrations, youth city council and beautification.
Councilperson Johansen will oversee land use planning and zoning, and emergency preparedness.
Councilman Jewkes is over the fire department and animal control. Each of these responsibilities is to commence immediately.
City code enforcement officer Richard Herring reported some vehicles which remain on the city streets have been snowed in due to the snow removal process. He also noted some business license issues which need to be discussed.
For the fire department, Herring reported that training is coming for Castle Dale fire department volunteers. NIMS training is available online for all city employees and volunteers, along with the city council members. Councilperson Johansen reported the CERT training is being held in Emery Town and those who want are able to attend those sessions.
Herring stated during 2009, the fire department responded to one structure fire, four structure fires in other towns, seven accidents, one with extrication needed, six grass fires, one dumpster fire, six fireworks incidents, one haystack fire, and four miscellaneous calls. Five-hundred-seventy man hours of training were also recorded by the eight regular members of the fire department.
Councilman Dorsch said the Blue Sage Arena is in its fifth year of operation. "We need to discuss fees. I am thinking about $70 for general members and lowering the rate for individuals who use the arena to train horses for other people," said Dorsch. The council discussed the rate for trainers and was informed that only one person paid those rates last year. The council decided to set the rate for trainers at $200 for the year's use of the arena. They also decided to require farriers to pay the general member rate.
Mayor Peacock reappointed Danny Whiteleather to the Castle Dale seat to the Emery County Recreation board. "Councilman Dorsch was appointed to an at large seat by the Emery County Commissioners," said Mayor Peacock. He then expressed his thanks to all the members of the fire department for their outstanding work and service. He acknowledged the job done by the city employees also. "We have the best plowed streets around," said Mayor Peacock.
"The census bureau has contacted the city and asked for office space to conduct the census this February," Mayor Peacock continued. "We are going to allow them to work from this building during that time. I have also spoken with John Healy, who is the interim manager for the forest service, about the forest service house on Main Street. He is now aware of what we have been trying to do and he has been very helpful. In 1947, Castle Dale City purchased that property with the understanding the forest service headquarters would be located there. They never did that, but moved in the house that is there from Joe's Valley and have been renting it to their employees. Senators Hatch and Bennett and Rep. Matheson have been helping in this situation and we recently received half of the property back. That is where the toys and lawn are now. We are still working to get the other half of this property and we plan to remove the house and put in more lawn space at the fairgrounds.
"REAL Salt Lake has contacted the city to help out with a celebration they are planning to take to each county in Utah with activities and to display the national championship trophy the team recently won. We are looking at Feb. 3 for the celebration to be held in Castle Dale," said Mayor Peacock. "More details will be announced when they are made."
Mayor Peacock went over the budget with the council stating the fiscal year is half completed. He noted each department is very close to being on budget and everyone has been very cooperative. The city's budget has been reduced by 10 percent. "Most items are very close to what we expected and budgeted for," said the Mayor.