In response to threatened litigation and to address public safety issues the council approved a project on Tuesday to replace drain covers in the Highlands. During flooding season the drains overflowed and caused flooding in a residents house. Council Chair Tina Kelley also reported that there have been problems in the winter as the covers ice over the create hazardous walking conditions. Parents have complained about this situation and the hazard it creates for their children.
The county emergency management director, Terry Turner, reported that FEMA has authorized approximately $98,000 in funding for the county based on expenses for flood control. The county is required to match 25%, but the volunteer efforts in the county more than covered the 25% match so the county was not required to spend any cash from the budget.
In a four to two vote the county council approved building the animal control building which has been under discussion for several years and heavily debated since the new council took office. The county currently leases space from local veterinarian Marion Lott for $1,300 per month. The council has been debating whether to replace this lease with a facility built by the county for several years. Last year the council took action to request a low cost loan from state funds to construct a facility for animal control. The decision to borrow the money was not heavily debated in the council at the time, but has caused controversy and debate ever since new councilmembers took office in January. The initial decision was for a loan of $600,000 to fund a building that could include expansion to manage the overcrowding in the county building. Later, due to cost estimates, the council scoped down the building. At present the plan is for animal control and garage space for county vehicles, but the council is still considering some additional options.
Jeff Wardell was appointed to the Morgan City Council on July 28, 2009 to fill the vacant seat left by the resignation of Dave Larsen after he moved to Mountain Green. Wardell is a lifetime resident of Morgan. He was born here and went to school here. He married his high school sweetheart from Morgan and raised three daughters here. He has deep roots in the community and a love for the City and County. Wardell says, “It’s peaceful. I love driving up to Morgan from the mouth of the canyon every evening … it’s beautiful.”
A body, believed to be Alexis Rasmussen, was discovered in a grave in an isolated portion of Morgan County. North Ogden Police Chief Polo Afuvai, said, “Late yesterday afternoon police were led to an undisclosed grave site in an isolated area of Morgan County by a confidential source.” at a press conference on October 19th. He added that the evidence and remains have been taken to the medical examiner to prove identity and to determine the cause of death.
Last Monday, as an elementary student living in the Mountain Green area was getting off the bus, and walking home, a man in a grayish/ silver truck pulled up and the man in the truck told the young girl to “come here for a second.” The girl ignored him, and then took off running as the man got angry and threatened to hurt her if she didn’t obey.
DeOrr Peterson is running for the Morgan City Council. He has served on the City council for a combined total of approximately thirteen years. He served from 1982-1986, from 1990-1994, and from 2005 to present. Peterson has enjoyed his time on the council. His experience has given him good perspective on the community, the challenges, opportunities, and changes over time. He said that the current council gets along well and can come to decisions with good discussion and opinions shared in a respectful environment.
In a five to one vote the council decided to keep Cottonwood Park as a county park rather than handing over the park to the local homeowners association. Some residents in the area did not want the county to develop the park with additional items like a bowery, restrooms, or soccer fields. They expressed the view that the park is a local park that does not have sufficient parking, or large enough space to accommodate the types of activities being discussed by the park board.
When Braydon Deru adopted a dog from the Davis Animal Shelter he thought he was saving man’s best friend. Instead he found himself getting a visit from the Morgan Animal Control officer. The officer informed Deru that it is not legal to own a pit bull in Morgan and that he would either need to get a DNA test to prove that the dog is not a pit bull or get rid of the animal.
Holcim Cement Plant in Crodyon began Tuesday with its typical routine. Employees were crossing the plant with their usual responsibilities, and drivers were picking up loads of cement to transport to various destinations. As employees and customers moved about their normal routine, one truck was not expected.
The city has reached their first milestone in raising money for the splash pad. The initial target to ensure that there was sufficient support for the project was to raise $25,000. They exceeded this number last week as the total amount raised moved above $30,000.
The county received a report on 2010 finances from their independent auditor. The auditor reviewed the county’s revenue and expenditures and provided comment on controls and policies in the county government. The provided comment on the status of the theft from Morgan County by the former council administrator, Garth Day.
Several months ago the county council changed the body that hears appeals to planning commission and county council decisions. The county had previously had a board of volunteers that heard the appeals cases. The council had been struggling to have enough volunteers to keep the appeals board working. They also had challenges with the appeals board keeping current on the knowledge necessary to make good decisions. Appeals are rare, and the law and county codes are complex. Last year the chairman of the appeals board wrote to the council about his concerns relating to the capability of the board to render good decisions.
The Utah Department of Transportation is in process up upgrading the surface of Interstate 84. The project will continue until this fall. During the construction one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open.
The Morgan County Sheriff’s department removed more than 7,000 marijuana plants growing on a farm above Porterville. The sheriff’s office worked with other law enforcement agencies and more than 50 officers were involved in the operation.
After years of work, cleaner water for some residents in Mountain Green became even closer on Tuesday in the County Council. A conditional use permit was granted to Cottonwood Mutual Water Company to allow construction of a well house. This brings the water company one step closer to bringing a new well online to replace a well contaminated with nitrates.
The Morgan County Sheriff’s office would like residents to be aware of a scam that is taking place in the community. Residents have been contacted by an individual who claims that they have a family member who is trapped in Mexico.
In a surprise move, Member Ned Mecham brought the issue of the purchase of land adjacent to the fair grounds back to the county council agenda. Mecham has been a consistent proponent of the purchase of the land, but had been unable to muster the votes necessary to pass the purchase at a price the school board would approve.
After months of negotiations the county reached agreement with the developers of Rollins Ranch. The developer agreed to complete all identified improvements per the initial development agreement by August 31 and to pay the outstanding tax bill of approximately $23,000. The county agreed to waive interest and penalties on the unpaid taxes, to take the developer out of default, and to begin issuing building permits once the taxes are paid and the improvements are complete.
he county council has been negotiating with the developers of Rollins Ranch for many months. The owners of lots in the subdivision are caught in the middle of this ongoing problem of an unfinished subdivision that has not been accepted by the county, but has homes that have been constructed.
It was a somber atmosphere in the courtroom as Garth Day entered with his attorney, Amy Hugie. As U.S. Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba read each one of the six charges aloud to him, Day responded with a weak and barely audible whisper. With each charge presented to the defendant, the judge confirmed that Day understood it and also , understood that the government is required to prove their case against him beyond a reasonable doubt. Day was also informed that if he changed his plea to guilty, he would waive his rights to a trial and therefore relieve the government from having to prove their case. In each case Day responded in the affirmative.
The city water rate is currently based on a 12,000 gallon monthly minimum. The current rate is $2.00 per 1,000 for the first 12,000 gallons. The council approved an increase in the rate to $2.25 for the first 12,000. That is approximately an 11% increase. For usage over 12,000 gallons per month the current rate is $3.00 per thousand. This rate will now increase to $3.25. The council estimates that this will generate an additional $50,000 in revenue per year. The city plans to use these additional funds for capital improvement projects that will be needed in the next few years. The city is planning improvements to 700 East and other projects that will need water system updates to be a part of the total package of improvements. They new water rates will be effective July 1.
The council could not finalize the approval of tax rates. The county has not yet provided the numbers. The council continued that portion of the public hearing until the county provides the new rates.
In a letter from Governor Herbert to state employees, the Governor stated, “As you are likely aware, the Utah State Legislature’s recent action on H.B. 328 has generated a review of the State’s 4-10 hour workweek. To comply with legislative mandates and remain within budget constraints, while maintaining customer service, the State of Utah will return to operating hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The council reported that the city has made the final payment on the city building.
4th of July Committee Report
The fourth of July committee reported to the council. They reviewed the agenda of events and talked about the many hours volunteered to make the day a success. They asked the city for an additional donation to the event and asked for help with the electrical at the park as well as the business licensing. The council expressed support and committed to help the committee solve the problems they are having.