Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for August 3, 2012
Town of Fredonia discusses sand volleyball court for Fredonia Park
The Fredonia Town Council meeting last week began with public comment by council member Alvin Johnson. Johnson said that former Mayor Dixie Judd informed him Fredonia owns the water rights to Big Springs. He asked Mayor Brent Mackelprang if he had any information on this matter.
Mackelprang stated a number of years ago, Tom Corrigan had been given direction to work with water attorneys in Phoenix to file for the rights to Big Springs. The last report on the subject was that the town had not heard back regarding the filing. Mackelprang suggested checking with the state to determine the actual ownership of the water rights. If the town owns the water, they should start looking for money to start piping.
Lukus stated she had spoken with former Town Manager Dan Watson, who suggested the town move forward with the lights in the park using the money he had budgeted for electrical improvements.
Alicia McCormick informed the council that the staff was currently working on researching various options for the lighting.
Town Clerk Carrie McDonald reported McCormick will be attending NACOG training because she has taken over the Senior Center reporting and is essential for reimbursement from NACOG.
The codification has been postponed until September to make adjustments to the code.
She and Public Works Director Ken Bistline have been working on a USDA grant to refurbish the tennis courts.
Humana Health Insurance issued a check for $5,600 to Fredonia, which must be used for a health or fitness incentive. McDonald informed the council that McCormick suggested installing a sand volleyball court at the park with the funds. Because Fredonia’s park is now being well used, focusing those funds on the park would be a good investment into the health of the community.
She also suggested part of the funds be used to purchase portable scoreboards for baseball and softball.
“These are things the Town of Fredonia uses or would use because they’re very athletically minded, and we’d really like to encourage that,” stated McDonald. She believes the volleyball court and the scoreboards can be purchased within the $5,600 budget.
Mayor Mackelprang informed the council that the public works crew is installing a fence around the gun range, are doing a good job and thanked them for their work.
He then requested the council review the Forest Service Kane Ranch information and submit comments.
Building inspector Ross Hunt approached the council regarding his position with Fredonia. He explained that when he started with the town five years ago, he only held two certificates and was hired at the rate of $12.10 per hour. He now has all eight certificates, but his wage is the same. The average rate for a building inspector in this area is approximately $40,000 per year. He said many small communities are unable to afford this rate, so generally pay one of three ways. They pay a retaining fee of an average of $125 per week, pay 75% of the permit fee, or the most common is to pay $56 for residential or $112 for commercial permits.
Mayor Mackelprang agreed it is time to do something different for Hunt. “If you’ve been at $12.10 for five years, that’s probably not right.”
Council member Dustin Riddle agreed, “As far as putting the effort in to get the other certificates, I think he well deserves it… it is also a benefit to the town.”
Hunt preferred to receive 75% of the permit option.
Johnson asked if the town would be able to cover any other permit processing expenses with the remaining 25%.
McDonald and McCormick affirmed. The remaining expense is clerical.
The council unanimously approved the change.
Lukus asked Hunt about the influx of residents who bring in camp trailers and live in them, which is against Town Code.
McCormick stated several residents have been issued notices regarding the code; that they can only have the trailer there for 30 days before a Conditional Use Permit is required.
McDonald informed the council that several ordinances needed to be passed to correct issues discovered during the codification process. Some were to remove railroads from the code because Fredonia does not have railroads, some were to come into compliance with state regulations, and one, regarding the cemetery, was to allow for the 21 gun salute and/or horses for ceremonial burials. The council approved the first readings of the ordinances.
The council assignments were discussed. Included was a discussion about the history of the Fredonia Retarding Structure. Previously, plans were in the works to decommission the dike, but Fredonia was unable to come up with its portion of the repair cost, which would have been more than $1 million.
Johnson suggested the town clean out the overflow where dumping has occurred. By cleaning out the drainage, water could flow through, being diverted from the town, if there ever was a problem.
Mackelprang said now would be a good time, because the crawler is in the area.
Johnson asked what extent the council’s involvement should be, now that there is no town manager.
Mackelprang explained the council members will need to take a more leading role in the departments they are over. If calls or concerns come into the office regarding a department, the council member over that department would address them.
Lukus suggested creating a form to be completed by the resident, to be available at the town office. The form would then be forwarded to the council member over the department in question.
Riddle asked about the use of the lights at the rodeo grounds.
Mackelprang stated it is public service the town provides, much like the park. He continued that $1,000 had been donated by Cedar Livestock to redo the inner corrals.
Riddle then asked about boarding horses.
According to Mackelprang there is no horse boarding allowed and there should be more signs posted stating such.
Any cattle boarded costs ten cents per day per head.
The list of assignments is available at the Fredonia Town Office.
Mayor Mackelprang then addressed the Forest Service Travel Management Plan and Forest Management Plan for the Kaibab National Forest. “I just get so disgusted and I keep thinking about it… What I think is the best route for us to go in this process is to submit a letter to the U.S. Forest Service, stating we are in total opposition to any changes they’ve made.” They have to be addressed immediately because of impending closing dates.
“The reasoning for that,” he continued, “is that we had requested coordination status.” The town was denied that status. According to NEPA and FLPMA rules, they were required to grant coordination status. “To my knowledge, we are the very first entity they have ever rejected under coordination. Ever.”
Mayor Mackelprang stated legal action may have to be taken against the Forest Service for this denial, which would cause the department to throw out the work it has done thus far. He reiterated he would like the letter drafted as soon as possible opposing any changes to the management of the Kaibab National Forest.