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Centerfield projects include new city hall and water metering

By Gage Slusser

Staff Writer

6-27-3019

 

CENTERFIELD—The Centerfield Town Council discussed two major projects that will influence budget projections for the upcoming year. Budgeting for a new city hall and making changes to the water metering system were two of the biggest issues the council faced at its June 19 meeting.

Gary Keddington, town accountant, tried to clarify some funding discrepancies due to the use of culinary versus agricultural water usage. He said the model is being fine-tuned for the sake of providing better budget estimates in the future. After last year’s drought, the state legislature has determined that all water, both culinary and agricultural, should be metered.

Mayor Sorensen estimated that it would cost Centerfield approximately $1 million to meet the states metering goals. Not least among the problems is the physical deterioration of meters when sand enters the system. A meter used for irrigation can be destroyed in only a few years.

Also, a substantial part of the maintenance equation is the monitoring and recording of water usage—adding to the mandated expense.  The council was told that further guidance is anticipated from state authorities.

The council also brought up the need for new city hall. The existing building needs modernization for fire codes and additional exits. The presence of some 70 cracks in the building’s walls, the precarious nature of the sandstone-block footings and the fact that the heating system and water heater rested on bare soil beneath the building represent a clear and present need for a newer building. The council wanted the new building be safe and functional, but nothing fancy was required.

With efficiencies made to the process and simplifications made to the plan, the building is expected to cost about $300,000. The costs not paid by grant money will be financed at a 2 percent interest rate, amortized over a ten-year period. The council thought the loan could be paid off early.

Discussions with architect Ron Anderson will help the council better understand the costs. The council considered to possibility of using the building’s old stone as a decorative, non-load bearing wall on the front of the new building.

The meeting continued with a presentation by Rachel Jensen regarding preparations for the upcoming Pioneer Day celebration. The community is invited to become more involved in the planning and preparation efforts.

The town council was invited to comment on additions to a local trailer park. As Sanpete County is experiencing a 7 percent job growth rate, the idea of affordable housing for incoming workers was welcomed.

Pageant director Kara Jensen appealed to the council for a donation to the Miss Gunnison Pageant. The council unanimously approved $500. Jensen is stepping down as director after this year and Lindzey Harding will take charge. Pageant participants appear in the parades in Gunnison, Fayette, Centerfield and Mayfield.  They will also help serve food at the upcoming Pioneer Day celebration.