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Manti recreation cancels most spring sports

 

By Doug Lowe 

Staff writer

5-21-2020

 

 

MANTI—The recreational needs of city residents received special attention during last week’s online meeting of Manti City Council, which was held virtually via Zoom.

The discussion began with a report from the city’s recreation director, Burn Jensen, who provided disappointing details of the many spring sports activities that had been canceled, or at least put on hold, due to the new coronavirus directives.

“We have had to pivot and play it by ear, end programs and keep facilities closed to the public” Jensen explained. Yet, his report ended on a hopeful note in light of the governor’s lowering of the virus threat level from red to orange a week earlier, and rumors that another lowering from orange to yellow might soon be announced.

Kent Barton, city manager, summarized Jensen’s report by saying, “We are hopeful, with safety level restrictions easing up, that team sports will soon being permitted as long as adequate precautions are taken. But, only time will tell.”

Some of the questions asked by the members of council focused when and how the swimming pool could once again begin serving the public. In response, Jensen explained, “We are in uncharted territory. Not wanting to jump the gun, and waiting for more guidance from the health dept., in Richfield, about when and how we can start different activities and use our facilities like the ball park and swimming pool.”

Another staff report, delivered by Blake DeMill, the city’s power dept. director, focused on the status of plans to add a 46 Kilo Volt switch and master meter as part of Rocky Mountain Power’s installation located at 200 S. 600 West.

“It has been going a little slower than planned,” DeMill said. “We were supposed to have started in the spring, but that got postponed. Now, our plan is mostly for the fall.” Installation of the new switch will help protect the city from any loss of power due to a domino effect caused by problems elsewhere—to the north or south. Likewise, according to DeMill, any power problem that originates in Manti will be prevented from rippling “down to Gunnison or up to Jerusalem.”

Budget for the entire upgrade project will be in the neighborhood of $150,000 with Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA) picking up the minor cost of installing the master meter. DeMill explained, “Last year, we decided to redo the metering while we were at it.” UMPA has also indicated a willing to lend the city enough to cover the total cost in order to spread payment out over time.

After the initial planning, it was decided that a slightly bigger foot print would be needed. The addition of a 20 x 85 foot strip of land owned by Don Thompson is likely to meet that need. And, DeMill reported that Thompson has been agreeable and accommodating. Therefore, the necessary title work, with surveying and the like, “has already begun.”

Following DeMill, the city’s director of public service, Cory Hatch reported on plans for street maintenance and improvement. Hatch informed council that this year, like last, the sole bidder for the city’s chip and seal work was again Staker Parsons (the former Hales Sand and Gravel.)         This year’s work will “continue where we left off last year,” he said, and explained it would include “adding some new hard surface for the industrial park on 600 West and a little bit on 200 West extending north to the city limits.”

In response to another request for bids, on major work that would improve 500 West, Staker Parsons was again the only bidder. And, their price came in so much over budget that the work will have to be postponed for at least another year.

In the interim, Hatch plans to have the city crew do “some prep work on the shoulders along 500 West.” And, he spoke of the problem caused by water which runs onto and under the edges of the pavement, coming from the adjacent, somewhat higher surfaces of neighboring gravel and lawns. He also mentioned the prep work will “fix sections down by Maylett subdivision, off 500 West, where construction work has damaged the shoulders.”

Hatch assured council that the budget would have enough money to “spread around for patchwork,” doing things like fix places on other roads, and filling pot holes “at the cemetery.” And, he spoke of a hope to create a good second entrance to the cemetery as part of work on the north end of the ball park.

As part of his report, Hatch praised the work done by the city crew in locating and repairing “a pretty major water leak” of the city’s main pressurized line, “up on Cottonwood flat” immediate after the snow had melted. And he detailed other planned repairs, clearing, and improvements up in the canyons in addition to around town.

He also reported that this year, due to the restrictions on crowds of people, the city staff took over the hanging of flower pot baskets along Main Street that is usually accomplish by volunteers

Near the end of his report, Hatch addressed a new planning and zoning concern. “We suddenly have what seems like two hundred little teeny sheds” appearing in people’s yards. And, because small sheds do not require a building permit, the home owners are often placing those sheds in violation of city set back requirement.