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‘United We March’ tests endurance of marchers, honors heroes

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

9-13-2018

 

Gunnison Valley Fire Department volunteers Kelby Nay and Stockton Hansen march down the path during the United We March fundraiser on Saturday in Gunnison. Their team ended up coming in first place in the light half-ruck race. Photo courtesy Rebecca Bown Withers.

GUNNISON—Despite challenging terrain and injuries on the trail, the inaugural United We March fundraiser, which took place in Gunnison on Saturday in remembrance of 9/11 and to support America’s heroes, was a big success, said event organizers—thanks to the enthusiastic participants and volunteers.

“United We March 2018 was successful because of the amazing committee and those who participated,” said Justen Mellor of Gunnison, one of the organizers. “The stories of struggling through, whether they finished or not, show the amazing hearts of people and how they love all of our heroes.”

“Ruck” is a military term for a hike, often through rough terrain, and often carrying military gear. The full-ruck race was 26 miles and the half-ruck race was 16.1 miles.

Participants had a choice of racing in the heavy class, which required carrying a 35-pound backpack, or the light class, which didn’t require a backpack.

Only one team, the UVU veterans, entered the heavy full-ruck race. During the race, one racer broke an ankle and another suffered dehydration and had to be hospitalized. Despite those setbacks, some of the UVU Veterans crossed the finish line.

Mellor participated in a Bataan Memorial March in New Mexico in 2017 and modeled the march Saturday in Gunnison after it. (The original Bataan March was a 65-mile march in the South Pacific during World War II, where many American and Filipino prisoners of war died.)

The local march honoring service members, fire fighters, EMS, Search and Rescue and law enforcement, raised funds to benefit the UVU Veterans Success Center; the Utah 1033 Foundation, which provides financial help to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty; the U. of U. Burn Camp, which helps firefighters and fire victims recover from burn injuries; and Sanpete Search and Rescue, which performs rescues and helps out with a variety of law enforcement functions in the county.

Although the committee is still finalizing numbers, it estimates more than $30,000 was raised.

Jace Sorensen of Salina took first place in the individual heavy class full-ruck race. Camille Mason of Salina came in second.

Sue Williams, 60, of Salina won first place in the individual heavy half-ruck race. Robert Thomson, 44, of Ephraim won second-place in the same class.

Mike Bartholomew, 61, of Sterling came in first place in the individual light full-ruck race. Alyssia Stevenson, 38, of Manti, came in second in the individual light full ruck.

The individual light half-ruck race winners were John St. Clair, 56, from Fairway, Kansas, (first place) and Jayne Green, 46, of Gunnison (second).

Alyssia Stevenson, 38, of Manti, a nurse at Gunnison Valley Hospital, came in second place in the individual light full-ruck march. “Ruck” is a military term for a hike, often through rough terrain, carrying military gear. Photo courtesy Rebecca Bown Withers.

In the team heavy half-ruck race, Ash Grove and Christensen Arms came in first and second, respectively.

In the team light half-ruck race, the Gunnison Valley Fire Department won first place and the Gunnison Valley Hospital team took second.

Another race, the Gunnison Hospice Run to Remember 5K, took place at the same time. The winner was Wyatt Monroe, age 11. Second place in the 5K was taken by Valerie Anderson, 30.

Event committee member Mike Wanner said, “This was not one person’s effort but a whole organization. We are so grateful for all the help. There are so many responsible for such a successful event.”

Mellor credited volunteers such as Mindy Coates and Kara Jensen with helping runners stay hydrated along the long march.

“I gotta say [they] outworked and out played us all.” Mellor said. “It was an enormous task to handle water/fruit stations, and they came back dusty but smiling through it all. They were the United We March cheerleaders.”

He also thanked the Gunnison Valley royalty, Manti city royalty, and other “amazing young women who kept us hydrated all day long.”

Second-place full ruck winner, Alyssia Stevenson, said, “Mindy and Kara were the reason I could keep running.”

Volunteer Mindy Bunnell Coats said she and fellow volunteer Kara Jensen cried a few times watching participants push through their pain. “I am proud of every person who started at the beginning,” she said. “I don’t care how far you made it, ‘cause think about it…. you made it that far and that is so awesome! Thanks for letting me be a part of such an amazing weekend.”

 

Richard Hall family to be honored at annual pioneer celebration

 

Richard Hall, early Manti settler, will be honored at the DUP event, “Settlement of Sanpete” on Sept. 22.

MANTI—The Manti Chapter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers will honor Richard Hall and his family at the 31st annual “Settlement of Sanpete” event on Sept. 22.

The activities will start at 9:30 a.m. and include a wreath-laying ceremony at Hall’s gravesite in the Manti Cemetery followed by a tribute program offering historical sketches of Hall and his family, along with musical performances.

One of Hall’s ancestors, Douglas Barton will speak about him and how he helped build the Manti Tabernacle.

Hall was a master mason and is credited with building dozens of stone homes and other buildings in Manti.

He also performed stonework on the St. George and Manti Temples.

Born in 1817 in Yorkshire, England, Hall immigrated along with his wife Anne Boardley through New Orleans to St. Louis.  While in St. Louis, Anne died shortly after giving birth to their fifth child. Hall and his children eventually arrived in Provo where he remarried and subsequently relocated to Manti.

In his later years, Hall married Catherine Jack of Scotland, and together, they raised seven more children. They lived in a stone home on their 20-acre farm, which included the area now occupied by the Sanpete County Fairgrounds. Hall has a large posterity throughout the western United States and southern Canada.

After the family tribute program and luncheon, tours of historic Manti and Hall family sites will take place.

Family representative Kent Barton said that a committee of Hall’s descendants has been working closely with the DUP in planning the event and reported that a Hall family history book has been compiled, with over 100 pages of history, photos and documents related to the family.

The books can be pre-ordered prior to the event, with all proceeds going to the Manti DUP. For more information call 435-851-4906 or email richard.hall.manti@gmail.com

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Gunnison City leaders met with the BYU Urban Planning Group to begin creating a new general plan on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Dr. Michael Clay (standing, left) and his students said the city needed to decide on its goals and priorities for the group to move forward with the plan.

 

Gunnison says growth is the goal and the challenge in general planning meeting

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

9-6-2018

 

GUNNISON—To kick off a discussion on creating a new general plan, BYU’s student-staffed Urban Planning Group told Gunnison City leaders and residents a tale of two cities last week.

Not the book, mind you, but the group’s experiences in helping two other Utah rural towns craft its general plan.

Accompanied by Dr. Michael Clay, professor of urban planning at BYU, the student planners told the city council the first step is to prepare a vision statement at a meeting Wednesday, Aug. 26.

“A vision statement is a clear and simple statement that declares what the city intends to become,” said Jake Harding, BYU student and project manager for the Gunnison plan.

Harding challenged the city leadership to prioritize Gunnison’s values and ambitions.

“What is it to you that makes Gunnison great?” Harding asked. “All the goals that we create with you will be pointing back to your vision statement.”

Harding showed examples of the goals adopted by Manti City and the town of Eureka in Utah County. The two municipalities had very different visions and goals.

For example, in the area of land use, Manti and Eureka had some shared values, but Manti was focused more on growth, while Eureka’s land use goals were focused on maintaining what the town had.

The Manti City vision statement is: “Be a beautiful, clean, healthy, safe, friendly small town; preserve, restore and honor the community’s heritage in all actions taken; and foster a community that is progressive, organized and attractive to new businesses.

Several of the Gunnison City leadership commented that Manti’s vision statement paralleled the Gunnison City motto, “Progress with purpose.”

Essentially, Harding said, Manti’s priorities were maintaining a small town feel, while boosting economic development without ruining the historic nature of the town.

Eureka’s plan focused on paying homage to the town’s heritage as an historic mining community.

“Manti was about growing, Eureka was about not losing any more (population),” Harding said.

Harding and other BYU Urban Planning Group members encouraged the mayor and council to consider their priorities.

Growth, both economic and residential, and how to encourage it, was the dominating goal raised by Mayor Lori Nay and the council members.

Harding told the council that, according to the group’s research, for a long time, Gunnison City had flatlined in population—until the prison came.

Now, based on their projections, Harding says the growth expectancy for the city over the next 20 years is approximately 25 percent. In 2040, the BYU group expects population to reach nearly 2,500 people.

The general plan needs to address potential growth before it becomes a problem, Harding said.

“If half of the 200 families that work here and live elsewhere decided to move here, I don’t think the infrastructure could handle it,” Councilman Andy Hill said. “If we threw a hundred more homes in the mix, how do we handle that?”

Councilman Robert Anderson added, “Our culinary water is sufficient for our needs right now, but if you add more people, it won’t be.”

Jeff Coons, assistant project manager in the BYU group, said, “It’s possible that other things like the prison could come to the area and boost growth beyond expectations, but that could be regulated, if desired.”

Councilmember Michelle Smith and Nay both said they felt it was important to draw both tourists and move-ins to the city.

Nay said the area needs more nice rentals, but the area doesn’t offer enough incentive for people who have land available to develop homes or rental housing on it.

Councilman Blane Jensen said the reason lots don’t get developed is because fees for hookups make it unprofitable. He added that there are only so many places that can be developed, because Gunnison is mostly landlocked, and much of the surrounding area is state trust land.

Hill posed the question, “Do we as a city want to foster partnerships with the people who have land to encourage development? Subsidies? How can we make it worthwhile to develop the land?”

Harding said it was possible that if the city incentivized growth, demand for homes could increase enough to make hookup and other fees bearable.

“These people cannot afford it with wages they make,” Jensen said. “You can demand prices go up, but if people still can’t afford payments, what do you do?”

Coons said emphasizing the development of duplexes, triplexes and other multi-family housing units might offer greater incentive for people to develop their available property.

Nay mentioned a proposal to use the old Gunnison City Elementary as a site for a subdivision of multi-dwelling units.

Well,” Anderson said, “If people want to be inspired to live here, they need something to set a little fire in them.”

Councilman Blake Donaldson said he thought the city’s Main Street needed to improve to attract more businesses, and Nay agreed, saying they should lean on the historic nature of Gunnison Main Street in the process.

Hill mentioned improving recreation in the area to attract people. This started a discussion about how Gunnison could take advantage of people visiting 12 Mile Canyon or possibly even develop a trail system within the city that linked up with the canyon, or circles the city.

“We need to help and promote those who are here and that have gone through the struggle,” said Matt Reber, director of public works. “Why don’t we take care of who is here and focus on them a little bit. They’re the ones who have got us to where they are at. Yet we’re willing to go out and waive fees for someone new to come in. You got to take care of the ones who have got us to this point.”

Around that time, Harding broke in and said, “We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback, and we’ll start working on (ideas) and come back with some suggestions. Once goals and mission statement are firm with the mayor, council, and planning and zoning, we will start involving the public in things.”

He added the city will try to complete plan discussions in eight meetings. The council set a tentative date to meet again about the general plan on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.

Ruben Hernandez

 

Inmate firefighter accused of raping woman at Coal Hollow camp

 

By Suzanne Dean

Publisher

9-6-2018

 

INDIANOLA—A woman working in the Coal Hollow Fire Base Camp was raped last week in one of the trailers in the camp, according to the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office.

Ruben Hernandez, an inmate from the Idaho Department of Corrections, who had been brought in to help fight the fire, was booked into the Sanpete County Jail on Wednesday, Aug. 29, in connection with the incident.

According to Det. Derick Taysom, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, the victim said Hernandez had been flirting with her over the previous week.

On the day of the assault, she was inside a wash trailer when Hernandez entered. He asked for her phone number. In an attempt to get him to leave her alone, she gave him the number for a friend’s husband. That’s when Hernandez raped her.

The woman said she did not scream or try stop Hernandez, because she knew he was a prisoner and was afraid he might hurt her. She said she “froze” and didn’t know what to do. Following the assault, the victim went to a local hospital for an examination.

The victim’s name and role in the fire fight were not released. The case has been referred to the Sanpete County Attorney’s Office.

Rocky Mountain Power tells county it is reducing power rates

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

9-6-2018

 

MANTI—The Sanpete County Commission heard good news from a Rocky Mountain Power representative that residents will be saving about $4 per month on their power bills.

Brent Dewsnup of Rocky Mountain Power gave the county commission an “annual update” on activities of the power company in Sanpete County.

First, Dewsnup told the commission that the tax reform bill passed by Congress in December 2017 would allow Rocky Mountain Power to pass along tax savings to rate payers. The effect on a typical residential customer bill is a reduction of $4.17 per month, based on usage of 698 kilowatt-hours per month.

The reduction will appear on customer bills as a separate line item, “Tax Act Adjustment.” Following an order by the Utah Public Service Commission, which regulates large utilities, $61 million in benefits will be passed through to Utah customers by Dec. 31, 2018.

Dewsnup also told the commission Rocky Mountain Power had contributed to local celebrations, including $500 for the Fourth of July celebration in Moroni.

Commissioner Claudia Jarrett pointedly asked Dewsnup if Rocky Mountain Power would ever consider the same kind of sponsorship for a countywide event. Dewsnup replied, “Definitely.”

Dewsnup said Rocky Mountain Power could contribute to the county fair in the $400-$500 range as it did for Moroni’s celebration.

Dewsnup then talked about Rocky Mountain Power’s “Blue Sky Program” which aims to support efforts to bring renewable and sustainable energy production to the county.

He said a project to install solar power at the North Sanpete Middle School was part of the program even though the project was administered by Siemens under contract with the school district.

The commission also announced it will hire the law firm of Durham, Jones & Pinegar of Lehi to be the local counsel in national tort litigation against opioid manufacturers. The Utah firm will work with Phipps Deacon Purnell of Texas.

J. R. Reichl of Phipps Deacon Purnell said, “The opioid epidemic has become a line-item expense in most every local government budget. We must work together to hold them (opiod manufacturers) accountable.”

Well-known Sterling man facing charges of of fraud

 

MANTI—A well-known Sterling resident has made his initial appearance in 6th District Court on charges of committing fraud against his wealthy father-in-law amounting to at least $93,000.

Kevin Pete Conover, 67, and his estranged wife, Heidi Conover, 57, were both charged with multiple counts of communications fraud occurring between February 2014 and July 2015.

The charges ranged from second-degree felonies to Class B misdemeanors, depending on the amount of money involved in each individual incident.

Heidi Conover faces 14 counts of communication fraud, while Kevin Conover only faces five counts.

Deputy Sanpete County Attorney Wes Mangum suggested Kevin may have been the smarter of the two co-defendants, since he did not sign the majority of documents that make up the “paper trail” of evidence in the case.

Kevin Conover has also been charged with three misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief, wrongful posting, and unlawful use of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) property arising from an unrelated incident, where Conover is alleged to have bulldozed a pond on property he didn’t own.

Both of the Conover cases came before Judge Marvin Bagley last Wednesday. Both cases were continued to Oct. 3 at 9 a.m., in order for the defendants to hire counsel.

Mangum explained the cases arose out of time when the Conovers had moved her father, W. Lynn Benson to their home in Sanpete County when he was having physical health problems.

During that time, between January 2013 and July 2015, the Conovers used a fraudulent power-of-attorney document to access her father’s corporate accounts for their own personal use. According to Mangum, they got Benson to sign the document without him understanding what he was signing.

While Mangum said his office has not totaled the entire amount the Conovers are alleged to have taken, charging documents state the amount taken is at least $93,992.04. The actual amount will probably be more than that.

Mangum said it is too early to determine how this case is going to be resolved. At this point, the county attorney’s office is preparing to take the matter to trial.

 

 

‘Team Wyatt’ run to raise funds for boy with leukemia

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

Wyatt Craven of Fairview will be the focus of a benefit on Saturday in Mt. Pleasant. He is fighting myeloid leukemia and is scheduled for a bone marrow transplant later in September.

MT. PLEASANT—Friends in the community have scheduled a benefit this weekend for a boy in Fairview who is fighting leukemia.

A group calling itself Team Wyatt is organizing a 5K charity run on Saturday to help Craven’s parents, Mike and Chrissy Craven, with medical expenses, especially the high cost of a drug that is not covered by insurance.

Festivities will be centered at 180 Fitness, located in the old North Sanpete High School building at 180 N. State Street in Mt. Pleasant.

At 10 a.m., the 5K race will start. It costs $15 to enter. At 11 a.m., a prize drawing will be held with tickets $5 each or five for $20. And then at 11:30 a.m., a fund raiser luncheon will be held.

According to the family’s LDS bishop, Wyatt suffers from acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the immune system. He is scheduled for a bone marrow transplant later in the month.

September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and Wyatt’s parents hope to raise awareness of all forms of childhood cancer.

To preregister, go to www.180.fit/WyattCraven5KCharityRun.com. Supporters can also go to Facebook, under “superwyfoundation”; Instagram “@craventhegoodlife”; or Blog Spot “craventhegoodlife” for more information.

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Fountain Green Holds open house to

discuss new city hall and fire station

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

FOUNTAIN GREEN—About two dozen residents attended an “open house” last week to learn about plan to build a new combined city hall and fire station.

The proposed site is on State Street between 300 and 400 North, and the estimated cost is $2 million. While public approval is not required, the city plans to send out ballots to citizens in the next week or two to get their approval before moving forward.

At the open house Thursday, Aug. 23, Mayor Willard Wood explained the plan was to sell the present city building, once an elementary school, and use the proceeds to match a potential 50/50 grant or loan from the Utah Community Impact Board (CIB).

The mayor said the existing city building would be sold to a family who plans to turn it into a combined “activity center” and private residence. He said the building would be sold at its “full appraised value” of $300,000. Meanwhile, he said, the city hopes to retain the old fire station for storage.

Wood laid out the schedule for the project. A planning meeting will be held in October, where the city will present its plans, get CIB input, and based on the input, possibly amend the plan. The city’s formal application would be due in January 2019, and the CIB would make its decision in February 2019. If everything went as scheduled, the city would break ground in March 2019.

The city plans to apply proceeds from sale of the current city building toward its expected payments on the new city hall from 2019 through 2025-26, Wood said. By then, debt on some earlier city projects will be paid off. Then the city can divert funds now budgeted for the earlier debts to meet its new obligation. By doing so, the mayor said, the city would not need to raise taxes to pay for the new building.

The mayor told the audience that plans for the building had not yet to be prepared, but blueprints for a similar building in Elsinore, Sevier County, were on display for the audience. The city is considering using the same design.

In response to questions from the audience, Mayor Wood said the new building would “absolutely” have a library in the basement, although it would only be reached by stairs or a ramp. “An elevator cost as much as half the building,” he said.

Wood said the proposed budget for the building included “contingencies” for any cost overruns, although any “extra” money could not go to any other project, but would have to be returned to the CIB.

At the end, Wood said that even if the city doesn’t get approval from citizens or the CIB to build the new combined city hall and fire station, it will go ahead with a new fire station. “Everyone needs to know that,” he said.

 

Fountain Green outlines proposed

buffer zones around municipality

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

FOUNTAIN GREEN—The Fountain Green Planning Commission has proposed a buffer zone around the city that will define the lot sizes for future development and potential annexation into the city.

Brian Allred of the commission presented the proposal to the Fountain Green City Council last Thursday, Aug. 23.

The proposal was developed in response to a directive from the Sanpete County Planning and Zoning Commission to municipalities to develop buffer zones plans and provide them to the county for planning purposes.

The directive was issued in April 2018. Fountain Green has been working on the plan since then, Allen said.

A map of the buffer zone showed two “perimeters” around the city. Land inside the first perimeter would be zoned Residential-Agriculture (RA-1), which requires lots to be a minimum of 6 acres.

Land between the city limits and first perimeter on north side of town would also be available for light industry.

Land between the first and second perimeters would be zoned as Sensitive Land (SL-1 or SL-2). That classification requires lots to be at least 40 acres. The land can be used for either agricultural or residential purposes.

A document accompanying the map explained that the city would not provide water or sewer services to lots in the buffer zone, and developers would be required to provide roads aligning with the city’s current transportation grid.

Allred told the council his commission required 40-acre lots in the outer band of the buffer zone to protect the city water infrastructure; this will reduce the number of wells drilled near the city and avoid depleting water aquifers. He noted that Nephi had also used 40-acre lots in its buffer zone.

Allred also said the plan was only a first step. A public hearing will be held on the proposal, after which, he said, he expected “fine tuning” from the council.

Once completed, the plan could be presented to the county for approval, he said.

The council promised to review the plan and bring it before a public hearing in the near future.

Colored area around Fountain Green map show details of proposed buffer zones.

 

New supervisor takes over

Manti-LaSal National Forest

 

By D. Yvonne Folkerson

Staff writer

8-30-2018

 

Ryan Nehl, the new supervisor of Manti-La Sal National Forest headquartered in Price.

PRICE— The new supervisor of the Manti-La Sal National Forest knows how to build relationships among different cultures.

Ryan Nehl arrived at his new office in Price last week after working as deputy forest supervisor at the Malheur National Forest in John Day, Ore.

He worked at the Malhuer Forest from 2015 until present. While there, he ran operations for the 2017 Rainbow Family Gathering, a kind of counter-culture gathering of people from all over the world, and the Great American Solar Eclipse

“I look forward to leading the forest in developing a revised land and resource management by engaging stakeholders and incorporating best available science,” Nehl said.

Those duties involved building relationships with local citizens.

“One of my main goals is to enhance relationships with the counties, tribes and other partners,” he said.

Prior to his service in the Malheur, Nehl worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs and before starting his federal service in 2007, he was employed with Chrysler Corporation and the Howard County (Indiana) Health Department.

Nehl and his wife, Sherry, will live in Price with their four sons (ages 21, 13, 12 and 8) and their dog.

 

Sterling man appears in

court on fraud charges

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

MANTI—A well-known Sterling resident has made his initial appearance in 6th District Court on charges of committing fraud against his wealthy father-in-law amounting to at least $93,000.

Kevin Pete Conover, 67, and his estranged wife, Heidi Conover, 57, were both charged with multiple counts of communications fraud occurring between February 2014 and July 2015.

The charges ranged from second-degree felonies to Class B misdemeanors, depending on the amount of money involved in each individual incident.

Heidi Conover faces 14 counts of communication fraud, while Kevin Conover only faces five counts.

Deputy Sanpete County Attorney Wes Mangum suggested Kevin may have been the smarter of the two co-defendants, since he did not sign the majority of documents that make up the “paper trail” of evidence in the case.

Kevin Conover has also been charged with three misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief, wrongful posting, and unlawful use of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) property arising from an unrelated incident, where Conover is alleged to have bulldozed a pond on property he didn’t own.

Both of the Conover cases came before Judge Marvin Bagley last Wednesday. Both cases were continued to Oct. 3 at 9 a.m., in order for the defendants to hire counsel.

Mangum explained the cases arose out of time when the Conovers had moved her father, W. Lynn Benson to their home in Sanpete County when he was having physical health problems.

During that time, between January 2013 and July 2015, the Conovers used a fraudulent power-of-attorney document to access her father’s corporate accounts for their own personal use. According to Mangum, they got Benson to sign the document without him understanding what he was signing.

While Mangum said his office has not totaled the entire amount the Conovers are alleged to have taken, charging documents state the amount taken is at least $93,992.04. The actual amount will probably be more than that.

Mangum said it is too early to determine how this case is going to be resolved. At this point, the county attorney’s office is preparing to take the matter to trial.

 

Ephraim City reports water

struggles may be ebbing

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

8-23-2018

 

EPHRAIM— The Ephraim City Council received the first jar of water drawn from the city’s new test well, and with it, news that city’s water woes may be ebbing.

Holding up a jar of water, director of economic development Bryan Kimball told the city council that he is “very encouraged” with the progress of the city’s new test well, which is located on city-owned property at about 450 S. 400 West.

After three days of pumping, the well is emitting 700-800 gallons per minute, Kimball said, and he believes the results bode well for the well in the future.

The city also received the initial arsenic test results. The test well’s arsenic levels are well below the state’s minimum standards, and much better than the existing well, said Kimball.

The arsenic levels of the city’s existing well in the west-center part of town were what started the city looking into drilling a new well.

Kimball told the council the city would send samples of the test well water to the state for full testing when the water clears up from sediments in a few days.

According to Kimball, the city hopes the state will send its “punch list” for meeting state municipal water requirements in October. Once that is done, the city would be able to put its final designs for the new well out to bid and then start drilling in the late fall. If that happens, Kimball is optimistic that the new well would be online by early spring 2019.

Kimball then talked about how the city was dealing with its water restrictions. He said the city water tanks are filled to the top every day at 5 p.m. And then, after a night of watering, the tanks have been emptied again.

Kimball described how every day Chad Parry, the city utility director, has to perform “a ballet” of redirecting the water flow from one tank to the next to make sure each tank is re-filled and the city’s water flow stays constant.

Kimball related that most houses are using less water than last year, although there are a few that still use more water than most. With this year’s water shortages, the city has had to manage its water supply much more actively than ever before.

Councilman John Scott reported that a new concrete subcontractor has been hired to work on the Ephraim tunnel. He said the new contractor “was on the job.”

The city was forced to recruit a new subcontractor after the contract with the first one ran out because the tunnel project has run at least a year longer than originally anticipated.

City Manager Brant Hanson added “he is very well qualified, even more so than the previous contractor. We feel like we got lucky.”

Kimball said the tunnel workers are “going as quickly as they can” in order to beat the weather and finish the mammoth project year. They have laid 1,000 feet of pipe in the 7,000 foot tunnel.

Ephraim Police Chief Aaron Broomhead delivered an initial report to the council regarding the number of calls the Ephraim Police Department answered outside city limits. The council had asked for his report because of concerns over whether Ephraim was getting the full use of its own police officers, or whether other municipalities were over-relying on Ephriam.

As Scott put it, “They’re [other cities] not hiring, because we’re supplementing their [police] force.”

Chief Broomhead told the council that so far, all he had been able to determine was that the dispatch operator might call Ephraim police for lower priority calls (such as VIN checks) because no other police agencies were available. Broomhead said he would discuss this situation with dispatch to resolve it.