Archives for October 2016

Inside Our Schools Oct. 19-31

 

Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer

10-27-2016

 

Ephraim Elementary

            Students have been collecting box tops to help the school raise money for various projects. All box tops are due by Oct. 31.

The Parent Teacher Association will hold a Safety Awareness Week from Monday, Oct 24 through Friday, Oct. 28. The week was previously known as Red Ribbon Week, but this year, the PTA wanted to focus on multiple aspects of safety for children. Topics will include drugs, bullying and internet safety. Faculty and staff ask that parents encourage students to participate in all of the activities and to be on the lookout for fliers going home with kids that week.

 

 

Fairview Elementary

            The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is hosting the annual Fall Carnival on Friday, Oct. 28 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the school. The whole family is invited to enjoy a night of food, fun and games. Costumes are recommended, but not required.

The (PTA) is also sponsoring the Scholastic Book Fair during PTC in the school library. Books are also available for purchase during the school day from Oct. 25-27.

The school is happy to announce their participation to help the Snow College Business Club raise money for the Children’s Justice Center. Please donate personal hygiene items, school supplies, backpacks, blankets, snacks, stuffed animals, etc. Because Halloween is around the corner, they ask for donated costumes as well. A donation box can be found in the school’s entrance area. The last day to drop off donations is Oct. 28.

The school has planned their Halloween activities, which will begin with a brunch served to students at 10:30 a.m., followed by the annual Halloween Parade at 11:30 a.m. Please make sure your students come to school dressed up in their costumes on Monday morning. The parade will begin at 100 S. and travel north to the bank and loop back around to the starting point. Monday is also an early out day, and students will be released from school at 1 p.m. Faculty and staff want to remind parents and students that no weapons, fake or real, are allowed with costumes. This includes swords, knives, guns, nunchucks or any other tool that could be used as a weapon.

 

Gunnison Valley Elementary

            The Parent Involvement Committee will be holding a Halloween Carnival dedicated specifically for Gunnison Valley Elementary students on Halloween day. The event will be held during school hours from 12:45 to 2:20 p.m. when school gets out.  For more information, call the school at 435-528-7880.

 

 

Moroni Elementary

            The school is asking for a few volunteer parents to help with the preschool Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 28. The party is scheduled to go from 1:45-3 p.m.

Kids in Moroni Elementary are also getting to dress up and walk down Main Street for the Halloween Parade set to take place on Monday at 12:15 p.m. Faculty, staff and PTA members have decided to have students walk the parade early this year, so they have time to complete the parade before school is out on Monday.

The school also wishes to send a reminder to students to avoid putting kids in masks for the school parade. Light face paint is fine. Also, no weapons of any kind are allowed such as swords, knives, guns, nunchucks or any other tool that could be used as a weapon.

Preschool students are also invited to walk the parade but must do so with an older sibling or a fifth-grade student.

Parents are invited to go to the school to help their kids prepare for the parade at 11:15 p.m.

As a reminder, students are encouraged to come to school wearing their Moroni Eagles T-shirts on “Sprit Friday’s.”

 

 

Spring City Elementary

            At the beginning of the school year, faculty and staff crafted a fun way to get students to read daily by implementing a game of “Who done it.” The game is meant to play throughout the year, and students are supposed to read a certain amount of pages to figure out who destroyed the school library and stole books.

The first quarter has commenced, and the first clue to find out who the four villains are in this crime mystery has been solved.

There was a two-way tie with a third-grade and fourth-grade group. Each group solved the puzzle by reading pages from the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” and were awarded a button and picture of the “Trunchbull,” who was villain No. 1.

Students will continue with reading assignments to earn clues for villain No. 2.

Also during an assembly, several students in Spring City Elementary were awarded perfect attendance certificates during their end-of-the-quarter assembly on Wednesday, Oct. 19.         Drawings for prizes were also awarded for completing reading assignments and other accomplishments throughout the first quarter.

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left to right are the winners of the Manti Elementary school coloring contest; Ella Clark, Madison Cox, Laynee Pace and Collin Quayle. - Daniela Vazquez / Messenger photo

From left to right are the winners of the Manti Elementary school coloring contest; Ella Clark, Madison Cox, Laynee Pace and Collin Quayle. – Daniela Vazquez / Messenger photo

 

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Mistletoe Mall event dated for Nov. 4,5 at Gunnison High

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

10-27-2016

 

GUNNISON—The 34th annual Mistletoe Mall holiday shopping event will be held at the Gunnison Valley High School (GVHS) on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5.

The mall will be held in the GVHS gym from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4 and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. There will be numerous vendors and local crafters offering their hand-crafted goods.

Items available for purchase at the mall will include holiday decorations, clothes, candy, jewelry, makeup, baked goods, toys, cookware and much more from national to local vendors.

The Gunnison High School shop class will have a laser cutter on site, which they will be using to make custom-cut items to sell to raise money for the school’s Green Car race team.

GVHS cheerleaders will be providing food services under the direction of their advisor Kimberly Sorenson.  They will be serving soup and breadsticks, taco salads and cinnamon rolls.

Door prizes will be given out throughout the day.

Most vendors will be using a central checkout, but there will be some vendors who require payment at their booths, so please come ready with checks or cash if you wish to do any shopping.

 

Members of the Manti High Cross Country team at Sugar House Park for the state tournament races. - Photo courtesy Brandon Norris

Members of the Manti High Cross Country team at Sugar House Park for the state tournament races. – Photo courtesy Brandon Norris

 

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Red Devils end Bulldogs season 63-21

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

10-27-2016

 

 

GUNNISON—The football season ended for the Gunnison Bulldogs on Wednesday, Oct. 18, with a 63-21 loss to Grand County in the play-in game of the 2A state playoffs, but not before participating in a play that was more than just football.

A nightmarish second quarter stole the game away from Gunnison after they controlled the game through the first quarter.

“This is a great team,” Bulldogs head coach Jack Pay said. “There’s no other team I’d rather coach, no matter what the scoreboard says. They have a lot of fight and a lot of character, and they’re going to be great men. That’s the important thing.”

Gunnison opened the high-scoring affair with a rare defensive touchdown. Bulldog Kyler White, who has excelled at all positions for Gunnison this year, picked up a fumble after sacking Grand quarterback Brayden Schulz and took it all the way back for the score.

Schulz answered on the next play with a long touchdown run after the pocket collapsed. Schulz’s speed would be a problem all day long for the Bulldogs. On the ensuing drive, Gunnison fired back again with a touchdown from quarterback Kris Edwards to White. That gave the Bulldogs a 14-8 lead going into the second quarter, the fourth time in the season they had done so.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, all that could go wrong did go wrong in the second quarter as Gunnison turned the ball over twice on fumbles, threw an interception, and had a punt blocked inside their 10-yard line. The mishaps turned into a 22-point second quarter for the Red Devils’ unstoppable run offense, who led at halftime, 30-14, effectively crushing the morale of Gunnison.

Gunnison tried to keep themselves in the game, but Grand’s defense wasn’t letting a pass-heavy Bulldog offense catch any breaks.

Eventually, the Bulldogs found the end zone one more time on a kick return from White in the third quarter to breathe some life into the hapless Bulldogs, bringing the score to 37-21, but that was as close as they got.

The Red Devils ran away with the game in the fourth, scoring three more touchdowns.

A timeout by Grand with 14 seconds remaining left fans wondering what was delaying the game’s inevitable end.

With their last play, the Red Devils turned to junior Lucas Carin, a special needs player diagnosed with autism, to run their final play.

With the generous cooperation of the Bulldog defense, Carin carried the game’s final handoff over 50 yards for a touchdown on his only snap in a Grand uniform, tailed by enthusiastic teammates.

“This will be something that [Carin] will remember forever,” Grand head coach Dennis Wells says. “I appreciate Gunnison for letting this happen.”

Gunnison wraps up this season with a 3-7 overall record, improving upon their 2015 record of 1-9. Edwards is set to return for next year with a whole new receiving lineup.

This season marks the first time in over ten years that the Bulldogs host the first round of the playoffs.

Mackenzie Wade (left No. 24) and Kamee Christiansen (right) battle for control of the net in the final volleyball game of the year that featured the Gunnison Bulldogs at Manti. - Bob Bahlmann / Messenger photo

Mackenzie Wade (left No. 24) and Kamee Christiansen (right) battle for control of the net in the final volleyball game of the year that featured the Gunnison Bulldogs at Manti. – Bob Bahlmann / Messenger photo

 

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Snow ladies soccer team top seed, will host tourney

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

10-27-2016

 

EPHRAIM—The Snow College women’s soccer team will be hosting the Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament while holding the top seed thanks to an undefeated 11-0-5 record in their first season as a new athletic program.

“We are very happy to have achieved a couple of the goals we set during our first team meeting,” head coach Nuno Gourgel said. “Based on the overall play during the regular season, I believe the girls deserved to finish first; however, we are aware that seeding does not mean anything and that anybody can take the crown. So, we will have to be at our best to win the conference championship on our home field.”

The Lady Badgers are taking on the winner of the play-in game between Southern Nevada and Colorado Northwestern for the semifinal conference tournament matchup.

On the other hand, Snow men’s soccer is fighting their way into the playoffs after an awful conference has brought their record all the way down to 6-8-0, losing five of their last six matches.

The Badgers will be hosting the play-in game against Colorado Northwestern. The winner of the matchup will play top-seeded Salt Lake, who the Badgers have lost to three times this season.

 

 

Snow volleyball team wins twice to keep their playoff hopes alive

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

10-27-2016

 

EPHRAIM—The Snow College Volleyball team broke their fall out of contention by posting two straight wins against Utah State-Eastern and Colorado Northwestern last week.

The Lady Badgers were on an uncharacteristic three-game losing streak after facing the hardest portion of their schedule. They need the turnaround to keep hopes alive for playing in a national tournament.

Snow posted a 3-1 win over USU-E on Nov. 20 before running CNCC out of town in a 3-0 match victory on Saturday.

“After spending the past three weekends on the road, it’s nice to play at home,” Snow College Head Volleyball Coach Jeff Reynolds said. “Maybe we were getting a little road weary. Being at home this weekend allowed us to re-focus on our team goals and to get some much-needed rest. These games this weekend were important for us. I’m extremely pleased with how we went to work this week on fixing the things that needed to be fixed, and regaining a little lost confidence.”

In the first match, a slow start and a 25-17 set loss spelled trouble for the Lady Badgers and their waning confidence, but they rebounded by jumping on top of the Lady Eagles in the following sets and coming away with a victory.

Learning from the prior match about the value of a good start, Snow never let CNCC get anywhere in their next matchup, winning the sets, 25-11, 25-15, and 25-17.

“After starting out slow the past three matches, I think we finally realized how important it is to get off to a good start in a match,” Reynolds said. “Part of our game plan was to start fast, manage our points, control the tempo and maintain the intensity throughout the match. I think we executed that part of the game plan to near perfection.”

The Badgers are staying strong this season thanks to a defense led by sophomore Sydnie Martindale, who after last week, has been named the Scenic West Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season. Martindale leads the conference in digs with 4.84 per set.

The Lady Badgers will play their final season game at home on Saturday against Southern Nevada, a pesky team that upset Snow in their last matchup, 3-1. Snow will then prepare for the SWAC tournament.

 

Wes Nay, 22, of Mt. Pleasant was found in a shallow grave in Utah County after being missing for more than a month.

Wes Nay, 22, of Mt. Pleasant was found in a shallow grave in Utah County after being missing for more than a month.

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Robert Stevens / Messenger photo

Robert Stevens / Messenger photo

More than 11,000 ballots on way to Sanpete voters

 

10-20-2016

 

Patricia Clark, deputy Sanpete County clerk, seals some of the 11,240 general election ballots that went in the mail Tuesday. Because of the volume of ballots, most people won’t get their ballots until today, and some ballots may not arrive until early next week. If you believe you are registered to vote but haven’t received a ballot by Oct. 27, call the clerk’s office at 835-2131.

You can still register up to Halloween and receive a regular ballot. If you register after Nov. 1, you will get a provisional ballot. For complete information about voting and about all candidates on local ballots, see the special Sanpete Messenger election report, coming in next week’s paper.

 

 

 

Justin Osmond (left) and Charles Pugh appear at halftime at the Snow College homecoming game, where they received distinguished alumni awards. - Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Justin Osmond (left) and Charles Pugh appear at halftime at the Snow College homecoming game, where they received distinguished alumni awards. – Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Distinguished alumni honored at homecoming

 

Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer

10-20-2016

 

EPHRAIM—The Snow College Alumni Association recognized two alumni with 2016 Distinguished Alumnus awards at the homecoming football game last Saturday, Oct. 15.

The recipients were Justin Osmond of Ephraim, Class of 1999, and Charles Pugh of Spanish Fork, Class of 1985 received the awards during a halftime ceremony. The awards recognize outstanding achievement and ability to rise above difficulty.

Osmond, who has a 90 percent hearing loss, is a motivational speaker, event producer and founder of the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund, which provides hearing aids and medical services to the deaf and hard of hearing. Pugh is an authority on industrial hygiene and safety and is currently senior vice president of claims at Workers Compensation Fund of Utah.

Osmond was born into a world of music as the second child of Merrill Osmond, lead singer in The Osmonds.

He attended Snow College on a music and academic scholarship. He said throughout his youth, teachers and other professionals told him he would never be able to play music. He proved his critics wrong by learning to play not one, but four, instruments: the violin, viola, piano and drums.

Osmond played the viola for the Snow College Orchestra and said practicing next to the loud sounds of brass instruments created a challenge because he was unable to hear the sound of the viola strings.

But in that challenge, Osmond said, he had a transforming experience. “I took my hearing aids out,” he said. “I put my viola up next to my chin bone and started to play. Through the vibrations, I could hear every note that I played as long as I stayed in low frequencies.” He said he recognized that he had musical talent even though he had difficulty hearing the music.

Osmond went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, and an MBA in marketing and public relations from Western Governors University.

Besides directing the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund (named after his grandmother), he is president of O2 Events & Productions, author of a biography titled “Hearing with my Heart” and former board member and spokesperson for Starkey Hearing Foundation, which helps children worldwide who have hearing losses.

Osmond and his wife, Kristi, enjoy four-wheeling with their children, camping, hunting and spending all the time they can outdoors.

Osmond says he lives by the motto, “I may have hearing loss, but hearing loss does not have me.”

Pugh, says he also lives life under a personal motto: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

He went to Snow on an academic and leadership scholarship and served on the Inter-Club Council. He also earned the Outstanding Chemistry Student award.

Pugh said he initially thought about becoming an educator, like his father, or possibly going into accounting.

Then he signed up for chemistry because Jolene Beazer, now his wife, was taking the class. He became fixated on the subject, partly because of the influence of Professor Boyd Beck.

After earning an associate’s degree in chemistry and business from Snow, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology, industrial hygiene and public health, from Utah State University.

Finally, Pugh earned a master’s of public health from the Department of Family and Preventative Medicine at the University of Utah.

A highlight of Pugh’s career was when Brigham Young University recruited him to help decommission the school’s nuclear reactor. He later became the school’s first chemical hygiene officer and implemented safety protocols that are still used today.

Worker’s Compensation Fund (WCF) recruited Pugh from BYU to fill a position as a health and safety consultant. In that role, he worked with the State of Utah, NuSkin and even Snow College to help them implement best practices in lab management.

Now a senior vice president at WCF, Pugh says it’s his chemical safety background, which began at Snow, that helps him understand some of the data he deals with in his job.

Pugh has also served as president of the American Industrial Chapter for the State of Utah, and on institutional and curriculum review committees for the U. of U.

He currently serves on the board for Junior Achievement of Utah and volunteers with Neuroworx, a foundation providing rehabilitation to people with neural injuries.

Pugh says he and his wife, children and grandchildren enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, riding ATVs and hiking.

Utah State Governor Gary Herbert shakes hands with Brittani Vlam, Templar student body activities agent. To her right are Jamie Bawden, student body historian; and Conner Meacham, student body president. Herbert visited Manti High School on Thursday, Oct. 13. - Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Utah State Governor Gary Herbert shakes hands with Brittani Vlam, Templar student body activities agent. To her right are Jamie Bawden, student body historian; and Conner Meacham, student body president. Herbert visited Manti High School on Thursday, Oct. 13. – Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Gov. Herbert visits Manti High, Barclay Mechanical

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

10-20-2016

 

 

MANTI— Utah State Governor Gary Herbert made stops in Manti City as part of his re-election campaign trail, accompanied by Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox and U.S. Congressman Chris Stewart, last Thursday.

Herbert, who is running for re-election in November, spoke in assembly to the entire Manti High School (MHS) student body with his campaign staff, then crossed town to visit Barclay Mechanical. The visits were part of Herbert’s efforts to reach out to two of his largest priorities in his campaign platform, education and job creation.

Herbert has campaigned more aggressively than many of his predecessors, who were more prone to see Republican election as a given. “Even though he’s very popular and does a good job,” Stewart said, “he doesn’t take it for granted. He’s willing to go out and do the work. It’s an unpredictable year for us as well.” Herbert’s primary opponent is Mike Weinholz, a Democrat, during this race.

Herbert made his first stop at MHS, where he met up with Stewart and Cox. He spoke personally with the student body officers and openly communicated with them and others about his hopes for Utah and the country as a whole.

“We are doing good things in Utah,” Herbert said. “We are becoming the gold standard of governments, of society, of culture. We are still a state that has good principles and values that many in our country have forgotten, and that’s really the secret of our success is people, great people, and the rising generation which are preparing themselves appropriately to take on a leadership role.

“I have never been more excited about Utah today, but I am concerned about the direction the country is going. Utah itself is in a very, very good position.”

As Herbert entered MHS, he almost immediately brought the student body officers’ attention to the painting that dons the entrance to the school, Arnold Friberg’s famous depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge, sharing with the group his deep love and understanding of the meaning behind the painting.

Herbert and company received a warm welcome from the Manti student body, some of whom prepared questions for them. Herbert, Cox, and Stewart graciously answered all questions posed to them during the assembly. “All of our high schools, all of our students are important,” Herbert says. “I’m very much concerned that we are doing all that we can to prepare our young people to be the leaders of tomorrow. They need to understand our history and our Constitution.”

Following the school visit, Herbert visited the local Manti-grown business Barclay Mechanical, run by the three Barclay brothers. Barclay Mechanical has experienced recent business success in rural Utah, and it caught the attention of Herbert. Scott and Mike Barclay led a closed conference with the governor about plans to grow rural Utah businesses through trade schools to create jobs in the state.

“He wanted to know what our concerns are,” Scott said. “We’re extremely grateful to have [Herbert] here. It means a lot to me that he’s willing to come to a small place like this despite the big companies he’s trying to bring into Utah.”

Herbert’s campaign trail goes all over Utah. Information about the campaign can be found at garyherbert.com.

 

Governor Gary Herbert stands with the staff of Barclay Mechanical in Manti. Herbert (pictured slightly right) toured the facility alongside John Barclay (right side, back row), co-owner, last Thursday during a campaign visit. - Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Governor Gary Herbert (right) toured Barclay Mechanical alongside John Barclay, co-owner, last Thursday during a campaign visit. – Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Fine furniture like this museum display case in the Monte L Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University is manufactured at A.W. Carter Furniture Works in Mt. Pleasant. Recently the business was approved for its second $50,000 Rural Fast Track grant.

Fine furniture like this museum display case in the Monte L Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University is manufactured at A.W. Carter Furniture Works in Mt. Pleasant. Recently the business was approved for its second $50,000 Rural Fast Track grant.

Mt. Pleasant furniture company gets second Fast Track grant

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

10-20-2016

 

MT. PLEASANT—A. W. Carter Furniture Works, a Mt. Pleasant firm manufacturing high-end furniture, received approval last week for its second Rural Fast Track Grant from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Gary Ramos, partner to business founder A.W. Carter, says the $50,000 grant will go toward a $149,925 expansion of the company’s workshop space.

Ramos says the new shop will allow the company to double its output capacity and to provide a wider range of products and services to its customers—specifically building and marketing high-end kitchens, in addition to the existing furniture line.

With the expansion, Ramos says the company plans to create at least five new jobs, including a woodworker, mill operator, mill programmer, salesperson and laser operator.

Of the five jobs created, the company expects to create one position paying at least 115 percent of the county average wage and four positions paying at least 125 percent of the county average wage.

Since Carter launched the company, it has designed and built furniture for LDS temples in San Salvador; Rome; Montreal; Indianapolis; Gilbert, Ariz.; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Carter started his business in a single 1,500 square-foot workshop at 1345 Blackhawk Blvd. in the Mt. Pleasant Industrial Park. He expanded the shop once before, doubling its size to 3,000-square-feet.

Later, he purchased a second, 2,000-square-foot building that became the company’s finishing shop.

“Since the first grant, we have added eight employees,” Ramos said. “We also built an upholstery shop so we can do all our upholstery in-house.”

A.W. Carter Furniture was also named 2015 “Client of the Year” by the Utah Small Business Development Center.

 

Spring City will build sidewalks without grant and save money in the long run

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

10-20-2016

 

SPRING CITY— At their recent meeting last Thursday, Spring City Council discussed a plan to make the walk to school safer for elementary-age students.

The renovations would comprise three new sets of sidewalks surrounding Spring City Elementary School.

A hot point of discussion in the meeting was how to pay for the project. The city council intended to seek funding through the state-funded Safe Routes to School Project. This project provides state-funded grant money for towns in Utah needing to create sidewalks around schools in their area. The grant would pay 94 percent of costs as long as the city comes up with a 6 percent matching contribution to the project funding.

“At first, we said, ‘Let’s go for it,’” Spring City Mayor Jack Monnett said. “Surely, the high rate of grant money was the best way to do the job.”

But the council’s enthusiasm about the grant lessened when Councilwoman Kim Stewart showed the council a detailed breakdown of the costs associated and how much Spring City would be liable to pay.

To meet all the requirements of the grant, Spring City would have some government hoops to jump through, including a survey, hiring a consulting firm, drawing up plans and holding a competitive bid.

For the requirements to be met, preliminary work alone would cost upwards of $40,000 to complete. Satisfying these requirements plus construction would cost over $250,000 by project completion, bringing the match price to $14,000 for the city.

“We couldn’t believe the dollars that mounted up for three sets of sidewalks,” Monnett said. “It seemed to be a case of people lining up at the government trough looking for money.”

In response to the intimidating costs involved with the grant process, Stewart proposed a new idea, saying, “For the same money, we could do it ourselves.”

Spring City, she says, can contract local cement finishers such as Spring City resident Shad Hardy to pour the cement. Stewart also said doing the project themselves would give them better control over material costs.

The project at a city-level is predicted to cost a few thousand dollars more in city funds than accepting the grant, but Stewart said she believes that this solution is a long-term money-saver for the city and also keeps the city from feeding funds into what she calls a “bloated” government program.

After hearing the details of Stewart’s proposal, the council made a motion to reject the grant and continue with possible self-funding routes to construct the sidewalks. The motion passed by a 4-1 vote.

 

Wales Town decides to join FEMA flood insurance program, with opt-out option

 

Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer

10-20-2016

 

WALES—Wales Town adopted an ordinance and passed a resolution to include the town in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program during the town council meeting on Oct. 6.

Mayor Keith Jensen hesitated before the decision to sign with FEMA was made because he said he wanted to ensure there was an option to opt out of the plan without consequence if it did not meet the needs of the town.

According to FEMA, the flood insurance program is intended to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures by providing affordable insurance to property owners. It also encourages communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations.

Jensen conducted research at the meeting and told council members and citizens that the FEMA policy says a municipality that withdraws from the flood insurance program faces similar limitations as some other forms of federal assistance but can opt out at any time.

One of the limitations is that lenders are forcing out private flood insurance options and enforcing buyers to hold insurance with the FEMA flood insurance program.

Those seeking loans under the Federal Housing Administration and Rural Development are strictly required to hold FEMA flood insurance before being granted the federally backed loan.

Local citizens Clay and Kristen Snow said unless the town adopts the ordinance, then they would be unable to sell their home because it was part of one of these low-income loan types.

Representatives from the Planning and Zoning Committee who attended the meeting told the council they spoke with FEMA representatives out of Colorado who sent them a model resolution and ordinances to adopt.

“We would agree as a town that we would do certain things to mitigate flood damage,” said one member of the planning and zoning committee who referred to the model plan. “If we do that on the government side of things, they will subsidize insurance plans, and it might be cheaper because a lot of [lenders] require this over private policies.

“If we do this, they provide the insurance and, as a committee, we think it a good thing and can’t see any [future] detriment.”

Jensen said signing up for the program was just another method used by the government to put Wales under its thumb.

“It’s a federal government dictate of how we manage our town,” Jensen said. “We could do that locally without their interference. It’s overkill and designed for people who have flood problems. We don’t have that big of a deal here and our participation would be [minimal].”

Planning and zoning committee reps disagreed with Jensen and said it had nothing to do with the rule of the government, but rather one created by mortgage companies because they want to protect their properties and require them to have flood insurance if they are in mapped flood zones.

Under federal law, lenders are required to disclose maps that outline disaster hazard zones and have disaster insurance types available if they grant buyers a federal loan, which was another concern brought up by the council.

“I remember discussing this before and we didn’t agree with their mapping, for one thing. We didn’t feel like it was accurate and we didn’t understand who surveyed the floodplain. We had a lot of problems with it to begin with,” Jensen said.

Councilman Byron Davis also said he questioned the accuracy with the map and that no one remembers when government officials came in to survey the area.

The planning and zoning representative told the council that “it doesn’t take an engineer to determine flood zones” and said that satellite images from Google Earth show drainage areas that go through the town.

Davis and Jensen corrected the committee member and said those images could be severely outdated, especially since the town has taken measures to protect it from flooding.

After the town council had approved adoption of the ordinance and passed the resolution, Jensen told those in attendance the town will remain on the plan until they have reason to withdraw.

 

County goes ahead with approval for billboards, despite Gunnison doubts

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

10-20-2016

 

GUNNISON—Despite opposition from Gunnison City, the Sanpete County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a request from Artik Ads LLC of Ephraim for a conditional use permit to erect billboards east of Gunnison’s city limits along U.S. 89.

The commission took the action last Thursday, Oct. 13 at a meeting at the Sanpete County Courthouse.

Jeremiah Blain, owner of Artik Ads, says the company plans to erect three billboards on property leased from Thomas Guild.

According to the information from the planning commission, Guild’s owns 41.26 acres  located on both sides of U.S. 89. While not within Gunnison City limits, the land is adjacent to the city’s boundary, in the Gunnison buffer zone and also adjacent to Satterwhite Log Homes.

Blain says his plan is put up two signs on the south side and one sign on the north side of U.S. 89 in front of a welding company property. The spacing of the signs complies with a state requirement that billboard be at least 500 feet apart. Artik plans to set up 10-foot tall steel I-beams that will support signs measuring about 10 feet by 30 feet.

In submissions to the planning commission, Blain said the Guild property is zoned commercial, and outdoor signs are permitted as a conditional use in commercial zones. He also maintained that the use was consistent with the county’s general plan.

Blain also noted that the property to the east of the site is zoned and used for commercial activities; that there is no development near the proposed location of the signs; there are no requirements for utilities, except for possibly electrical power; and there is no economic impact to surrounding uses.

He also maintained that there is no aesthetic impact to surrounding uses; there will be no offensive odors, dust, noise, glare or pollutants; there are no adverse effects of the proposed use; and there will be no impact on health, safety or welfare of the proposed use.

Commission members asked Blain if the proposed signs are to be powered and lighted. Blain replied, “If I do put lights on them, they will be solar powered.”

The commissioners also asked Blain what he would be advertising on the billboards. Blain implied it would be whatever his clients needed. But he said he had already reached an agreement with Security National Mortgage to advertise on the signs, should they be approved.

Gunnison City Councilman Blane Jensen was at the meeting representing the Gunnison City Council. “Our opposition is a reflection of conversations with Gunnison residents,” Jensen said.  “Those who did speak with me unanimously expressed opposition to the project. I am not sure we can effect an official position, but with the people we have talked to, it’s an aesthetic thing.”

Blain replied by saying he had an agreement with the property owner Thomas Guild that he had to keep the billboards in good working and good looking condition.

The Planning and Zoning Commission, along with Scott Olsen, county zoning administrator, said it appeared that the proposal complied with existing zoning, and Blain had met all requirements for a conditional use permit.

A motion for approval passed unanimously. Blain was advised he also needed to get approval from  the Utah Department of Transportation. And he was admonished not to advertse anything offensive.

“For the good folks of Gunnison, please keep it tasteful,” Olsen, the zoning administrator,  said.

When contacted for a follow-up statement, Jensen said, “Gunnison City understands that all we were there for was to relay the feelings of our community to the County Planning and Zoning Commission. We are grateful they allowed us to express the feelings of our citizens but also understand that the commission is bound by its rules, and since the project met those, we also understood why it passed.”