Archives for March 2017

Manti High School students came away with several awards from the state FBLA competition. From left, Vivianne Leers, Joseph Nelson, Adian Larsen, Tyler Boherer, Kyler Nelson, Kjerstan Birch and Preston Thomas. Not pictured: Brandon Shelly.

Manti High School students came away with several awards from the state FBLA competition. From left, Vivianne Leers, Joseph Nelson, Adian Larsen, Tyler Boherer, Kyler Nelson, Kjerstan Birch and Preston Thomas. Not pictured: Brandon Shelly.

Abigail Clawson, Colby Orton and Coldir Cox of North Sanpete High School placed in the top 10 at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)  state competition.

Abigail Clawson, Colby Orton and Coldir Cox of North Sanpete High School placed in the top 10 at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) state competition.

 

Sanpete students do well in state FBLA competition

 

Linda Petersen

Staff writer

3-23-2017

 

Students from two local Sanpete high schools, North Sanpete and Manti, did well at state Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA) competitions last week.

Kevin Nelson from Manti High placed first in  “computer problem solving” and in “cyber security.”

Brayden Shelley, also from Manti, placed fourth in “Insurance and risk management,” and the team of Joseph Nelson and Kyler Nelson placed fourth in “network design.”

Colby Orton of North Sanpete High placed fifth in “spreadsheet applications.” The teams of Adian Larsen and Preston Thomas, and Tyler Boehrer and David Arnoldson placed fifth in “3D animation and “computer game & simulation programming,” respectively.

North Sanpete students Coldir Cox placed seventh in “public speaking, ” and Abigail Clawson placed ninth in “journalism.”

Nine Manti students and 21NSHS students went to the state competition.

At the region competition before state, North Sanpete had 44 students place in the top five. Thirty of those students placed first or second in their events—some of those students placing in multiple events.

 

 

North Sanpete High School dedicated their newly-remodeled softball field and named it after long-time teacher and coach Shirlene Dovey.

North Sanpete High School dedicated their newly-remodeled softball field and named it after long-time teacher and coach Shirlene Dovey.

 

Softball field dedicated to former coach

 

Linda Petersen

Staff writer

3-23-2017

 

MT. PLEASANT—Last week, North Sanpete High School dedicated the new Shirlene Dovey Softball Field at the Mt. Pleasant Softball Complex.

The dedication took place on March 14. While there previously had been a field at the complex named for Dovey, it has been renovated as the high school’s baseball field.

Another field, which was remodeled and updated, became the new softball field and Dovey’s name was transferred to it. Dovey is credited as the inspiration behind the four-plex and implementing women’s athletics, cheer and drill at the school in the 1970s.

During her time as a teacher and coach there, Dovey taught physiology, anatomy, health and world geography.

The first softball game of the season was played on the field that same day and Dovey threw the first pitch. Many community volunteers contributed to the project including Sharon Christensen, Parish Construction and Property Maintenance, Mikkelsen Construction, Terry R. Brotherson, Christensen Ready Mix, A to Z Glass, North Sanpete Disposal and the North Sanpete School District.

Hawk baseball team strong in pre-season games, already equals last year’s wins

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

3-23-2017

 

MT. PLEASANT—North Sanpete’s baseball team only needed six games to prove they are a better team in 2017.

The Hawks overcame North Sevier in the fifth inning of their home game last Thursday against the Wolves en route to a 12-4 victory. The win marks North Sanpete’s third in a young season, which already ties with last year’s win total, and they have yet to begin region play.

Strong hitting led the way for the Hawks, who made the most out nine hits. Juniors Keegan Eliason and Shawn Taylor notched a triple each, while seniors Connor Justesen and Wyatt Nunley each hit a double. North Sanpete led from start to finish.

The Hawks opened up the scoring in the first inning with a run, followed by two more in the second inning. The Wolves finally answered back in the fourth with a run to make at 3-1.

At the top of the fifth, North Sevier scored two more to tie up the game at 3-3. North Sanpete then let the bats loose at the bottom of the inning with a streak of seven runs, running away with the game. “The North Sevier game we left a bunch of runners on base in the first half of the game,” head coach Dan Christensen said. “It could have broken wide open at any point but we couldn’t get the big hit with the runners on. Nothing really changed in the fifth inning other than we got the hits when we needed them.  We had a good inning and put the game away.”

North Sanpete’s record now stands at 3-3 with a few contests left before region play begins. Since Tuesday, the Hawks played at Gunnison and at home against Sky View. Upcoming, they will be playing in a doubleheader against visiting Stansbury and will travel to play Roy the following Monday.

The Stansbury games are this Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Templar baseball team on early-season roller coaster ride, both up and down

 

Bob Bahlmann

Staff writer

3-23-2017

 

SALINA—The Manti boys baseball team has had some Jekyll and Hyde weeks in the early going of the 2017 season.

On the first day of the Chuckwagon classic in Kanab on March 10, Manti got a double and a home run from Matt Nelson on their way to an 8-3 win over Beaver, and then shut out Fredonia, Ariz. 15-0. Jace Miller was the winning pitcher in this game, Anan Bowles had a double and a home run. Darron McClain and Spencer Cox each hit a double.

The following day, the Templars opened up their game against Millard in the third inning with eight runs, added six in the fourth and four more in the fifth for the 18-2 win. Tristan Barnes was the winning pitcher, Adam Huff and Nelson had triples McClain had a pair of doubles, and Marshal Dotson had one.

The second game of the day saw Manti taking on the fourth-ranked Wolves from Enterprise. The Wolves won that game 8-2.

Last week the Templars traveled to Delta on Mar 14. The Templars held a 5-0 lead going into the fifth inning but gave up five runs in the sixth to allow the Rabbits to tie it up. A pair of Manti runs in the sixth earned the 7-5 win for the Templars.

The weekend saw Manti traveling to Pleasant Grove for the Sunroc tournament. The Templars defeated Tooele 4-2, Murray 19-9, but lost to Arbor View, Nev. 10-0.

At the North Sevier Tournament, the Templars lost to the second-ranked Gunnison Bulldogs 10-3. They then lost a defensive battle to American Leadership (ALA) 2-1.

This week the Templars hosted South Summit on Tuesday. Results of that game were not available at press time. Manti will host a rematch with ALA tomorrow.

This photo from last year's game shows Wasatch Academy's center, Jackson Rowe (No. 21, left one of the two jumping), as he attempts to tip the ball to teammate Josip Vrankic (in background) as the seventh-seeded Tigers faced the second-ranked Oak Hills Academy from Virginia

This photo from last year’s game shows Wasatch Academy’s center, Jackson Rowe (No. 21, left one of the two jumping), as he attempts to tip the ball to teammate Josip Vrankic (in background) as the seventh-seeded Tigers faced the second-ranked Oak Hills Academy from Virginia.

 

Wasatch Tigers head to nationals for second year in a row

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

3-23-2017

MT. PLEASANT—For the second straight year, Wasatch Academy is getting the opportunity to represent at the highest level.

The No. 15-ranked Tigers’ basketball team was invited last week to participate in the Dick’s Sporting Goods National High School Basketball Tournament. Head Coach Curtis Condie wasted no time in announcing the news over his social media with excitement.

“It is a great honor to be able to be invited to play in Dicks Nationals,” head coach Curtis Condie said. “This team has earned it and it will a wonderful opportunity for our program again.”

The Tigers played their way to a 23-4 record this year, going 8-0 against Utah teams and 9-0 in home games. Only one of their losses came against a team ranked outside of the MaxPreps National Top 25. Two of Wasatch’s starters committed already to play for Division I programs, with forward Josip Vrankic committed to Santa Clara University, and star forward Emmanuel Akot committed to the University of Arizona (see article).

The tournament is set to take place from Thursday, March 30, to Saturday, April 1, in New York City at Christ the King High School. Wasatch begins the tournament as the eighth seed and will face the top seed in the bracket, La Lumiere, Indiana.

Last year, the Tigers got into the tournament but fell in the first round to eventual champion Oak Hill Academy, Virginia, 81-64. The Tiger’s continued success continues to reach new heights with their independent status in Utah boys basketball.

Manti soccer team rebounds from first week losses

 

Bob Bahlmann

Staff writer

3-23-2017

 

MANTI—The Manti boys soccer team rebounded from a 0-2 first week to win a pair of games last week and even up their record at 2-2.

The Templars lost their first game of the season to Juab 3-0 on March 10 and then dropped their second game to Union 4-1 on March 11. Last week the Templars got back on track with a pair of wins.

On Tuesday, March 14, Manti traveled to North Sevier and dominated the Wolves with five goals in the first half and three more in the second. The defense held North Sevier scoreless for an impressive 8-0 victory.

Justin Bawden got his first shutout of the year. Dyson Allen and Jorge Lemus both had two goals. Cort Olson, Honorio Jimenez and Noah Arnoldsen each scored a goal for the Templars.

Thursday, March 16 saw the Templars hosting Emery. The Spartans tied the game at 1-1 at the half, but Manti got the game-winning goal in the second for the narrow 2-1 win. Caleb Jensen and Cort Olson had the goals for the Templars.

This week will see Manti on the road for two huge matchups. Tuesday saw the Templars at Wasatch Academy. Game results were not available at press time. Last year the Tigers beat Manti in the semi-finals of the state tournament before losing to Waterford in the championship game.

Today Manti will make the road trip to Moab where they will take on Grand County. This game will pit the number two ranked Templars against the fifth-ranked Red Devils.

Salt Lake Lady Bruin Kaylee Bott yanks a ball out of mid-air in the four-game sweep against Snow College.

Salt Lake Lady Bruin Kaylee Bott yanks a ball out of mid-air in the four-game sweep against Snow College.

 

Lady Badgers can’t handle SLCC, fall in all four games

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

3-23-2017

 

EPHRAIM—Heading into the gauntlet of their schedule, the Lady Badgers came out the other end bruised and battered.

Snow softball team fell in a four-game sweep once again last weekend, this time to the No. 5-ranked Salt Lake Lady Bruins, by scores of 11-7, 8-6, 5-1, and 10-2. Two straight sweeps have put Snow’s record at a paltry 8-13-1 with a current nine-game losing streak.

In their first game, Salt Lake made their national ranking apparent with six runs in the first inning. Snow’s pitcher Carley Guymon showed signs of early struggle, walking one batter while bases were loaded to allow a score. At the bottom of the second inning, Snow came roaring back. Freshman Dakota Gee and sophomore Bailey Vigil each hit home runs to score three players, bringing Snow back into the game, 6-5. That was as close as the Lady Badgers would get as the Lady Bruins progressively pulled away for the rest of the game.

In the second game on Friday, Salt Lake once again pulled away early, up 5-0 after the top of the fifth, before Snow found their bats. First, freshman Torri Bills hit a double, scoring one, then sophomore Mackenzie Simons brought in two more with a well-placed single. Later on, when Snow found themselves down 8-3 in the bottom of the seventh, star slugger Alyssa Arslanian homered to score three. That was the closest they could get in their comeback effort.

The next day proved even more frustrating for the Lady Badgers as the offense was nowhere to be seen. The first game was a long struggle for Snow as the bats went cold until they were down 4-0. Arslanian finally got across the plate when Salt Lake committed an error, allowing sophomore Sarah Sandberg to reach first. The Lady Badgers only had two hits in the game.

The second game was close for almost every inning. Snow scored at the bottom of the second to tie it off a sacrifice fly that scored Gee. In the bottom of the fourth, Sandberg scored off a single to tie it again at 2-2. Salt Lake opened the floodgates in the next two innings, scoring three in the fifth and five in the sixth to run away with the game and the sweep.

Snow has a great deal of catching up to do in conference play with a 2-10 record. They will host Colorado Northwestern next weekend with two games on Friday starting at 1 p.m. and two games on Saturday starting at noon.

Lady Templars 21-3 win over Delta earns team No. 1 rank

 

Bob Bahlmann

Staff writer

3-23-2017

 

PLEASANT GROVE—The number one ranked Manti softball team opened their season with a huge 21-3 win at Delta on Mar 14.

After their big win against Delta, the Lady Templars split 3-1 at the Sunroc Invitational with a 14-7 loss to 3A Stansbury, an 8-3 loss to 5A Pleasant Grove, a 4-2 loss to 4A Tooele and then a 19-9 win over 4A Murray.

At Delta, the Manti girls held a 21 run lead going into the bottom of the fourth before giving up a trio of runs to the Rabbits. Manti led Stansbury by five after three innings but gave up eight in the fourth and six more in the sixth for the loss. After the five-run loss to Pleasant Grove and the two run loss to Tooele, the Templars got back on track against Murray.

The Spartans held an early 3-0 lead, but the Templars controlled the rest of the game for the ten run win.

This week the Templars hosted an important game against the third-ranked South Summit Wildcats on Tuesday. Manti then hosted Dixie yesterday. Results of both games were not available at press time.

 

Lady Hawks struggle in SunRoc Invitational

 

Matt Harris

Staff Writer

3-23-2017

 

ST. GEORGE—Despite a great start, the Lady Hawks left last week’s tournament with much to be desired.

North Sanpete’s softball team began their season on Tuesday, March 14, with a convincing win over Emery, 17-1, and followed it up with a second win over Hurricane, 13-5. Hoping to continue their success in the SunRoc Invitational in St. George, the Lady Hawks struggled against top-tier competition, falling to Uintah, 10-6, Corner Canyon, 13-8, and Pleasant Grove, 9-2. North Sanpete did manage a win in the tournament against Dixie, 13-2.

It couldn’t have started much better than it did for the Lady Hawks. North Sanpete roasted the visiting Lady Spartans with 11 runs in the third inning and five in the next. The game was called after four innings. The Lady Hawks got more competition out of Hurricane, but another strong outing in the third inning, with seven runs, took the game.

The SunRoc Invitational featured some of the best softball teams in Utah, and North Sanpete learned that fact firsthand with some tough losses. The bright spot came when North Sanpete took out the frustration on Dixie in a blowout victory. Stats were unavailable.

“We played great teams at the Sunroc Invitational,” head coach Sharon Christensen said. “We are excited about our ability to score runs. We are coming home to practice defensive situations. When we get our defense on track, we are excited about our team and the potential. We will continue to work hard and look forward to a fun and exciting season.”

The Lady Hawks played Carbon and Gunnison last Tuesday (score next week) and prepare to face Richfield on the road tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.

Officials from the Salt Lake City office of the National Weather Service present the John Campanius Holm Award and a longevity award to Lee J. Anderson of Manti, who has been the volunteer weather service observer in Manti for 40 years. From left are Lisa Verzella, program leader for the Cooperative Observer Program in Utah; Randy Graham, meteorologist in charge in Salt Lake City; Anderson; and his wife, Judy.

Officials from the Salt Lake City office of the National Weather Service present the John Campanius Holm Award and a longevity award to Lee J. Anderson of Manti, who has been the volunteer weather service observer in Manti for 40 years. From left are Lisa Verzella, program leader for the Cooperative Observer Program in Utah; Randy Graham, meteorologist in charge in Salt Lake City; Anderson; and his wife, Judy.

 

Manti man gets national award for 40 years of ‘accurate’ weather watching

 

Suzanne Dean

Publisher

3-16-2017

 

MANTI—A Manti resident who has been taking local temperature, precipitation and snow-depth readings from his backyard station for 40 years received a top national service award along with a longevity award last week.

Lee J. Anderson, 79, accompanied by his wife, Judy, received the John Campanius Holm Award Wednesday, March 8, during a presentation at the Sanpete Messenger office.

Randy Graham, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake City Weather Forecast Office, presented the Holm Award plaque. Then Lisa Verzella, also of the Salt Lake City office, who coordinates volunteer weather observers in Utah, pinned a 40-year longevity pin on Anderson.

There was still one other award. Lee and Judy’s son, Rawlin Anderson, who lives across the street from his parents, who filled in as weather observer when his parents went on an LDS mission and who continues to sub for them when they aren’t home, received a 10-year service plaque. Eventually, he plans to take over for his dad.

The John Campanius Holm Award is named for a Lutheran minister who, from all that is known, took the first systematic weather observations in the American colonies in 1644 and 1645.

There are 10,000 volunteer weather observers like Anderson throughout the United States, including 125 in Utah. The Holm award is given to a maximum of 25 per year.

The award recognizes the “longevity and quality” of Lee’s observations, Graham said. “It takes a lot of dedication to do what Mr. Anderson has done….When we are asked, ‘How is this year compared to past years?’, we have a great record because of people like Lee.”

As notable as Lee’s 40 years of reporting weather data is his family’s four-generation tradition as weather reporters.

The Andersons have been the official Manti weather observers for 109 years. Lee’s grandfather, James M. Anderson, was the National Weather Service observer for 51 years, from 1908-1959. Lee’s father, Leslie J. Anderson, filled the role for 18 years, from 1959-1977. Lee, with periodic help from Rawlin, has been doing the job for the 40 years since.

Lee and Judy live at 305 E. 500 South. Lee’s father and grandfather lived within a block of where he lives. So the 109 years of weather records reflect a consistent location, which makes for more valid comparisons of present and past climate patterns.

In 2012, Lee and Rawlin accepted a Family Heritage Award from the weather service in recognition of their family’s 100-plus years of service.

Lee said he has a thermometer and rain gauge provided by the weather service about 50 feet from his house. He used to have to go outside to read the thermometer. But the current thermometer transmits the high and low temperature for each 24-hour period to a monitor on his desk inside the house.

If it rains or snows, he has to take a reading from the rain gauge, a tube-like device that measures precipitation down to 1/100th of an inch. If it snows, he brings the gauge inside so the snow can melt and then measures the resulting precipitation.

For snow depth, he simply sticks a ruler through the snow to the ground. “Sometimes I do it three or four times a day and take an average,” he said.

Each day, usually about sunset, he enters his readings into a National Weather Service website on the computer. It’s more a habit than an obligation, he said. “It’s just one of those things we do every day.”

A National Weather Service press release announcing Lee Anderson’s selection for the Holm Award stressed the value of ground observations gathered by volunteers.

“Satellites, high-speed computers, mathematical models and other technological breakthroughs have brought great benefits to the nation in terms of forecasts and warnings,” the release said.

“But without the century-long accumulation of accurate weather observations taken by volunteer observers, scientists could not begin to adequately describe the climate of the United States.”

Lisa Verzella, who coordinates volunteer weather observers in Utah for the National Weather Service, pins a 40-year service pin on Lee J. Anderson’s jacket. Anderson received a national award plaque, a plaque for 40 years of service, the jacket and the pin during a presentation last Wednesday in the Sanpete Messenger office.

Lisa Verzella, who coordinates volunteer weather observers in Utah for the National Weather Service, pins a 40-year service pin on Lee J. Anderson’s jacket. Anderson received a national award plaque, a plaque for 40 years of service, the jacket and the pin during a presentation last Wednesday in the Sanpete Messenger office.

Angela Atwood signs her plea agreement in 6th District Court on Wednesday, March 8.

Angela Atwood signs her plea agreement in 6th District Court on Wednesday, March 8.

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Viewed from overhead, the long-awaited Robert M. and Joyce S. Graham Science Building at Snow College is progressing toward completion. The target completion date is Aug. 8.

Viewed from overhead, the long-awaited Robert M. and Joyce S. Graham Science Building at Snow College is progressing toward completion. The target completion date is Aug. 8.

Long-awaited science building will dominate campus

Building will put Snow back on the map in science education

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

3-16-2017

EPHRAIM—Construction of Snow College’s long-awaited Robert M. and Joyce S. Graham Science Building  is coming along well, says Dan Black, Snow’s dean of science and chemistry, and a tentative completion date is set for Aug. 8.

“We have a pretty good science tradition at Snow,” Black says, “but over the last few years our science facilities have just become kind of dated. This new building is going to put us back on the map.

“The new design and facilities are really going to bring us back up to speed where we should be, and I think it’s going to fast-forward us into becoming a real player in the education industry.”

After receiving a $19.6 million appropriation from the 2015 Utah Legislature and about $3.5 million from private donors, the school had enough to fund the building. A ground breaking was held in November 2015.

Okland Construction of Salt Lake City has been working steadily to meet the tentative deadline, says project manager Ryan Hales.

The 56,600 square-foot building will be comprised of two wings, one dedicated to laboratories and the other mostly for classrooms and offices.

The wings will be connected by a glass bridge lined with study and lounge areas for students. Between the wings will be a courtyard, which will be designed with a water theme.

In fact, Black says, water will be a reoccurring theme throughout the building. The theme transcends design aesthetics to incorporate real science, Black explains. The three floors of the building will represent the three states of water, the first floor representing the solid state of ice, the second floor representing liquid and the third floor representing water in its gaseous state.

The dual-wing design also allows for the sun to provide much of the light needed throughout the day. “The building was designed so that every classroom, every lab, every office has exterior windows to bring in sunlight,” Black says.

The building will be a mix of old and new, traditional and cutting-edge building techniques. “It’s mostly built with traditional techniques, such as steel beams,” Hales says.

But one innovative feature, Hales explains, is an air barrier system that will create an airtight seal to prevent contamination from outside coming in and will aid in keeping the building at controlled climate levels, one of the requirements for the new science building.

“Essentially, the building will be all positive pressure,” Hales says of the air barrier system. “There will always be air pushing its way out of the building to keep outside air and water from seeping in.”

According to Black, the air barrier system is not the only way the new building will use air to help with climate control.  The chemistry lab in the building will have a dozen independent fume hoods to enhance ventilation and help prevent lab accidents.

Another change in the lab setting once the new science building is complete will be addition of chemistry “pods.” Black says each pod can fit up to four people comfortably and will have its own hookups and ventilation.

The pods are designed to encourage group collaboration in experiments while isolating the research or experiment from outside influences.

In an effort to maintain flexibility, some areas, such as the chemistry lab itself, have been designed to be multi-purpose, Black says. A retractable wall can either divide an area into two separate chemistry labs, or retract and convert the space into a 24-seat classroom.

A couple of other modern features will be a biology research lab similar to what students would find in the workplace, and an engineering lab equipped with materials testing equipment.

Black wants the science building to provide offerings to the community beyond the student population. He says he wants the building to be an embodiment and figurehead of science for Snow College.

Interactive learning displays are planned throughout the building. The displays could showcase technologies such as 3-D printing. A planetarium is also being planned. The displays are meant to inspire curiosity in science. He foresees the public touring the displays and engaging in STEM-oriented education events there.

We want this building to literally ‘speak’ science,” he says.

Dan Black, dean of science and chemistry, points to the planetarium under construction in the new Snow College science building.

Dan Black, dean of science and chemistry, points to the planetarium under construction in the new Snow College science building.

 

A modern ventilation and climate control system has air ducts snaking through the walls and halls of Snow College science building, currently under construction.

A modern ventilation and climate control system has air ducts snaking through the walls and halls of Snow College science building, currently under construction.

 

 

 

The biggest concern, perennially, in Sanpete County is the economy and jobs. But the latest numbers from the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) suggest Sanpete County, with its proximity to the Wasatch Front, and the largest population between U.S. 6 and Cedar City, might be turning a corner.

The most important need of Sanpete families is a job, ideally a stable, good-paying job within a reasonable commuting distance. The DWS numbers suggest we might be getting more such jobs.

Currently, the county has about 7,700 jobs. That’s up 314 jobs from a year ago. That jobs number is the biggest of any county in the Six-County Area. Over the past two years, in percentage terms, we’ve had greater job growth than in Utah as a whole. And Utah has one of the most robust state economies in the nation.

The county still has a problem regarding income. The most recent figures we could find, which were for 2013, showed per-capita income in Sanpete County at $24,738. That made us one of the poorest counties in the state. In Utah as a whole, per capita income for 2013 was $36,630. In the United States as a whole, it was $44,765.

Nonetheless, DWS reported that between third-quarter 2015 and third-quarter 2016, job income in the county rose 4 percent. That’s progress. We’ll take it.

What’s making the difference? Why is Sanpete County growing? A key factor appears to be enrollment growth at Snow College, which is creating jobs in teaching and support services. We support continued growth at the college, even if it creates “growing pains” within the Ephraim community.

Our larger private employers—Norbest, CentraCom, Freedom Innovations and ACT—continue to expand markets for their products and services beyond county and state borders. That creates jobs.

Still, a large source of jobs in the county is small businesses employing 3, 5, 10, maybe 20 workers. We need to encourage startups, especially companies outside the services industry.

A great example is Purkey’s of Manti, which manufactures electronic machines used in the trucking industry, such as a machine to charge the batteries on lift gates, the equipment at the back of trucks used to unload freight.

Another standout is A.W. Carter Furniture of Mt. Pleasant, which makes high-end custom furniture, particularly for LDS temples. Still another is Fortress Clothing, also of Mt. Pleasant, which makes a “hybrid hoodie” designed for workers who must work in extremely cold temperatures.

We support state government incentives that help such businesses get off the ground, such as the Fast Track grants of up to $50,000 to companies for capital investment.

As we celebrate good economic numbers and growing businesses, we can never forget the most fundamental, if subtle, determinant of economic prosperity.

It’s education. If local students don’t graduate with reading and math skills, if they don’t go on for at least two years of post-high school education, they won’t be able to do the jobs in 21st Century economy. And without workers to do jobs, the jobs won’t come here.

With that in mind, we commend the recent Utah Legislature for its generous support of public education and for continuing to expand the Snow College budget.

A lot of inputs go into economic growth. When we look around, we see many of those inputs right here in Sanpete County.

 

Mike Bennett, Sanepte County Fair Board chairman, told the county commission last week that aging  fairgrounds bleachers, seen in this aerial photograph, could be replaced by seating from a deconstructed, out-of-state NASCAR track.

Mike Bennett, Sanpete County Fair Board chairman, told the county commission last week that aging fairgrounds bleachers, seen in this aerial photograph, could be replaced by seating from a deconstructed, out-of-state NASCAR track.

Fairboard plans to use seats from NASCAR track to cut costs, start work with current funds

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Daniel Kjar says his family, including daughter Gracie (now 11), wife Lindsey and daughter Katie (now 16) were a big help as he recovered from transverse myelitis.

Daniel Kjar says his family, including daughter Gracie (now 11), wife Lindsey and daughter Katie (now 16) were a big help as he recovered from transverse myelitis.

“I had a peace and a joy and a love, and it was perfect”

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Gunnison meeting planned to discuss water shortfall and rates

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

3-16-2017

 

GUNNISON—A shortfall in water revenues since Gunnison City raised rates in 2014 may mean the city will have to raise the rates again.

“After reviewing the first year of usage and revenues, it has come to our attention we were short of our expected revenue and will need to look at adjusting our rates,” Gunnison City Recorder Janell Braithwaite told the city council at a recent meeting. “This doesn’t mean it was figured incorrectly; there are several circumstances that can come into play, and have, that make the difference in the expected revenues. ”

The city council has scheduled a public hearing about the rate increase for Wednesday, March 22 at 7 p.m.

“We want to make sure the public is involved in this,” said Gunnison City Councilman Blake Donaldson, the council member who oversaw the water project, which involved rebuilding the entire city system, including a new well, water tank, treatment plant and piping citywide.

“We’ve done a lot of number crunching, and we hope to have a rate schedule in place by the public meeting so the people can get an idea of the situation,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson explained that when Sunrise Engineering was making preparations to build the city’s new water infrastructure, the company calculated rates that it believed would allow the city to cover projected loan payments.

After a year, the new rates weren’t bringing in what the city needed to cover operational expenses of the water system and bond payments, and still enable the city to transfer money from the water fund to the general fund, as it has for decades, to help with the costs of general government.

“Like most little cities, our city has done that, too, (transferred money from the water utility to the general fund) since it’s the only real revenue we’ve got,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson said that in 2014, when the city council was raising water rates to cover loans on the water system rebuild, Gary Keddington, the city’s accountant, questioned whether the proposed rate increase, which effectively doubled the water rates, would be enough.

But Donaldson said because the council was already so reluctant to approve such a substantial, but ultimately necessary, rate increase, it went with lower figures hoping the revenue would be enough.

“We probably should have dug deeper at that time to confirm that it was enough,” Donaldson said. “We were sick about the rate increase as it was anyway, so we went ahead with the lower figure.”

On July 1, 2014, the city council raised the base water rate for connections within city limits from $18 for up to 7,000 gallons to $33 for up to 4,000 gallons. Base rates for water connections outside city limits went up from $27 for up to 7,000 gallons to $42 for up to 4,000 gallons.

Although Donaldson said the city won’t have new proposed increase numbers until the public hearing, the size of the increase won’t be anything close the 2014 hike.

“We really want to make sure the older, fixed income households that don’t use a lot of water are not hit hard by this,” Donaldson said. “That’s probably our number one goal. These people can’t afford this, and it’s a shame we’ve had to raise it as much as we have already.”

The 2014 rate increase was necessary because the city water project was necessary, Donaldson explained. Moreover, federal and state grants and loans take into account local effort. At the time the water system rebuild was being contemplated, city water rates were too low to enable the city to qualify for grants or loans for the project.

“When we first started, our rates were $12 for 10,000 gallons, but the (state) water bureau told us you’re crazy if you think you’ll qualify for funding on the water project with that little revenue,” Donaldson said.

He said he hopes for public understanding at the upcoming hearing. “I would think that (citizens)  would need to understand that a project (the city water project) of this magnitude is kind of an experiment,” Donaldson said. “We relied on our professionals and estimated our usage pretty good. I think people tightened up a little bit in usage since then. Here now we sit with a shortfall and the time has come when we need to reanalyze this thing and make sure we can keep our city going.”

He added, “We would hope the public comes out to weigh in on this. We welcome them very much.”