CENTERFIELD—Mayor Sorensen delivered what he described as “fabulous” news to the Centerfield City Council on Wednesday, Aug. 18.
At the Utah Community Impact Board (CIB) meeting he attended, the city was promised a $607,000 grant and $314,000 30-year loan at .5-percent interest for irrigation water meters.
One more public hearing needs to be held so the public can hear about the impact of the loan on city fees. From there, the council can approve the action.
Councilman Jaden Sorensen reported on his visit with Kevin Daniels, the city attorney. He said the city council has the right to grant a building permit if the citizen will pay the value of a water share (even if the person can’t find one available to buy).
The city ordinance states no one can build without a share of water attached to the land. The council voted to allow Stella Torgerson to pay for a water share and start building. She will pay the city $5,100 for a share of water, and will be allowed to build on property next to her home, to enlarge her Shooting Star Nails business.
Torgerson will promise to not use irrigation water on business the property. In the future, when Torgerson is able to find a water share, she will give it to the city to be attached to the lot, and the city will reimburse her the money she paid in order to build.
Local resident Ace Allred thanked the council for “cleaning up the mess on 200 North,” originally an irrigation sprinkler business.
Mayor Sorensen reviewed the history: Allen Seal collected a pile of old vehicles, creating an eyesore on property he was renting. The landlord, who lives in California, wanted to evict him, but couldn’t because President Biden’s eviction ban was extended. (The ban was intended to protect those suffering job loss due to COVID).
The city acted within the law to remove the vehicles parked on city property, but couldn’t touch the vehicles on the lot.
Recently, Allen has been arrested on unrelated charges. Daniels said if a vehicle goes unused for 90 days, the city can file abandonment papers to get the vehicle removed.
The cars may be moved earlier, however. Chief Seth Hendrickson of the Gunnison Valley Police told Mayor Sorensen that Seal, now in prison for a while, is willing to sign papers forfeiting his rights to all the vehicles.
“That’s still a lot of process to get the neighborhood cleaned up,” Sorensen said, “The landlord is going to screen like crazy before they rent again.”
Kim Beck, another local resident, asked, “Can’t we write a city ordinance against a mess like that?”
Mayor Sorensen explained that “it’s a fine line to walk.” It would take a lot of work to hammer out such an ordinance, he said, because what is one person’s junk is another’s treasure.
City Recorder Lacey Belnap reported that of 685 registered voters, 292 voted in the recent primary.