MANTI—While about 20 people showed up at a public hearing last week, there was no significant opposition to a proposal to annex 30 acres south of Manti into the city.
The property was once a farm owned by the late Guy and Lynda Palmer. Developers who have purchased the property say they plan to put in a subdivision of up to 60 homes.
At the hearing Wednesday, April 6, Fred Lowry, who owns a farm west of annexation property, said he wasn’t against the annexation. But he said he has an easement through the property to enable him to take water from Crystal Spring, located about 100 yards from the former Palmer home.
He wanted to be sure his easement would be preserved and that he would not be liable for any injuries to future residents from activities related to the spring.
He also wanted to be sure he could continue to move livestock along 500 West, which will be the access road to the development.
Kent Barton, Manti city manager, said if Lowry has used the road for many years for moving livestock, he has a “prescriptive easement” to continue using it for that purpose as long as he wants to.
David Cox, of the Manti Irrigation Co., suggested the need for culinary water for a potential subdivision is not a problem. The problem, Cox said, is that Manti City is not making “beneficial use” of the culinary water it already has.
He brought up Fox Jet Reservoir, located 9 miles east of Manti near the junction of Skyline Drive and the Manti Canyon Road. The reservoir is owned by the irrigation company, but the water is committed for Manti culinary use.
“As far as I can tell it is not being used,” he said. “Any water right needs to show beneficial use. You’d be hard pressed to show any beneficial use of Fox Jet Reservoir.”
Barton said some of the water from the reservoir seeps into the ground and feeds springs that Manti does draw on for culinary water.
In the council meeting following the hearing, Barton said the city had received a proposed contract for a cell tower from AT&T. The tower, and particularly whether the city should back an 80-foot or 100-foot tower, is still under consideration.
Councilman Jeff Killian said that while utility poles and a potential tower on a plateau east of the city blend into the mountain background when viewed from a distance, the poles do have a visual impact for people living nearby.
In other discussion, Barton suggested the council meet at the Manti City Cemetery prior to the next council meeting to look at potential locations for a columbarium for cremated remains.
Visiting the site would enable the council to “take the setting into consideration in selecting a design,” Barton said, adding that he hoped to work the columbarium project into the 2022-23 city budget.
“It’s my understand from the staff that there have already been requests for purchase of a niche in the columbarium,” Councilwoman Mary Wintch said.
Wintch reported that Healthy Utah, a nonprofit coalition of cities and a wide range of organizations involved in health promotion, had presented an $8,000 grant to Manti City for a project promoting physical activity and health.
The most frequently mentioned use of the funds is to start work on a walking trail around the 40-acre Manti Sports Park. “This will at least give us some seed money,” Wintch said.
Barton reported that 89 soccer teams had played games the previous Saturday at the Sports Park. And a Little League organization has applied to hold its state tournament there later in the summer.