Ephraim and Manti’s largest asset, the airport, is scheduled for upgrades, courtesy of the FAA

Robert Stevens // Messenger Photo
Upgrades are on tap at the Ephraim-Manti Airport, courtesy of the FAA, who will foot the bill for adding a turnaround at the end, and crack seal and seal coat the pavement.

EPHRAIM—The Ephraim-Manti Airport is being upgraded, courtesy of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Ephraim City Council learned at their meeting April 8.

One project is adding a turnaround on the end of the runway. “Instead of having to lengthen the current runway, a turnaround at the end allows planes to turn around while using the full length of the runway,” said Shaun Kjar, Ephraim City Manager.

Another project will crack seal and seal coat the pavement. Both projects are fully funded by the FAA, and Ephraim and Manti will not have to match any costs. The airport is Ephraim and Manti’s largest asset, worth about $40 million, said Ephraim Mayor John Scott.

Jeremy Hallows was honored at the meeting for serving as chairman of the Airport Board for the last 4.5 years.  “The airport has the real ability to continue to serve the communities and county for many years to come and is a great asset,” Hallows said.

At the request of Mayor Scott, a young citizen, Will Hallows, who loves to come to the city council, presented the award to his father Jeremy.

Zoning changes

After the airport discussion, the council launched into another series of land use and general plan amendments. The first was a proposal by Lindsey Field, who lives at 44 W. Center.

Her house borders the city’s commercial zone, and she asked to be rezoned from single residential (R1A) to high density (R4). She at first requested the zoning go to commercial, but following a compromise with a neighbor, changed the request to R4. The city’s planning and zoning committee recommended the council approve the request.

The council approved the change. That proposal only affected one parcel of property.

The next request was by Layton Homes for a conditional use permit to put in a 20-unit multi-family development (4-plex town homes) at approximately 155 E. 700 North. “We want to have these starter homes for new families who can’t afford a full single-family residence,” Shaun Layton said.

The council noted that the property is within the city limits and represented a good step down between the currently zoned commercial property on the west, and the agricultural land on the east. “Thank you for building in Ephraim,” said Mayor Scott. “We appreciate it when developers work with us to benefit the city in its growth.”

Grants approved

The council then approved the application for several grants, some for planning, others for recreation. The council approved an agreement to use Sunrise Engineering to update the city’s master plan for traffic related documents. The bulk of the cost will be covered by a $65,000 grant, and the city’s portion is only $3,600, said Bryan Kimball, community development director.

Housing Authority

Councilwoman Margie Anderson reported that the city’s Housing Authority Board was closing. “We don’t have any funding, and we don’t have any houses, so there’s no reason to keep the board active until something changes,” she said.

The Ephraim Housing Authority funding came from Olene Walker Foundation and for many years provided affordable housing to families who couldn’t afford to buy a home. “That funding source dried up recently, and the city doesn’t have any extra land. However, contractors have begun to provide more affordable housing for new families; so hopefully that will meet the need,” Anderson said.

Michael Patton, city recreation director, reported that the city had received a $50,000 “last-dollar” grant from the George S. and Delores Dore Eccles Foundation to support the city All-Abilities Park. The city has now secured $122,000 toward the total, leaving the city to come up with $71,500.

The city also got a 50 percent matching grant through a Land and Water Conservation Fund application that the city will use toward the skate park, which will be built near the Canyon View Park. The city also approved Sapphire Catering to provide concession services at the Snow College Sports Complex for city summer programs, such as baseball and other tournaments.

Miss Ephraim

Ephraim is planning the Miss Ephraim Scholarship Pageant for May 15 and the committee is busy holding workshops.

Meeting change

Finally, the council cancelled their regularly scheduled council meeting for April 21, and moved it to April 28.