EPHRAIM—The Ephraim City Council looked into the future of what transportation needs the city could have in 40 years and modified their general transportation plan for the city, based on a study by Sunrise Engineering.
The previous study, done in 2019, did not take into account some new growth areas in the city that are now happening.
Randy Smith from Sunrise presented the plans to the council at their Wednesday, Feb. 16 meeting. Two items prominent in the plans were looking at growth in the southwest part of city, where the new Ephraim Crossing development is planning for a traffic light at U.S. 89 and about 800 South, and anticipated traffic around the new Ephraim Temple in the northeast.
Smith said that before the Ephraim Crossing development happened, the city didn’t anticipate a lot of growth near McDonald’s, but now, new traffic counts could go from dozens of cars per hour to hundreds or thousands of cars per day.
Based on that, UDOT has been asked to begin studying plans for a traffic light to the south of McDonald’s, where a proposed road from Ephraim Canyon would connect with U.S. 89. Asked if the city could provide UDOT with their own “car count study,” Smith said Ephraim could, but UDOT would still make decisions based on its own data.
The study also looked at the city’s general plan concerning road widths for future roads.
The growth map showed major roads extending to the west of Ephraim’s current boundaries.
The second area of growth is anticipated to be around the new temple to be built in northeast Ephraim. The council approved a map that shows where roads could be extended or built to allow safe access for growth in that area. In one case, one road will need to jog around an existing house.
The city emphasized that future development would determine actual details of the roads, not Ephraim City, but the city wanted to have some guidelines in place based on safety and convenience in its plan. “We need to preserve intelligent corridors that can handle traffic without creating bottlenecks, such as the city might experience in an emergency or disaster,” Mayor John Scott said.
Bryan Kimball, community development director, updated the council on bids received to upgrade an agricultural well to culinary well status. “We have two good bids from drillers to do the first phase, which will be extending the 30-foot concrete seal around the existing well to 100-feet, which is required for culinary water,” he said.
Both bids were by companies out of southern Utah, and Kimball said he still needed more information before the bid was awarded. Rather than wait another two weeks for the next council meeting, the council gave city staff the authority to award the bid after the information was received in the next few days.
“One company can start in early March, the other in early April, and we really need this well producing before we hit this summer, so timing is of the essence,” Kimball said. “Also, we hope to be able to use the existing pump, so this will save us some money, too.”
Police Chief Aaron Broomhead presented a 400-page emergency management plan to the city. “This plan doesn’t tell everyone what to do in an emergency because that will be based on the nature of the emergency, but it does give management directions in responsibilities during a disaster,” Broomhead explained.
“Any disaster will probably affect more than just Ephraim—other cities, possibly other counties, may be involved, and federal agencies also need to be coordinated with our own efforts,” Broomhead said. “For the city, this is about managing emergencies, not preparing for emergencies. They’re not the same thing.”
Mayor Scott referred to the recent search in Ephraim for a missing woman, and said he was at the city’s command center during that search. “I was just astonished and amazed at how quickly emergency forces were brought to bear in the search. It wasn’t just EMTs, police, fire and search and rescue. I got to see first-hand how we handled the crisis, and I was very impressed,” he said.
Mayor Scott thanked everyone who was involved in the search, including many volunteer citizens who joined in to help. “The outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but I hope the family appreciated the intense efforts of everyone who helped,” he said.
The council learned the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and Sons of the Utah Pioneers have been working on restoring the Hansen House in the Pioneer Park. Besides the Hansen House, the Ephraim Co-op also needs quite a few repairs.
“The roof is in good shape, but the building needs repairs to the HVAC systems and cosmetic issues, such as railing, wood repair, painting, fire safety, and recently the elevator failed,” Shaun Kjar, city manager, said.
Apparently the elevator is unrepairable, so will have to be replaced. The funds needed before the elevator failed totaled about $130,000, so continuing donations and volunteer efforts will be needed to make the repairs.