Ephraim swears in new police chief,
discusses possible new rec center
By James Tilson
Dec. 14, 2017
EPHRAIM—Justice Court Judge Mark McIff swore in Ephraim’s new chief of police, Aaron Broomhead, last Wednesday, Dec. 6, during a regular meeting of the Ephraim City Council.
In addition, a new city recreation center in Ephraim and ways of funding it absorbed the attention of the council.
Broomhead was chosen after a process that took several months and included 15 applicants, both local and out of state.
The new police chief takes over the post from Interim Chief of Police Sgt. Len Gasser, who had held the post since the retirement of former Chief Ron Rasmussen.
Becky Hermansen and Nate Johnson of the Ephraim City Recreation Board addressed the council to discuss the need for a new city recreation center and how to fund it.
Citing what they called their biggest issue, “matching facilities (which are few) with demand (which is high),” Hermansen and Johnson reviewed the recreation board’s five-year strategic plan for improvement of facilities in Ephraim.
Their plan has three parts: baseball field improvements, Canyon View Park improvements and creation and building of an Ephraim City Recreation Center.
Of these three, the building of the new recreation center will be the hardest.
The other two can be addressed through volunteer activities and relatively easier infrastructure improvements without additional fundraising.
However, a new recreation center will require fundraising and also some input from the city as far as how to go about the fundraising.
Hermansen and Johnson noted that presently Ephraim has a cooperative agreement with Snow College for the use of their facilities by the recreation board.
That agreement was established when the college only had 700 on-campus students enrolled.
Snow College now has approximately 3,700 on-campus students, and the shared facilities are overwhelmed with demand. At present, Snow College has no plans to further expand those facilities.
At the end of the five-year plan, the recreation board plans to have the funding in place to build a new recreation center. The plan is now in year three.
What the board is doing now is working with the Ephraim City staff to find ways to raise matching funds for grant fund applications.
Hermansen and Johnson discussed two ways that the board was considering to raise those funds.
First, the board would like to receive a portion of the moneys received by the city from taxes associated with the softball and baseball tournaments held every year by the Recreation Board. Currently, any tax revenues associated with those tournaments go into the general fund, and the Recreation Board budget stays stagnant.
Second, the Recreation Board is discussing with the city the possibility of a bond to go along with a grant application. While the Recreation Board is sure the citizens of the city are in favor of more recreational opportunities, members of the board feel they need to inform citizens of their efforts so Ephraim’s citizens are onboard with any funding initiatives.
In other business, the council approved two work orders presented by Franson Engineering in connection with the new well to be dug for the city of Ephraim.
The first work order was to allow the firm to begin looking for grant money for the project.
The second work order was to approve a system modeling, feasibility and optimization study for the well project. The work on the new well project is expected to begin in the summer of 2018.