GUNNISON—Along with raising the garbage fee by $2 per month, budgeting for raises, new hires, repairs and updates on the city sewer project were the main topics at city council last week.
The meeting started with a presentation by Gary Keddington, the city’s financial consultant, who reported positive results from his firm’s recent audit of the city.
A statement from the accounting firm said the city’s finance statement was fair and accurate. The firm did not identify any internal deficiencies or problems that would need further action.
As for compliance, Keddington recommended doing a cash report at the end of January and at the end of July each year, and that each member of the council receive the required training on Utah’s open meetings law, since not all of them have currently received it.
The next item of business came from Matt Reber, pool manager, who asked for a small raise for an employee who has been their publicist in charge of the Info Sign and Facebook page along with her regular lifeguard duties. She averages 20 hours a month and he asked for a 25-cent-per-hour raise, which the council approved.
Reber also said that the pool boiler needs to be cleaned and repaired and was prepared with two quotes for the work. He stated that the boiler is 23 years old and if repairs were made, hopefully it could last another five years, because a new one would cost around $17,000.
Councilman Shawn Crane asked if the repairs could wait until July, and Reber said that they could.
“When the weather gets warmer and the sun kicks in, the solar panels will help heat the water. As of now, the solar panels are not generating enough to heat the pool,” Reber said.
The council agreed that swimming pools do not make money, but the pool is being used more than ever with school swim meets, exercise classes and recreational swimming.
Mayor Nay said, “It is a wonderful service to provide for our community, and we want to keep it going.”
The council will look at ways to shift some money around, or possible fundraisers or grants to help subsidize the costs of the pool.
Next, an update on the sewer system project showed that everything is largely going as planned. Garrick Willden, senior engineer for Jones and DeMille Engineering, handed out a budget sheet and said, “We are no longer putting trash in our lagoon; it is being screened out,” but then stated that there needs to be some ventilation and heating in the new utility building that houses the screening device.
In the past two weeks, work was completed on the new automated filtration system, which will separate out any non-sewage waste from water going into the lagoon.
The company working on the building has been waiting for months for parts and equipment. Willden said he hoped the contractors will be able to complete the remaining work within the month.
Centerfield and Gunnison City have an agreement, which is based on the percentage of flow from each town going into the lagoons. Each town will pay a percentage going forward based on the flow from their town.
Willden suggested the need to install a meter to survey the ratio of water flow between the two. They had one installed for a year, but someone stole the solar panels. However, they were able to collect some data before that happened. Willden suggested relocating the meter to a safer location that was less likely to be vandalized, which should be happening soon.
So far, Gunnison City has fronted the cost of the sewer project, but Centerfield will be asked to come up with its share once the project total is finalized.
Finally, Mayor Nay stated the city needs a council assistant. It would be a part-time position in the range of $15-$20 an hour, and applications will be accepted until Jan. 26. The city will consider the job to be a temporary three-month position, and then see how things are going.
Mayor Nay stated that the front office has been very busy and is behind on their minutes, and with COVID and all they do for the planning and zoning committee, it has been hard for them to keep up.
JoAnn Taylor said that she thought the city recorder was responsible for all the minutes did not see the need to hire.
Keddington said many big cities have an assistant to the recorder, to which Taylor responded, “We’re not a big city”. She said if they current employees were doing their jobs, they would not need an assistant.
Mayor Nay disagreed. “They are doing their job—they just need some assistance temporarily.”