Manti expects very busy season at Sports Park with five statewide tournaments scheduled
By Suzanne Dean
MANTI—The word is getting out about the quality of Manti City’s five-diamond Sports Park, Vern Jensen, city recreation director, reported last week.
Jensen told the Manti City Council at a meeting Wednesday, Feb. 3 that the city is looking at a “very busy spring, summer and fall” hosting state-level tournaments at the park.
To date, five such tournaments are scheduled. They range from a fast-pitch tournament for youth ages 7-18 on May 15, sponsored by a statewide association for fast-pitch softball, to an all-night co-ed tournament for adults Sept. 24-25, sponsored by a national slow-pitch softball association.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring people into town for a weekend,” Jensen said. And, he said, the visiting teams pay fees for use of the fields, which helps with maintenance costs.
The park will also be busy with local recreation activities, Jensen said. The city recreation program will sponsor an adult co-ed softball league from March through May.
From March 13 to April 10, the recreation program will sponsor Soccer Saturdays for youth teams.
On May 21, there will be a pitch, hit and run competition for girls and boys 7-14. The event is part of a nationwide schedule of competitions sponsored by Major League Baseball. Competitors can advance through three levels in Manti. Then the top local performers have a chance to advance to a national competition.
A home run derby will be held on July 4 in conjunction with the Manti City July Fourth celebration, and a soccer camp, staged by a national soccer organization, is scheduled at the Sport Park Aug. 2-6.
In other discussion at the meeting, Kent Barton, city manager, presented budget report covering July 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, the first six months of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
There was no evidence of the coronavirus dampening collection of taxes or other standard revenue sources.
The report showed that as of Dec. 31, the city had collected $1.57 million of the $2.18 million budgeted for general fund revenues. That meant that as of midyear, 72 percent of general fund revenues budget for the full year had already come in.
Meanwhile, the city had spent $1.4 million out of the $2.16 million budgeted. That meant with half the year gone, the city had spent 65.5 percent of its expenditure budget.
However, the main reason expenditures were running above the 50 percent mark was that the city had spent more than $300,000 in federal coronavirus aid that wasn’t contemplated when the budget was drawn up in spring 2020.
The bottom line was that as of Dec. 31, 2020, the city was $157,000 in the positive; that is, its general-fund revenues exceeded general-fund expenditure to that point by $157,000.
On another matter, Garrick Willden of Jones & Demille Engineering reported that the $500,000 land-application project to enable the city to control water levels in its sewer lagoons is 70 percent complete.
The main part of the project that isn’t finished yet is a chlorination building in one corner of the land-application property.
The project included running a pipeline from the lagoons, which are near the Sports Park, about a mile north to land the city has purchased.
A pivot sprinkler will spray the relatively clean water from the top of the lagoons onto the land, freeing up space and extending the life of the lagoons. The city has the option of leasing the land for cultivation.
The construction bids came to about $450,000, with engineering accounting for the rest of the cost. Willden said there had been $8,000 in unexpected construction costs. But he said engineering costs had been running below estimates, so he expected the total project to come in under budget.
He praised the Manti City public works staff, which helped keep the project on schedule by feeding some cows.
He explained that workers putting in the line for the lagoon water accidentally cut a culinary line that brought water to some cattle grazing on private land near the land-application site. If the contractor had been forced to stop work on the sewer line to install a new culinary line, it would have delayed the project.
To prevent that, the Public Works Department took a tanker truck of water to the neighboring property every day for three weeks to fill troughs for the cattle. That was enough time for both the pipe for lagoon water and a new culinary pipe to be installed.
“You really have an all-star city staff,” Willden told the city council.