Moroni eyes capital improvement projects from water to property

This building at 52 S. 200 West in Moroni, once a barbershop, is located on the same block as the city hall and fire station. The city purchased the structure about six years ago. At a meeting in August, the council discussed possible uses for the building, including storage for the fire department and restoration as a youth center.

MORONI—The Moroni City Council discussed capital improvement projects ranging from replacing valves in the culinary water system to reviving a plan to turn the one-time Mud Bogs property into a horse practice arena at its last meeting on Aug. 19.

Councilman Troy Prestwich reported that Moroni will receive about $184,000 from the American Rescue Plan, the COVID relief and economic stimulus bill passed early in the Biden administration. Prestwich said the city would get about $92,000 now and a similar amount in mid 2022. 

The city is aware that valves in the culinary water piping system aren’t working, which affects water pressure in homes and businesses. The council agreed to borrow a machine from Sunrise Engineering and use it to check valves throughout the system.

New valves cost about $4,500 apiece. Once needs are verified, the council agreed to put the project out to bid and to pay for new valves with American Rescue Plan money.

In other discussion, the council took up the fate of a building at 52 S. 200 West on the same block as the city hall and fire station. 

Mayor Paul Bailey said the building had been a barbershop, among other past uses. The city purchased it about six years ago, but presently it is boarded up. He said because the building is historic, the city might qualify for a grant for up to 50 percent of restoration costs. 

“It could be made into something really special,” Councilman Craig Draper said. “I think the building is very solid, but it’s just a shell.” 

A little later in the meeting, Draper posed the idea of creating a youth center in Moroni. Councilman Thayne Atkinson asked if the boarded building could be converted into such a facility. “Seriously, we could kill two birds with one stone,” he said. 

Councilwoman Jenifer Lamb, who is the council liaison with the Moroni Fire Department, said the fire chief had asked about using the building to store fire fighting equipment, along with Fourth of July fireworks and fireworks-related supplies. 

The council tabled discussion on use of the building for a future meeting.

Regarding a youth center in Moroni, Draper said he would like to see a committee created to look at the cost and maintenance of such a facility, and what fees might be charged for use. 

He said he would like “to give the citizens a chance to have some input on what we do with the youth.” He added, “The kids need something.”

Councilman Bevan Wulfenstein, who is council liaison for parks and recreation, brought up the Mud Bogs arena, where the state paid to remove more than 1,000 tires in 2019. Wulfenstein said making the site into a rodeo arena wasn’t practical because of competing arenas and rodeos in nearby towns.

“The best use would be a practice arena,” Wulfenstein said. Mayor Bailey noted that the council had approved such a use in 2019. The mayor asked Wulfenstein to contact Mike Broderick, a citizens who advocated for the riding arena two years ago, “to see if he’s still interested in helping.”

Mayor Bailey also announced that an LED sign, similar to the community notice boards that have gone up in Manti and Centerfield, would go up in early September toward the back of the Veterans Park on 400 East. The sign was purchased last year with federal COVID relief money.  

He also reported the Bruce and Laura Christensen of Moroni had made a donation to purchase poles and flags so the flags of the branches of the U.S. military service can be displayed in the Veterans Park.