EPHRAIM—Ephraim’s new all-abilities park, which will replace the park located behind the Ephraim Library, just received its final piece of funding last Wednesday in the form of a $50,000 check from T-Mobile.
In Ephraim’s city council meeting on Dec. 15, T-Mobile of Ephraim presented a $50,000 hometown grant to the city. T-Mobile is investing $25 million into small town revitalization projects over the next five years, and Ephraim was selected from 25 applicants to receive the grant.
The T-Mobile store opened its office in Ephraim right around Memorial Day this year.
“Since we’ve been open, it has been an absolute blessing to be a part of the amazing Ephraim community,” said Adam James, retail store manager.
City Manager Shaun Kjar says that the new all-abilities park will feature a zip line, swings, and playground equipment that will be accessible to people in wheelchairs and to people with various physical disabilities. Instead of wood chips, the playground floor will be made of a porous rubber mat with a smooth surface to allow for easy wheelchair accessibility, and there will be ramps—rather than stairs—to all parts of the playground so that everyone and anyone can participate who would like to.
Kjar also noted that this project has been a culmination of many grants and funds from other sources coming together, and that with this final piece of necessary funding, the work can finally go forward.
He also said that with these final funds, a new fully accessible bathroom will now also be built as part of the park.
“We have wanted to do this project, but it’s hard to get funding for it. We know this isn’t a big giant thing [like the multi-million-dollar all-abilities parks in Spanish Fork and St. George], but it is something very good,” Kjar said.
The recreation department also had some great news for the council about the all-abilities park. Michael Patton, recreation director, presented the contract with Big T Recreation to the city to start construction on the park.
The remaining total bill for the park is $24,736.37, and it will be covered through the city’s RAP tax funds.
The city also approved the recreation department’s recommendation for the other uses of RAP tax funds received, which total $72,843.55. Apart from the $24,736.37 going to the all-abilities park, the city will allocate $30,000 for the skate park and $12,390 for new doors for the Christensen Cabin at the Granary Arts Center, as well as supplies, materials and instructors for the Scandinavian Heritage Festival.
There is still a balance of $5,717.18 in the RAP tax fund.
Next on the agenda, the city approved a resolution that would make it possible to sell its city yard property. An offer has been made for the property, which is located at about 800 South on U.S.89 (Keisel Lane) in Ephraim’s commercial zone.
“Ephraim is excited that a buyer is interested in property in the commercial area but realizes it also will take a huge effort to find another location for its yard facilities,” Mayor John Scott said. “The resolution gives the city permission to start the negotiation process.”
Finally, Devin Fowles, Ephraim City planner, reported on action the city is taking to improve conditions at the mobile home park on 430 N. Main. The city had received complaints about road conditions, utilities and safety concerns within the park.
“These aren’t easy decisions to make,” Mayor Scott said. “We have to consider the property rights of the mobile home park owners, tenants who are renting space, and the health and safety of Ephraim City residents who live in the park.”
Fowles reported that the mobile park owner had again committed to improving conditions at the park, but the council remains skeptical until they see action taken.