EPHRAIM— Troubles with the contents of local sewer lagoons could have a damaging impact on a local business based on test results that were reported to Ephraim City Council last week.
V-Dot Meats, owned by Ryan Rees, approached the council in October last year about expanding his business by creating a meat processing and packaging facility in the county. The facility would provide an outlet for local meat producers to process their meat locally, saving farmers a large amount on shipping costs.
In 2021, the council granted a conditional use permit to V-Dot to expand its business, currently located at 25 E. 100 North (College Avenue) to the new facility located at 567 W. 100 North, within the city’s industrial park zone, that could process 50 head of beef a day, “and employ as many as 28 full-time, well-paid employees,” Rees said.
But sewer lagoon test results have caused a snag in his plans. While the lagoons passed the first of two required tests, they failed the second test because of problems with the water’s biolog- ical oxygen demand (BOD). The test is for water coming into the pond, to see how much certain volumes of oxygen would change the chemistry of water in the ponds.
The city is requesting follow-up tests by the Rural Water Association of Utah. “It just doesn’t make sense that one pond test says the water BOD levels are fine, and the other test says they are not,” Mayor John Scott said.
Many livestock producers in Sanpete currently have to ship their product out of state. Rees hopes that V-Dot’s expansion will create more of a farm-to-fork environment for Sanpete and Utah in general, and “just make us a little more independent as a community,” said Torrie, Rees’ wife.
During the same meeting, a decades-long disagreement between the city and two property owners on the east side of the city reached a resolution. The property arrangement was comparable to a layer cake with one property owner, then a strip of city property and then the other property owner.
“The city and the property owners each gave a little and lost a little, resulting in no net change in how much land each owned. Some of these fence lines have been in place so long we don’t even know how old they are,” said Bryan Kimball, city com- munity development director. “It’s nice to finally have these boundaries issues resolved.”
Additionally, city council approved the “West Christensen Annexation,” an area contiguous with the west city limit at 705 West 300 North. The annexed land is about 22 acres and con- tains the city’s dog pound and some other properties.
The city also gave a final approval for the Ephraim Crossing, Phase 3 Subdivision, located at about 450 South 200 West, involving 12 lots.
The subdivision is one of several subdivisions in the residential section of the multi-use development located southwest of McDonald’s.
One application by Amy Strate was rejected because it would create a “spot zone” which is against the city’s general plan.