Spring City Council all smiles after hearing about $100K for historic school
SPRING CITY—Good news from Utah’s Capitol Hill brought smiles to attendees at the Spring City Council meeting on Thursday, March 2.
During the meeting, Mayor Jack Monnett read an email Alison Anderson of the Friends of Historic Spring City had received from Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe.
Okerlund informed the Friends that their request for a $50,000 appropriation from the Utah Legislature had not only been approved by a legislative appropriations committee, but the appropriation amount had been doubled, giving the Friends $100,000 toward restoration of the old Spring City School.
The funding isn’t a final, sure thing until it passes as part of the overall state budget on Friday, the last day of the session.
During the council meeting, city leadership adjusted the dedication of the old school to Friday, May 26 at 1 p.m.
Another important topic came up almost in passing at the meeting. The council discussed the possibility of adding a 6 percent franchise fee to power and natural gas bills paid in the city.
Although Mayor Jack Monnett said the franchise fee is only in the concept stage so far, if it ever was officially proposed and passed, the money raised could go toward generating matching money for a potential grant from the Utah Community Impact Board (CIB) to improve the city’s water infrastructure.
“I don’t know if it would be enough to meet the matching requirements, but it would be a start,” Monnett said.
Monnett said neighboring Mt. Pleasant had set a local precedent with Proposition 7, the pool-funding franchise fee, which voters approved in the 2016 election.
Councilman Neil Sorensen, a business owner, said he was not pleased with the idea. He said such a fee would add $60 on his $500 monthly gas and electric bill.
Additional business included a public hearing on an amendment to the city planning and zoning ordinance that clarifies the relationship between the planning and zoning board and the city council.
The change adds some substance to regulations that were already in place but needed to be observed without exception, Monnett said.
One of these is the requirement that one member of the council attend the P&Z meetings as a non-voting liaison. Another is the practice of appointing three P&Z board member alternates so that board will have a quorum at all times.
Also on the table during the regular city council meeting was approval of the city taking over the Spring City Bluegrass Festival.
“We can do this,” Councilwoman Kimberly Stewart said. “Besides, it would be a shame to lose the inertia, and it is great entertainment for area residents, and it does draw visitors, introducing them to our community. We have people here who can do it. We have that talent.”
There was a discussion on moving the event to the pavilion on the city square south of the old school. The council brought up the topic of what it would take to improve and prepare that space for such an event.
Jim Phillips, a local resident, said the city already has an adequate public announcement system and that it could rent the lights as needed.
Though no motion was made, there appeared to be a consensus on the council in favor of using the pavilion for the event.
In other business, Sorensen reviewed a bid the city recently received for street signage, including three flashing speed radar signs.
“They are the same thing, from the same manufacturer that Mt. Pleasant has on Fifth West, and it seems to be quite effective,” Sorensen said.
No motion was needed because the expenditure of funds had been approved previously. There was some discussion on where to place the signage.
Finally, the council approved a motion from the Youth City Council to sponsor a dance on March 17. It also approved the Youth City Council’s request to sponsor an Easter egg hunt on April 17. The council agreed to allocate $500 for plastic eggs, candy and toys for the egg hunt.