Spring City mulls creating master plan
By James Tilson
SPRING CITY—Looking toward future growth, the Spring City Council entertained the idea of creating a “master plan” for infrastructure improvements and discussed the possibility of hiring a fire engine boss.
Mayor Neil Sorensen told the council the city’s plans to upgrade their water, sewer and power infrastructure would benefit from being combined into an overall “master plan.” Not only would it help to coordinate the city’s planning, it will also assist in finding funding for the various projects, he said.
“We definitely need a master plan so that we can pursue funding,” said Sorensen. “A master plan will identify needs, but will not specify exact details. It will address Spring City for 20 years of growth.”
In order to identify those future needs, Sorensen along with Jim Bennett, Craig Poulson and George Kinsey created a map showing all the sewer lines, water lines and roads in Spring City limits, along with areas that needed sewer and water line extensions and road improvements.
Based on the map, Sorensen told the council he “roughly” estimated that Spring City would need another 33,500 linear feet of sewer line, at an approximate cost of $1 million. It would also need another 20,000 linear feet of water line, at an approximate cost of $800,000. And it would need another 15,000 linear feet of roadway, with an approximate cost of $150,000 to bring the roads up to gravel, or $300,000 to pave the roads.
The total cost of infrastructure improvements, without adding in possible power improvements, would be $2.2 million. Sorensen noted most of the new lines would be north, south and east ends of the city.
Sorensen also noted the town would eventually need to address the corroding “pen-stock,” or hydro-line pipes that run from the city’s water sources to its hydro-electric generators. Sorensen said the lines had lost almost 30 percent of their capacity due to corrosion. The cost of replacing those lines would bring the total cost of infrastructure improvements to $3.2 million.
Councilman Cody Harmar brought a proposal to the council asking the city to hire a fire engine boss. He explained that after last year’s funding struggles, the fire department looked for new ways to raise funding. They met with great success, largely on the back of wildfire fighting efforts.
Harmar said the fire department earned $130,000 fighting wild fires last year, of which half went straight to members. Approximately $30,000 of those funds went toward repairs, improvements and training, leaving about $36,000 profits over expenses.
By hiring a fire engine boss, Harmar explained, the fire department could earn even more this coming summer. A fire engine boss would be able to take a truck and crew to wider number of areas (out of state, for example) to a larger number of fires.
Sorensen expressed his concern that he did not completely know how this proposal would fit in Spring City’s next budget. The council in general agreed, saying they were in favor of the proposal, but couldn’t act on it without more information. The proposal was deferred to next month, on the condition Harmar continued to prepare the paperwork and advertising.
Courtney Syme, representative from Spring City’s Veterans Memorial Association, spoke to the council about the association’s plans to continue to improve the newly erected veterans’ memorial. Syme told the council the original plan had been to create a “garden corner” on the city’s property, and further improvements were planned. The next projects would be to improve the sidewalks around the memorial, and to re-configure the sprinkler system to protect the memorial.
Syme said the association still had funds available to make the improvements, but may request assistance from the city on certain parts of the projects. Sorensen agreed the city would be helping the association, and had anticipated the projects from previous discussions.