Spring City sidewalk project should be dropped
I noted the article in the Sanpete Messenger Nov. 10, 2016, “Not enough support for Spring City sidewalk safety project” and would like residents of Spring City to consider some issues. While it is laudable for a community to try to engage in a project, in this instance questions remain which perhaps have led to the lack of enthusiasm for this particular effort. Originally, to Councilman Harmer’s credit, he ran the figures which did not support accepting a grant for the project, thus the concept of donation of time and materials which have been not have been forthcoming.
However, many issues were not addressed in the original concept, including lack of adequate funding to complete the project, impacted property owners’ approval never being sought, nor were they informed as to the design. Who is going to maintain these sidewalks? Who is liable for any accidents associated with this project built with volunteer labor?
Years ago, Spring City’s WPA project sidewalks were in disrepair and the residents did not want
assessments in order to replace them. In my opinion, this decision helped maintain the unique country ambience leading to the listing on The National Historic Registry. Many years ago I was informed by an authority on historical preservation that cement sidewalks leading to homes listed on the National Historic Registry are not consistent with the National Historic Registry guidelines.
With Spring City being only one of two cities in the nation so designated, would the construction of cement sidewalks affect this designation? Such a removal would certainly lead to economic losses in the form of disqualification for potential restoration grants as well as losing the cache of being such a unique community and perhaps lowering property values.
On a personal note, the design of this sidewalk impedes automobile and farm machinery access to my garage and fields as the sidewalk is being built/planned going on the uphill east side of the road. My neighbor stated they would be facing the same challenge accessing their field with farm machinery.
Near our property an old irrigation ditch was leveled, trees roots are exposed and the trees are clearly dying. The town lost enough trees when the irrigation ditches were covered, depriving the trees lining the lanes of water.
Not every town can have a college or a financial district. Not every town should be pro-growth. Not every town has the same mandate.
We should care take Spring City’s rustic heritage passing it as much as possible to future generations where it can serve as a model of a unique rural Utah community.
Sue Jensen Weeks