The Blanding City Council features two new members, and the group hit the ground running at the first meeting of the new council on January 12.
Police Chief Jason Torgerson gave a comprehensive report, including a statistical reporting for each officer and a brief summary of specific calls and the result of the investigation. The report was broken into four categories: drugs/alcohol, property crimes, crimes against persons, and community policing/involvement.
The Council seemed pleased with the detail of the report. Councilman Robert Ogle requested that a month-to-month comparison be added to the report. He suggested it could be the previous month or the same month last year.
A water report shows favorable numbers so far this winter, but City Engineer Terry Ekker said the spring the runoff could vary pretty dramatically depending upon the weather.
Melting would occur slowly if there is a long, cold spring and more water would sink into the ground rather than run into reservoirs. If there is a sudden warm up, the water would run off quickly.
Natural gas usage is up with the cold weather but no new services were added in December. This increase has been expected but warmer temperatures were keeping the usage down.
Fire Chief Corey Spillman reports that December was a good month for the fire department. They delivered Santa Claus to an event at the wellness center and responded to two calls for structure fires.
The first was a house fire in Westwater that was caused by a woodstove placed too close to a wall. The second was a generator in the backyard of a home that was used to power Christmas lights. Crews also responded to four Life Flight landings near Blue Mountain Hospital.
Recreation Director David Palmer was praised by Councilman Robert Ogle for flyers which have been sent to city residents. The flyer advertises the services available at the Wellness Center.
Revenue for the first half of the fiscal year at the Wellness Center is down by $3,000 when compared with the previous two years. The revenue totals $81,295.60 so far. This does not include 200 passes for students at the Utah State University campus.
The Council renewed the Forestry, Fire and State Lands Facility and Land Use Agreement contract for four years. The approval allows the Forest Service to access water from city reservoirs to fight wildfires.
This includes water from the Blanding Third and Fourth reservoirs, Starvation, Recapture and Dry Wash reservoirs. The payment is $500 for any year in which water is used.
Councilman Joe Lyman was elected Mayor Pro-Tempore. Lyman will chair council meetings if Mayor Calvin Balch is unavailable to attend. The previous Mayor Pro-Tempore was Kelly Laws.
Housekeeping needs were addressed as required for each new calendar year, including updated contact information for the mayor and council.
A resolution appointed the officers of the city was also approved. Changes since last January are Jason Torgerson as police chief and Corey Spillman as fire chief.
The Council approved a resolution approving the annexation of the Perkins One Subdivision. This 17-acre parcel is the second major subdivision annexed into the city in the past 20 years.
Community Development Director Bret Hosler said this is an unusual request because all that is being developed at this time on the property is a single home on a one half-acre lot.
Because of its location, the property owner will need to record that the property is within a commercial zone. This will alert potential property owners that a business can be built next door to a home in the subdivision.
A separate resolution to annex the Lewis Black property into the city was approved unanimously.
Council was notified that the municipal court is recertified for a four-year term beginning February 8, 2016.
On August 12, the Utah Symphony is scheduled to present a concert at Centennial Park.