Nov 9 power outage planned for Blanding residents
Nov 01, 2016 | 2549 views | 0 0 comments | 256 256 recommendations | email to a friend | print
by Kara Laws

Nearly all Blanding residents will be impacted by a planned power outage on November 9.

This is one of the final steps of a power system upgrade as a major power distribution project nears completion. The planned power outage begins on the night of the November 9 and will continue into the morning of November 10.

Details of the planned outage were discussed at the October meeting of the Blanding City Council.

The City of Blanding advises city residents to be prepared for the outage.

Officials recommend that residents make sure they have a plan for medical equipment, that cell phones are charged, that sensitive electronics are unplugged, and that refrigerator and freezer doors stay closed as much as possible.

Nearly all Blanding City residents will be effected, unless your home is west of 300 West and between Center Street and 600 North. In addition, some of the residents outside of city limits also will be impacted.

Visit www.blanding.org to see the map of the impacted areas or to learn more.

In other matters at the October 25 council meting, the city council approved a change order that includes a cost increase to the power distribution project.

They city also is gearing up for to fix more than nine miles of un-odorized gas pipe line over the next couple of years.

City Engineer Terry Ekker estimates that the cost of odorizing 9.3 miles of gas line will be $150,000. The project, which is likely to take place in 2018, will close a gap in which the gas lines are not odorized.

The city distribution gas line separates from the larger transmission line approximately nine miles northeast of the Monticello Port of Entry. However, the city odorizer is located near the port, leaving the 9.3 miles of non-odorized line.

After the gas lines were recently inspected, the city received notice from the Utah Department of Commerce that the non-odorized portion of the gas line is not in compliance with state regulation.

At the council meeting, Ekker presented several options to correct the problem. The council opted to move the odorizer to the beginning of the line as the best and more permanent solution.

Natural gas is completely color-less and order-less. It is highly flammable and can trigger an explosion from even the smallest spark. Because of this, the chemical mercaptan is added to the gas once underground transmission lines become lines for distribution to the public.

Mercaptan has a strong smell, and is often described as smelling like rotten eggs. This scent can help in the detection of even the smallest leaks.

When the city decided to change that stretch of pipe from transmission line to distribution line, it saved the city cost and complicated regulations. However, it also left a gap in the system.

The city will need to pay to move a new odorized, build a structure to house it, move some pipe, and create and maintain roads to the new site.

The city has budgeted to purchase a new odorizer for some time now and funds are available from the natural gas savings account. Officials said that the saved funds can more than pay for the project.

The city council also chose a designer for a new city logo.

After a lot of debate, lectures, and discussion, the city council chose Flitch Creative to create a new city logo. There were several qualified companies and the decision was not made lightly.

The council ultimately chose to go with the lowest cost option as Councilman Taylor Harrison made the motion to go with Flitch Creative. The motive was accepted unanimously, with Councilman Robert Ogle abstaining.

The council evaluated the companies based on breadth and depth of experience, quality of samples, references, and cost. The council also discussed the importance of longevity for the design and how it should embody the residents of Blanding.

The council is hopeful that the right logo can help give the town a brand which, if helpful in attracting certain types of people and tourism to the area, can give the local economy a boost.

Decisions were also made at city council for the Tree for All, a holiday-season tradition in Blanding.

For several years, the event has been run by the Edge of the Seaters Theater Company (EOTS) to help support the local theater scene and provide a little income for the Blanding Arts and Events Center. However, in recent years the Tree for All has struggled and changed hands a few times.

This year, EOTS is willing to run the Tree for All again. Heather Raisor will coordinate the booth rentals and the Small Business Center will organize the entertainment.

The recently passed Special Event Policy will required the Tree for All to pay more than $500 for insurance to hold the event at the Wellness Center. The city council discussed the possibility of providing that insurance if the Tree for All could be considered “typical use” of the property. If so, it could fall under the city insurance.

The council however, decided against extending the typical use designation to the Tree for All, stating that the Tree for All is not a city event.
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