The Blanding City Council discussed a variety of issues and developments going on in the city at their meeting May 28.
The council adopted a budget for fiscal year 2020. Blanding City Finance Director Kim Palmer said she is proud of the budget and proud that those involved worked hard to preserve dollars from tax payers. A total city budget of $10,999,428 passed, with all council members voting in favor.
Palmer also reported she received the sales tax report from the state, which shows a 12.69 percent increase for businesses within the City of Blanding, despite the closure of Shopko earlier this year. Palmer said this is much better than the rest of the state, where tax revenues largely remained even.
The council also discussed a letter sent to the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) on the need for a traffic signal on the corner of Main and Center streets where traffic makes a 90-degree turn on a major highway. The letter expresses concern for the safety of visitors and residents using the highway.
Council members aren’t sure why Wellington and Monticello have stoplights and Blanding does not. Councilwoman Cheryl Bowers wonders if a resolution would give the letter more teeth so something would happen.
There was discussion on the storm drain project, sewer capacity, and street improvements. City Engineer Terry Ekker talked about how the City evaluates streets each year to make sure they are repaired and sealed before a more costly replacement is needed.
Council members discussed the county commission meetings. Many who attended a recent commission meeting remarked how different it was and how much it helped to have the new County Administrator in place.
Council members discussed the impact of letters and calls to the office of the Utah Attorney General.
Councilwoman Bowers reports that she was contacted by the AG’s office, and they are definitely taking an interest in what is happening. But they also told her most of the complaints should be filed with the county attorney.
She added that the AG’s office cannot do anything about many of the complaints they are receiving. Bowers commented, “The public has been given very little they can do.”
A legal services agreement with City Attorney Kendall Laws was discussed. The chief concern is the possibility of a conflict of interest because Laws is also the county attorney.
Laws was praised for his work and his ability to prosecute cases for Blanding City in the justice court.
A Municipal Wastewater Planning Resolution passed, as required by the Department of Water Quality. Mayor Joe Lyman noted that Blanding City is ahead of the curve because they already have a plan in place.
There was discussion on the Planned Unit Development (PUD) Ordinance. Councilman Logan Shumway spoke to the purpose of the ordinance, which would include legal language to allow for flexibility in city planning. Revisions were requested to the proposed language before council members approve the ordinance.
There was a public hearing on changing impact fees, to which no one spoke.
As a CRA board, the council approved language precluding incremental tax reimbursement for private infrastructure.
City cleanup day is June 15. City residents can take loads to the county dump free of charge on that day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.