The Blanding City Council quickly moved through business during their meeting on June 11.
Council members discussed a legal services agreement with City Attorney Kendall Laws. Council members are concerned with the possibility of a conflict of interest to arise with Laws, who also serves as the San Juan County Attorney.
Laws acknowledged the concern. “If something like that were to happen,” he said, “even if I wasn’t the county attorney, it would be a scenario where I would say, ‘You need to go find somebody who has a very specific set of skills in a very specific area.’”
Mayor Lyman asked for general feelings about the relationship and work with Laws from city officials.
Police Chief J.J. Bradford responded, “He’s been a huge asset. He’ll answer calls at one or two in the morning from one of our officers. Most lawyers won’t do that.”
The council voted in favor of a one-year contract extension.
May was a busy month for Blanding City Police. Chief Bradford reported that a threat to the school found on social media resulted in three arrests.
Over 150 man-hours were spent on the investigation and four separate law enforcement agencies were involved.
Bradford noted that of a possible 600 students who may have seen the social media post, only one student reported it. He hopes that some education will encourage others to report things they see and to take threats seriously.
Bradford asked for approval of a reserve officer, Len Gossner, who is a retired law enforcement officer now living in Blanding.
The Blanding City Reservoirs are teeming with water. City Engineer Terry Ekker said, “The water report is awesome!”
Flows picked up with the warmer weather and all Blanding City reservoirs have reached capacity. Most are spilling over, including Recapture Reservoir, where water has been going over the spillway since late April.
As of May 31, precipitation is 173 percent of normal for the current water year.
Ekker also discussed trolling motors on the Blanding Fourth reservoir. Currently, there is signage warning against it, but there is no ordinance or resolution that would give the police the ability to enforce it. The council discussed whether or not they could allow small, electric motors on the reservoir.
Mayor Joe B. Lyman said he recalled a council conversation from years past on the topic. The concern is petroleum products getting into the water. Small, electric motors had been allowed, but it was difficult to tell the difference between gas-powered and electric motors. The previous decision had been to ban all motors from the reservoir.
Ekker said he isn’t worried about petroleum products getting in the drinking water because of the state-of-the-art water treatment plant. “It’s not a problem for our drinking water,” he said.
Ekker added the Department of Wildlife Resources is stocking fish in the reservoir, and it provides residents with a great opportunity to fish.
Mayor Lyman suggested it be put on the next agenda and have councilmembers talk to constituents before making a decision.
An operating agreement was renewed with Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA) at the Blanding Visitor Center and Museum.
Under the agreement, CNHA retains the right to sell items at that location for the greater of $250 or 20 percent of monthly gross sales. Councilwoman KD Perkins said, “I think it’s a good partnership, so I would say let’s keep doing it.”
Robert Ogle addressed the council during open forum to discuss a service website run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called JustServe.org, and how it could be used by Blanding City.
The website allows service projects to be submitted for people to see volunteer opportunities. Examples he thought would fit include volunteers for the city clean-up, the Fourth of July celebration, and planting spring flowers.
The council also heard the names of those filing for positions on the city council in the November election. Trent Herring, Logan Monson, Logan Shumway, and KD Perkins threw their names in for city council elections.