Blanding City Council supports Buy Local First plan
by Kara Laws
On May 22, the Blanding City Council agreed to support the Buy Local First campaign, suggested by the San Juan Chamber of Commerce, by putting $1,000 into the program.
Buy Local First is a Utah based campaign that helps individual communities educate their local businesses, citizens, and visitors on the benefits of shopping locally.
Councilmember Cheryl Bowers has been working with the county and Blanding Chapter of the Chamber of Commerce to gauge interest and dedication to the program.
After awesome support from local business, Bowers brought the request to fund a portion of the campaign to city council. Bowers said she would like the council to take the money from the discretionary fund.
As the Blanding Chapter of the Chamber of Commerce is only recently reinstated, it has limited funding. Bowers referred to the ten-point list, presented at previous council meetings, to show how the campaign would benefit citizens.
The discussion on the issue took most of the meeting, as council seems to never spend money without a lot of thought and questions.
Councilmember Robert Turk told Bowers that he would like to see the chamber pick the campaign up, and he wants to see the chamber have some ownership of the program.
Councilmember KD Perkins said, “I don’t feel like this is the role of government. If businesses wants people to buy locally, they need to be doing the things that make people buy local.”
Councilmember Logan Shumway agreed, saying that it only makes sense to buy local, if it makes sense to buy local. Give people a real reason to buy here, he continued and concluded that he too saw it outside the scope of what the government does.
Bowers reminded council that the chamber is new. She said if council could give them a head start, the chamber can gather members that pay dues, and she will not be back asking for this again.
Bowers made a motion to give the $1,000 to the Chamber of Commerce for a portion of the two year Buy Local First campaign and was met with silence.
Mayor Joe B. Lyman suggested amending the motion to include the stipulation that Blanding City would only pay the $1,000 this year, and chamber would pick it up in the future.
The amended motion passed with all council members, except Shumway, voting in favor.
In other council news, council agreed to move forward on changing zoning on the corner of 100 South and 100 West. Currently, a small portion of the lot is zoned for mobile homes.
However, as the easily recognizable “Castle House” is being renovated the owners are looking to change that zoning. The changed zoning will allow them to build out the home further to the east.
In order to move forward, the owners would have to take notices to every resident living within 300 feet of the property and give them the opportunity to voice their agreement or disagreement at a public hearing.
Council told City Planner Bret Hosler to move forward with changing the zoning.
City Manager Jeremy Redd also informed council that all citizens are officially off the old 4kv voltage and have officially been upgraded to 12kv.
In addition, the Eastside Sewer Trunkline is moving forward.
Crews have begun blasting for the line and the road east of Amerigas will be closed to through traffic. A second crew has begun excavation at the sewer lagoons and will start to move north.