Smithfield adopts 6-councilmember form of government

SMITHFIELD–The City Council voted unanimously to adopt a six-member council form of government. Mayor Darrell Simmons said that after a lot of discussion and review, no significant changes were made to the ordinance after the public hearing March 9. He said that under this ordinance, the mayor holds people accountable. “This ordinance is like a house. It will have to be remodeled from time to time, and it may have a few broken windows, but we have to move forward,” Simmons said. Councilman William “Dee” Wood agreed with the mayor. “It has been quite a process, but I do believe we have a good ordinance.” In other business, Smithfield resident Jean Layne strongly suggested the city council considering moving the Health Days parade from its current location along 100 East to its original location on Main Street. Most of the citizens that attended the meeting were there to support her. Layne also had a petition signed by 170 residents in favor of a Main Street parade. “The parade has been a tradition since 1906,” she said. “It’s an advantage for Smithfield businesses to have the parade on Main Street. Don’t we want to show off Smithfield?” Councilwoman Kris Monson, who is the council member assigned to Health Days, said her main concern was safety issues related to the location of the parade. Monson also expressed concern about moving the parade to Main Street after it has been advertised to run along 100 East. “I’m not against this. I think we need to get together and whether or not we can move the parade, secure the permits and address any safety issues.” Resident Denise Rich said she enjoys the current location of the parade because it shows off the yards in Smithfield. Denise Rich also expressed concern about re-routing traffic to smaller side streets during a parade along Main Street. “In the event of an emergency, like a fire, it’s going to be difficult.” Resident Barbara Gutke said she wants the parade to return to Main Street. “I probably marched in one of the first Smithfield Health Days parades. Nobody loves Smithfield more than I do.” Gutke said when she was in school, they could only march in the parade if they had a good report card. “I have always looked forward to the parade . Whatever you decide we will support it.” Everyone in attendance said they would support and attend the parade regardless of its location. Mayor Simmons said that the council would assist Layne in obtaining the proper permits from Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and attempt to move the location of the parade if it is possible. “UDOT holds the trump card, so we’ll have to get in touch with them and Police Chief McCoy to see if we can do this. We are approaching the eleventh hour.” Randy “Midget” Rich asked the council for permission to use Central Park on May 1 for a rummage sale fundraiser to help fund his trip to the Down Under Bowl in Australia and Hawaii. “Midget” is a high school senior and defensive tackle for the football team at Sky View. He is the only football player from Cache Valley that has been selected to participate in the event. His mother, Denise Rich, said he has been working hard to raise the $4,500 needed to finance his trip and asked the council to waive the $35 fee for using the park. Council members expressed concern about setting a precedent by letting him use the park for free. Monson suggested that Midget do $35 worth of work for the city to work off the fee, and he agreed to do so when his schedule permits. Council agreed to look into another location for the fundraiser, due to concern about it becoming an area used for rummage sales. Mayor Simmons agreed to participate in an Ugliest Princess Contest to help raise money for the trip. “Three guys dress up from the waist up with make-up and wigs, we take a picture and put it on a jar and people donate money to the candidate the feel is the best ‘Ugly Princess’,” Midget said. After being told the prize was a tiara, Mayor Simmons said, “Well, I’m in!” Midget said he hopes to get Police Chief McCoy to participate as well. In other business the council voted to establish the policy and procedures for approving written minutes (Ordinance 10-05). Resident Glen Jay Thornton expressed concern about the amount of time it takes for the minutes to be available on the website. The ordinance requires approval of minutes within 45 days of the meeting and then they have to be made available. Deputy Recorder Char Izatt said the minutes have to be approved before they can be posted, which takes at least two weeks. Council also voted to approve the rules and procedures for conduct of city council meetings (Resolution 10-04). Mayor Simmons read a proclamation declaring May 8 as Arbor Day. Arbor Day is a special day set aside for the planting of trees. In the proclamation, Mayor Simmons said that trees increase property values, enhance economic vitality of business areas, beautify the community and are a source of joy and spiritual renewal. “I urge all citizens to support efforts to care for our trees and woodlands and to plant trees to promote the well-being of present and future generations.” Councilwoman Monson said Smithfield has been a Tree City USA for 17 years. Monson said Smithfield received a grant to remove 38 bad trees and replace them with new trees. “Our tree program is getting stronger and we are starting a tree memorial program.” The program will allow people to buy a tree to be planted in honor of someone in Heritage Park. Mayor Simmons also proclaimed April 25 through May 1 as Boy Scout week. The Boy Scouts just celebrated their 100th anniversary of being incorporated. “We should spend some time getting o know our scouts and their leaders. Some of my fondest memories are about when I was in Scouts.” Lodge Advisor Jeff Barnes said he is still looking for more scouts to participate in celebrating that anniversary during the Health Days Parade on May 8. “I want to have 100 Scouts walk in that parade in full uniform, youth and adults.” Anyone interested in participating can contact Barnes at 435-881-2610. City Manager Jim Gass reported on a property for sale east of the new city office building. Gass said the property is .31 acres and the price is $68,000. “I don’t think it’s a very attractive property for the city. It may work for someone else, but not for us.” In a progress report on the new city office building, Gass said there was a problem with the restrooms that will put the tiling on hold. Gass said the biggest hold up will not be the completion of the building, it will be the arrival of the new office furniture. The furniture should arrive in three to four weeks, and the building is scheduled for completion by April 27. Gass also reported: · A grant has been awarded to change the armory into a civic center · Designs have been created for the Lonnie Loveday Field Memorial · An extended stay hotel has been proposed for approval by the planning commission, and despite opposition and concerns, it meets the requirements for zoning · Local contractors have bid on the contract for the remodel of the current city office building in the police department, are working on their plans and will soon submit their official bids · A group of Interior Design student from USU did a project about possible uses for the library building and will present those designs to city council · The budget meeting was rescheduled for April 29, due to a schedule conflict · There will be a change in insurance for city employees due to a 28 percent increase of premiums, which Gass said are unrelated to the new Health Care Reform. Gass said the increase is due to the number of large claims last year due to serious illnesses, injuries, and surgeries · The Canal Upgrade Project will have a shareholders meeting on May 3 to decide how to pay for the project. A federal grant pays for $19 million of $25 million needed, but $6 million has to be dispersed amongst the participating cities. The project needs the approval of the shareholders before a loan can be secured. · Resident Glen Jay Thornton asked about a formal complaint filed by Logan Power about a loss of water near the power plant that may lead to an increase of cost. John Wells said Logan Power will have to be compensated, but they have not presented any numbers yet. · 800 West Street will be pulverized and reconstructed this summer in a joint project between the school district and the city During the Mayor and Council reports at the end of the meeting, Monson encouraged the council to attend as many community functions as possible to show their support to the citizens of Smithfield. ” I know we’re all very busy, but they want to see us there for the city and we need to be there.”

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