Years of wear and increased safety issues at a Utah Department of Transportation maintenance facility led UDOT to seek a new location for their shed, which is currently located on the north side of the interstate.
According to UDOT representative Kevin Griffin, UDOT approached Morgan City about buying a piece of land behind the Tractor Supply Company storefront, but were talked out of it. Instead, the department came to an agreement with land owners to buy a section of land off Industrial Road.
The piece of land that was purchased by UDOT was previously slated for future industrial growth in the area.
Because of the heavy equipment that would make use of Industrial Road, Morgan City asked the state department of transportation to participate in their plans to grind down the existing road and replace it with 8 inches of road base and 4 inches of asphalt. A light use road only requires two inches of asphalt, but because of the heavy trucks that UDOT will have on that stretch of road, they agreed to take care of the extra 2 inches of asphalt that would be needed.
Coming in with a bid that was roughly $30,000 less than any other bidder, the contract to complete the upgrades was awarded to Wardell Brothers Construction at the Aug. 24 council meeting.
Though absent from this meeting, and this vote, at a previous meeting Councilman Jeff Wardell stated that the bids would include installing four sump pumps along this road to remove the storm water.
As a part of the deal with the land owners, the UDOT representative noted that UDOT made promises that the road would be extended 130 feet and utilities for future developments would be stubbed in. These promises led to unexpected issues for UDOT.
“There were communication gaps between our division and the architect for the project,” Griffin admitted. The initial plans specified an 8 inch culinary water pipe and when construction started, it was discovered the existing pipe was a 10 inch pipe, which added cost to the project. Engineers also discovered that they would have to stub in secondary water, which was not accounted for in the original planning phase.
Griffin reminded the council that UDOT is not in the business of being a developer, so these issues were new to them and they couldn’t have been planned for. Councilman Tony London remarked that had they approached Morgan City engineers before starting building, these issues might have been avoided.
Because of the added cost to the project, Griffin requested that Morgan City waive impact fees and hook-up fees for the property, citing that he felt the improvements UDOT is providing to the area outweighed the loss of these fees.
Morgan City Attorney Gary Crane informed the council that they could legally waive the hook-up fees with no legal ramifications, but the impact fees were a little more complicated. Because impact fees are assigned to a parcel as a whole, if the council waived the fees, they would have to be made up somewhere else.
Crane noted that the city must establish one or more sources to fund the impact fees so that others in the service area don’t have to make that fee up. This would mean that the funds could not simply be waived, the council would have to agree to pull the money out of a source such as the general fund in order to reimburse the impact fees.
London noted that the hook-up fees are based on real labor that has to be paid out to city employees, so that money would need to come from somewhere as well.
Mayor Ray Little asked for a motion and the room was silent. Eventually London spoke up and made the motion to deny the waiving of funds for UDOT. The motion was passed unanimously.