With only three more months left of the Morgan School District’s official budget year, things are looking up while the school board approved continuing with immediate “Band-Aid” solutions to house future growth.
Envision Utah President Robert Grow related a thought that Larry H. Miller once shared with him. Miller said, “I would give back every car I have ever sold if Utah could go back to the way it used to be.” However, until a proper time travel device has been invented, all we can do is look to the future to ensure our children will be able to enjoy the same opportunities and environments that we have in our communities today.
The UDOT 2015-2040 Long-Range Transportation Plan puts Morgan County on the map for state road projects. The plan puts widening Highway 66 in the nearest future, moves a new Mountain Green Interstate 84 interchange up on the priority list, and adds a new Interstate 80 interchange on Highway 66 to the list.
After being dropped by Morgan City, consultant Better City may be facing the same fate with its current client Morgan County. But as some Morgan County Council members noted, in a county almost entirely privately owned, economic development is dependent on landowners and not the government.
It is the classic chicken-or-egg question haunting Yaryca land owners and the Morgan County Council. What comes first: amending the future land map or getting a developer on board? At their last meeting, the council decided the question was just too scary to answer when the future of 2,600 acres lies at issue.
While the Morgan County Council failed to agree to open all county offices on Fridays, all council members did agree to at least open the recorder’s office from 1 to 5 p.m. every Friday beginning May 8.
Representatives from Weber Human Services say they would like to see more Morgan County residents take advantage of their services including mental health, substance abuse counseling, prevention services, and aging services.
The results from a new feasibility study for a hotel site on Commercial Street are in, and successful numbers may depend on the redevelopment of a water park at Como Springs, according to Morgan County’s economic development consultant Better City.
Several state leaders including Governor Gary Herbert joined the attendees of the Morgan County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner on Feb. 5, 2015. Governor Herbert dined with guests, took the occasion to meet many of the residents and even stayed for photo opportunities.
After years of working on a four-day work schedule, it is an unofficial consensus of the Morgan County Council that county offices should be open on Fridays. But it is still in question as to which hours.
After announcing tough transportation restrictions set to take affect Feb. 2, the Morgan County School Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday to cut some slack for students who consistently need picked up or dropped off for child care. However, citing safety concerns, the district will no longer accept notes and other irregular requests.
It is well known that Morgan County has one of the highest median household income levels in the state, second only to Summit County, home of Park City. So it follows that Morgan also has a low poverty rate.
According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report released Dec. 17, Morgan County has the 12th lowest poverty rate in the whole nation. That means that out of 3,142 counties in the United States, only 11 have poverty rates lower than that in Morgan County.
For some time the Morgan County Council has had discussion on whether to move from a four-day work week to a five-day work week. There have been several concerns and ideas from elected officials within the courthouse in the last several months. We are asking for input from the general public, so we can make an informed decision in your behalf.
The Morgan County Council discussed both their 2014 and 2015 budgets, avoiding levy and tax increases and noting which departments were over budget including the annual county fair. Garbage fees will not be lowered, the USU Extension service will increase employees, the council plans to seek new benefit providers, and the county will work to establish a budgetary baseline for fleet management.
Two years ago, a Morgan deputy shot a woman in the eye at the conclusion of a high-speed chase that covered three counties. Now, that woman is suing the county and officer for a violation of her rights. And the attorney handling Morgan’s defense said the case is at least two years away from any kind of resolution.
Barker Real Estate Services was the only company to respond to a county request for proposal to conduct a hotel feasibility study.
“They are a good fit,” said Morgan County Councilman Lyle Nelson, who noted the firm will work under the direction of Better City, the county and city’s economic development consultant.
Morgan resident Kelly Carter has had enough of the parties next door.
For nine years, Carter has endured noise at all hours of the night, inebriated guests, vehicles speeding on the quarter-mile lane leading to her home, four wheelers trespassing, make-shift directional signs tied to her mailbox, opened gates, cut fences leading to roaming livestock, random intoxicated people passed out in nearby yards and hunters shooting in the wrong direction.
Morgan County Councilman Lyle Nelson is pushing to re-establish a county mobility council to evaluate state and federal government funding options, as well as re-engage the Wasatch Front Regional Council to address the county’s transportation needs.
Education dominated the 2014 election cycle, both locally and on the state level.
Locally, more Morgan residents threw their hat in the ring for an education position than any other government position on the ballot.
Morgan City has made a stride forward in coordinating community events. This move involved hiring a new event coordinator to work with the city council in not only making sure that big events are successful, but assisting in economic development and day-to-day operations as well.
More than half of the county’s registered voters turned out on election night. This high voter turnout rendered many local races just too close to call.
As polls closed, it appeared only one local incumbent lost a bid for re-election. On Nov. 4, Political newcomer Ted W. Taylor appeared to have won over incumbent Bruce A. Galbraith for the Morgan School Board District 2 seat.
Just a few short weeks before election day, local candidates attended the Oct. 23 meet the candidate event sponsored by MOREPAC at Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn. While six candidates for the Morgan County Council, county recorder and county clerk positions answered audience questions, a majority of the evening was spent discussing education with four candidates for the local and state school boards.
Mountain Green resident Ray L. Worthen, Democrat, is taking on Republican incumbent Melvin R. Brown for the Utah State House District 53 position representing Morgan, Summit, Duchesne, Rich and Daggett counties.
Worthen, 67, is a retired engineer who has lived in Morgan County for 16 years. He was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Ogden. This is the first political office he has pursued.
The process that bypassed seven Morgan residents who filed for a spot on the state school board produced two candidates. David L. Clark, of Providence, will take on incumbent Terryl Warner, of Hyrum, for the Utah State Board of Education District 1 position on the Nov. 4 ballot.
While working out kinks with utility companies, progress on the Morgan Bike Park has been a little slower than anticipated. However, the Morgan County Council has caught organizer Jason Johnson’s vision and has unanimously allowed him another three years to build up the park.
U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), who represents Morgan County in Washington, was selected today to be the next chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, a caucus of conservative senators. Senator Lee will assume the post at the start of the 114th Congress in January.
A 15-year-old female was involved in an ATV accident Sunday evening in Peterson. Morgan County Sheriff Blaine Breshears said the accident did not end up as a fatality even though the female was not wearing a helmet.
In a 5-2 vote, the Morgan County Council gave 56 building lots known as the Whittier Estates Subdivision in Peterson the nod to move to the next development stage.
The 104-acre subdivision at 4000 N. Morgan Valley Drive includes 34 half-acre lots, 20 one-acre lots and two 20-acre lots. Twenty-one half-acre lots will likely be in the first of three phases in the development’s upcoming preliminary plat approval application, said Blair Gardner, representing both the buyer and seller.
The pressure is mounting. The past three public meetings with Yaryca’s 3,000 acres on the agenda have seen standing-room-only crowds, television media, environmental group pressure, and plenty of public comment.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the applicant backed down a bit, asking for a work session before the Morgan County Council voted again on amending the future land use map amendment that could make way for a new resort on the north end of East Canyon Reservoir. At the council’s Sept. 3 meeting, it was a tied 4-4 vote and Council Chairman Logan Wilde was not present.
The Morgan City Council met this week to discuss capital improvement rankings, Tucker Farms rezone and Riverbend apartments.
When city or county governments would like to seek funding for projects through grants or loans, those projects must appear on their Capital Investment Plan. This plan goes before the Council of Governements (COG) and that body then assigns importance to each line item.
The COG consists of both city and county councils as well as the school district.
Changes were made to the 2015 plan at the latest Morgan City Council meeting. The plan currently includes sewer improvements as the highest priorities.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) was in Peterson Wednesday serving a search warrant with the help of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. FBI agents were in the area near Hinds Quick Stop participating in the search warrant.
Jared Byron Hoopes, 38, of 4020 N. 4000 W., Peterson, was booked into Weber County Jail Wednesday evening charged for five Class 2 felony counts of sexual abuse of a child, and 20 Class 2 felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
ICAC is a multi-jurisdictional task force that investigates and prosecutes individuals who use the internet to exploit children. The task force is funded by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and administered through the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
Every homeowner in the county saw a home valuation increase on their tax notices sent out this month.
County Assessor Gwen D. Rich reported a significant increase in the county’s taxable value to the state this year. From $856 million in taxable value in 2013 to $907 million this year, taxable value increased a whopping $51 million.
Of that increase, about $19.2 million was due to new growth, or homes constructed and new businesses locating in Morgan, Rich said. This year’s $19.2 million increase in new growth outshines last year’s $6.3 million increase.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources awarded Trout Unlimited a $17,000 grant for preliminary work on a Weber River design study in Morgan County from the diversion dam at Como Springs into Morgan City, including the stretch of the river near Riverside Park.
The study is slated to begin in October when water levels are lower to fund preliminary conceptual designs for river restoration and will likely involve survey work of the waterway.
“The project is a cooperative one across the watershed that will benefit fish, wildlife, anglers, recreational water users and agricultural producers,” said Paul Burnett with Trout Unlimited, a nationwide nonprofit organization aiming to conserve and protect cold water habitat.
When Superintendent for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Joel Coleman was named the interim Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Utah this week, it was not in an open public meeting, something that has Utah State Board of Education Member Terryl Warner worried.
A landowner involved with plans for a 2,980-acre resort near East Canyon accused the Morgan County Planning chairman of trying to sabotage the Yaryca Master Planned Community during a Aug. 14 public hearing. Many local residents praised any efforts to put a stop to the resort proposal.
During the Morgan County Planning Commission public hearing regarding the Yaryca development Aug. 14, a third of the dissenters taking the microphone spoke out against Yaryca because of the impact it could have on the Greater sage grouse, a candidate for an endangered species designation.
It was standing room only at the Aug. 14 Morgan County Planning Commission as more than 200 people crowded the Morgan County Courthouse and 45 people voiced their opinions about the proposed Yaryca Master Planned Community.
Applicants asked the commission to amend the county’s future land map in the East Canyon area, an action that could eventually make way for a new resort community.
In a 4-2 vote, the planning commission voted to let the Morgan County Council know they support the future land use map amendment, re-designating 2,980 acres from natural resources and recreation to master planned community.