The Morgan City Council appointed their newest member Tuesday.
Among five residents who expressed interest in the seat left vacant after Lynn Mickelsen’s death, the council chose Michael L. Kendell to serve through 2014. Julie Anderson, Stephen V. Gale, Holly Limb, and DeOrr Peterson were the other applicants.
The number of building permits is on the rise this year, said Morgan County Councilwoman Ronda Kippen. So far this year, 20 applicants have filed building permits. That is an increase compared to four at this time last year.
By asking their human resource consultant to write up a job description, the Morgan County Council is moving ahead with creating a county facilities manager to oversee three departments. The new job description will help the council settle on a salary range in the future.
The Morgan County Sheriff vehicles have a new look. You will soon see them around town, hopefully to the side of the road or in passing, and not behind you enforcing the ‘Click it or Ticket’ law which is currently in full force.
Morgan City broke ground this week on the new splash pad. It is expected to be completed by the end of June and will be available for use in time for the fourth of July celebration. There will be no cost to use the splash pad.
Morgan City is short at least $814,000 in taxes owed to a special improvement district by Mount Joy, LLC, a local developer now involved in bankruptcy court proceedings. Without payment, Morgan City officials may have to cut costs or reduce services to make a $103,000 bond payment June 1. Developer Gray Jensen said things are in the works that could help the city make the payment.
According to Morgan County’s new employee handbook, hourly employees cannot be forced to volunteer. Councilman Robert Kilmer questioned if this could mean that supervisors should not ask their employees to volunteer at the annual county fair.
The Morgan Chamber of Commerce met on Thursday, April 26. The presentation focused on the services of the NorthFront Business Recourse Center whose grand opening was yesterday. Steve Cloward from the DATC NorthFront BRC spoke to the chamber and presented the opportunities for Morgan businesses offered by the center.
The Utah Republican Party nominating convention was held on April 21. US House representative Rob Bishop who represents the Morgan area sailed through the convention and secured the nomination as candidate for US House District 1. He garnered more than 80% of the vote. Well over the 60% needed. Senator Hatch did not fare as well.
Jodi Hipwell currently represents district 1 on the Morgan School Board. Hipwell has been serving on the board since August of 2011 when she replaced Earl Ericksen who passed away. Hipwell had previously run against Ericksen in the election. Hipwell is running in the race with the most candidates in the county. She will face two opponents in a primary on June 26. The two other candidates for the School Board in District 1 are Tina Cannon and Lydia Nuttall. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary will continue on to the general election in November.
Morgan city has received final approval for the construction of the splash pad. They expect now to begin construction in May and have the facility ready for use this summer. Sponsorship opportunities continue, however.
Saturday night 3 men, who were illegally fishing on private property, were stopped by Morgan Deputies. The records were run on all three men, when it was found that one of the men was wanted for 4 warrants for his arrest. The man took off running, and a foot chase evolved. The man ran across the river. The officers called on the state troopers and a canine unit to help in the pursuit. The man was arrested later when the deputies pulled over a vehicle from the same county as the man wanted for the warrants was from. The man in the vehicle was actually the friend called on to pick up his friend who was in hiding. The man driving the vehicle was not arrested as he provided information to police, but the friend who fled from authorities was arrested.
Gary Snyder has been working to build a new house on his lot for nearly two years. Snyder desired to build a larger house on his lot, but the area in which he lives is zoned for only one residence for the size of his lot. This would have meant that in order to build a new home Snyder would have been required to demolish his existing home. Snyder could not afford to build a new home and demolish the old one.
The city heard from a n armed services representative on Tuesday in council meeting and appointed Mayor Egbert as the liason for the community covenants team. This program, which was originally established by the secreatary of the Army for active duty personnel has been adopted by the Utah National Guard and expanded to provide information and services to all military personell and their families.
Morgan City has engaged former Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey in a consulting contract to bring a hotel to the city. The city council has been working for many years to entice a hotel to locate in the city with no results. They recently completed a feasibility study for the area to help persuade developers to locate in the city.
The county has been experiencing steady increases in incidents on the county waterways. County Emergency Management Director Terry Turner reported that on peak summer days there are five hundred individuals on county rivers. About three years ago the county invested in training and equipment to prepare for any incidents. The team, called the swift water rescue team is made up of two parts. The first is called the “hasty team” and is called out initially to assess the situation and to begin operations. The full team has a little less than twenty members who can be called on for larger operations. Because the team is made up of volunteers who have other jobs not all members are available for all calls. Last year the team was activated three or four times. There were two near drowning incidents in the county last year and the issues seem to be trending higher each year. Turner requested pay given to compensate individuals for the time they spend. Individuals who participate are required to complete extensive training on an annual basis on how to perform water rescues safely. The council approved $6,000 annually for pay to the swift water rescue team unanimously.
City Mayor Jim Egbert and Council Members Shelly Betz and Tony London appeared before the county on Tuesday. The city has been raising funds for more than a year and has raised more than $66,000 from county residents and businesses to date to build a splash pad in the county. Member Betz said, “When the mayor and I were first elected there was the lack of a water facility here in Morgan County…We did a lot of field trips to visit splash pads…We talked Weber Morgan Health and the Department of Water Resources…We decided that this is something we absolutely could do in Morgan County and that is was possible through donations from the community.” She reported that the splash pad design was developed through significant community input. Splash pads are designed for children of all ages and they also work well for children with disabilities.
After a long search Shane Stephens and Debbie Sessions were appointed to serve on the Morgan Planning Commission. The county council has been searching for some time for qualified candidates who are willing to serve. Sessions has been a regular attendee at planning commission and county council meetings and has been a great example of citizen participation in governmetn in the county.
Caucuses across the county last week reported record numbers of attendees. A combination of interesting races including a run against Senator Hatch, and strong encouragement from the LDS Church resulted in many first time attendees. This was also the first time for the new precincts and the Republican Party in particular struggled with the size of the new precincts.
Morgan county will receive $550,000 in a grant from the state of Utah for improvements to the airport after the county agreed to provide a ten percent match of only $55,000. The funds will be used to pave the taxi area sleeves at the airport.
Visitors to Commerical Street over the past few weeks have noticed a sign in a business window that reads “Morgan City unfair to business and residents... put in for business license 5 months waiting still nothing from city but they say ‘we want business’.” Local resident Mike Ingle said he posted the signs “to get the city’s attention”.
In January 1862 An act of the Utah Territorial Legislative Assembly established/defined the boundary of Morgan County. Morgan County was blessed with an abundance of natural resources. The acreage also became an essential piece of real estate for services making their route to the west coast. These included the telegraph, railroad and future utilities that would eventually traverse Weber Canyon.
In a close, four to three, vote Tina Kelley was re-elected as Morgan County council chair. The discussion to select a new chair opened with Member Ned Mecham nominating Don Mathews for the position. Member Kilmer seconded it. Member Nelson raised concerns about Member Mathews travel schedule. Mathews has attended meetings by phone several times over the past year as his work has required travel. Member Mathews indicated that his schedule is changing and he would be present at all but one meeting in the next year. Nelson also expressed concern about whether Mathews had time to serve the hours necessary to fulfill the duties of council chair. Member Nelson nominated Council Chair Tina Kelley for a second term. The council then voted and Kelley was re-elected to serve a second term by the narrow margin. Member Mathews was voted in as Vice Chair of the Council unanimously.