City Council Update: Amphitheater budget removed for now

The council removed the amphitheater budget since they don’t know for certain if they will be awarded the third round of the R.A.M.P grant after the city applies for it in January.  During public comments, Stephanie Casey told the council to be careful and clear with their wording since the city will not be awarded the $300,000 R.A.M.P grant until after the city applies for it in January, and that the grant will be applied to a nearly $700,000 budget for the project.  Casey said “I’ve talked to many people who are assuming every bit of that Amphitheater is covered by Grants.”

Finance Director Evan Nelson said they are required as a city to adopt an annual budget. He said the numbers [in the budget] are estimates, and they try to be conservative with them. Ryan Barker suggested they don’t budget it until they have it. City Attorney John Call was supportive but he said he would caution against using that same approach in everything because “almost everything is a future fund that we might not get.” The council approved the budget after they made the changes. The plan for now is to amend the budget once it gets closer to the grant application due date in January, apply for the grant, and adjust the budget accordingly whether or not they receive the grant.

Kim Christensen said she wondered where the $695,780 in the budget, [before it was removed] would be spent for phase two for the amphitheater. The council did not give definitive answer but said it would likely be spent on lighting and perhaps sound equipment. City Attorney John Call said they will pass on the assignment to the Parks and Recreation Director Tiffany Staheli to start looking what they want to see in phase two and what it’s going to cost.

The potential pond

Safety, community input, and development advice were concerns of residents for the potential community pond at the Double Ott Ranch development. Sean Casey said he would like to see someone who has been experience in man made ponds to be involved in this project. “I would like to see someone who has managed Harriman assets.” Julie Anderson said she is concerned about the safety risks associated with having a pond. Former Councilman Jim Urry said the pond open house meeting time needs to be later in the evening so more people can attend.

The project incorporates 6.6 acres and the agreement with the developer commits the city to put a pond detention basin, irrigation storage, and a park on that property. It doesn’t have to be a swimming pond, but there must at least be a park since that section of the town doesn’t have a lot of parks nearby. City Attorney Jon Call said there are options where they could make the deep pineview detention basin without the shallow wading portion and develop the upper portion into a park. Some residents discussed how a grant will cover the detention basin but everything for the recreational pond will be an expense to the city. Dale Anderson asked the council to strongly consider pulling back on the recreational component.

The council held off on approving the development agreement with the developer. The developer is wanting to build town homes below the pond and open up commercial smaller shops similar to 25th street and The Village at Prominence Point. The city will use the development agreement for the Village at Prominence point as a template to build off. Call said the agreement has strongly held the developers to their commitments and they want to maintain that in this next agreement. Swanson said he wants another week to look through it give it more thought before they approve it. The rest of the council agreed and they tabled this item for next week.

Skate park

Call said the skate park is fully opened however the paint was messed up from people riding on it before the paint dried. One of the employees, who Call said was under the age of 18, volunteered to watch the facility while the paint dried but was harassed off the premises. Call said the staff was frustrated by this since they have done a lot to make it a nice facility. Call said it is well designed, implemented and used and people come from Salt Lake to use it.

Other items

Dale Anderson suggested to send out notifications in the city utility bills when the city has major projects like the pond and the amphitheater. He also suggested sending out detailed explanations of financials in a newsletter. Robert Ball said there is a lot of trash left over at Orton Park on Mondays. The council said Parks and Recreation pick up the trash. Urry suggested the city get green cans to dump yard clippings once a week and charge $12 per month. The council approved the public treasurers investment fund account management resolution. The council meeting will start at 6:30 next Tuesday June 19.

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