The council swore in Tracie Preece as the newest North Ogden police officer.
Dennis Randall, from the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge, recognized the service of the former Mayor Brent Taylor and presented the “We Believe in Heros Award” to Jenny Taylor. The foundation also offered each of the children all expenses paid scholarships to attend the Valley Forge youth leadership program when each of the children are juniors in high school. The foundation focuses on increasing the feeling of patriotism in the youth, so students come together from all over the country in this program.
Jenny Taylor said one of her and Brent’s last conversations consisted of discussing meaningful places they wanted to take their children on vacation. She expressed her gratitude for this opportunity for her children.
She said it has been especially difficult recently since a few days ago marked day 365 of what was supposed to be a 365 day deployment. When Brent was leaving on an earlier deployment he wrote in his journal explaining why he chose to leave when each of his tours were voluntary. “I go because of how I feel about my country. I go to do my part to keep my family and country safe. I go to fill a critical position that was vacant and to honor the thousands of Americans who have given their lives in these wars. They will not have died in vain in my perspective. I go because I cannot stay when my country is at war. I would go even if I knew I would die. I am honor bound to serve.” Jenny said these words soothed her broken heart and she knew Brent didn’t have regrets.
Irrigation pond and retention basin project
The council also discussed the irrigation pond/ retention basin/ recreational pond but chose to table it until all council members can be present. If the project includes each of the three components, the project will be awarded a grant that will fund 75% of the irrigation portion, 100% of the detention basin, and 50% of the recreational component. The city plans to use the money from the sale of land of a current detention basin to fund the rest of the project.
If the project doesn’t include the recreational pond, the city will not qualify for the grant. A different option to the wading pond is to make the detention basin a field for residents to use, but Parks and Recreation Director Tiffany Staheli discouraged this. She said fields in detention basins incur a lot of costs to maintain the grass. In some instances water covered the base of a retention basin and the grass grew really tall, the water disappeared, and the grass fell over and died. She said it costs a lot to reseed or resod the area and these detention basin fields become a repair and maintenance issue.
City Attorney Jon Call said whatever the decision the council makes, construction would probably begin fall of 2020.
Audit and budget review
The auditors of the city did not find significant deficiencies in the city’s financial records. They recommended monitoring grant activity more closely and requesting reimbursement for expenditures on a timelier basis. They also suggested tracking grants more centrally with a shared spreadsheet among departments.
In reviewing the budget for the year, Finance Director Evan Nelson said, “In every case we were below budget or at budget in expenditures, and in some cases the revenues were higher than budgeted.” He said almost all the department budgets were under budget, except the government buildings budget went over by about $2,200 in repairs. This expenditure was to replace the industrial standard dishwasher in the senior center.
Cherry Days magazine
The council chose to keep the Cherry Days Magazine as a part of the North Ogden Connection Magazine instead of printing and mailing out their own small magazine like they used to. They decided this to save on costs.