The Blanding City Council Open Forum on June 28 began on a very positive note when Garth Wilson presented a check for $12,500 to the City of Blanding for the 4th of July fireworks display on behalf of his son, Dr. Joseph Wilson.
“Joseph loves Blanding,” said Wilson. “He loves coming to Blanding on the 4th when the patriotic spirit is displayed, and he wanted to contribute, not to lessen others efforts, but to add to them.”
“Be sure and tell your son thank you from Council,” said Mayor Calvin Balch. “For the rest of you, (speaking to the gallery) that is a hard act to follow.”
The Departmental Reports began with Terry Ekker giving an update of various projects. He reported the most exciting part of his report was that back-up power for the treatment plant has been completed. The SCADA Water Metering System Project is still moving along.
The Blanding Power Distribution Project is very active. “The 12kV regulators have arrived and the reclosure has been released for production and will be built pretty soon,” said Ekker.
“We had a mandatory pre-bid, and we had eight contractors in attendance, and we are excited that we have the potential of eight bids. As this is being done with only city money, we can be as picky as we want to be. We will be looking not only at low bid, but also qualifications and call references.”
The Sewer Project is still under review as the city assesses the archeological and environmental impacts. The Streets Project is finishing up. “There are always a few little things that slip through the cracks, and we will be playing catch up at the end,” said Ekker.
City Treasurer Kim Palmer provided a positive review of finances, stating that a majority of the expenses are below budget. City Manager Jeremy Redd explained that because all budget categories stayed within budgeted amounts, the city will not have to make any budget adjustments.
Redd said the Animal Control Ordinance is ready for approval. Councilman Robert Ogle expressed appreciation to Officer Steven Harlow for the work he has done.
Councilman Joe B. Lyman asked about any upcoming rabies clinics. Officer Harlow said he is optimistic for one in the near future.
City Manager Redd discussed the process of setting the Certified Tax Rate. The conclusion of his presentation is that the Property Taxes for the citizens will be lower this year than the previous year.
Mayor Balch expressed frustration that Blanding is the largest city in San Juan County and pays at the same rate to San Juan County as other cities, but Blanding gets less services for the money.
“We are not getting our fair share,” said Balch.