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New EPA requirements for storm water among challenges for Smithfield

January 28th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Safiyyah Ballard

LOGAN–Smithfield City Manager James Gass outlined the new guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the City Council meeting Wednesday night.

“This program requires states to get a permit from the federal government, and the states then require the cities to meet certain requirements,” said Gass. “The expectations of the state and federal government are far more involved than anyone anticipated.”

Gass said the purpose of the program is to ensure that water makes it to the lakes and streams as clean as possible. “Any project that disturbs one or more acres of land will have to obtain a storm water permit,” said Gass.

“One of the biggest complaints we hear is that when you go to a construction site there’s mud everywhere, debris and trash—this will help to alleviate that,” said Gass.

Gass said cities are usually audited every five to seven years and there are Best Management Practices (BMPs) to use as a model to prepare for the audit. “The audit will be uncomfortable, but the public will appreciate this,” he said.

Gass advised the council that he will meet with a consulting firm next month, along with other Utah cities, to develop a program for Smithfield.

In other business, the council discussed the possible renovation of the Lion’s Club booth at the Blue Sox diamond. “That is a part of the history and culture of this community. I know people that go to just get dinner and don’t even stay for the game,” said Mayor Darrell Simmons.

“The booth belongs to the city, but the Lions Club helped build it,” said Councilman Brent Buttars. He said the location of the announcer’s booth and bathrooms are areas of concern. “More room would be nice.”

Mayor Simmons suggested the council revisit the issue at the next meeting after more information about cost and plans is gathered. “I think it’d be great for the city, but let’s get a proposal first,” said Simmons.

Gass updated the council on the construction progress of the new city office building. “The initial six-month deadline for a building of that size was unrealistic,” said Gass. He assured the council that the city is not responsible for any additional costs incurred due to the extension of the project.

“There is a new superintendant on the site, due to some issues with the brick installation,” said Gass. “The brick will have to be removed and re-installed, at no cost to the city. The structural engineer has been outstanding in making sure that every aspect of that building is up to standards. They should be done by the first part of April.” Gass said there is a completion penalty, but the city will not enforce it.

Gass briefed council on the pre-disaster mitigation resolution, which has a submission deadline of May 13. “This is a requirement in order for the city to be eligible for FEMA funds, in the event of a disaster of some sort,“ said Gass.

Ryan Rogers of Northridge Development is scheduled to speak at a city council meeting in February about the progress of the Stone Haven Planned Unit Development.


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