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Nibley approves plans for city hall, hears public input on trails and parks plan

November 23rd, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Max Parker Dahl

NIBLEY–Deliberation for more final plans for City Hall, as well as the trail master plan and park complex, were opened in a public hearing in Nibley City Council.

Samples and shades of brick and tile were strewn about the council chambers as Lisa Erickson presented combinations available for the city hall to be finished by November 2011. Council members were able to inquire about possibilities before Mayor Gerald Knight entertained a motion to approve plans, but a few council members had more to say about the construction.

“I think this whole thing has been ramrodded without due consideration,” said Councilman Shaun Dustin. “The process has been too fast, we are trying to meet deadlines that may or may not be real. We’ve only got one shot for the next 25 years with this city hall, and I feel it is going too fast.”

Councilman Scott Larsen also felt it “inappropriate for a final design to be out” while he maintained a position against building a city hall. The mayor and Larsen held different ideas on the process of how the city council should progress, and also where funds should go.

“You don’t understand my opposition,” said Larsen. “What is my main concern?”

“Your main concern, according to me, is that we are putting money into a city hall instead of other priority areas,” the mayor responded.

“So how does this resolve that concern?” Larsen asked.

“I’m not trying to resolve that concern,” said Mayor Knight. “I am trying to resolve a concern of having council buy in on the design of this building. That’s what I read as the concern and it is posted on the agenda. We voted on a city hall and are moving forward.”

Councilman Brian Hansen moved to approve plans on the city hall, with Councilman Larry Jacobsen seconding the motion. Both Dustin and Larsen were opposed, while Hansen and Jacobsen were in favor. Mayor Knight broke the tie in favor.

The public hearing was opened for the Public Park and Master Trail plan, which drew nearly a dozen people. Mayor Knight prefaced the hearing by explaining the process by which the plan had been created and explained that council members would address their concerns individually after the hearing had closed.

“This will be 50-60 acres in one location, costing approximately $5.5 million built over the next 15-20 years as we can afford it.”

City recreation director Casey Judd presented some practical needs, citing baseball and soccer field shortages at present, and projected needs in the future for the validity of the park.

“I think it’s valid, I support it, and I think it’s the best thing for our kids if we start planning now and moving forward with this park,” said Judd.

“We have over 400 kids in recreation soccer which has grown in the last seven years from 100,” said Allen Haycock, director of recreation soccer in Nibley. “That’s a lot of kids on that green space.”

The public hearing was closed, and council members also weighed in on the master trail plan to the discussion. Most expressed a desire to make trails more integral to city planning, but were unwilling to comply with the mayor’s request of bringing a sketched set of trails to be reviewed.

As additional dialogue unfolded on current parks and trails, the span of the project extended beyond what was originally planned.

“It sets a big goal, but doesn’t prohibit other projects,” said City Manager Larry Anhder. “We need to look 25, 30 years into the future. Looking at the projected cost now is like eating an elephant with a table fork; it is achievable, but it realistically needs to be changed from a 20-year plan to a 30-year.”

Other business on the agenda addressed the status of the Morgan farm, approval of appointees to the city tree board, the presentation of a master plan for storm water and snow removal for sidewalks with consideration of legislation to penalize through failure to clear sidewalks of snow. Consideration of a resolution to appoint a representative to the mosquito abatement board was also discussed.


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