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Nibley signs contract with county for emergency services

November 7th, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Benjamin Wood

NIBLEY—After some initial apprehension by Councilman Scott Larsen, the City Council voted unanimously to sign a contract with Cache County for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and First Responders.

In other business, the council discussed purchase of land on 800 West and granted final approval for the second phase of Foxborough subdivision.

Cache County EMS official Jay Downs presented the contract, which is essentially equal to pre-existing agreements that Nibley shared with Millville, but needed to be renewed with Nibley as the primary authority.

Before the vote was taken, Larsen said he did not like voting on something that he had not had sufficient time to review. “It’s a pet peeve of mine,” he said.

Council members Thayne Mickelson and Shaun Dustin were absent, which meant unanimity was required from the remaining councilmen to pass the motion, and when Mayor Gerald Knight called for votes Larsen remained silent. Larsen voiced his concern and requested that in the future, ample time be given for review. He then asked that his vote be given in the affirmative of entering into the contract.

In his presentation, Downs said Nibley’s location and number of volunteers contribute to a favorable emergency response situation. Nibley accounts for the fifth highest number of emergency calls, Downs said, and the city’s proximity to Logan and Hyrum allows for additional coverage if Cache County responders are on other calls.

“You guys are well covered,” Downs said.

Downs said current cooperation between Cache County and Logan City personnel is the product of a 2004 agreement between the two bodies. He praised the organization and informed the council on some of the training and experience standards that responders are
held to.

City Recorder Larry Anhder said that he previously sat on the Cache County Council for 12 years, and twice was involved in trying to create a cooperation like the one currently established.

“What they have arrived at here is phenomenal,” Anhder said.

Later in the meeting Anhder presented the council with an ongoing negotiation to acquire two property lots near Heritage Park on 800 West. He listed a number of the projects planned and completed—including parks, trail systems, landscaping and general city beautification—for the area, and suggested how the additional lots could be used in conjunction with those programs.

“I think we’ve created one of the most attractive areas in Cache County,” Anhder said.

Anhder suggested that for the two lots in question, the southern could be resold and the northern could be incorporated into the Heritage Park system. While the council was in favor of the ideas, Larsen raised concern about finances.

“Where’s the money, it’s not budgeted?” Larsen asked.

Anhder said, “I can find some money for it.”

The council ultimately voted unanimously in favor of continuing the negotiations for purchase.

In arguably the swiftest approval process in recent meetings the council unanimously approved the second phase of Foxborough subdivision. Foxborough was originally planned as two phases, with phase one already having passed the council, but due to financial constraints the developer split the remaining lots into a second and third phase.

City employee Shari Phippen informed the council that the Planning and Zoning Commission had approved the former—all inclusive—second phase, and the new version had essentially no changes. The council held a brief discussion with basic questions directed to the developer, amended the development plans to officially include a sidewalk that was planned to be built, and granted final approval.

In other council business, a public hearing was held on issues regarding multi-family residential units and conditional land use ordinances for public utilities. Due to a low number of comments Mayor Knight “broke his own rules” and engaged in a dialogue with resident Corlyss Drinkard about the nature of public comment. Drinkard, a frequent council meeting attendee, operates a mailing list informing Nibley residents of council decisions and discussion and is often among those expressing her opinion during public hearings.

Knight, as well as Councilman Larry Jacobsen, stressed to Drinkard and those present that they, as elected officials, are always available to residents for discussion and expressed their gratitude for those that regularly attend meetings and take part in hearings.

“I’m fighting a shy and retiring nature,” Drinkard said. “This is like therapy for me.”

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