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Piles of dirt from construction cause damage, muck trouble in Millville

February 25th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Mariah Noble

MILLVILLE — City roads superintendent Gary Larsen reported problems with Rocky Mountain Power’s construction project to the City Council and a visiting Boy Scout troop Thursday night. “We’ve had some issues, to put it lightly,” Larsen said.

The company has been working with Millville to build a new plant on city property next to the old one, but Larsen said their actions have been premature. Larsen said the company based in Chicago in charge of moving dirt was probably trying to meet deadlines, which is why they began before they had a place for all of the dirt.

He said the city agreed to take a certain amount of dirt, but there are “mountains of this stuff, more than agreed.” On President’s Day a great amount of dirt covered Canyon Road and made it “almost impassable,” Larsen said. The muck also ended up in a Millville citizen’s driveway.

“I think what happened is they weren’t watching what they were doing,” Larsen said. “And it (the dirt) just got away from them.”

He said up until now the city has been lenient and fairly easy to work with, but from now on they are going to need to have line-item agreements. “We’re the ones that will end up and have ended up with the grief for this,” Larsen said.

Larsen said the city engineer was drafting a letter to send the company. “They (Rocky Mountain Power) are not paying for anything at this point,” Larsen said. “This is just the tip.”

Larsen also discussed differences the city surveyor found in property lines versus the Rocky Mountain Power surveyor. “This has turned into a lot bigger impact than we originally thought,” Mayor Mike Johnson said.

Despite the problems, Larsen said he felt the situation was under control now. He said they have photos and documents showing the damage. Larsen also reported getting calls from the deputy about people who had complained about a pothole on County Road 238 (Millville’s Main Street), but even though the street is located in Millville, it’s under the county’s jurisdiction.

“Someone wanted reimbursement from Millville City because she blew two tires out,” Larsen said. “We went out there and the pothole has been patched.”

Mayor Johnson said he’d been contacting the U.S. Postal Service about problems linking P.O. Boxes with street addresses. “It’s easy to get hot and bothered when dealing with this,” he said.

Johnson said someone he talked to said it had something to do with a malfunction in the computer system, but this did not satisfy him. “I don’t think there’s a single box holder in the city that doesn’t feel the same way,” Johnson said.

In other business, the council:

–recommended Kristin Thacker as the new secretary for the Planning and Zoning Commission. The mayor approved, and she was appointed to the position.

–discussed the rejected 42-page storm water ordinance draft that was supposed to be a one-size-fits-all plan for Millville and other small surrounding cities. The council said that once there is a storm water ordinance that they like, there will be a public hearing about it.

At the end of the meeting, the mayor asked the Boy Scouts if they wanted to come back. One boy in the second row showed no fear in his blunt and honest answer. “No, I’m bored,” he said.


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