• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

Providence names Bankhead its new nuisance officer

October 29th, 2014 Posted in Opinion

By Michael Royer

PROVIDENCE — She started working for Providence as the city recorder in 1995. She became city administrator in 2005. And now Skarlet Bankhead has a another new job: The City Council appointed her Tuesday to be the city’s nuisance officer.

Steve Hobbs, a resident for 45 years, said Bankhead has her work cut out for her. “This city is an absolute dump, and no one seems to want to do anything about it,” he said.

According to the Providence City Land Code, all decisions on property issues must be handled through the city council. Bankhead will be the focal point in regulating and enforcing these decisions from Cache County Sheriff’s Office to the council.

“We work very close with Cache County Sheriff’s Office to monitor any property complaints we get in this city,” Bankhead said. “When a resident makes a complaint, a deputy will go investigate the property. After it is investigated the council will meet and decide whether to give a citation, or to pursue it as a civil or criminal matter.”

The old saying “Everyone knows each other in a small town” may be true in Providence, and according to residents, has had an effect on code policy not being carried out in the past.

“Everyone knows everyone here,” Hobbs said. “These people, this council are afraid to cause a conflict with their neighbors because they have to go sit next to them at church on Sunday. There is no leadership — they would rather look the other way than fix a problem that has been going on for a long time.”

Not enforcing the code has been a problem ever since Hobbs can remember. A person can drive down Main Street and see old, abandoned vehicles that don’t run and have been there for years, he said. The code says that isn’t supposed to happen, but the “good ole boys” turn a blind eye and residents continue to get away with it.

Mayor Don Calderwood said that changes take time and the council is behind the citizens in their requests for a better-looking city. “We are establishing a protocol,”  he said. “Having an established nuisance officer is a big step for us to get better. You all have a mayor who believes in this city and will make the changes necessary for a better one.”

Calderwood’s statements seemed to leave doubt with residents who say they have heard the same thing for years. “It has always been a dump ground here, and it always will be,” Hobbs said. “This council hasn’t and won’t do a thing about it. It’s a shame it has to be like this.”

In other business, the council:

  • approved the development agreement for Sunrise Acres 3 Subdivision, an 8-lot residential subdivision located generally at 640 S. 330 West St.
  • approved a resolution amending the Public Works Standards and Specifications Manual by adding improvements to city requirements for curb and sidewalks. These changes will help with storm water, requiring draining pipes to be 6 inches long rather than 3 inches. The changes will also be less susceptible to damage from large vehicles since the pipe will be larger and able to withstand more weight.
  • approved a resolution amending the City Park Methodology Plan. This includes improvements to the existing concession stand, as well as charging Utah State University $10 each time the University uses the facility.
  • declined accepting the eCivis subscription and service agreement for grant research and management. The subscription costs $1,750 per year. The council said Providence doesn’t pursue enough grants to justify the subscription cost.


Tags: , , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.