Monday, September 18, 2017

Benjamin Gravel Pit

Two weeks ago the Utah County Commissioners were considering a zoning change because of the Benjamin gravel pit run by the Kilgore Company. Last week I went to a meeting of the South Utah County Community Voice.  

I found the original Board of Commission meeting minutes from 20 January 2015 when all three Commissioners approved the transfer of open pit mining from Altaview Concrete Mining Operation to Kilgore Contracting, LLC. 

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, UTAH COUNTY, UTAH
MINUTES OF PUBLIC MEETING COMMISSION CHAMBERS, ROOM 1400
OF THE UTAH COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
January 20, 2015 - 9:00 A.M.
PRESENT: COMMISSIONER LARRY A. ELLERTSON, CHAIR
COMMISSIONER WILLIAM C. LEE, VICE-CHAIR
COMMISSIONER GREG GRAVES

Page 6

The commissioners chose to address Consent Agenda Item Nos. 2 and 3 simultaneously as they are directly related. (PULLED FROM CONSENT)

2. APPROVE AND AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION CHAIR TO SIGN THE “COMPLIANCE AGREEMENT AND BOND FOR OPEN PIT MINING OPERATIONS” AGREEMENT FOR AN EXISTING MINING OPERATION WITH KILGORE CONTRACTING, LLC WITH A SITE LOCATION OF APPROXIMATELY 1395 N 9435 W (LONG RIDGE RD), WEST OF THE PELICAN POINT AREA OF LAKE MOUNTAIN OF UNINCORPORATED UTAH COUNTY; SURETY BOND NO. 327016240 IN AMOUNT OF $45,033.82 WITH LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, 175 BERKELEY ST., BOSTON, MA 02116 AGREEMENT NO. 2015-55 (PULLED FROM CONSENT)

3. APPROVE THE RELEASE OF THE COMPLIANCE AGREEMENT AND BOND FOR OPEN PIT MINING OPERATIONS, AGREEMENT NO. 2008-3, BOND IN THE AMOUNT OF $19,686, AND AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION CHAIR TO SIGN THE RELEASE LETTER FOR ALTAVIEW CONCRETE MINING OPERATION WITH A SITE LOCATION OF APPROXIMATELY 1395 N 9435 W (LONG RIDGE RD), WEST OF THE PELICAN POINT AREA OF LAKE MOUNTAIN OF UNINCORPORATED UTAH COUNTY; A NEW AGREEMENT AND BOND ARE IN PLACE AGREEMENT NO. 2015-56

Peggy Kelsey of the Utah County Community Development Office confirmed for Commissioner Ellertson that both Consent Agenda Item Nos. 2 and 3 are for the same pit that has been in operation for approximately seven years; the outgoing owner is being replaced.

Commissioner Lee made the motion to approve the Compliance Agreement and Bond for Open Pit Mining Operations for an existing mining operation with Kilgore Contracting, LLC, and to approve the release of the Compliance Agreement and Bond for Open Pit Mining Operations (Agreement No. 2008-3) Bond in the amount of $19, 686 for Altaview Concrete Mining Operation as detailed in Consent Agenda Item Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Graves and carried with the following vote:
AYE: Larry A. Ellertson
William C. Lee
Greg Graves
NAY: None

I also searched the minutes of the Utah County Planning Commission in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 to see if there is any mention of Kilgore Contracting, LLC, but no luck. There was only a mention of Kilgore in 2013 and 2014 at the County Commissioners meeting minutes because the county contracted with Kilgore to pave some roads in various unincorporated areas. 

The open pit agreement occurred in January 2015 and by June 2015 there was already press about the way Kilgore conducted business or some will say it didn’t take long for Kilgore to become a bad neighbor with the residents. The Daily Herald wrote about it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here


When I was listening to the residents speak about the Kilgore trucks driving on the roads during school bus pick up and drop off at the Commissioner meeting, I was surprised the trucks were even on the roads during this time. Hopefully peace will come soon between all parties.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Utah County Commissioner Meeting

The Commissioners again discussed the Benjamin Gravel Pits at this week's meeting. It was numbers 6, 7, 8, and 9 on the Regular Agenda.

Numbers 6/7 were sent to the Utah County Planning Commission with suggestions. Commissioner Graves asked you to email them what you would like the Commission to suggest, so here are their email addresses: WILLIAML@UTAHCOUNTY.GOV, GREGG@UTAHCOUNTY.GOV, NATHANI@UTAHCOUNTY.GOV.

Number 8 was denied. It was a change in zoning from Mining and Grazing to Critical Environment. In light of the suggestions of Number 6 changing the zoning to Grazing only this wasn't a surprise. Number 9 was continued for 2 weeks.

Regular Agenda
6. TAKE ACTION TO REFER TO THE UTAH COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION A PROPOSED UTAH COUNTY LAND USE ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT FOR THEIR RECOMMENDATION TO ADOPT SECTION 5-18, GRAZING (G-1) ZONE  - Bryce Armstrong, Community Development -

7. TAKE ACTION TO REFER TO THE UTAH COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE UTAH COUNTY ZONE MAP FROM THE MINING AND GRAZING (M&G-1) ZONE TO A PROPOSED GRAZING (G-1) ZONE FOR PROPERTY LOCATED IN SECTIONS 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 33, 34 AND 35, T8S R1E, AND IN SECTIONS 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 22 AND 23, T9S R1E, APPROXIMATELY 10,500 ACRES, WEST MOUNTAIN AREA OF UTAH COUNTY - Bryce Armstrong, Community Development -

8. ADOPT (OR DENY) AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE UTAH COUNTY GENERAL PLAN LAND USE MAP FROM AGRICULTURAL/WATERSHED TO RESIDENTIAL, AND TO AMEND THE OFFICIAL UTAH COUNTY ZONE MAP FROM THE MINING AND GRAZING (M&G-1) ZONE TO THE CRITICAL ENVIRONMENT (CE-2) ZONE FOR PROPERTY LOCATED IN SECTIONS 10, 11, 15, 16, 22, 27, 28, 32, 33, AND 34, T8S R1E, AND SECTIONS 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 22, AND 23, T9S R1E, WEST MOUNTAIN AREA OF UTAH COUNTY  - Bryce Armstrong, Community Development -

9. ADOPT (OR DENY) AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND SECTIONS 2-2 AND 3-25 OF THE UTAH COUNTY LAND USE ORDINANCE TO ADD REQUIREMENTS FOR EARTH EXTRACTION OPERATIONS RELATED TO AIR AND WATER QUALITY, REQUIRED LANDSCAPING, HOURS OF OPERATION, NOISE, AND OTHER RELATED IMPACTS - Bryce Armstrong, Community Development -

Commission Meeting Video on YouTube (it's long!)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Seek learning, by going to LOTS of meetings

When I was working on my Master's degree, I had a required class on how to do a thesis. The professor suggested that we watch another student's thesis proposal to prepare for our proposal. I watched a Recreation Management student's proposal on storytelling in Native American tribes. It was actually useful even though our topics were not close, my thesis was on a neck injury in female ballroom dancers. 

I have been attending multiple meetings to help me prepare for my campaign and the job of county commissioner. I usually find the meetings schedule on the open meetings website hosted by the State of Utah. Today I attended a meeting at the county health department about a builder disputing a decision about wastewater on his property. 


So here is a list of meetings I have gone to recently:

Utah County Commissioner 
Domestic violence 
Goshen Valley Local District Board (I drove because it was in Elberta)
Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Education
Pleasant Grove Mayor
Mountain Association of Government MPO Technical Advisory Committee
(Plus I did most of these meetings by using public transit or walking)

One thing I have learned is government compared to athletic training takes more time to accomplish something. For a true example, when I was the AT for the Radio City Rockettes, Santa sprained his ankle. I had to run (yes I ran!) backstage to take his boot off, tape it, and get him back on stage to sing his next song in 5 minutes. However, the Utah Valley Convention Center parking issue started in 2009 and has still not been resolved. 


In 2009, Provo City, Provo Redevelopment Agency, and Utah County entered into a interlocal agreement that Provo would provide the convention center with 350 parking spots. “Provide, at their expense, all parking spaces, parking facilities, parking lots, parking structures, and related real property, easements and appurtenances, as required to both meet Provo City’s requirements and to adequately serve Phase One of the Convention Center ... at such locations and in such a manner as approved by Utah County.” Construction started in 2010 and the convention center opened in 2012. I spoke to Danny Wheeler, general manager of the Utah Valley Convention Center, he told me that bookings for 2018 are down from previous years and the reason underground parking was not considered is because of the limestone. 

FYI, on 20 January 2010, the County issued $40.15 million in Tourism, Recreation, Cultural and Convention tax revenue bonds to finance the convention center with a 3.89% interest rate. The county issued three types of bonds; tax-exempt bonds, Build America Bonds and recovery zone bonds, and will be paid back in 30 years (2039), with the total principal plus interest for Utah County at $69.75 million.

A lawsuit was filed 31 May 2017 by the county against the city for not providing the promised 350 parking spots. The County wants Provo City to pay for the costs it would take to acquire property and building a parking structure. The county estimates a cost of $4 million.

A letter from former Provo Redevelopment Director Paul Glauser in 2010 acknowledged the contractual obligation to provide 350 parking spaces. There was supposed to be a new parking garage on the block immediately north of the convention center, but that block is now the site for the new Fourth District Court building that is under construction.

From 2010 to 2016 there doesn't seem to be any record or press about the county requesting the city to provide the parking. Mayor John Curtis told the Daily Herald, past Commissioners wanted a hotel, but recently the Commissioners have demanded parking. Priorities can change according to which elected officials are in office at the time decisions are made.

Utah County Commission Chairman Bill Lee stated "We've been talking about this forever," except only since 2016 has there been letters and in-person discussions between the city and county about the parking issue.


What have the city and county done to make progress?

þ Provo city hired Matt Taylor as the new city parking administrator. (I need to disclose that Matt is my neighbor.) The city is working on a surface parking lot at the old RC Willey location. The city identified over 300 parking spots around the convention center that patrons can use for now. With construction of the Hyatt hotel and BRT, when they are finished, this could alleviate the need for some parking. Rob Fetzer, chief operating officer of PEG Development has plans for a parking structure that would provide approximately 600 parking spaces initially, and could expand up to 1,200 to 1,500 parking spots, but those spaces would be paid parking and owned by PEG Development. 

þ Utah county filed a lawsuit that included declaring eminent domain on the RC Wiley block. The county is demanding, not just earmarked parking, but the city to build then turn over the parking ownership to the county and wants it in writing.

The hope and ideally, citizens expect government entities to work together not just on parking, but on all issues that need cooperation between cities and counties for the good of the people. 

I got my information from the Deseret News here and here and the Daily Herald here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

2017 Primary election votes

Since the Gardner Policy Institute has projected that Utah County should have a population over 1 million by the year 2037, I was wondering how many people would be voting in elections compared to now. Granted the latest results are not finished and less people vote in primary elections than general elections, here is a list of total voters for each primary election this month. 

American Fork Mayor 3,862 votes
American Fork City Council 6,915 votes
population 28,770

Alpine Mayor 2,359 votes
population 10,361

Eagle Mountain Mayor 2,259 votes
Eagle Mountain City Council 3,996 votes
population 29,202

Highland Mayor 2,986 votes
Highland City Council 5,776 votes
population 18,647

Lehi Mayor 6,280 votes
Lehi City Council 11,251 votes
population 61,130

Orem Mayor 11,817 votes
Orem City Council 32,553 votes
population 97,499

Payson Mayor 2,295 votes
Payson City Council 3,854 votes
population 19,810

Pleasant Grove City Council 7,637 votes
population 38,756

Provo Mayor 11,955 votes
Provo City Council District 2  1,148 votes
Provo City Council At Large 11,108 votes
population 116,868

Saratoga Springs City Council 3,222 votes
population 26,887

Vineyard Mayor 414 votes
population 3,953

The county didn't report, but there was a primary election for the office of mayor in Cedar Fort and Goshen. Both had three candidates narrowed down to two.

I also thought it was interesting that only Provo has city council positions divided by areas of the city instead of each council position voted on city wide like the other cities. I liked that 32,553 people voted in the Orem City Council election. I was disappointed that there wasn't enough people running for office to have primaries in the other municipal elections.
Here is the link for the election results, 
http://www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/ClerkAud/Elections/electrslts/2017municipal/summary82217.pdf.

The Census Bureau estimated that the Utah County population was 592,299 in July 2016. This includes everyone, but the County Clerk emailed me the number of active voters is 265,000 for the county, but I didn't ask for individual cities. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Campaign Narrative

I am trying to put together a narrative about me to convince the voters to vote for me. I wanted to include how I learned from the women in my family and how they prepared me to run for office.

My Mom set the example of being an informed voter and voting in every primary and general election. However, she did not contribute to any campaign, put out any lawn sign, or participate in any political party. My Mom, like many registered Republicans or unaffiliated, voted Republican but didn’t have time or money to participate in the party. That is why I’m running for Utah County Commissioner. I’m running to represent and serve those who have 2-3 jobs to support their family, who barely have enough to pay for the food in their fridge, who have expensive medical bills, who have a child that needs more love than their other children, and those who have a job that consumes most of their time.

My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Sarah Jane Perkins Rogerson, was first elected to office in 1900, twenty years before she could vote. Someone typed out her journal and emailed it out to the family, so here is an excerpt from my copy about her political career:

In the fall of 1900 I was appointed Deputy County Clerk of San Juan Co. (Miss Kate Perkins was the clerk, she taught school that winter and I did her office work.) At the election that fall, I was elected County Treas. and took over the treasurers business on the first of January 1901.

I served as deputy clerk till June of that year, at which time I was appointed County Clerk. I resigned my office as County Treas. and James Woke(?) was appointed Treas. in my place; and I was appointed Deputy Treasure which position I held for several terms. That same spring I was also appointed deputy assessor, that is, I was to do the assessor's book work. Willard Butt was the assessor. I was also deputy for D.B. Perkins, during his one term of office. I held the office of County Clerk for 14 years, being elected on the Republican ticket and the Democratic ticket, and twice I was on both tickets. I ran once on the Republican ticket against a Democrat and a Progressive ticket.

After I left the Clerk's office I served as Town Clerk for eight years. During my office career, my two sons Ed and Lynn, each filled a mission for the L.D.S. Church.

Sarah Jane married John Edward Rogerson, a survivor of the Martin Handcart Company, in 1879. Sarah Jane and John were asked to settle in Monticello, Utah in 1888 with their three children, their only daughter, Madora Laverna (she was called Vern), is my Great-Grandmother.

A while back my Aunt Sally gave me advice to join the PTA. She told a story about a bad teacher she was able to have transferred to another school because of her influence on the PTA. I took that advice as; if you aren’t involved how can you have any influence. So last year I joined the PTA even though we don’t have kids yet, so I can be involved in the neighborhood.