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Headlines Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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Brigham City voters to decide fate of $26 million bond issue to fund senior, recreation and museum projects

This image of a new combination senior center and community recreation facility appeared on a voter information guide about a proposed $26 million general obligation bond that would, in part pay for the facility, in addition to completing softball fields at the city’s sports complex and renovating the current senior center to house the city’s two museums.

In what has become a somewhat contentious issue, voters will decide the fate of a proposed $26 million general obligation bond that would fund a number of projects in Brigham City.
The proposal comes on the heels of the retirement last month of an $8 million G.O. bond that paid for the city’s swimming pool and emergency services building on Forest Street.
The bond issue that will go before voters in November will be used to pay for the construction of a new combination senior center/community recreation center, to renovate the current senior center and Museum Gallery to house both the city’s museums, and to complete softball fields at the city’s sports complex. ......VIEW MORE

An uphill battle?

Brigham City resident and Constitution Party Utah House Dist. 1 candidate, Sherry Phipps, presents the official argument against the General Obligation Bond at Thursday’s Brigham City Council meeting.

By Nelson Phillips
Staff Writer

A series of open house community meetings conducted by architectural firm Method Studio were held over the last two weeks, intended to educate the citizens of Brigham City on what the plans are for a new joint senior and community recreation center, as well as for seven additional sports fields, and upgrades to the current senior center to allow it to house the city’s two museums.
At Wednesday night’s meeting, held in the Brigham City Council chambers, preliminary plans for the projects were unveiled and discussed, giving residents some idea of what they’d get for their money, should the bond pass.

Public hearing
Thursday’s Brigham City Council meeting was almost entirely about public sentiment toward the proposed $26,000,000 general obligation bond, as city residents took part in a public hearing where they could argue either for or against the proposal.
If the people that rose to speak were representative of Brigham City as a whole, the ballot initiative will have an uphill fight. Of the nine citizens who spoke, only two supported the bond in its current form, with many expressing that bundling all of the different projects together in one package was a mistake.

County announces plans to move ahead with municipal services tax increase

By Nelson Phillips
Staff Writer

Growth in South Willard, and expected continued population increases in unincorporated areas of the county, have spurred the Box Elder County Commission to pursue an increase in property taxes for residents in those areas in order to help more fairly assess the costs for municipal services the county provides.
In a meeting last Wednesday, the commission announced that the county would seek an annual increase of $750,000 in property tax revenue from residents living in unincorporated areas of the county to help offset the subsidization of the county’s municipal services by those living in Box Elder’s towns and cities.
“South Willard is definitely the area that is driving the majority of this,” said County Assessor Tom Kotter while presenting details of the proposed tax increase at last week’s meeting.
The proposed increase, which would bring unincorporated property tax rates to .0000448, would increase taxes on a home with an assessed tax value of $180,000 about $44.35 per year, or $3.40 per month.


Hundreds line Brigham City streets as more than 80-year-sheep-drive tradition continues

A long-standing tradition that has been going for more than 80 years was upheld again on Friday morning, as hundreds of Brigham City residents lined the historical path northward along 600 East and westward along 600 North to watch 2,200 sheep be herded through town.
Escorted by officers from the Utah Highway Patrol, Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department and Brigham City Police, Eph Jensen Livestock owners, Lane and Angie Jensen, along with their four children and several ranch-hands, made the trek through town with their sheep.
“The younger two [children] only trailed for about a mile, and their older sister for about 4 miles through Brigham,” said Angie. “But my 18-year-old son trailed the whole way.”
The event has been happening since the mid-1930s, when Ephraim Jensen (Lane’s grandfather) trailed his first herd of sheep from summer grazing grounds above Mantua to the family’s ranch near Little Mountain, in an area that used to be called Evans. In all that time the route has not changed.
“Our belief is that we’re maintaining the right to keep this trail open by using it every fall,” Lane said to reporters. “My understanding is that as long as somebody uses it, it stays open.”