Headlines Wednesday, September 28, 2016
G.O. bond: What is it, what does it mean for residents?
By Nelson Phillips
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Americans will head to the polls to select their new president, as well as a host of other state and local officials. Residents of Brigham City will also see a local question on the ballot, asking whether the city should borrow $26 million in order to pay for a new joint senior citizen and community recreation center, as well as the creation of seven more multi-use playing fields at the city’s outdoor sports complex, and fund renovation of the existing senior center to house the city’s museums. The debt would be financed through a general obligation bond, which is a 20-year loan that cities can obtain from the municipal bond market using property tax dollars to guarantee repayment. When a general obligation bond is taken, property taxes are raised on both businesses and homeowners in amounts sufficient to make the yearly bond payments, which in this case would amount to just over $1.6 million per year. Brigham City is just now paying off an $8 million general obligation bond that provided funding for the city’s swimming pool and Emergency Services Center. In meeting with city officials, it has been expressed that by seeking to issue another bond now, the ‘sticker shock’ to residents would be lessened by transitioning from one bond to another, while allowing the city to take advantage of historically low interest rates. “If there’s ever been a time to ask voters for a needed project, now is a pretty darn good time,” Alex Buxton of Zion’s Bank Public Finance told the Brigham City Council on May 19. “Over the last 30 years interest rates have only been lower .74 percent of the time.” According to estimates supplied by the Brigham City finance department, if the new bond fails to pass, a property tax cut of approximately $79 per year would be realized on a home with a market value of $160,000, as determined by the county assessor. If the bond proposal passes, however, that same home would see a property tax increase of approximately $149 over current levels, making the total bond assessment in the neighborhood of $228 per year. This is on top of the regular Brigham City property tax assessment of .2453 percent, which amounts to $137 per year on the same value home.
Local firebrand makes case against vote by mail
By Nelson Phillips
Well-known local conservative activist, DeAnna Hardy, gave a presentation to the Box Elder County Commission on Wednesday and took commissioners to task for their support of voting by mail. Hardy contends that voting by mail denies citizens their right to a secret ballot, as mail-in ballots must be signed, and are fraught with opportunities for fraud, abuse and coercion. To help make her point, she played from her phone audio of a Fox News story that found widespread voter fraud in the 2008 and 2012 elections in Ohio. According to the report, voters who never voted themselves had absentee ballots turned in under their names, and other individuals voted several times. Many stories of voter fraud have been debunked and there is legitimate debate between experts as to how widespread voter fraud really is. “This is a real problem, and it’s happening all over our country,” said Hardy. “When you’re mailing our ballots to our home there is no voter ID. You don’t know who’s actually filling out these absentee ballots when you mail them.” Hardy continued that mailed ballots can be lost in the mail or stolen from mailboxes.
Power line accident injures one in Perry
A crew delivering shingles hit power lines with their crane in Perry on Friday afternoon, bringing down the lines and sending one crewmember to the hospital.
The incident happened at 2565 South Cherry Drive (500 West) at approximately 3 p.m.
Crew members from Harrington & Company, a Hyrum based roofing supplies business, were preparing to lift shingles to the roof of the home with a crane when the boom hit into the lines, causing what one resident called “an explosion” that injured one of the workers on the truck. The lines broke and fell to the ground, creating a hazardous situation.
The worker was taken to Ogden Regional Hospital to be checked out, but is expected to recover fully.
Perry City first responders, police and an ambulance from Brigham City responded to the incident. The police then blocked off the road while a crew from Rocky Mountain Power repaired the power line.
Public meeting on SR-30 today in Logan
A public meeting will take place today, Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 4 to 7 p.m., to gather public input prior to preparing an environmental impact statement for a proposed project for improvements to SR-30 between Cache and Box Elder counties, a stretch of road known colloquially as Valley View Highway.
According to information from the Utah Department of Transportation, the purpose of the meeting, which will be held at the Logan Environmental Center, 153 North 1400 West, is to identify resources that should be considered as part of the environmental study, identify any issues or concerns from the public and discuss the potential improvement options, among others. The study will consider all possible improvement options and methods to reduce congestion and improve safety, including those for multiple modes of transportation.
The Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, in cooperation with UDOT, is preparing the study as part of a larger project to address current and long-term traffic congestion and safety on the stretch of SR-30 from 1000 West in Logan to SR-23 in Box Elder County.
For more information, visit www.udot.utah.gov/SR30study. Comments on the study may be submitted via email to SR30study@utah.gov.
Bridge closure announced
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has announced that the bridge connecting 200 South in Brigham City to eastbound US-89/91 will be closed on Thursday Sept. 29 from approximately 7 a.m. to noon.
The bridge will be undergoing resurfacing work.
Those heading to Mantua or Cache County will need to enter the highway from 1100 South in Brigham City.