“The solar panel grant and construction got us off to a good start. Both as a success but also proving the government was able to navigate the intricacies of the Davis Bacon Act and the Buy America program. We then took on the funding and construction of the road shed, which took the road department, and the town, to another level. Around this time, the planning commission took on reorganizing, including its first table of contents, 85-3, the town’s land use ordinance. A big thanks to Mary Beth Fitzburgh for this work and her years of service to the community.
“Also around this time, we negotiated with the Castle Valley Inn to take all ambiguity out of the contract between the town and the inn. Thank you to the Grahams for being open to compromise and the resulting certainty it brought to their business and the town. During this period, Highway 191 got more lanes at the intersection with 128. After a few months of climbing the UDOT chain of command, I finally got to the head of operations in southern Utah, Nathan Lee. After a bit of negotiation, the River Road got a traffic study on the Saturday afternoon of the car show in May. The result was the stoplight we all now depend on and the handy one at 500 West.
“We raised taxes four years ago to bring revenue in line with the reality of what it takes to be a town. This had never been done in our history and as a result we had the funds needed to modestly upgrade our road department and to successfully repave CV Drive last year. Tory Hill, as treasurer, should take credit for getting the amount of the increase correct.
“The water study completed last year has given the town a realistic preliminary water budget that will dictate prudent management of our water resources by both the town and the state. We will need to update this study for some new spring flow and irrigation ditch diversions but this update will provide us with a water budget that we can then work to confirm with the state engineer and the Utah Division of Water Rights. Recently, John Groo, our water rights agent, revamped our water rights management. Although some have questioned the need for the changes, we now have a process that better serves the citizens needs, allows efficient administration by the town, and meets the accountability requirements of the Utah Division of Water Rights.
“Jocelyn Buck rocks as our town clerk. She handles our affairs professionally and neutrally. She is there for each and every one of our citizens and all of you should feel comfortable approaching her. There are others like Faylene Roth, Mingo Gritts, Alice Drogin, Bob O’Brien and Greg Halliday who have and continue to doggedly serve the community. Thank you to them and numerous others I have failed to mention but are deserving of recognition.
“Moving forward the new government is poised to finish Shafer Lane. Please engage in this visioning process for your community. We do it every six or seven years and it is our guiding document.
“Finally, the time has come for the Town of Castle Valley to pull out of the Grand Water Conservancy District (listed as water conservancy on your tax bill). The debt for Ken’s Lake is now paid off, the town provides redundant services, and there is little chance of the town ever benefitting from being in the district. The high volume fire protection well soon to be constructed on the cemetery lot was seen by the water conservancy as outside of their mandate. Thus, we will fund it ourselves (town and Castle Valley Fire District) and pull out of the water conservancy. Both of these projects should get underway in the next month or so.
“Thank you to the community for electing me, twice, and please support your new government moving forward. You should expect continuity.”