During the open comment period of the meeting, Faylene Roth expressed her support for the council’s decision at last month’s meeting to ban dogs from the town lot during public events. But she questioned the ban at other times. She used the example of two boys bringing their dog with them while they walked to the town lot to play basketball on the town’s basketball court. She also wondered if the council could also discuss proposals one month and wait for the following month to make a decision.
Mayor Erley said he appreciates her comments, but at the end of the day the town could see lawsuits because of accidents involving dogs. Councilwoman Tory Hill added, “If somebody walks on the town lot and something happens, we have a rule against dogs in place.”
Castle Valley Road Manager Greg Halliday informed the council that the road department bought crack-sealing equipment to be used on Castle Valley Drive, including a unit to melt tar and another to spread the tar into the cracks. They already have an air compressor to blow dirt out of the cracks. Road committee member Jeff Johnston said they plan to seal about one-third of the road each year. The two asked the council to approve money to buy a ton of tar blocks at 95 cents per pound, delivered. When asked if the town could buy the tar cheaper from the county, they said the county has a more expensive “double-broiler type” of tar-melting unit which uses a more expensive type of tar, as opposed to the “direct-fire type of machine that the town has. They all agreed that the time frame for tarring the road is during the winter, when the cracks are wider, and they would like to get started soon. The council approved the purchase of a ton of tar blocks.
The council read a letter from Michael Peck, who is applying for the vacant position of the town’s water agent. He listed his education and experience and added that he has had an interest in water rights for a long time and would like to be a service to the community. Mayor Erley said he will be interviewing for the position in January.
Several months ago, the town received a grant from Tree Utah for trees and bushes, which were planted around the town lot several weeks ago. There was a $200 surplus after the trees were planted and the council voted to return the excess funds back to Tree Utah to be used elsewhere.
The term for Mary Beth Fitzburgh, the chairwoman of the town’s Planning and Land Use Commission, expires this year. She applied for another term on the commission and the town council voted to reappoint her.
The town has some surplus office electronics, such as a copier and a fax machine, that they would like to donate to someone. The council voted to come up with a list of tax-exempt organizations to see if one of them needs the old equipment.
All of the businesses operating in the town of Castle Valley that have conditional use permits and business licenses applied to a renewal for 2013. The council approved a motion to approve all of those permits for the following year.
For the past century, the National Audubon Society has held a Christmas Bird Count all across the North Americas. The tens of thousands of volunteer scientists make a valuable contribution every year between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. There are 27 areas in Utah and each area will have several teams. The Castle Valley area has one of those teams, headed by Alice Drogin. She invites everyone to contact her at 435-259-8274 and sign up for a day of participation in the annual Christmas Bird Count.
If you are one who enjoys a white Christmas, it looked like it was going to be pretty bleak until a storm rolled through the area early last Wednesday morning leaving about 6 inches of snow in the valley. Soon after the storm left the temperatures began to fall, giving us the first real taste of winter in quite a while.
A check around the community revealed that the low temperatures varied from 1 degree to minus-5 degrees, depending where the measurements were taken. Frank Mendonca in Castleton had about the same weather as lower Castle Valley, with a minus-1 degree. He said the low temperature last Friday morning was the first time since February 2011 that the low temperature at his weather station dropped below zero. That year, he recorded a minus-7.8 degrees.
Despite the end of the Mayan calendar, it appears that the world did not end and will continue on as before, for better or worse. So I think it is safe to wish you all a Happy New Year!