Castle Valley Comments
March 9, 2017

The power outage that Castle Valley experienced Sunday evening left us in the dark for 1.75 hours, but we weren’t alone this time. Dave Eskelsen of Rocky Mountain Power said that a total of 2,508 customers were affected by the outage including customers in Moab, Spanish Valley, La Sal and the Castle Valley area. The lights went out at 9:07 p.m. and power was restored by 10:45 p.m.

An interruption on the transmission line caused a circuit breaker to open at the Moab substation, causing the disruption of electrical service, which was weather related. Eskelsen said the cold front that moved into the state caused severe weather everywhere and the utility had power outages in Delta, Cedar City and all along the Wasatch Front, where 8,000 customers were affected.

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Several weeks ago the Castle Valley Town Council held a public hearing to receive input on a proposed resolution to update management of the town water rights. Several people in the audience objected to some of the provisions and wording in the document stating it contained deficiencies and was over-reaching. The town water manager, John Groo, said “there were some valid points made” and he intended to address them. He also said that “there were also some considerable misunderstandings and distortions” and he intended to address them as well. The council voted to postpone a vote to give the town water officials and legal counsel time to review and change some of the wording and come back with a revised resolution. That resolution has been completed and is now on the town website for review.

The town and the Grand County Solid Waste Special Service District, sponsors of the Castle Valley annual spring cleanup, have officially arrived at a date for the event. Saturday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the date and time scheduled for the cleanup, and as usual it will take place on the town lot. The town council has declared that the first pickup load per resident will be free and additional loads will be $25 each. The loads will be limited to non-commercial junk, furniture, most appliances, scrap metal and tires (four per customer). Refrigerators and air conditioners will also be accepted, but they will cost $40 and $30, respectively, because of the Freon that needs to be removed from them. Household garbage, brush, branches, weeds or hazardous waste will not be accepted. The Castle Valley Fire Department will sponsor a spring chipper day sometime this spring to take care of the tree limbs and branches. Green Solutions of Moab will be at the April 8 cleanup to accept most all recyclables.

Another way to rid your property of weeds, leaves and other natural debris is to safely burn them. The burn window opened March 1, giving residents an opportunity to burn those piles of debris that have been developing over the fall and winter. Even though the burn window is open, residents must still call the Grand County Sheriff’s Department at 435-259-8115 to get permission before they begin burning. A clearing index of over 500 feet must be present before it is environmentally safe to burn. And if you do get permission, it is still irresponsible to burn during windy conditions when the controlled fires can quickly become out-of-control and spread to neighboring property. This was the case 35 years ago this week when 2 acres were blackened because of gusty winds during a controlled burn.

Just a reminder that the La Sal Mountain Loop Road is closed from the Castle Valley overlook to Miners Basin until May 1 when the road will then be closed north of the Sand Flats Road during the weekdays. The rest of the area can expect delays. So for me to go to my favorite spots at Warner Lake and Oowah Lake I’m going to have to get there from the south end of the Loop Road.

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And speaking of 35 years ago, the members of the Castle Valley Branch of the LDS Church held their first meetings in their new building Sunday, March 7. Construction of the 2,797-square-foot building began the previous August by a Sandy construction company and also represented many hours of donated labor by branch members. That original building has had several additions since then and it was also the center of many community, civic and sporting activities before there were any other public buildings in the valley except for the unfinished fire station on Castleton Road.

ByBy Ron Drake