Castle Valley Comments: Sept. 26, 2019

Several items of business were discussed during the regular monthly meeting of the Castle Valley Town Council, which was held Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the town hall.

Resolution 2019-5 was passed by the council, which cancels the upcoming municipal election. There were only two people to file for the two open seats on the town council and there will be no need for an election. Tory Hill filed for reelection and Pamela Gibson was the only candidate to file for the other town council position. Their terms will run from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2024.

The town council was mulling over a telecommunication license tax to be levied against the telecommunication providers but decided against it. They also questioned a decision to apply for a CIB loan to apply road base to the community roads, but after discussing the matter decided that the town would need more gravel before the loan was paid off. It was thought that the payments toward a loan could just go toward the road base.

Given two options about a hunter buffer zone around the town, the council voted to pursue the option of an archery-only buffer zone as opposed to a buffer zone that included archery and primitive weapons. The council will present this ordinance to the Regional Advisory Council and they will make their recommendation to the Utah Wildlife Board during their regular meetings.

It was also announced that representatives from Emery Telcom will hold a public information and update meeting at the Castle Valley Town Hall. The meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 6 pm. The Planning and Land Use Commission will have an opening for a new member as of Jan. 1 and there is also an immediate opening on the Road Committee. Interested persons are encouraged to contact Town Clerk Jocelyn Buck to apply for a position on either organization.

The annual Castle Valley Gourd Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Castle Valley Community Center. For the past 18 years, this annual event has been celebrating one of our oldest and most remarkable vegetables – the hard-shell gourd. The festival continues to be a popular attraction that draws people from all parts of the country who make this an annual trip to display and sell their beautifully decorated art.

Gourd artists are asked to register for a free booth space by calling festival organizer Ruth Brown at 259-0537 and they can set up their displays beginning at 8 a.m. on the morning of the festival. Sale will be limited to gourds only. There will be displays of gourd art and raw gourds, a kids booth, a hands-on booth, demonstrations, a silent auction, a gourd gallery, music, face painting, puppet show and fortune telling.

The parade will begin at 12 noon followed by a potluck lunch at 12:30 p.m. where people are asked to bring a favorite dish to share and their own plates and utensils. The gourd gallery is looking for all styles of extraordinary gourd items to display. For more information visit or they can contact Ruth Brown.

Normally the open burn window opens in Grand County Sept. 15 and remains open for several weeks. This year, because of the unusual year we are experiencing, the open burn window will not open until Oct. 31 unless otherwise posted. Even if the open burn window did open in Grand County, we still couldn’t burn in Castle Valley because of the town ordinance, which forbids burning when the fire danger is posted at “high” or above. As of Tuesday evening of this week, the fire danger remains at “very high” and will probably remain above ”high” unless something drastic happens to the weather soon.

Forty years ago this week this small community mourned the death of one of our outstanding young residents. Guy Officer, 25, was killed in a tragic two-car accident on the River Road on the afternoon of Sept. 21 just two miles east of Moab. He left behind his wife, Robyn, whom he married the previous October, and his four-week-old son, Levi Guy.