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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Tremonton streets will get extra chip and seal

By Dave Archer

November 20, 2008 | TREMONTON -- A number of Tremonton's streets will soon be getting upgrades, thanks to the City Council's decision to grant Public Works Director Paul Fulgham's request for extra funds next year.

Fulgham approached the council Tuesday night and asked for an extra $150,000 that would go towards putting chip seals on approximately one-fourth of all city roads. The seals extend the life of the road for approximately 7-10 years by giving an extra layer of protection and sealing cracks so moisture doesn't get in.

"It seals them and gives them a surface life so the top layer takes all the wear and tear," Fulgham said.

City Manager Rich Woodworth said he considered the investment a wise one, as doing a complete repair would cost the city a lot more in the future.

"Right now, sealing will give you better dollar value for the city than anything you can do," he said.

Fulgham said seal work should begin next spring.

In other news, Woodworth and Fulgham presented the council with the idea of hiring a full-time engineer for the city, and gave a presentation on the cost benefits an engineer would provide.

According to Woodworth, every project the city does requires an engineer, and the city currently has to hire one from an outside source. Engineering costs have also been going up over the past few years, as the city spent approximately $53,000 in 2005, $70,154 in 2006 and $105,000 in 2007.

Woodworth said the engineer would also perform information technology (IT) duties as well, which he's projecting will cost the city over $33,000 this year. He said having an engineer would allow the city to consolidate those costs as well as utilize the position for other work.

"There's a compelling argument saying we're not getting done what we need to get done," he said. "We don't forsee anything that is going to happen that won't need engineering."

The council decided to consider the request and will discuss it further in a future meeting.

Council members also discussed a new streetlight policy from Rocky Mountain Power that makes all future streetlights "consumer owned" lights. Rather than install the lights and work through the city for maintenance and upkeep costs, the utility company will now charge developers with the cost and five years worth of maintenance up front.

"It will impact our subdivisions and (contractors) around the city," Woodworth said.

Many members of the council, who are already upset with RMP's plans to put a large power line along 2000 West, felt this was just another punch to the gut from the company.

"So what this is is the jab, and the power line is the hook?" Councilman David Deakin said.

In other business, the Tremonton City Youth Council for the year 2008-2009 was sworn in. Youth Council Mayor Brodee Nelson, Mayor Pro Tem Logan Fulgham, Historian Kristle Kohler and Recorder Cami Thompson joined other youth council members in taking their oaths from City Recorder Darlene Hess.

The youth council has been busy throughout the past year with a number of projects, including landscaping work at the senior center, collecting food for the Tremonton Food Pantry, participating in the World Hunger Banquet and planning a Sub-for-Santa service project in December.


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