Headlines Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Fall upon us
Golden grains, sparkling blues and blazing reds and oranges herald the coming of fall as the season begins to change on Willard Peak Road in Mantua.
City attorney tackles questions of Brigham City’s charter
By Mike Nelson
At a special meeting of the Brigham City Council last Tuesday, City Attorney Kirk Morgan addressed citizen concerns brought up by a number of individuals claiming the city charter needs to be updated.
“It has been brought forth that we are violating the [Utah] State Constitution by not following the home rule charter section in the Constitution which specifically does not apply [to Brigham City],” said Morgan.
The scuttlebutt of such violations began in commentary offered up by regulars at the podium of the city council chambers such as Brigham City resident Lee Johnson.
“Legally speaking, Brigham City is an entity of itself and it is entitled to govern itself, according to state laws,” said Johnson. “It doesn’t matter to me what piece of paper incorporated the city.”
Johnson had previously stated that it is necessary for Brigham City to update the charter, claiming that a vote of the citizens could make changes and thereby limit the power of the city council.
“There are some major misunderstandings of what a charter is,” said Morgan who went on to give some historical background on the formation of Brigham City’s charter.
Construction bringing commerce
By Sean Hales
Three construction projects in Brigham City are bringing new retail developments after years of fear and trepidation from both consumers and businesses in the wake of the Great Recession.
According to Brigham City Economic Development Director Paul Larsen, a multi-unit commercial center north of the Wal-Mart in Perry has commitments from Mexican food purveyor, Costa Vida; clothier, Rue 21; and Sally Beauty Supply. Little Caesar’s Pizza has committed to occupy one of the units of a two-unit commercial building at 700 South Main Street. Larsen said there has been no discussion yet about what businesses or businesses might occupy a third building at about 840 North Main Street.
Larsen said the construction is a good sign for the city, which was hit by “a perfect storm,” through the recession, which impacted the construction and automotive industries most. Locally, two significant employers are structural steel fabricators NUCOR and Vulcraft, and auto-industry supplier, Autoliv.
Morgan nominated for juvenile judge
The executive director of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, Ron Gordon, announced nominees to fill the vacancy in First District Juvenile Court upon the retirement of Judge Larry Jones.
Among the nominees is Box Elder County Chief Deputy County Attorney Kirk Morgan, who also serves as Brigham City’s attorney.
“I am honored to be considered a nominee for the First District Juvenile Court vacancy and I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a juvenile court prosecutor and the opportunity to help juveniles and their families while protecting our community,” said Morgan. “It is my desire to continue helping the community in juvenile court and I would be very grateful if I was selected by the Governor as the next juvenile court judge.”
Other nominees for the vacancy are attorneys Angela Fonnesbeck, of Logan; Thomas Morgan, of Ogden; David Perry, of Logan; and Unit Chief and Deputy District Attorney Robert Neill of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
Following a public comment period, Gov. Gary Herbert will have 30 days to make the appointment which is subject to confirmation by the Utah State Senate.
Written comments may be submitted to First District Judicial Nominating Commission Chair Jeff Packer at email@example.com or sent to Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice at P.O. Box 142330, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2330. The deadline for comments is Monday, Sept. 29, by 5 p.m.
The First Judicial District includes Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties.
Road construction report
The new diverging diamond interchange on Interstate 15 at 1100 South in Brigham City is now open to all traffic but crews will continue working at the interchange over the next several weeks, winding up all construction activities.
Crews are installing cable median barriers at various points between Tremonton and the Idaho State Line on Interstate 15 through this week. The inside shoulder or lane in each direction may be closed where crews are working.
Utah’s unemployment tied for second lowest posting near record job growth
A report released by the Utah Department of Workforce Services last week indicated the the state’s unemployment rate, which is holding steady at 3.6 percent, is tied for the second lowest in the nation.
In addition to the low unemployment rate, the report also noted that Utah’s total job growth is second highest in the nation, trailing only North Dakota. North Dakota is experiencing a significant economic boom from energy exploration and production. Utah is third in private sector job growth behind North Dakota and Texas.
Utah private sector produced 44,700 jobs in the 12 month period beginning in Aug. 2013, according to information from the DWS. The state’s fastest growing sectors are construction, which saw an increase of 11.2 percent and information, which grew by 7.3 percent.
Box Elder is a little worse off than the state average. In the 12-month period from July 2013 to 2014, Box Elder’s unemployment rate hovered between 4.2 and 5 percent.
The DWS report comes on the heels of news that the state generated a $166 million budget surplus in 2014.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert said in a statement, “Combined with our revenue surplus for this fiscal year, another strong jobs report is continued evidence that our conservative fiscal policies work. We continue to see job growth across the board as more and more businesses see Utah as a great place to invest and grow.”