Thursday , January 28, 2016 - 4:54 PM2 comments
PLEASANT VIEW — While city administrators promise they’re working toward a solution to a long-time problem in the community, neighbors aren’t satisfied with the pace things are going and say there needs to be a more immediate fix.
Commercial trucks going to and from the Towers Sand and Gravel pit are forced to use a route that goes through the heart of Pleasant View’s residential area, passing by Weber High School and city hall.
“It’s frustrating that private enterprises can torture a community for so long,” Randall Bates of Pleasant View said.
Bates narrowly missed being hit by a speeding 10-wheel dump truck that went out of control the morning of Jan. 19 down 500 West, the designated route for industrial trucks through the city. The truck swerved to miss Bates and other vehicles before hitting a power pole and rolling down a ravine south of Elberta Drive.
The driver of the truck, employed by CE Butters Companies, was airlifted to the hospital and last reported in fair condition.
Bates, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said he has seen several crashes involving trucks coming to and from the gravel pit, many causing major property damage.
Pleasant View Police Chief Ryon Hadley said he recalls four major wrecks involving the commercial trucks using 500 West since the 1980s.
Video by Randall Bates of the Jan. 19 truck crash.
The city is working to make a new road that would bridge 4300 North with U.S. 89, Pleasant View Mayor Toby Mileski said. Before the route can begin construction, the city must complete an environmental survey and then wait for federal funding to be released by the Wasatch Front Regional Council.
According to the agency’s funding calendar, Pleasant View is estimated to receiving full funding for the project by 2019, but Mileski said it could be sooner if other projects on their list finish ahead of schedule.
Bates said he has been hearing about this plan for about seven years, but is dissatisfied the city hasn’t come up with a backup plan by now.
”It’s absolutely unsafe and a danger to the neighborhood and the kids from Weber High,“ Bates said. “They always want to defer you to the future.”
City Administrator Melinda Greenwood said the current truck route is the most logical, cost effective way for the trucks to use.
“We can’t regulate a business. We’re limited on what we can regulate,” Greenwood said.
The mayor and city council have attempted to work out a solution with CE Butters, Staker Parson and a third property owner, Randall Marriott, who also has road access to Highway 89, she said. However, those meetings did not result in any resolution.
Marriott previously owned the Staker Parson gravel pit and held an arrangement with Towers for access to Highway 89, but that deal broke down after a toll road on that route was enacted and the west gravel pit was sold.
The general manager of CE Butters Companies, Kevin Butters, said he is just as anxious for a new route as the residents, since the current route is hazardous to his employees and such accidents are costly.
Staker Parson Companies, which owns the gravel pit west of CE Butters, is loosely connected to 4300 North through a dirt road and has access to Highway 89, but to allow trucks from the upper quarry through their operation would not be feasible, Staker Parson real estate manager Dak Maxfield said.
The company has been approached by Pleasant View City in the past to work out a solution, but any attempts to make a route through their property would disrupt future mining plans, Maxfield said.
“It’s like if I owned property behind your house and I needed to utilize your driveway and your garage,” Maxfield said.
The construction companies and the city concur that the use of 500 West is currently the best route, but Bates wishes the city, companies and property owners could put public safety first and sit down to come up with a solution sooner than 2019.
Calls for comment to Randall Marriott were not returned.
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