NORTH OGDEN — Fourteen residents including the entire city council will serve on the new public works committee appointed by Mayor Richard Harris. The city council vote to approve the committee was unanimous.
The council and mayor spent time at several council meetings discussing how the committee should work, how many residents should serve on the committee and what the committee should discuss. It was suggested by some that the committee just start over, while others suggested that it was very important to rely on the Blaylock study that the city had done a few years ago that detailed the needs for a new public works facility.
City Councilman Brent Taylor expressed concern about what would happen if there was a tie in any voting because of the even number of committee members. Harris said he didn’t think that would happen.
The city had a much smaller committee when it proposed the city use bond money to build a public works facility last year. Many opposed spending up to $7 million on the site and over 2,000 residents signed a petition to get the issue on the ballot. Residents voted in June to not allow the city to spend that much bond money and now the city is basically starting over with a new committee and a new plan.
“This has been a hot issue for a long time,” City Councilman Justin Fawson said. Fawson was one of the main organizers of the petition to get the issue on the ballot. He said he spent much time looking into the issue and had been concerned about having balance on the committee.
“I think we do have balance. It would be unfair or improper to stack the committee with those that supported the petition but we do have representation,” Fawson said.
He and Taylor both said they feel encouraged that the city can move forward in a positive direction with the committee and a clean slate.
Former City Councilman Carl Turner thanked the council and the mayor for the hard work that went into forming the committee.
“I think it’s fantastic. I hope you look at what the committee did before,” Turner said. He also encouraged the committee to use not only the study but the city’s engineer, Kent Jones.
“Let’s move forward. Let’s get this built,” he said.
Harris said the previous site the city was hoping to build on is no longer available. “The owner has withdrawn his offer to sell the land,” Harris said. The area was near the aquatic center and fire station west of Washington Boulevard.
Because all five council members are on the committee, public notice will be given of each meeting and City Recorder Annette Spendlove will take minutes.
Members of the committee are Brent Chugg, committee chair; city council members Kent Bailey, Wade Bigler, Justin Fawson, Cheryl Stoker and Brent Taylor.
Also, Lisa Christensen, Aaron Farr, Gyle Hollingsworth, Lynn Millard, Dan Nixon, Lynn Satterthwaite, Phil Swanson and Eileen Truscott.
Staff support will be provided by Ron Chandler, Bryan Steele and Mel Blanchard.