No pushing snow into the street

It’s now against the law to push snow into the street. The ban passed by the city council Wednesday evening makes it “unlawful for any person to push, plow, or otherwise deposit snow from private property into the public street.” The reasoning discussed at the council meeting is to improve safety for the city snow plow drivers.

When residents use plow equipped four-wheelers or tractors to push snow from driveways all the way across the street, they leave a trail of snow running perpendicular to the street. This “row” of snow often freezes — especially when combined with road salts and sand — into a dense obstruction. When a city plow hits these rows at speed it can cause the plow to lose control. It was reported that several years ago this kind of obstruction caused a city plow to slide into a parked car.

It is now a class B misdemeanor to violate the ordinance. However, Mayor Darrell Simmons said that this should primarily be an education issue. He would prefer they reach out to residents and ask them to refrain from pushing snow into the street.

Clearing fire hydrants

Recently the Smithfield Fourth Ward, Team 50 scouts cleared snow and ice from all the fire hydrants inside their ward boundaries. Boy Scout leader Deon Hunsaker and scout Darwin Williams asked the city council to encourage the public to clear the fire hydrants near their homes. Williams said one of the hydrants he cleared was coated in ice and took considerable effort to clear. The time spent clearing the hydrant would be a serious problem during a real emergency.

Youth theater

The Smithfield Youth Theater is going strong and getting ready for the next big performance. According to Susan Barrus, over two hundred children performed in last year’s, “The Goose Girl.” For this year’s performance they are already making costumes, working on the script and even writing original music. Barrus said it’s a whole new show.

The youth theater is for children who are 17 and under (or 18 and still attending high school). The whole cast is from Smithfield except for the orchestra which draws from children all over the valley. Work is ongoing and volunteers are always needed.

For more information or to sign up for the next show, visit the Smithfield Youth Theater website.

Airport report

Chuck Larsen of JUB Engineering and Rich Stehmeir, Airport Manager, presented the city council with maps of the newly completed airport master plan. Stehmeir said the plan lays the groundwork for the next 20 years and a vision for the airport for the next 50.

Stehmeir was asked if the airport still wanted to close 4200 North. He said no, it won’t be closed nor will there be any restrictions on it. The FAA and the airport decided to raise the “light plane” at the end of the runway. This would raise the landing height of all aircraft. The road will always remain open.

Storm Water Management Plan

Clay Bodily and Kortney Hale presented the city’s Storm Water Management plan to the council. Pressure from the EPA and Utah is causing all municipalities to increase their storm water quality enforcement. The costs involved are increasing. Bodily says they are trying to stay ahead of the curve, to keep storm water runoff as compliant as possible without having to invest in more equipment and manpower. However, the costs of compliance will probably increase as the various federal and state agencies continue to tighten runoff pollution limits.

The full report is on the Smithfield City website:

Police Station contract

The council approved a contract to build the new Smithfield Police Station for $534,218. During their deliberations, Councilman Michael Oliverson brought up a concern that people have shared with him. Why is the city spending money to build police station instead of a new library?

This concern was shared in previous meetings and the answers are the same:

  1. The previous bond election to build a new library failed.
  2. Currently the city does not even have a police station.
  3. The cost of a new library is four or five times more expensive than the bare-bones police station.

Other business

  • The Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation received permission to build the final phase of the Park Place subdivision.
  • Jody Baldwin was hired as the new city court clerk.
  • Future city council meetings will begin a half hour earlier at 6 p.m.
  • The city will honor businesses licensed in other cities or by the county and not require re-registration in Smithfield.