Dayton City’s council has decided to proceed with planning the town’s annual July 4 celebration, given the current decreasing trend of COVID-19 in the Idaho, Utah and Wyoming area. At present, the state has transitioned into stage two of Governor Brad Little’s four-stage plan to reopen the state. Each stage comes with fewer restrictions and allowances for more people to gather. If a COVID-19 hotspot develops near Dayton, then the 4th of July celebrations will be shelved for next year.
The council also discussed the city’s water project. To help fund the improvements to the water system, the city plans to bond for two new wells, as well as apply for loans and grants. The city needs to add an additional water source to be in compliance with Idaho State Law. At present there is not enough flow for fire suppression at the high school and one wing of the elementary; that alone is required by federal safety laws.
If the bond passes by 50% or more, then the city can cite that as a show of local support for the project to the state when it applies for a grant, which makes the process easier and may award a larger amount, to help with the project. Also if the city needs a loan the evidence of a successful bond can get the community of Dayton a lower interest rate.
That said there has already been opposition to the bond proposal. Campaign-style signs have been placed in Dayton intersections asking people to vote no on the bond. The council wishes to remind Dayton’s citizens that ballots must be postmarked by June 2. To date, no citizens have come forward to speak to the council of their reasons for opposition. Engineer counsel Aaron Beutler expressed concern that with a negative vote the water rates would have to be even higher to cover the required well project. All the council members encourage the people of Dayton to vote as they see fit.
The council is also looking at a spring in Dayton Canyon as a possible alternative to one of the wells. The spring is located a mile off the legal road on Forest Service land, though ATV riders have worn a trail. There was talk of fencing the area off for both security and land preservation.
Due to an old agreement between Dayton City and the Forest Service the city already has the water rights. To dig the ditch to lay the pipe the city will need to widen the trail for backhoe access. The Forest Service will be sending a representative to look over the situation and will tell the city the specification they will allow for access options such as a formal road. Aaron Beutler reported on the spring and said that at its lowest output the city could add 12 houses.