The setting for Weston City’s October Council meeting was idyllic. The shed was bathed in golden sunlight as the sun set and made it not to warm or to cold. That said, once the sun was down the temperature dropped quick and the large door was shut. Despite not having enough council members to perform any action points, the meeting did begin so those who had presentations that the council didn’t have to vote on, could do so and move on with their evening.
Later that evening with the arrival of Councilman Ryan Beckstead and Councilman Mark Koller on the phone, the quorum was established. It was just in time for the arrival of Sharalyn Fonnesbeck, wife of Jay Fonnesbeck. She came in with a stack of two page statements which she distributed and read before the council. Despite the statement beginning with the words “Friends and Neighbors” the tension in the room was palpable.
The main point of her argument was that 30 years ago the city needed a new well and the Fonnesbeck’s agreed to allow the city to drill it on their land in exchange for a free water hookup. However when previous councils have tried to settle the agreed upon arrangement, Fonnesbecks have declined the hookup multiple times.
The Fonnesbeck’s have given the council three options to resolve their conflict: either compensate them financially, like they did with the Buttars families, provide the promised water hookup, or the couple will take the city to court again.
While not unsympathetic, Councilman Travis Johnson argued that the city could conceivably be off the hook, using the gifting of a car as an example: If someone is going to gift a car the recipient can’t turn them down and then turn up years later asking for the keys. No only that but as their house is outside city limits they may be legally prevented from establishing a connection.
The Fonnesbeck’s statement will be given to the city’s attorney upon his return from vacation. Mayor Greg Garner assured everyone that they will review the facts and act accordingly.
On a funny note, Mayor Garner complained about being stiff due to The Mayor’s Challenge where he has to walk 10,000 steps every day this month to raise $1,000 for the city to use to promote outdoor recreation. There is only one problem there’s a glitch in the software so according to his Fitbit he’s on track to meet his goal, according to the challenges computers he hasn’t taken a step. The organizers have assured him and the other 77 mayors that the problem will be fixed soon.
A presentation by the The Bear River Heritage Area (BRHA) tourism group’s representative, Lisa Duskin-Goede brought the city up to date on the efforts to promote tourism in the area. The BRHA’s mission statement is, “to identify, enhance and sustain the natural, cultural and economic heritage of the Heritage Area.” This ‘Heritage Area’ consists of the following counties in Utah and Idaho, Box Elder, Cache, Rich, Bear Lake, Caribou, Oneida and Franklin. The projects they work on include building restoration, gravestones, walking paths, and small museums. Duskin-Goede hopes the council will give their vote of support to a piece of congressional legislation for increased funding that BRAG has sought for the past 20 years.
Next was a brief statement by Victoria Feist, a representative of Capsa. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Capsa is a Utah-based domestic violence and sexual assault organization that runs a shelter in Logan and Pocatello. They have recently begun servicing Franklin County in addition to Cache and Rich. Feist said that both men and women are welcome. For those in need and concerned with being caught by their abuser, their website is equipped with a quick escape button that will redirect them to Google.
With it being that time of year for ghost and goblins the council wishes to state that they won’t be organizing a trunk-or-treat this year. That is not to say one cannot be organized by individuals, however the council did wish to ask that parents take their kids trick-or-treating this year. Many of the elderly people in Weston look forward to seeing the kids dressed up for Halloween. As a final reminder those who want trick-or-treaters should keep their porch light on.