No sense of social conscience

Our City

by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia

If you are easily offended or have a weak stomach skip to the fifth paragraph please as what follows next describes those who have no sense of social conscience or right or wrong.

It seems that every so often some socially challenged ingrate takes it upon himself or herself to manifest their grossness by defecating in places not meant for such acts. This past week multiple large samples of human fecal matter of varying consistencies and viscosities had to be cleaned from the sink, floors and walls at the Willow Bay restroom. Other such offenses occurred in the restroom at our city park.

When talking to our parks superintendent, Chris Fehringer, who must have an amazing ability to suppress his gag reflex, he said he has gotten used to cleaning the used condoms and tampons from various places in the restrooms and around our parks, but this last week had him at wits’ end; I believed him. Thus, porta potties will be placed out at Willow Bay and the city park and our permanent restrooms will be locked at night as it is easier to hose out the smaller boxes than scrub and mop entire rooms.

I apologize for the immediate lack of a better solution; if you can think of one please let me know.

If you have ventured out to Willow Bay via the bike and foot path this year you may have seen or glimpsed all manner of birds and wildlife of varying sizes; the largest of which are moose. In talking with Scott Wright, our local Fish and Game enforcement officer, this past week it was reported that a family walking the trail came upon a moose and one of the children who happened to be quite a ways ahead of the rest of the group startled the moose and was knocked to the ground as the frightened animal made its way back closer to the thick trees and water next to the reservoir.

The report indicates that the incident did not appear to be malicious, but just a frightened animal getting to safety. There have long been moose out at Willow Bay and in fact they are often sighted in and around town. Two weeks ago police officer Larry Jones herded one from up at West Park Street down through both mine and police chief Brandon Wilkinson’s yard, across the golf course, over the railroad tracks and back out to Willow Bay. I think their presence is cool, but it is not without risk.

To my knowledge there is a small bull along with a cow and calf out at Willow Bay. Like most things wild they just want to be left alone and pose no threat to us unless they are somehow startled or confronted and feel threatened. At no time should you find yourself between the cow and calf. Bad things will happen. Wright was going to have an article submitted to The Power County Press describing what to do if you happen upon the moose. Please look for it and read it if you happen to be one of the many who use the bike path.

If you are one of the many that also used the designated bike path through town and out to Willow Bay you will have noticed that the painted lines and symbols have faded since they were last placed. Last Friday I met with street superintendent Daren Dahlke and one of our engineering partners, Alan Giesbrecht from JUB, on Bannock Street over by the middle school. Next summer the Willow Bay path will be tied to a Safe Route to School corridor for foot and bike traffic that will complete the sidewalks around both city parks, down Bannock Street and on to Lee Street; the funding for this project is from a grant and totals almost $500,000.

As we met and walked the route we discussed which side of the street would best serve the route. At present we concluded that the route will go along the west side of the street as the new curb and gutter will solve two major water drainage issues and leave ten mature trees in place. The east side of the street will also be placed with curb and gutter where there currently is none; the city will front those costs.

In talking with two home owners along the route they were concerned about a number of things that I was able to put at ease; however, they did indicate that many of the intersections along Bannock, which is also a bus route, need to be four-way stops as they have seen several near miss accidents involving children in front of their homes. They made a very good case and I will be speaking to Wilkinson and Dahlke about possibly getting those signs placed before school starts in a month.

I very much appreciate constructive, well-reasoned input. It makes my duties as mayor easier. It is the citizens who care about the community they live in who make where we live so special.

Until next week…


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