Cedar Fort to pursue Land Patentby Charlynn Anderson
The Cedar Fort Mayor and Town Council unanimously voted to pursue patenting seven acres of BLM land at the Town Council meeting on April 12, 2018. The Town is currently leasing 12.5 acres of land from the Federal Bureau of Land Management. Mayor David Gustin said that it would be wise for the town to secure ownership of that parcel because the Cedar Fort Community Center is located there. Since Cedar Fort has been awarded a Community Development Block Grant to remodel the Community Center's interior, Gustin said that getting the land into the Town's name would be a prudent step, even though the current twenty-year lease has nine years remaining.
Gustin reported that he had recently met with officials from the Department of the Interior who said that the first step in the ownership transfer process is for the Cedar Fort Town Council to pass a resolution to pursue patenting the land. According to Gustin, patenting is the BLM term for transferring the land into the town's name. Only seven acres of the 12.5-acre parcel is available for the Town to patent because that is where improvements have been made, and the BLM requires that the Town has made improvements on the land in order to patent it. Currently, in addition to constructing the Community Center and parking lot, the town has put in picnic tables, fire rings, horseshoe pits, rustic landscaping, and a well within the seven improved acres. Gustin said that since the land is being used for recreation, the title transfer should be able to proceed without costing the town any additional funds.
Cedar Fort Town leaders also considered a proposal submitted by the Planning and Zoning Commission to amend two land use ordinances referencing easements. The Cedar Fort Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on March 6, 2018, and received public input on the proposed changes. The commission recommended that the Town remove the regulation prohibiting any construction within ten feet of an easement. Mayor Gustin said that the Town should not restrict the land owners any more than the requirements of the easements they agreed to when purchasing the land. The Town Council agreed with the proposal and voted unanimously to amend the two ordinances to reflect the change.
Councilman Harry Draper reported that he has submitted a grant application for $40,000 from the Utah Department of Transportation to construct a sidewalk from the LDS chapel on SR73 to Cedar Valley Elementary School. If the school pedestrian safety grant is awarded, the Town would be required to pay a portion of approximately $10,000. Draper said that even if the grant is awarded, Town leaders would still have the option to refuse the grant if they could not fit the required portion into the Town budget.
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