A Bright Turn of Events at the Sunnyside Junction

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The lighting of the junction to turn off from Highway 6 to State Road 123 has been an issue for a long time. When the Utah Department of Transportation finally agreed to step up and install the lights if a local entity would agree to the maintenance, it almost turned into another dark moment between Carbon County and East Carbon City.

On Wednesday, February 20, the Carbon County Commission voted to fund the estimated $400 maintenance costs associated with the two solar street lights that will be erected at that junction. The small dust-up over things arose after East Carbon Mayor Orlando Lafontaine met with Commissioner John Jones about the U-DOT proposal. Jones said he was given the information on Tuesday before the last commission meeting on February 6. He assured LaFontaine he would study the issue and put it on the agenda. LaFontaine spoke at the East Carbon City Council Meeting the next week expressing concerns that it had not been on the agenda the previous week like he had been expecting. Jones was in the process of getting a study done on the accident rates at the junction and surrounding areas so the commission could make an informed decision. Because of the late notice he was not able to be prepared for the meeting the next day and planned on putting it on the agenda for February 20.

The Carbon Commissioners felt a little bit blindsided by the stories in the Sun Advocate and ETV10 about East Carbon’s concerns. They went on record at the meeting to remark they would not act on anything without proper time to study it. Commissioners Jae Potter also expressed concerns about who is providing the maintenance on the junction lighting at Highway 6 and Thistle as that is a state road as well. He wondered if there are other such lighting issues around the state, but has not had time to do the research on it.

“It brings into question that all we want is to be treated equal,” he added. The commission will notify U-Dot that they are entering into a maintenance agreement with them on the lighting so the project can get underway as soon as possible.

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