Castle Dale City Will Join Emery County to Vote by Mail


By Julie Johansen

Emery and Carbon counties have been the only two counties in Utah continuing to vote at a polling location. Jeff Guymon, Emery County Zoning Administrator, told the Castle Dale City Council that will change in Emery County with the next congressional election.

The machines used previously throughout the county were becoming outdated and the state offered to fund nearly $70,000, for one time only, to make the change for the county.  The cities had the choice to contract with the county to change to vote by mail for municipal elections or conduct their own polling place elections. At the recent Castle Dale City Council meeting, the motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to contract with the county and vote by mail.

Ballots will be mailed to citizens and then can be mailed back or placed in a lock box at the city offices. The ballots will have to be postmarked by the date of the election. One of the drawbacks will be that tentative results, which have usually been available on the evening of election day, could take up to two weeks to count. Some ballots may also have to be mailed overseas to military or other citizens. Then, a canvas will need to be done in seven to 14 days following the count. This could make the official results much later. Guymon had also visited other council meetings in the county with the same information.

Next, a public hearing regarding the amendments to the Castle Dale City Development Code was opened but there were no public comments, so the hearing was closed and the amendment to the code was adopted. The amendment addressed the procedure for enforcement of the land use ordinances in Castle Dale City. Each offense will first be given a verbal warning and 30 days to correct. If not resolved, then a written warning in the form of a certified letter will be mailed. Fifteen days will be given for correction, then a fine of $100 will be imposed. In 15 more days, a $200 fine will be issued and finally, if not resolved in 15 days, then the city will file a Class C misdemeanor.

An amendment to the cargo/shipping containers use as accessory buildings was also opened for public comment but there were no comments, so the amendment passed. The sentence added to the ordinance stated that a zoning approval and building permit must be granted before a cargo/shipping container can be used as an accessory building.

Castle Dale City also granted a $250 donation to the community theatre and approved the auction of a F-900 dump truck with a minimum bid of $5,000, which must be in a sealed bid. Discussion continued about a 30-year-old firetruck, which is not running, and a sander with a burned out window wiper motor; both are awaiting maintenance. The city’s salt shed is finished and new orders of salt have been needed due to the weather.

Citizens from the city and county approached the council regarding pickleball courts. Mayor Danny Van Wagoner assured them that city has applied for a grant with hopes of building at least two courts on the food court area at the arena park. If the grant is received, then another public hearing must be conducted before spending the money.

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