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Happy feet: Toes are only truly happy when you let them out to play. The return of spring has brought out the footwear of freedom, seen here outside the TSC. / Photo by Josh Russell
today's word on

Friday, April 8, 2005

"Once you have learned how to ask questions, you have learned how to learn."

--Neil Postman, journalism scholar (1931-2003)

USU JCOM NEWS NOTE: THE JCOM Department celebrates the Class of 2005 Friday with JDay, showcasing the best of student work in print and
broadcast journalism, the Web, photo, and public relations. Followed by the annual JCOM Awards Banquet--student awards, 2005-06 scholarship winner, speaker Robert Kirby of the Salt Lake Tribune, all with fine dining. For information or reservations, contact the USU JCOM Department at or 435-797-3292.

Smithfield hikes charges for burial plots and storm-water management

By Ash Schiller

March 10, 2005 | SMITHFIELD -- Cemetery plots will likely cost $300 for residents and $650 for nonresidents, but new prices will not be cemented in until the March 23 City Council meeting when members finalize the fee schedule.

The council originally planned on a $350 price tag for residents, but decided on $300 after Councilwoman Janice Mikkelsen conveyed citizens' desire to keep the rates affordable.

"Let's make sure we're not making money, just charging enough to upkeep," Councilman Brent Buttars said.

The only reasons the fees are being raised is to help with up keep and discourage nonresident burials, Mikkelsen said. The old fee did not cover the costs of necessary equipment and other expenses.

Last year, there were more nonresidents buried in Smithfield than residents, but council members agreed that will be changing with the new prices.

All decisions regarding fees will be finalized on March 23, including new storm water fees and changes regarding business licenses. The changes were not discussed in detail, but "80 percent of businesses will not be affected," said James Gass, city manager.

Storm water fees, however, will affect everyone, especially businesses. Right now everyone, residents and businesses alike, pays a flat rate of $2.50 a month, Gass said. After the 23rd, fees will be raised.

Fees have not been decided, but Gass suggested $3.50 for each household. Businesses would pay $1.75 per a certain amount of area. For large businesses, this could add up to quite a lot. "You can bet we're going to hear from commercial businesses," he said.

Gass said fees must be raised in order to cover the costs of the storm water management program, which is now required by the Environmental Protection Agency. The city needs to hire a new employee and also purchase a new sweeper. Sweeps cost from $115,000 to $120,000, he said.

All cities from Wellsville to Smithfield are being affected by the program and "this is pretty much the route that everyone is taking," Gass said.


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