Friday, February 20, 2009

Notes on Ogden City Council Work Meeting Thursday February 19 2009

Streetcar Study: Public meetings scheduled for March 17 & 19

By George K.

I attended last night’s Council’s work session. For the first time at the Council’s invitation, Mayor Godfrey reported on activities in Ogden and fielded questions from council members. Council members Jesse Garcia and Blain Johnson were not in attendance although they had indicated that they would be late.

The Velodrome was discussed and the Mayor indicated that indoors soccer and football fields would be included to meet community needs and make it more profitable. A location has not been decided, but three city-owned properties were being considered. Councilwoman Jeske asked whether they were owned by the City or the RDA, but the Mayor did not know. Councilwoman Gochnour suggested that another name be used for the velodrome and the Mayor agreed. He indicated that steps were being taken to also make the golf course and airport more profitable. The city is in the process of bringing a national airlines to Ogden. Councilmember Wicks mentioned that she had met a man from California who had flown to Salt Lake City airport that morning for a day of skiing and was returning to California that evening and suggested that be a selling point in obtaining an airline. The Mayor said that outdoor sports companies were not considering relocating in the current economy, but the city is working toward having local mom and pop businesses locate on the east side of Washington and indicated the plans for a 90-space parking lot to serve those businesses was moving forward.

A report by Mr. Barry Banks, representing Wilbur Smith & Associates, on the progress of the alternative analysis and environmental study and indicated that they were progressing well. He indicated that Ms. Kristin Kenyon of the Federal Transit Administration had toured Ogden and was impressed, which bodes well as FTA approval is necessary to develop a project which can be constructed very soon. He indicated they had been working closely with WSU and IHC to develop service and connection preferences. In order to build community consensus, support and enthusiasm, public meetings are scheduled for March 17th at the Eccles Conference Center, 4 PM to 7PM , and March 19th at WSU Student Activities Center, 11AM to 1 PM. They are working towards a February 2010 completion date for the study. He offered options for running a street car and the required space along with modal alternatives. The information that he provided was most interesting. I encourage everyone to mark their calendars and plan to attend one of the public meetings as public approval and support are imperative to the success of the study for federal government approval. The routes and implications on neighborhoods, and transit oriented development will also be discussed. Your input is required.

Mr. Ron Kusina from WEBCORP reported on economic development. He indicated that Utah is better off and affected less than other states by the economic downturn and rise in unemployment. Utah is the envy of the other states. He believes that things will get worse before they get better. He said that efforts are in progress to help high school students obtain the necessary job training and skills to meet company demands. He looks to a change and upturn of economic conditions later in 2010.

The Administration reported briefly on grant applications and other council business was discussed.

It was a very informative work session and well worth attending.


Anonymous said...

TY GK for the report and the heads up on the public meetings. Appreciate both.

Anonymous said...

I thought the city council killed the multi-million-dollar stupo-drome by putting it very low on the capital list. So why are they still talking about it?

Anonymous said...

We want a Velodrome.
We don't care who pays for it.
We like them.

We also like year round ice climbing.
We don't care who pays for that either.

Lets build lots of stuff, and let someone else pay for it all later.

Great ideas.

Anonymous said...

Nice touch Danny, the stupodrome, combined with the publicly financed Jackass Center, are you trying to give Curm a heart attack?
Thank your lucky stars that idiotic icicle melted under the heat of it's own ecconomic impracticality. Coulda been a three fer'.

Anonymous said...

Bill C:

You wrote: are you trying to give Curm a heart attack?


Anonymous said...

Curm, I recall your chastizing me in the past over name calling, maybe that policy doesn't extend to stupid things.
But isn't that what our name calling is directed at? Certain people qualify round here as stupid things.

Anonymous said...

George K.

Good report, but a few clarifications are in order.
Vice Chair Gochnour relayed the anecdote about the person she met on the lift from California, not Chair Wicks.

Ron Kusina is Executive Director of the Weber Economic Development Corporation (WEDCORP) not WEBCORP.

Anonymous said...


Ah. Bill, you've never seen a criticism from me here about satirical titles for buildings, flatland aerial transit systems, or bicycle palaces. What I object to... because it's both childish and ineffective and even counter-productive at times IMHO... is personal attacks [name calling] on people. The recent gay-baiting name calling silliness here for example. But you can call The Salomon Center the Jackass Center to your heart's content with no complaint from me.

Anonymous said...

plans for a 90-space parking lot to serve those businesses was moving forward.

Who the hell is paying for this?

Didnt the City just give a parking lot away located between 24th and 25 streets on Kiesel Ave.?

Anonymous said...

WTF, you're absolutely right! The Council caved into Godfrey again. Chair Wicks and Councilwoman Jeske voted against it even after Godfrey answered one of Councilwoman Jeske's question with "It's a no brainer!" I've heard the comment, "It's because he has no brain!" I agree with whomever said that Godfrey has no brain!."

Anonymous said...

Was There, thank you for the correction on who said what and the typing errors. It stil was a good and informative meeting.

Anonymous said...

George K

just wondering from your comment "Councilwoman Gochnour suggested that another name be used for the velodrome and the Mayor agreed.", was it your opinion that Gochnour was in support of the velodrome under another name. i would be very curious to know if she supports the idea. any feel.

Anonymous said...


I would not ventur a guess of where Counilwoman Gochnor stands on the Velodrome. None of them gave any indication how they felt about it. My guess would be that they have learned to keep their opinions to themselves, especially at a work meeting in the presence of Godfrey. He is superb at degrading anyone who thinks differently than he. The best thing to do is have private discussions among themselves and to let their opinion be known when they vote.

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