Council discusses utility vouchers

Wayne Dennis, LDS Church relief services, and Becky Eastman, Human Services Executive Director, presented a question to the City Council at their work session of the City Council held on Sept. 13.  That question generated a 30-minute discussion on whether the city would accept Human Services vouchers for water bill payments.
“We have been working with Becky at Human Services and they have been very kind in helping us with many of the utility issues people face,” Dennis said. “In helping a person with a water bill, I realized the city at this time is not in a position to accept human service vouchers for payment of water bills. This limits us to be able to use human resources for assistance with water bills, so the question is, “Is there any consideration in the future for the city to accept the vouchers?”’
Mayor Kent Williams asked Eastman to explain how the voucher system works.
Eastman said a person has to come into her office and fill out an application, it is evaluated to see if the person meets the income and other requirements and then her office will call Dominion Energy and Rocky Mountain Power who both have a human resource office and evaluate the client’s bill.  Sometimes those entities will omit the late fee and then will agree to accept the voucher.  When the voucher is approved by the Tri-Partite Board, it goes to the County Commission for their signature on the check to pay the bill.  Funding for the voucher system comes from a community service grant from the state which is only used for electric, gas, and propane utilities.
“We are allotted a certain amount of funds each year for utility payments and we can only give so much per person so we help them with planning a budget,” Eastman said. “The application process does take time and we also encourage those who can to sign up for ERAP with the utility company but that assistance takes time also. They can use both ERAP and our vouchers but not at the same time.”
After much discussion and all agreeing that they did not see any reason why the city shouldn’t take the vouchers, Boal advised that the council would not need to do a resolution but it could just be an administrative decision.
Eastman and Dennis thanked the council for their support.  There were no further items on the agenda and the work session was closed.
At the Sept. 6th regular meeting of the Council, two items were added to the agenda before it was approved; the Crimestoppers raffle drawing and a public hearing before voting on Resolution 22-63.
Crimestoppers chair Lexi Lamb and EPD Chief Mike Vranish came forward with the basket of raffle tickets.  Lamb asked Mayor Williams to draw a ticket for the first $500 prize which went to Brandon Park.  Chief Vranish drew Tracy Smith for the second of prize of another $500.00.
Following the drawing, two public hearings were opened by Attorney Boal.
The first hearing was to receive input regarding the renewal of liquor licenses within the city of Evanston.  Boal read aloud the list of those renewing their liquor license: Kate’s; Homestretch Bar; Don Pedro Family Mexican Restaurant; Discount Liquor; Wyoming Downs OTB; Spanky’s Bar; Smith’s #86; Shell Gas Station & Truckstop; The Painted Lady Saloon; FOE #2359; Legal Tender Lounge; Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse; VFW Post 4280; Fairway Restaurant and Bar; Porter’s TNT Fireworks; Jalisco Mexican Grill; The Lincoln Highway Tavern; El Paso All American and Mexican Restaurant; Cowboy Joe’s; Fast Stop; Border Beverage; Maverik #162; Spirit of Red Mountain; Bon Rico; Suds Brothers Brewery; Knights Inn; Main Street Deli; and Paff’s.
There were no public comments on the renewal of liquor licenses so Boal closed the hearing. The Council then voted to approve the applications for renewal of the named liquor licenses.
The second public hearing concerned the trade of city’s real property with Uinta County School District #1 and the execution of deeds and necessary documents to complete the trade.
Dean Barker, Director of Engineering and Planning spoke in favor of the trade and explained that this had been discussed in a work session.  He said his office had reviewed the transfer and all was in order.  The area behind the Youth Club will be traded to the school district so they can put a track and extend their field there, they will also put up a fence with a gate for the youth club.  The property the school district will give to the city in exchange is at the end of Twin Ridge area and is a water and sewer easement which will amount to approximately the same amount of acreage traded.
There were no other comments on the trade of property so Boal closed the hearing.
The Council then approved the resolution authorizing the trade of the property with Uinta County School District #1 along with the deeds and necessary documents to complete the trade.
Four other resolutions were approved by the council concerning annual contracts: a joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior for water resources investigations; the contract for services with the Evanston Chamber of Commerce; the contract for services with Cowboy Days Inc.; and the agreement with the Uinta County Human Services Board to provide human services for the community.
Two consent agenda items were approved together. A street closure permit was granted to St. Mary Magdalen Church for a blessing of the animals event on Sunday, Oct. 2, on Center Street from 8th Street and 9th Street from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
The Evanston Liquor Dealers Association was granted a permit for extended hours for the following dates: Halloween — Sat. Oct. 29, and New Year’s Eve — Sat. Dec. 31.


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