STATEMENT OF COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS
January 29, 2020
The Ogden City Council met in Special Session with the Ogden School Board on Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 at 5:05 p.m. in the Ogden High School media center. Mayor Denny Good presided and School Board President Pete Bergstrom called the meeting to order. Members present were Councilman Jason Weber, Councilman Dave Ohlson, Councilman Brian Reimers, Councilwoman Lori Anderson and Councilwoman Margaret Liston. City staff present were City Clerk Melanie Olesen, City Administrator Emily Clausen, Street Superintendent Dan Buzzell and Rec Coordinator Jessica Christensen. Additional attendees present were School Board Members Pete Bergstrom, Matt VanSickle, Leda Burton, Camille Sloan-Schroeder, Pete Thomsen, Board Secretary Christine Oien and Superintendent Dr. Pam Dodge and nine guests.
School Board President Pete Bergstrom updated those present on his recent conversation with the Ogden City Council. He wanted the two entities to come together and begin having conversations on how to proceed with the Howe School property. The school board has set some guidelines 1) that whatever happens needs to benefit the community 2) fit within the timeline of five years with no kids in the building, June 1, 2019 being the first date with no kids in the facility 3) if the building remains do they split the property so ballfields could remain for community use. Bergstrom asked council their thoughts and what they don’t want to see there.
The property is currently zoned residential. Dave Ohlson would like to see a housing development. Jason Weber voiced his concerns with the property being used for rehabilitation services. We want to be careful what type of business could be located in the area. Lori Anderson doesn’t want to see a trailer park. Brian Reimers also noted he would not lie it to be used for storage buildings, with cars and trailers, etc. sitting around. If it was wanted for commercial use, we would need to revisit the zoning. Bergstrom thought an easy split of the property would be leaving the fields as the north half approximately 7.1 acres and the south half approximately 5.6 acres for other use. A thought was mention of deeding the property to Legacy for housing. Pam Dodge noted the school can run into legal issues when donating property. The school could not donate to Legacy but could gift the property to the City.
Matt VanSickle talked about recent surveys done that resulted in the community needs of housing for 55+. There may be grants out there to help with this type of housing. Surveys also resulted in the need for apartments, rentals, moderate to higher income housing.
Mayor Good would like to put a committee together to address the needs/wants of the city side. The school board currently has a facilities committee in place. The school in in no rush to do a land transaction but wants to have some thoughts and ideas of what the community wants.
Public comment. Jessica Christensen spoke to the group as the Rec Coordinator for the City. She stated the city has to have the ball fields, there is no other available space in town to provide that. The city has been in limbo for a couple years on making any major updates to the concessions/restroom facilities due to uncertainty of the facility. There are young families that want to have their children involved. We can’t take away these programs. She suggested if the building needs to be taken down then the whole area could be used as a recreational area for our youth. Soccer fields, ball diamonds, a future rec center, after school programs. She has parents that want to help in clean up and repair. Dave Huntley agrees with Jessica that if housing can’t be made turn it into something for youth, soccer fields, skate park, etc. The current playground equipment was also discussed in public comment. It is believed it should all be removed, on the east side. Dan Buzzell agreed the playground equipment would not be utilized and would need removed if the city owned the grounds and this would be a great area for recreation. Linda Trudo was in favor of senior housing but likes the idea of youth activities taking this area. Dave Ohlson and Gary Paulsen gave a little history of the grounds and who helped to put these ball fields in place.
There was conversation of the city maintaining the ball field side of the grounds. Electric, water/sewer and mowing would need switched over. Matt VanSickle reiterated that the building is a beautiful architectural building and it would be a tragedy if we don’t repurpose it. He recommends getting a committee together to work on that. The city will get a committee together to discuss options and budgeting ideas.
Motion by Reimers, second by Liston, to adjourn at 6:20 p.m.
Ayes: All Present, Motion Carried.
Denny Good, Mayor
Attest: Melanie Olesen, City Clerk