Fred Christensen, Paiute Trail Committee, visited the Salina City Council at their regularly scheduled meeting held Wednesday, April 28 to present an update on the club’s accomplishments over the past year. In addition, he presented Police Chief Al Taylor with 10 certificates for ATV helmets to be given at his department’s discretion to those in need. He said the Sheriff’s Department has been given certificates to use and the Aurora Police Department will also be receiving several.
“We have a zero tolerance for riding without helmets,” said Christensen. “Helmets save lives. Our committee is doing its part to get ‘heads in gear’. NO way to know for sure, but we are confident these efforts are preventing major head injuries to youth and even saving lives.”
He reported that in 2020 the 1,275.8 miles of designated Paiute and Great Western Trail system saw 159,548 riders on 107,956 machines. The riders spent almost $33,000,000 in the small businesses in the nineteen communities in five rural counties along the many miles of this ‘world famous’ interconnected motorized trail system. The Paiute Trail Committee continues to support the Paiute, Gooseberry, and GWT systems and promoting quality and responsible and safe trail use.
This past year the committee applied for and received a Fillmore Interpretation Fiscal Incentive Grant which was used for placement of three signs on the Sand Rock Ridge Road. Total cost of the project was $12,310. They also took over management and operation of the Fishlake Discovery Association at the request of the Forest Service and received a FIG grant to build and install some new information kiosks. New kiosks were placed at Saul’s Meadow, one at the Richfield Visitor’s Center, another in Koosharem and a panel at the KOA campground. Christensen said this project is not complete but they have spent almost $4000 on the project.
In addition, another FIG grant was used to purchase 22 new trail counters and the Parker Mountain project is almost complete which includes GPS coordinates four the routes and building maps. The highway between Cove Fort and the Chevron Station at the North I-15 interchange is now open for OHV use and signs have been purchased and will be installed soon.
The Paiute Committee used a Forest Service RTP grant to facilitate a facelift for Gooseberry and Paiute Trail Signs and the committee has also committed funding and volunteer labor to the Forest Service for Gates Lake Toilet Restoration, the Fish Lake West Sign project, and the Paiute Maintenance Project, all of which will be worked on and completed this year.
Four final interpretive signs were installed at various locations around Marysvale and the Fremont Indian State Park completed the relocation of a kiosk to their trail head at the park. Christensen said due to Covid the committee decided not to hold their annual fundraising banquet, which is traditionally their major source of income, but to make up for it applications for federal CARES Act funds were made available from Millard, Sevier, and Beaver Counties. The funds ($24,500) will be used to help update signs on various segments of the Paiute and Great Western Trails, and efforts are being made to ensure the funds are spent in the counties from which they were secured.
“Cash to accomplish all we have was $60,164 and our group contributed 480 hours of volunteer labor worth $12,008,” said Christensen. “The total cash and volunteer labor from the Paiute Trail Committee in 2020 was $72,172.”
Mayor Jed Maxwell and the councilmen thanked Christensen and his fellow committee members for their efforts in maintaining, marketing, and caring about the local trail system and expressed incredulous delight that $33 million was spent in local communities by riders.
Also at the meeting Faylyn Catmull, CentraCom, introduced herself as their Community Development Director and expressed the company’s desire to perform their annual service project in Salina City this year.
“As we’ve seen throughout this past year, internet has become an essential utility,” she said. “Our way of giving back to our local communities is to provide service, and this year we’d like to spend a morning in Salina doing whatever you have in need of us to do. We’ve painted curbs and gutters, planted gardens and laid sod before and we’ve got a group of 25-50 people from CentraCom who are willing to come down.”
The mayor and council thanked her for this opportunity and said they’d be in touch after some discussion.
Kaelynn Gates questioned the quorum regarding impact and connection fees as well as animal rights, and several ordinances were approved by the council. In addition, Police Chief Taylor discussed the department’s vehicle needs but no final decision was made, and the maintenance crew was asked to fill in several potholes around town.