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  • Writer's pictureMichelle

Our Ever-Improving City

I am so grateful for this community. Our tight-knit city is a big part of what make this a great place to live. It might surprise you to learn that we appreciate your complaints and comments on how we as a city can make this a better place for you to live. We want to hear how things affect you personally and if you notice something that doesn’t seem exactly right.

Beautiful Provo view! @tylerschmid

A recent situation highlighted the importance of citizen complaints. There is a contractor who applied to dig out gravel on property he owns at the mouth of Provo Canyon in anticipation of a future office development at that location. He was granted a grading permit in 2017 and was allowed to remove only a certain amount of gravel. He was not given permission to crush the gravel on site. This contractor, unfortunately, went beyond the limits of the permit in terms of the quantities removed and the operating of on-site crushing and a stop work order was issued.

A citizen complaint brought the issue to our attention. I asked our Economic Development Division Director, Dixon Holmes, to independently review the background on this issue, and his conclusions to me and the Municipal Council included the following: “The verbal communication on specific elements of the grading permit were not communicated in writing and did not carry the emphasis that should have been given. Further, … timely inspections of the then issued grading permit did not happen with a frequency that would have discovered the gravel crushing much sooner.”

The contractor was called into an administrative hearing with me, our public works and community development directors and others, and at the hearing, I established new, more stringent conditions to bring the project to conclusion and to remediate the site. We are more aggressively monitoring the site and the contractor’s compliance with the permit conditions, and the contractor is required to keep all crushing machinery off site.

Within the city organization, there have been multiple discussions on this topic and how to not let it happen again. This is a situation where our team clearly should have been more diligent in our inspection and monitoring efforts and should have made it a higher priority for our engineers and inspectors. We have also set into motion new standards to avoid this kind of situation in the future. We are always grateful to you for being our eyes and ears when we can’t be in your neighborhood 24/7. You are always welcome to reach out to me and the city to discuss your concerns or alert us to potential problems.

If you’d like to read more on this issue, please see the documents below. Included is the record of the administrative hearing and my final determination after the hearing.

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