BY TOM BUSSELBERG
LAYTON – Following a plummet in applicants for small business loans, activity is now on the increase.
“We’re seeing a bigger percentage of approved loans. But businesses are running lean, being cautious in their expansion plans,” said Cece Mitchell.
She is the manager of Zions Bank’s U.S. Small Business Administration lending and spoke to members of the Davis Unified Economic Development group recently at the Layton City Center.
“These rates are so low I’m amazed people are not flocking to the doors,” Mitchell said.
Small Business Administration loans now average a 5 3/4 percent interest rate for a 10-year term. That compares to 21 percent in the 1990s, she said.
“With the federal (bank) rate at zero, I can’t see banks getting any more aggressive,” Mitchell said.
“A lot of new businesses are developing, and Utah is recognized as the number one state for small business,” said Beth Holbrook, director of the Zions Bank Business Resource Center.
There are several sources of financing small businesses can consider, Mitchell said.
Personal savings is the most common source used for loans by small businesses starting out. There are no hurdles to jump over for financing or interest rates or fees, she said.
Friends and relatives come up next on the list, but Mitchell urged those taking that route to get all agreements in writing to maintain a relationship no matter what happens to the business.
Suppliers, banks and various government programs are next, followed by investors, including venture capitalists.
Individual investors are generally looking for some “great idea or a tool that improves lives,” Mitchell said.
Venture capitalists are often attracted to a bio-technology firm, currently, she said.
A “slow and steady” path of growth characterizes most small businesses, she said.
When a lender looks at an applicant, several factors are scrutinized: credit vs. capital, character and conditions of the industry cycles, among other factors, Mitchell said.
Cash flow and collateral are also key, particularly with unsecured lending hard to come by, she said.
“They need to see a business plan. That helps a businessman look at his or her business in a systematic way,” Mitchell said. Such a plan can reasonably lay out a blueprint for three to five years. She advised including managers and other employees in the process.
“I’d rather know what an owner thinks” than read a 15-page summary contained in a business plan, she said.
Key questions are: is there sufficient demand for the product? Is there a competitive advantage? Are growth projections realistic? How will you (owner) get the business to grow? How much equity does a business have? What is your business and personal credit history?
BY TOM BUSSELBERG
CLINTON – Clinton residents won’t be seeing any bump upwards in their property taxes this coming year Р at least from the city.
However, there will be a $1 a month increase in water rates and 50 cents per month for sewer, said City Manager Dennis Cluff.
“We have been short of funds from fees and have been using reserves” to balance those utility budgets, he said. State law requires that utilities be treated as self-sustaining enterprise funds.
The city council is due to hold a public hearing May 14 at about 7:30 p.m. for the tentative budget. A special meeting is set for June 20 at 7 p.m. to review and adopt the final budget.
Budgets for the city’s redevelopment agency and a special improvement district covering part of the city will also be handled as separate agenda items, Cluff said.
Highlights of the budget, which becomes effective July 1 are:
• General fund of $8,193,615
• New no positions are planned
• Street improvement projects will continue in the northeastern part of the city close to Meadows Park
• A few sidewalk and street improvements are planned
• Funds are being set aside and property may be purchased for a storm drain retention basin/park in the city’s southwestern section
• A 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase is planned for city employees, the first in many years.
Of the park project, Cluff said “our plan is to have a park within a half mile of every household. I think this will more than do it.”
The city has been partnering resources with federal community development block grant money received through the county. That has gone toward such projects as sidewalks and curb and gutter work, Cluff said.
“It’s been really good, we’ve been able to make some great improvements in some of the older areas of the city,” he said.
BY TOM BUSSELBERG
HILL AFB – Bowlers from across Northern Utah may soon be hitting the lanes at Hill AFB.
Or skeet shooters, both from base and off, could be rubbing shoulders at base ranges.
That possibility of more interaction between the state and county’s largest employer and the surrounding community is looking ever more possible as the Air Force faces massive budget cuts Р not to mention uncertainties of sequestration.
Since last November, officers and city mayors, chambers of commerce executives and others have met in a series of four meetings to explore ideas, all aimed at saving money and maximizing resources, said Col. Fred Thaden, vice-commander of the 75th Air Base Wing.
“This is a way to explore areas where we can be more efficient in conducting our mission and utilizing our manpower,” Thaden said.
Several ways are being looked at, including a couple that could be implemented shortly, he said.
A university-level intern could start working in the base library. That would help meet manpower needs and also practically aid a student, Thaden told The Islander.
“We have a number of hotel lodging facilities on base but our occupation isn’t at 100 percent all the time. Yet we need the space to accommodate groups when they come in,” he said.
Some of those rooms could be shut down and groups booked in North Davis and Weber County hotels, the vice-commander said adding, “Businesses get added revenue and the base accomplishes its mission.”
There has been interest by several area gun clubs in using base ranges, Thaden said, and the Northern Utah Bowling Congress also has expressed interest in holding some tournaments on base.
More direct community involvement in the every-other-year air show is an example of a longer-term issue, Thaden said.
“We get great community support. It costs the base quite a bit of money. We’re trying to explore ways to continue it,” he said, calling it a “great boon” to the community.
Even last year amid cold, rainy weather on Memorial Day weekend, several hundred thousand people took part.
“It’s essential that we as a community encompass this effort to help out with the sequestration, especially,” said Layton Mayor Steve Curtis.
“Hill AFB is such a vital economic driver. We need to rally around them and help them survive. I know we can do that as a community, help them with cuts wherever possible by integrating services, such as recreation,” he said.
Private sector business integration is being targeted as the East Gate Business Park takes shape, just outside the base’s east gate.
“We (Layton City) are in discussion with them (HAFB) on joint use of the runway which will bring money to them in larger amounts that they could use to help fund other things,” Curtis said.
Possible business partnerships could be formed with Boeing and FedEx, which would site their offices in the business park, but have access through the east gate. “They can then fly wherever they need to,” Curtis said.
Military-wide, such an effort isn’t new, Thaden said. Presidio at Monterrey (Calif.), was among pioneering installations to develop community partnerships.
BY SHAIN GILLET
Islander Sports Editor
SYRACUSE — Deer Creek State Park in Midvale has become the first Utah State Park to get a comprehensive, 360-degree mapping by Google’s Street View Trekker team.
Local officials are vying for Antelope Island to be next, and a Google official agreed it could happen.
The effort was made on the part of Google, which took over the Provo’s fiber-optic network in Provo. It hopes to “create a comprehensive, accurate and useful” map of the Midway state park.
“Utah’s connection to outdoor recreation is critical to our unparalleled quality of life and a robust economy,” said Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, in a press release. “We want Utah’s outdoors to be accessible to residents and visitors, and this program will provide access like we could have never imagined.”
As part of the initial mapping, students from the local high school and other community members from recreational groups such as Friends of Utah State Parks, the Mountain Trails Foundation and the Wasatch Mountain Club joined Google and Bell to launch the Trekker project.
“This tour is part of Google’s commitment to Utah,” said Google’s Charlie Hale. “Last month when we announced Google Fiber in Provo City, the nation saw Utah’s innovative and technologically savvy spirit. Today, they’ll also see the area’s natural beauty with this new imagery from Deer Creek State Park.”
The Trekker itself weighs approximately 40 pounds and stands four feet tall. As many as 15 lenses point in all directions and take photos every 2.5 seconds.
The Trekker allows for Google to map locations that vehicles are unable to get to, such as parkland trails and through narrow terrain.
Locally, a representative for Google has said Syracuse’s Antelope Island could be a target for the Trekker.
“I know there are a lot of people that live in Davis County that are encouraging Antelope Island to be the first one done in that area,” said Angie Welling of Love Communications for Google. “There is quite a bit of Davis County representation among the recreational groups, so they’ve been pushing to have the Antelope be the first in Davis County.”
Welling did not confirm that Google will come to the park, however, and said the members of Google “typically don’t release any information about where they’re going until a few days before they go out and start mapping.”
Regarding Deer Creek, Ranger Steve Bullock said the trail is very popular among bikers and hikers, as well as anglers and many other outdoor groups.
“Thanks to Google, people around the world will be able to see what we have to offer in more detail than ever before,” he said.
For more information about the Street View program, visit google.com/help/maps/mapcontent/streetview/faq.html.
BY SUE WARREN
SYRACUSE – “I like bread and butter/I like toast and jam….”
Remember that song from the 1960s by the Newbeats? Who doesn’t like bread and butter, and toast and jam, for that matter? A thick slice of homemade bread slathered with butter has been a perennial favorite with kids as a snack. In fact, some form of butter has been known to civilizations around the world for several thousand years.
The simple pleasures of life like fresh butter weren’t always so easily gotten by picking up a pound at the store, conveniently wrapped into four individual sticks. Churning cream into butter was a frequent farm chore across the United States for housewives and older children.
After milking the cow, or cows, the fresh milk could be collected in larger milk cans and partially submerged in a spring house if you were lucky enough to have access to one to be kept chilled until the cream separated and rose to the top.
For those who remember the days of home milk delivery, especially in the winter, cream would rise to the top and the cold air would freeze the air in the cream causing it to mushroom up and over the top of the milk bottle.
Once the cream was separated from the milk, it was put in a butter churn and after several hours of turning a paddle, plunging a plunger, or rocking an enclosed container built on curved rockers, you would have thickened butter and the by-product of butter milk. Adding some salt would improve the taste and the butter could be used for cooking and baking or be molded into bricks for table use.
In the days before reliable refrigeration, salting the butter helped keep it from going rancid so quickly and probably improved the taste, as unsalted butter is pretty bland.
Like eggs, butter was a highly portable and tradable commodity. Farm wives found these products useful to barter for items they couldn’t produce on their farm or sell to the general store merchant for cash.
Today, for anyone who has used an electric beater to beat heavy cream to make chantilly – whipped cream – just by adding sugar instead of salt, you know you have a sweet topping for desserts. You also know how easy it is to beat past the soft peaks stage and, suddenly, you have the beginnings of butter; it’s a fine line.
A new feature exhibit has just been assembled at the Syracuse Museum and Cultural Center which showcases the museum’s wonderful collection of butter-making equipment and related items.
On display you’ll see a rare wooden butter rocker from the 1830s, as well as a plunger-style churn, and two different churns operated by crank handles and a simple gear wheel mechanism; one is a glass Dazey churn and one is a Banner churn made of metal.
There is also a barrel churn on legs with a paddle spinner turned by a handle. Cream pails, a butter paddle spoon, butter molds and butter dishes round out the exhibit for a fascinating look into the past. This new feature exhibit is running concurrently with the display of honey pots.
The Syracuse Museum and Cultural Center’s hours are Tuesdays -Thursdays from 2-5 p.m. and by appointment by calling 801-825-3633. It is located on 1700 South (Antelope Drive) just before 2000 West, Syracuse.
CLEARFIELD -The Clearfield High School theater program got a big boost thanks to a partnership fund raiser with Ed Kenley Ford.
“We raised nearly $6,500 for the school auditorium that day,” said CHS student government advisor LeNina M. Wimmer.
“We had 250 drivers and many more come and enjoy the carnival with their families,” she said. In addition, individual school clubs raised about $500.
“We had a lot of parental support. It was a nice event,” said Kenley CEO Jewel Lee Kenley.
Student drivers had 10 cars to choose from for their test drives. Ford donated $20 for each test drive completed.
Parents served as escorts for their teenage drivers, partially so those involved wouldn’t feel like it was a sales event, she said.
“It was more about getting to know the car,” Kenley said.
The Drive 4 UR School program has been co-sponsored by Ford for many years. Kenley’s involvement goes back several years, starting initially with Syracuse High.
BY LYNN ARAVE
SYRACUSE — The west half of Gordon Avenue (1000 North), one of the main corridors into west Layton and Syracuse, is currently undergoing some major sewer line repair.
Any motorists who use the road will experience possible traffic disruption this spring and summer.
The project is proceeding west from Layton’s Main Street (State Road 126) and phase one is currently runs from there to the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks.
The project will continue west into Syracuse on 2700 South and will conclude this fall when it reaches 2000 West in Syracuse, a total span of almost five miles.
The North Davis Sewer District is retrofitting its major 36-inch sewer trunk line in the area.
Installed in the 1950s, the nearly 60-year-old pipe needs repair.
BJ Riggins, a superintendent with C&L Water Solutions of Colorado, who North Davis Sewer District has contracted with for the project, said the work involves “putting a pipe inside a pipe.”
He said bypass pumping of the waste water will be required into above ground pipes to bypass the area being worked on. That process will produce the biggest disruptions for motorists.
It is the lack of left-hand turns in the work area, or through traffic at intersections, which will be the biggest hassles for motorists.
Riggins said the pipe installation involves little trenching, but is slow work.
For example, he doesn’t expect 2200 West – the first key intersection the project will involve – to be reached until June or July. That intersection may have to be closed for days during the work there.
Two elementary schools — Ellison Park in Layton and Bluff Ridge in Syracuse – will also be affected by the sewer project. Riggins said his company is working with the schools to ensure student safety and efficient busing during the work.
Bluff Ridge likely won’t be reached until late summer.
Riggins said workers will try to keep intersections open as best they can. However, left-hand turns and through traffic is restricted during work hours at Gordon Avenue and Angel Street.
Also, left-hand turns are currently restricted 24 hours a day onto Gordon Avenue at 1140 West, Laytona streets and some other nearby access points.
Detour signs will be posted when necessary.
The project started the afternoon of April 22 when pipelines were dropped in the middle of Gordon Avenue, from Main Street to the railroad tracks.
The City of Syracuse is hosting its second annual Military Appreciation Picnic this Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Canterbury Park, 1600 S. 2500 West.
A barbecue will include hamburgers and hot dogs, there will be a bounce house and more activities. Many local businesses and residents are helping sponsor the event.
BY TOM BUSSELBERG
SYRACUSE – The new Syracuse Community & Economic Development director didn’t have to move very far to assume her new role.
Sherrie Christensen still had to pack her belongings, but the move was literally to the office next door. The former city planner was approved by the city council to take on the new position early last month.
She replaces Michael Eggett, who has moved to the City of Riverdale where he is working in that same position.
Christensen, who served as city planner for about nine months, expressed optimism about where the city is headed.
“So far this year, we’ve issued 64 single family housing permits,” she said in late April. “We did 152 in all of last year.”
At 42 percent of last year’s numbers, building permit activity is showing strong signs of further recovery. Before the 2007-08 economic downturn, Syracuse had been among the fastest growing cities in the nation, proportionately.
“I know of more (building projects) being reviewed, others who are waiting” to formally apply, she said, adding, “We’re definitely busy.”
A public hearing on a rezone of the Steed property at 700 S. Bluff Road is one sign landowners and others believe the building picture is turning around.
Various city approvals had been granted in 2007 but then work was put on hold due to the economic downturn, Christensen said.
The site being considered now is closer to 3000 West than the previous proposal.
But a lot still depends on what preferred alignment is put forward by the Utah Department of Transportation. That word is expected sometime this month.
Several other subdivisions and rezones are in the works, as well, she said.
“The State Road 193 construction is moving along,” meanwhile, Christensen said. Initial work on sound walls is evident along much of the route.
“Sales tax is up,” she said turning to revenue coming to the city, That is in part due to the opening of several new businesses, including Rib Shack and Evolutionary Martial Arts in the WalMart shopping center.
Christensen said a recent survey indicates residents would like to see a variety of new businesses in Syracuse, including an auto dealership, as well as dealers of boats and ATVs.
“I would love to see a hotel” built in the city, she said, hopefully close to Antelope Island.
“It would be awesome as a place for people to stay on their way to and from the island,” the economic development director said. “I think people would prefer to stay near the island when visiting, because there’s so much to do on the island.”
Such a possibility might develop connected with completion of the West Davis Corridor Р but that’s only conjecture currently.
Christensen is passionate about her job, always having an interest in planning and related fields. Previous experience includes seven years with Summit County, where she handled planning duties for four small communities.
She has also worked for Morgan County and first became very familiar with Davis County when serving an internship with the community and economic development office there.
Planning duties are now under the direction of Jenny Schow, who has experience working as a city planner in Riverton.
SYRACUSE — An article in the April 17 issue of The Islander, “County continues Syracuse investigation,” contained some incorrect information.
The investigation is indeed continuing, County Attorney Troy Rawlings confirmed Thursday. Council woman Karianne Lisonbee had said in an earlier issue that “I believe a person is innocent until proven guilty. I believe it is the role of our judicial system to decide guilt or innocence under the law, rather than the media or individual citizens.”
The April 17 article inferred that she would not comment further. However, Lisonbee was not asked for further comment before the April 17 article appeared.