The Pony Express Rodeo in Eagle Mountain was recently awarded “Best Rodeo of the Year” in its state and category by the PRCA Wilderness Circuit.

Each rodeo in the circuit falls into one of three classes: small, medium, or large, based on payout amounts from each rodeo. The Eagle Mountain Rodeo won “Best Rodeo of the Year” for the Small category in Utah.

The rodeo, a staple hosted around the time of Eagle Mountain’s annual Pony Express Days, has been running for more than 10 years. This is the first award of its kind awarded to the Pony Express Events Board.

“It says, ‘hey, look, we put on the best rodeo in our circuit,’” says Jared Gray, member of the Eagle Mountain City Council and president of the Eagle Mountain Rodeo Committee.

The award for Best Rodeo is voted on by the cowboys who compete at each rodeo throughout the circuit.

“I think that it shows a lot of things,” says Gray. “Number one: the cowboys like to come here. It means that we’re going to get high-quality professionals.”

Gray has been the president of the Pony Express Events Board for nine years and says the 2022 season was the best year the rodeo has seen.

Though not entirely, this year was the closest the event has been to selling out the rodeo grounds.

“Even our first night, Thursday night, was almost full. That’s awesome,” says Gray.

Attendance at the rodeo continues to grow each year. Gray anticipates that growth will continue.

“When you’re on top, it’s easier to stay on top,” says Gray. “We’re going to be held to a higher standard, but we’re going to be able to keep that higher standard because we’re going to put on a better rodeo.”

The rodeo’s board of directors is made up of Eagle Mountain resident volunteers and surrounding community members.

“It’s nonstop,” says Gray of the work it takes to put on the rodeo each year.

Gray recognizes that the rodeo would not be successful without its board of directors, or without Bar-T, the rodeo’s stock contractor.

“Having a good stock plays a big part in winning the rodeo of the year. It helps that we have Bar-T Rodeo and great animal athletes as well to help us win,” says Gray.

The Pony Express Events Board is already looking forward to next year’s rodeo, which will be held the second weekend in June during Eagle Mountain’s Pony Express Days.

Gray says now is the “perfect time” for residents to get excited about next year’s rodeo, which will run June 8-10.

Power outages can happen unexpectedly and may impact not only the community, but the economy as well.

Loss of power may disrupt communications, water supplies and transportation.

Modern-day retail businesses rely on power to conduct business. If a gas station is affected by the outage, gas pumps will not operate, ATM’s will not work for banking and other services. Refrigerated and frozen foods may spoil. Medical devices that rely on electricity will not function.

How can the public prepare for such circumstances? How do we stay safe and protected during an outage? Here are some tips from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
  • Use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
  • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
  • Check with local officials about heating and cooling locations open near you.

How to protect yourself during a power outage

Go to a community location with power if heat or cold is extreme.

Preparing for a power outage

Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.

Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.

Know your medical needs

Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.

Using appliances during power outages

Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.

Avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators, camp stoves and charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.

Food storage

Have enough nonperishable food and water in storage for use during a power outage. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.

The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if left unopened. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours if left unopened. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.

Generator safety

Generators can be helpful when the power goes out. However, it is important to know how to use them safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards.

  • Generators and fuel should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and attached garages.
  • Install working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill you, your family and pets.
  • Keep the generator dry and protected from rain or flooding. Touching a wet generator or devices connected to it can cause electrical shock.
  • Use heavy-duty extension cords to connect the generator to appliances.
  • Let the generator cool before refueling. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts can ignite.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Returning after a power outage

When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.

If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label states otherwise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately for a new supply.

For more details the Department of Homeland Security has prepared this printable Power Outage Information Sheet.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 12, Eagle Mountain resident and Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Joel Baker was killed in a car accident on his way to work.

According to a press release from the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Baker leaves behind his wife Valerie and their young son.

Baker is remembered by his colleagues at the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office as someone who was always looking for an opportunity to help. According to a fundraiser organized by his colleagues, Baker was always thoughtful of others.

“Joel would always ask, ‘Are you good, do you need anything?’” they wrote on the fundraising page.

Before working at the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy, Baker had also worked with the Utah Department of Corrections.

“On Saturday, Joel would always order his crew a pizza from Big Daddy’s and stock the breakroom freezer full of ice cream; he wanted to ensure everyone had something to eat no matter what,” said the fundraising site.

His co-workers weren’t the only ones looking to organize help for Baker’s family. Eagle Mountain resident Allie Bryant also offered her services to help support the Baker family as soon as she learned of Baker’s passing.

Bryant, who owns Desert Sky Photography in Eagle Mountain, decided she would host 15-minute, Christmas-themed “mini sessions” in her home. She then planned to donate the proceeds in their entirety to the Baker family.

“Please consider booking and supporting them during this unimaginably difficult time! Donations are of course welcome either way,” wrote Bryant in a Facebook post to the Eagle Mountain City Citizens Facebook Page.

Comments and messages started pouring in. Three days of photography time slots were booked within 48 hours.

Bryant, who has been a friend of Deputy Baker’s wife Valerie, says they met at a fitness class.

“She is one of the most genuine people I know with the best personality,” says Bryant. “You won’t meet a kinder soul.”

Though she did not know Deputy Joel Baker, Bryant says Valerie and Joel had a special bond.

Their one-year-old son was the light of their lives, according to Bryant.

Following news of his passing, many Eagle Mountain residents told of their relationship to Deputy Baker on the Eagle Mountain City Citizen’s Facebook Page.

“Joel was an awesome guy, We were friends while he worked at the prison. He will be missed,” said Nique Mower.

Funeral arrangements for Deputy Baker are pending.

Snowy Road

How does snow form?

In the play “The King & I,” Anna Leonowens, a British tutor hired by King Mongkut of Siam to be his children’s schoolteacher, participates in the following conversation as she is conducting class:

Crown Prince Chulalongkorn: “Snow? Snow? Spots of lace?”

Anna: “Yes, Your Highness.”

Crown Prince Chulalongkorn: “The water freezes on the way down from the sky? And the raindrops turn into little stars?”

Anna: “Yes, Your Highness. Some are shaped like stars, small and white.”

Crown Prince Chulalongkorn: “I do not believe such thing as snow!”

Here in Eagle Mountain, we believe in this phenomenon called snow. It is welcomed by children, winter sports enthusiasts and all who love the beauty of winter.

On the other hand, it can mean shoveling sidewalks and driveways, and often brings traffic problems.

Blizzards can bring life to an abrupt stop and cause loss of life and property. But do we know the how’s and why’s of this thing called snow?

Water Droplet Formation

Clouds form when water vapor turns back into liquid water through condensation. Think of dew forming on grass. For condensation to occur, a solid particle or surface is necessary. Water droplets in the cooling air mass condense around tiny particles in the atmosphere, such as soot, pollen, dust or dirt.

Basic conditions

Winter snowstorm conditions arise when a mass of warm, moist air rises from the Earth’s surface into colder layers of the atmosphere.

Several scenarios can take place: A warm, moist air mass can collide with a cold air mass, forcing the warm air above the cold air. Warm air can also cool by traveling up a mountain slope. A third process is called ‘lake-effect snow,’ and occurs when cold, dry air moves over a lake and pushes warmer water vapor upward. The rising warmer air that contains water vapor forms a cloud.

Snow crystal formation

As the cloud containing water droplets rises into higher, cooler layers of the atmosphere, or as cooler air moves in to lower the temperature, water droplets freeze into ice and snow crystals.

Snow formation has a lot in common with rain formation and starts with these water droplets. These freeze into different forms of snow crystals depending on the temperature and atmospheric conditions.

According to Sciencing, upper atmosphere temperatures where water droplets occur need to be cold for crystal formation. Ice crystals start to form once cloud temperatures reach about 14° Fahrenheit or lower.

Individual snow crystals grow by colliding with each other to form larger, symmetrical snow crystals, which fall when they become heavy. Air that is between 32° to 35° Fahrenheit usually brings the heaviest snowfalls.

Crystals change their shape as they fall depending on the temperatures they encounter, but they always keep a six-sided shape with identical arms because each arm encounters the same conditions. Ground temperature is also important to snow formation, with snow forming only when the ground is below 41° Fahrenheit.

Variations in snow crystals

Sciencing further explains the snow crystal shapes depend on temperatures. From 32° to 25° Fahrenheit, thin hexagonal plates form. Needles form from 25° to 21° Fahrenheit, and hollow columns form at 21° to 14° Fahrenheit.

Stellar plates resembling six-petaled flowers result when temperatures range from 14° to 10° Fahrenheit. Familiar six-armed dendrites occur from 10° to 3° Fahrenheit. Many snow crystals can group together to form one snowflake. Most snowflakes are 1.3 cm or less in diameter (0.5”), but some large flakes can be 5 cm (2”) wide.

Snowflake types and the conditions in which snowflakes form.

Snow and sound

People often notice how sound changes after a fresh snowfall. When the ground has a thick layer of fresh, fluffy snow, sound waves are readily absorbed into the snow surface, dampening sound.

Time and weather conditions may change the snow surface. If the surface melts and refreezes, the snow becomes smooth and hard. Then the surface will help reflect sound waves. Sounds may seem clearer and travel farther under these circumstances.

Snow may also crunch and squeak. A layer of snow is made up of many tiny ice grains surrounded by air, and when it is walked on, these grains are compressed.

As the snow compresses, the ice grains rub against each other. This creates friction or resistance, the lower the temperature, the greater the friction between the grains of ice. The sudden squashing of the snow at lower temperatures produces the familiar squeaking sound. The colder the snow, the louder the squeak.


Graupel consists of snowflakes that become rounded, opaque pellets ranging from 2 to 5 millimeters (0.1 to 0.2”) in diameter. They form as ice crystals fall through supercooled cloud droplets, which are below freezing but remain a liquid.

The cloud droplets then freeze to the crystals, forming a lumpy mass. Graupel is sometimes mistaken for hail but tends to have a texture that is softer and more crumbly, similar to tiny Styrofoam pellets. Graupel is sometimes called snow pellets.

To learn more about the phenomenon of snow you may visit the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Eagle Mountain City has been working to find solutions to supply chain issues related to water meter transmitters.  

The devices, used to digitally capture water utility usage in the city, can malfunction due to construction, soil acidity and the age of the device.  

“We obviously don’t want any broken transmitters,” says Eagle Mountain Utilities Manager Mack Straw. “Due to supply chain shortages, replacing them has become difficult.”  

For the past six years, Eagle Mountain has been installing the Sensus IPearl ¾ inch or 1-inch smart point radio transmitter. Supply chain shortages, combined with the pace of Eagle Mountain’s housing growth, has limited the number of repairs to malfunctioning devices over the past two years.  

“Ideally, as a city, you want to minimize these occurrences,” says Straw. “Instead, it has been quite difficult to resolve the issue due to circumstances outside our control.” 

As a result, some residents may have noticed potential inaccuracies on their water utility bills, or a relatively sizeable, corrected amount due on their bill following a manual water meter reading.  

In response, Eagle Mountain City has sent meter technicians to manually read thousands of water meters in the past year. Water meter readers correctly capture the water used, but malfunctioning transmitters can result in an inaccurate electronic read.  

“We want to ensure accuracy,” says Eagle Mountain City Finance Director Kimberly Ruesch. “If residents have a concern, we are always willing to review their billing statements and re-read meters when needed.” 

Due to Eagle Mountain’s naturally acidic soil, construction, or battery issues, about 10% of the smart point readers are inoperable in the community. 

Knowing when meters have malfunctioned, however, has become a key aspect of focus for Eagle Mountain City. Currently, bills that meet certain criteria are flagged for manual readings to ensure accuracy and check the smart point readers for proper functioning.  

In the past, the volume of meter misreads disallowed the City to manually inspect it within the billing period. In these cases, an average bill amount has been applied and accurate billing information is applied when a meter technician is available to reach a property at a later date.  

“The City is looking into options to resolve these matters,” says City Administrator Paul Jerome. “We don’t want to return to the 1990s, but given supply chain shortages, other methods such as hiring a manual meter reader may be the most efficient method of resolving this for residents.” 

Eagle Mountain City indicated that if supply chain issues persist, and growth of new building continues to slow, replacing all malfunctioning smart point radio transmitters may still take 18 months. 

The accuracy of meter readings in general has become a cause of concern for some Eagle Mountain City residents. On the Eagle Mountain City Citizens Facebook page, several residents recently pointed out the volume of water usage and the associated cost of the bill.  

“When smart points begin to fail, the read being sent is lower than the actual read,” says Ruesch. “In most cases what residents are noticing is an adjusted amount once a manual read has taken place to true up their billing for water that has been used but not billed yet.” 

While pointing out the vast majority of bills do not have meters with faulty transmitters, Eagle Mountain City encourages residents to review their monthly statements to ensure an added layer of accuracy and to minimize the occurrence of inaccuracy.  

“What we’re finding is that economic factors outside of our control are clashing with the growth of Eagle Mountain,” says Ruesch. 

In the interim, Eagle Mountain City’s Water Department has committed to manually reading all the malfunctioning transmitters to ensure high-quality service for consumers.  

If residents are concerned about the accuracy of their utility bills, they may contact the City’s Utility Billing office at 801-789-6609 or  

Eagle Mountain residents are asked to stop fertilizing their lawns beginning Nov. 15 and not resume fertilizing until March 1.

Larry Diamond, storm drain supervisor for Eagle Mountain City, explains the dangers of fertilizing lawns during this time of year.

“The lawn is not going to use the fertilizer,” says Diamond of the cold weather seasons. “It’s just going to all flow downstream and then go down into the Tickville Wash where it eventually makes its way into the lake.”

If a resident fertilizes during the winter when the ground is hard or frozen, the lawn will not gain any nutrients, according to Diamond. Instead, the fertilizer will be washed into storm drains by wind and snow which can have a detrimental impact on wildlife and water quality.

Experts have identified that among the primary culprits of harmful algal blooms plaguing Utah Lake are Nitrogen and Phosphorus, the two main ingredients in common lawn fertilizer.

“Stormwater runoff and groundwater leaching can carry excess fertilizer into our waterways and eventually into the rivers and lakes,” says Diamond. “Once there, the nutrients in fertilizer support the excessive growth of phytoplankton and algae in the lakes.”

According to Diamond, this process is called “eutrophication.”

Eutrophication can negatively impact the lake’s ecosystem in many ways by creating low dissolved oxygen conditions, making the water more turbid, leading to declines in seagrass and changing the types of animals and plants that inhabit the waters.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) detected harmful algae in pockets of high concentration at several locales around Utah Lake. Recreationists are discouraged from swimming, water skiing, or even boating in these areas.

According to UDEQ, toxins produced by harmful algal blooms can lead to gastrointestinal illness, skin irritation, or even liver, neurological, or respiratory problems in extreme cases.

Harmful algal blooms typically occur in late summer and early fall when recreationists are still enjoying the water and can therefore be considered a threat to health and safety.

By avoiding fertilizing in the fall and winter, Eagle Mountain residents can help prevent algal blooms in Utah Lake during peak recreation seasons.

Diamond says that the City’s Storm Water department has plans to track the nitrogen and phosphorus and the total amount of dissolved solids that find their way into Tickville Wash so they can see exactly how much pollution Eagle Mountain contributes to the lake.

The Storm Water department will use this information to adjust its public outreach & education efforts to best suit the needs of the community.

In addition to ceasing fertilization during the colder months, Eagle Mountain residents can also help reduce the city’s impact on lake pollution by fertilizing responsibly during the spring and summer.

“Any fertilizer that’s landed in hard landscapes, like on the road and concrete and on the sidewalk, the driveways, should be swept up and disposed of,” explains Diamond.

Fertilizer that is left on the sidewalk, or in the road, can be easily washed down the storm drain. For this reason, Diamond also discourages residents from fertilizing during, or before, heavy rainfall.

“That also creates sheet flow and then will just run all the fertilizer off into the storm drain system and then dump it into the Tickville Wash and surrounding bodies of water,” says Diamond.

Fertilizing during the winter is also not in a resident’s best financial interest.

Since the ground is too hard for the lawn to gain benefits from the fertilizer, residents are not only flushing harmful chemicals down the storm drains, but the cost associated with it as well.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office Eagle Mountain division wants residents to have the information necessary to understand traffic and speeding enforcement.

Eagle Mountain City perennially contracts its law enforcement services through the Sheriff’s Office. This is done to improve efficiency and for a cost savings to Eagle Mountain residents.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon, public information officer for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, answered several questions pertaining to speeding enforcement in Eagle Mountain.

Do officers with the UCSO have a quota they must meet for citations given?

Several residents in Eagle Mountain and other areas of Utah County have wondered if officers are required to give out a certain number of traffic citations each month.

“No, there’s not,” says Cannon. “In fact, …it’s against the law to give quotas.”

Sgt. Cannon says there is not a requirement or a limit on how many tickets an officer can administer, provided officers are not issuing tickets to motorists who did not commit any violations.

Instead of providing officers with a quota, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office expects its deputies to handle their responsibilities in order of highest priority. A deputy’s first priority should be responding to any ongoing calls that require law enforcement’s attention. According to Cannon, these calls could be any number of scenarios, such as a burglary, public disturbance or an automobile accident.

“When they don’t have those kinds of things that they’re responding to, they’re supposed to spend time out and about being visible, driving through areas,” says Cannon.

He says that it is the hope of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office that if more officers can spend time in the visibility of the public, it will encourage more people to slow down and drive cautiously.

“Ultimately, we think people ought to follow the traffic laws because it’s the right thing to do,” says Cannon. “But if they’re not going to do it because that’s the right thing to do, let’s have them slow down because they’re afraid of getting caught.”

In a study conducted out of Louisiana State University Medical Center, researchers found that physical police presence is the most effective strategy of speed reduction. The study showed that even the presence of an unmanned police vehicle reduced the number of motorists exceeding the speed limit by more than 30%.

“You know, I’ve been a cop for 32 years. When I’m driving down the road and I see a cop, I get nervous,” says Sgt. Cannon.

Are incidents of excessive speeding increasing?

Eagle Mountain residents have been made aware of a few isolated incidents of excessive speeding on local roadways, with three in the past two months.

In September, a driver was stopped for exceeding the speed limit by 60 mph on SR-73. In October, one motorist was stopped for driving 56 mph over the limit on Eagle Mountain Blvd. and another for going 39 mph over on Ranches Pkwy.

Sgt. Cannon says these events are not necessarily increasing in frequency but depend on the time of day and whether the motorist is aware of police presence.

“I would have a sense that we probably aren’t seeing an increase as much as we are just catching a few more right now,” says Cannon.

Cannon says that motorists are more likely to speed during rush hour when trying to make it to work on time or in certain remote areas where fewer cars may be on the road.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office seeks to mitigate these incidents by spending extra time in areas where excessive speeding has shown to be a problem.

Cannon says that if officers dedicate “some extra time making traffic stops and writing tickets, then those kinds of violations tend to go away, for at least a short time.”

For Fiscal Year 2023, Eagle Mountain City allocated additional funds to the Sheriff’s Office in Eagle Mountain to hire three additional deputies.

Can a driver have their car impounded for excessive speeding?

A motorist can have their car impounded for several reasons, such as street racing or driving under the influence. In cases of excessive speeding, however, it is up to the officer who makes the citation.

“In my experience, if I have somebody that’s doing 121 mph in a 65 mph zone, I’m going to impound their car for expedition of speed,” says Cannon.

In the cases of the recent speeding incidents, Sgt. Cannon was not able to comment on why the motorists’ cars were not impounded as he did not have adequate relevant information.

What are the numbers for this year?

As of mid-October, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office had made 4,412 traffic stops, with 560 of those stops in September of this year.

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 10, 2022, 116 DUI arrests were made in Utah County, with 13 of those arrests in September.

2,057 citations have been issued so far this year, with about half pertaining to more than one violation. The total number of traffic violations to date for 2022 is 3,386.

Important Information for residents

For crimes in progress and life-threatening emergencies, dial 911.

Individuals who would like to report crimes not in progress or request domesticated animal control services, residents should contact the Sheriff’s non-emergency dispatch at (801) 794-3970.

With winter having arrived somewhat early, it’s a good time to remind residents that vehicles must be moved off the road so the snowplows can clear the roads quickly and efficiently for safe travel.

“As our winter storms arrive, please be mindful of the weather outlook and allow extra time for travel,” says Zac Hilton, Streets Department Manager. “Drive cautiously when roads are slick. Be patient with other drivers. Your safety is important to us.”

It is unlawful to park vehicles, trailers, or other property constituting obstructions to traffic on the streets of Eagle Mountain City from Nov. 1 to March 15 of the succeeding year whenever snow accumulates on streets in the city. [Eagle Mountain Municipal Code 10.10.050]

“When you are driving and see snowplows in the area, please give them right-of-way, as needed, so they can do their job,” says Hilton. “As you follow behind, the road will be in better condition for your drive.”

During snowstorms, the City’s Streets Department operates as many as 10 snowplows of varying sizes, removing snow and salting roads around the clock if necessary. They plow around 225 miles of road in Eagle Mountain during the winter season.

Road priorities

SR-73 is maintained by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT).

The City strives to maintain safe traction for vehicles. Due to the high cost of snow and ice removal, dry pavement should not be expected on all streets in all storms. Eagle Mountain City has five snowplow trucks with salt spreaders. Streets are plowed and salted in order of priority.

PRIORITY 1 – Arterial roads (Eagle Mountain Blvd, Ranches Parkway, and Pony Express Parkway)

PRIORITY 2 – Collector roads, school zones, hills and curves

PRIORITY 3 – Residential, alleyways, cul-de-sacs (please be aware cul-de-sacs are salted instead of plowed due to space limitations)

PRIORITY 4 – Unimproved roads

During severe storms, the Streets Department may only get to the first priority streets as those roads must remain as clear as possible.

Second and third priority will get cleared, however it may take a couple of days after a large storm or during extreme cold. Clearing may be postponed if unseasonal warmth is expected following soon after a storm.

For questions or concerns regarding the snowplow policy please contact the City’s Streets Department at

Snowplows have names

Keep your eye out for the City’s snowplows because they have names. The names are located on the plow – Slush Puppy, Old Salty, Plowasaurus Rex, Snow Way Jose, Blizzard Wizard, Plowy McPlowface and Scrapes of Wrath.


Homeowners are responsible for snow and ice removal on sidewalks and driveways. No snow or ice should be removed from private property and placed on the nearby roadways.

In addition, the street plowing process may create a build-up of snow in front of driveways. It would be neither cost nor time effective for city snowplow drivers to stop and assist in clearing this build-up in front of driveways.

The City asks for the understanding and cooperation of homeowners.

Fire hydrants

It is the residents’ responsibility to clear snow from around fire hydrants that are in front of their home.

Eagle Mountain’s proposed Transportation Master Plan will be receiving some additional research and consideration prior to final approval.

During their Sept. 20 meeting, the Eagle Mountain City Council moved to table the Transportation Master Plan after concerns were voiced both by residents and council members on several key aspects of the plan.

Once adopted, The Transportation Master Plan is anticipated to greatly diminish the effects growth will have on City infrastructure over the next 30 years.

Certain changes are necessary to maintain acceptable levels of service and accessibility as the population continues to increase.

Potential interference with wildlife corridor

The Transportation Master Plan returned for further consideration as a discussion item at the Oct. 18 City Council meeting.

Once adopted the plan will help prevent such congestion by proposing to expand and lengthen roadways to provide more access points in and out of Eagle Mountain.

It will also aid in planning for an anticipated freeway that UDOT has proposed to construct through the Cedar Valley within the next 10-20 years.

The introduction of a freeway sparked some concern from both council members and residents who feared it may impede the existing Mule Deer Migration Corridor in Eagle Mountain.

City engineers had previously identified potential problem areas where the proposed freeway may conflict with the wildlife corridor but did not give specifics for how the conflicts would be mitigated.

Bettina Cameron, president of the Eagle Mountain Nature and Wildlife Alliance, shared her concerns over the lack of specificity surrounding the wildlife conflict mitigation procedures, saying there is only one statement in the plan that addresses what should be done if a road crosses the wildlife corridor.

“We really are hoping that you at least table the parts that deal with the wildlife corridor,” said Cameron. “What we’re asking is at least give us the opportunity, and Mr. [Todd] Black [City Wildlife Biologist], to work with the City to put some wording in here to toughen up some of these mitigation efforts.”

According to Cameron, Eagle Mountain’s wildlife is what makes Eagle Mountain unique and keeps residents in the area.

“Failure to act now and protect why many residents live in Eagle Mountain will lead to a story of tragedy,” said Cameron. “The wildlife corridor guarantees there will always be wildlife, open spaces, and expansive views. You help ensure these wonderful qualities of our city aren’t loved to death.”

Cameron’s plea on behalf of the Cedar Valley’s wildlife inspired another resident, Jordan Maddox, who was attending the meeting for a different agenda item.

“I am somebody who’s bought into the North Ranch neighborhood,” Maddox said. “The appeal for us was to get some of the larger lots, to kind of have that wildlife feel, the rural feel, the space feel. I am somebody who loves the wildlife. …So it would be concerning to me as a citizen who lives in that neighborhood to feel like that freeway is just going to be dead-heading right in the space that…is a lot of the really cool things that makes Eagle Mountain so special.”

Maddox says she would love to see the future freeway moved to the west, even if it is farther out of the way.

Implementation of bike lanes

The City Council addressed comments from Councilmember Colby Curtis, who expressed concerns over whether bike lanes were an efficient use of valuable road space.

“Two percent of people use bikes and transit in Utah county, and I can’t justify spending large amounts of transportation funding on those facilities that nobody uses,” said Curtis.

Under the proposal of the TMP, bike lanes are designed to improve safety, relieve congestion, increase the visual and economic appeal of the city, and provide better quality of life by addressing health and environmental problems.

Curtis, noting this section of the plan, said he believes implementing bike lanes will discourage residents from using their automobiles in an attempt to turn Eagle Mountain into a more metropolitan area.

“The idea that we’re trying to discourage cars in favor of bicycles and other alternative methods just doesn’t sit well with me,” said Curtis.

Not all council members agreed.

Councilmember Donna Burnham was in favor of the bike lanes, noting that implementing bike lanes would help the City receive additional funding for road projects.

“I would prefer to leave the bike lanes if it helps us get the funding for those roads,” she said.

Steve Mumford, Community Development Director for the City, addressed several of the points raised by council.

“If there’s an emergency lane and the addition of a bike lane would help us obtain funding from MAG [Mountainland Association of Governments], then how do we want that to look on the roadway?” says Mumford.

Councilmember Curtis again expressed concerns that bike lanes would deprive motorists of valuable parking spaces and limit access for automobiles.

Of a wider bike lane, Mumford says there are several key considerations.

“It’s just as wide as an emergency lane, but it’s a safer bike lane,” says Mumford. “It doesn’t prohibit cars from parking there, it just provides a safer way for the bikes to travel.”

During last Tuesday’s discussion, the City Council noted that bike lanes would not lessen the morning commute many residents face when traveling to work. The average Eagle Mountain resident has a commute of almost 35 minutes one-way, according to a study by BestPlaces.

To help cut down on travel times, Councilmember Curtis explained that he would rather see the extra space on roadways used to create an additional lane of traffic.

“If we get even a hundred bikes a day – which we don’t – how many cars per day would we get on that same amount of asphalt?” he said.

Councilmember Burnham again expressed support for the bike lanes, wanting to avoid more construction should a more urgent need for bike lanes arise in the future.

“[With] those main thoroughfares, we need to have that consideration,” she said.

Tabling the Transportation Master Plan

Noting the concerns expressed by the City Council and residents about interference with the wildlife corridor, bike lanes, and subsequent updates to city code, Council unanimously voted to table the Transportation Master Plan for consideration a later date.

The plan will be revised following research to address the Council’s concerns and will be presented to Council again at a future City Council meeting.

Eagle Mountain City will keep residents up-to-date concerning the Transportation Master Plan and when it will again be listed on City Council meeting agendas. Residents who have questions, comments or concerns are encouraged to attend City Council meetings for public comment.

Some of Eagle Mountain City’s departments have recently moved to expanded facilities to accommodate the additional staff that are now needed to adequately provide service to residents.

Where local needs used to be effortlessly managed by a handful of employees, the Community Development Department, now at 22 on staff, is ready to assist residents with their various needs in Building, Planning, Business Licensing and the Neighborhood Improvement Department.

These departments are now located at 3726 E. Campus Dr., Suites D and H.

This location is conveniently located for residents directly east of the Maverick station at the intersection of Ranches Parkway and Cory Wride Memorial Highway (SR-73).

Suite D, on the first floor to your left as you enter, houses Business Licensing and Neighborhood Improvement. Suite H, on the 2nd floor, contains the general offices for Building and Planning. There is an elevator as well as stairs to access the second floor.

According to Eagle Mountain City Administrator Paul Jerome, it proved more fiscally responsible to lease space from the Direct Communications building, which had room available, compared to building.

The leasing costs are well below current rates for similar leasing.

“Even continuing the lease well into the future will provide a substantial savings over the concept of constructing a new building to meet the City’s needs,” says Jerome. “Although this gives the City a little reprieve from a space standpoint in the existing buildings, there will be a time in the future where constructing additional space rather than leasing will become necessary.”

The Engineering, Parks, Recreation and Streets Departments are still located at 2565 N. Pony Express Parkway. Phone numbers for all City departments remain the same. Office hours remain M-F from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., excluding holidays.

The expanded staff in all departments stand ready to help with your residential needs.

To further assist residents with questions, many of the inquiries residents have regarding building and planning may be answered on the Eagle Mountain City website.

Information regarding the various requirements of basement finishing, adding accessory buildings, patio covers, decks, solar installation, pools, retaining walls, needed inspections and much more are found on the website under Departments – Community Development – Building.

Helpful information for all City departments, as well as City government, is accessible on the website.

There are FAQs, contact information for every department, news, City employment opportunities and our calendar of City meetings, events and activities.