|Tuesday, May 17, 2005|
It's almost the end of the road for I-15 reconstruction condemnation cases and taxpayers just got a $3 million reprieve. The latest dispute involved Price Development and claims that the highway project would decrease the value of its industrial park. However, the arbitrator found no damages and said no to Price Development's $3 million request.
The dispute was over the condemnation of a parking lot strip and the erection of an 80 foot high "fly-over"-a highway section that connects west bound I-80 traffic with I-15. Price Development said it would lower rents and increase vacancies at its Time Square industrial park at 2300 South 300 West.
"In civil cases, the goal of the Attorney General's Office is to be fair and protect taxpayer's money. This decision achieves both ends," says Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Price also alleged damages associated with a loss of view and visibility; damages due to an increase in noise, smoke, dust and fumes; along with damages from potential flooding problems associated with the adjacent retention pond.
Once again, the arbitrator found no damages. His opinion states there was no evidence of overall rents being adversely impacted, nor had vacancies increased from the time period prior to the reconstruction. Nor were there any damages associated with increased traffic along either I-80 or I-15.
Additional evidence showed that similarly situated properties along I-15 had also not declined in value due to the reconstruction. The arbitrator did agree that the state should pay $231,618 for property that was condemned for the project and $180,859 to pay for the replacement or relocation of an outdoor advertising sign.
"We proved that the Time Square project has not suffered, and is not likely to suffer, any damages as a result of the construction of the fly-over," says Assistant Attorney General Jerrold Jensen. Both Jensen and Assistant Attorney General Randy Hunter represented UDOT during the arbitration.
An independent arbitrator was chosen by both sides to settle the matter. In binding arbitration such as this case, neither party has any right of appeal. The state attorneys only have a few more cases to resolve involving the I-15 reconstruction project. So far they have handled more than 150 condemnation cases.
Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), Leonard Blackham took the opportunity to pitch expanded agricultural trade with Argentina during talks about water and irrigation issues with one of the country’s provincial governors at the State Capitol.
(Salt Lake City, UT) – "Don’t worry about me, save my brother," John Dehaan called out to approaching rescuers as he struggled to keep his brother’s head above the icy cold waters of Utah Lake. John and his brother, Ted, were duck hunting when their small boat capsized on a cold afternoon in late November 2004.
When the Utah County Search and Rescue Team brought the brothers ashore, Ted wasn’t breathing and his heart wasn’t beating. The rescue team immediately began CPR, which they did for over 30 minutes until AIRMED Air Ambulance arrived at the scene. The AIRMED team continued CPR on Ted in flight despite the difficulty and risk of doing so in the air, but knowing it was Ted’s only chance for survival. They arrived at the University Medical Center Emergency Department with Ted showing no signs of life and a core temperature of 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit. He was immediately taken to the operating room, placed on cardiac bypass for warming, and after almost four hours of CPR, a pulse was finally detected. After having one of the lowest core body temperatures on record, Ted survived without any brain damage due to the aggressive and coordinated emergency care.
No one was willing to give up. Because of the selfless actions of Ted’s brother and the lifesaving medical efforts, Ted is alive and now home with his wife and children.
This is just one example of the lifesaving efforts that emergency medical services (EMS) professionals provide to those in need. In 2004, approximately 140,000 Utahns (7%) of the population of Utah has been touched by EMS care and expertise.
Today, Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. recognized emergency medical professionals during the 2005 EMS Awards ceremony. Awards were presented in 13 categories to individuals and response teams who distinguished themselves through superior efforts in 2004.
"Whether career or volunteer, these men and women represent the many EMS professionals throughout the state that often risk their own safety to help others in need of emergency medical lifesaving care," said Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. "They will sacrifice to respond and provide rapid, reliable care to those most in need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
"EMS providers are now expected to become knowledgeable not only in the care of common trauma and medical illness, but must also be prepared to deal with hazardous materials, bioterrorism incidents, mass casualty incidents and weapons of mass destruction," said Dr. David N. Sundwall, Executive Director, UDOH. "It is an enormous responsibility that professional and volunteer members of the EMS system carry to protect and care for us at a moments notice."
The annual EMS Awards ceremony begins National EMS Week, May 15-21, 2005. The 2005 National EMS Week’s theme is -- EMS: Ready, Responsive, Reliable.
"The national theme reflects the commitment and dedication of EMS professionals," said Jan Buttrey, Director, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, UDOH. "EMS professionals are always ready because they are available anywhere and any time. They are reliable in responding to all kinds of medical emergencies."