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Friday, June 22, 2012

$325,000 payment from Huntsville City to Weber School District missing

Home Abstract and Title Company president faces theft, obstructing justice charges

In today's Standard Examiner we read that $325,000 that was paid to Home Abstract Title Company for the purchase of the old Valley School Property last October never made it into the hands of Weber School District.

Here is the Scott Scwebke story in its entirety:

Home Abstract and Title Company president faces theft, obstructing justice charges

From the story, we read,

The president of Home Abstract and Title Company Inc. has been charged amid allegations that he kept about $325,000 that should have been given to Weber School District for its sale of property last year to the city of Huntsville.

Russell Charles Maughan, 58, is scheduled to make an initial appearance in 2nd District Court on July 11 for theft and obstructing justice, both felonies. The charges against Maughan follow an Ogden police investigation.

 The business, next door to the Weber County Attorney’s Office, was closed about a month ago by its underwriter, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, based in Minneapolis, Tammy Greening, an examiner for the Utah Insurance Department, said Thursday. 
And further,
The state and police investigations stem from the Weber School District’s sale last year to Huntsville of about 6 acres of vacant land where a Huntsville school once stood. The property is between First and Second streets across from Huntsville Park.
Huntsville paid $325,000 to Home Abstract for the property in October 2011, which in turn was to provide the funds to Weber School District, said Jenna Holt, who is Huntsville’s attorney. The check cleared and Huntsville received the deed to the property, but Home Abstract reportedly didn’t provide the sale proceeds to the school district.
Jeff Stephens, superintendent of Weber School District, said the district’s business department unsuccessfully attempted to obtain the funds from Home Abstract.
“There were a series of misleading statements (about the status of the funds) from the president of Home Abstract that delayed our reporting it to police,” Stephens said, adding the district has had a lengthy relationship with Home Abstract.
The funds from the Huntsville school property sale were to be used by Weber School District to fund a capital project.
Stephens said: “We will do everything we can to protect taxpayer dollars.”
 It looks like White Collar crime so prevalent in other areas has hit Ogden Valley.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Ogden Valley Residents - Public Hearing Scheduled for July 3, 2012

A public hearing is scheduled on July 3, 2012 at 10AM in the Weber County Commission chambers regarding Zoning Text Amendment ZTA 2012-05, amending Chapter 5B (Agricultural Valley AV-3) Zone Section 5B-3.  Permitted Uses Requiring five (5) acres minimum Lot Area to allow Custom Exempt Meat Cutting including wild game, and amend Chapter 1 (General Provision by adding a new definition of Custom Exempt Meat Cutting).

These issues should be a concern for every one in the Ogden Valley.

Garret Jones is asking to allow custom meat cutting in the AV3 Zone and wishes to add a new definition for custom exempt meat cutting. The whole of Ogden Valley and Weber County should be concerned and question the impact of such a change. Citizens at the July 3rd meeting should express all of their questions to the County Commissioners.

One question we should all ask, is how does custom meat cutting, wrapping and preparation of meat (wild and domestic) help maintain Ogden Valley’s rural atmosphere and life style?

Sandi Tuck

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Amazing Raise - Join us

The Community Foundation of Ogden Valley Amazing Raise Race
The AMAZING RAISE is a Fund Raising Campaign and Community Event
To promote & benefit Non-Profit Organizations in the beautiful Ogden Valley.

The EVENT HUB in EDEN, UT features
* Scenic rural race courses
* A run-shoot Biathlon,
* Children’s activities,
* Music by The Kap Brothers,
* Awards, medals & “Mountain Maggie Checks
* The Taste of Ogden Valley ~ local restaurants’ signature dishes!


 September 8, 2012 @ 9 AM
Come run with Mountain Maggie

Limited Entries ~ REGISTER EARLY


Sunday, June 03, 2012

Ogden Valley Sign Ordinance

Guest Post by the Protectorate

I called and spoke with the Weber County planning department about the new signage ordinance that was pasted for Ogden Valley only.  They said basically all signs are illegal without an approved land use permit.  And anyone with a home business can not advertise their business with a sign out front, even if they apply for a land use permit.  And no business can have off-site signage advertising their business.  

So for instance, Huntsville BBQ. They can have their signs on their building, but the couple of signs they have out around town directing people to where their location is, well they are illegal.  And the signs we see around for the 1st Annual Huntsville Marathon....guess what - illegal.  The planning department said that they had an inspector up here today (last week) because they got numerous phone calls about the marathon signs and people wanting to know if they had land use permits. 

I just think this a little ridiculous.  And I asked what the problem really was?  Because when I drove around the valley today, I saw a lot of signs advertising chainsaw sharpening. tax services, sod, greenhouses, dirt and garbage removal and signs for the marathon, but none of it was tacky or looked bad.  

But planning said "they"didn't like stuff like that in Ogden Valley.  And all the red signs for "STOP Green Valley Academy"...illegal.  It just seems crazy that  as a home owner I cannot put what ever sign I want on my property as my 1st amendment right. However, this signage thing doesn't apply to political signs? They can plaster them all over the Valley.  So people can advertise their political views, but myself and neighbors can't advertise their home businesses or any fundraising or special events, including 4th of July etc....

This seems so wrong. I think we should start a petition..

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Lakeview Water Corporation Overcharging Customers

Hot news on the street in Ogden Valley.  The word is that Lakeview Water Corporation serving the Ski Lake area has been overcharging their customers for water connection fees for years. 

The information we have been able to gather is that the previous owner of Lakeview Water overcharged most, if not all of the customers of Lakeview Water $500 each above the approved tariff (rate) for water connection fees than was approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The overcharges may go back to the early years of the Lakeside Village development. 

The information we have obtained is that the PSC approved water connection fee for each customer was $1,000 until January 2008, when the fee was increased in a rate case to $3,500 for each customer.  Some customers told us their bills for the connection fees reflected $1,500 up to the rate increase in 2008 and others said it was $4,000 after January 2008.  Each customer noted the $500 overcharge on his or her connection fee.

The actual amount of customers affected is not known at this time, but Lakeview Water Corporation serves over 200 customers.  That indicates that the overcharges could amount to more than $100,000 dollars. 

Some Lakeview Water customers we spoke to say they noted their own overcharges recently and requested a refund from the new owner of Lakeview Water. They said they were either ignored or told that the statute of limitations had expired and Lakeview Water did not have to refund the money. The new owner is squealing like a mashed cat about the refund requests from his customers.  

What is known is the new owner of Lakeview Water and Mountain Sewer purchased the two corporations, at a bargain basement price and that that purchase included 66 lots in the Ski Lake area. Those 66 lots alone are worth about $8,250,000 at $125,000 per lot. This is also the same guy that is asking for a $1,300 special assessment from each customer in order to recoup the money to pay for employees salaries at Mountain Sewer that the previous owner did not pay before the sale. This special assessment is in addition to the 159% increase in the sewer fees

To summarize, the new owner of Mountain Sewer and Lakeview Water does not want to return the money from overcharged customers from the previous owner, but he wants those same customers to pay for the unpaid bills that were left behind by the same previous owner. Does that sound greedy or what?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Wolf Creek Auction

From Smaatguy and promoted to the front page:

Wolf creek auction whole sale..bits and pieces.
Auction brings almost $8 million for Wolf Creek Resort holdings
By Loretta Park Standard-Examiner staff
Fri, 06/01/2012 - 8:34pm
EDEN -- An auction that lasted less than an hour brought in almost $8 million and divided up Wolf Creek Resort.The auction took place Friday at the Pineview Lodge, while golfers teed off at the nearby golf resort.The auction was part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan filed in 2010 so Wolf Creek Properties, LC could sell assets to deal with debt estimated at between $10 million and $50 million.The bankruptcy filing was due to a downturn in the real estate market and the economy, Wolf Creek officials said in 2010.Bidders at Friday's auction had to provide a $100,000 cashier check as a deposit when they checked in. About 60 people including bankers, developers, brokers and attorneys attended the event.Weber County Sheriff's deputies provided security at the auction.Wolf Creek officials had hoped the entire resort would sell as one piece, but instead it was sold in parcels after a final bid of $7 million for the entire resort was rejected during the first phase of the auction.The entire resort is appraised at between $28 million and $34 million, said Rob Olson, auctioneer and owner of Erklens & Olson Auctioneers.Olson told bidders, in an effort to get the bidding started at $10 million, "My dad told me long ago there's only so much land so buy as much as you can."But those attending showed no interest in bidding that high for the 3,000 acres, which included Wolf Creek Ski Resort and Wolf Creek Golf Course.The bidding started at $5 million and slowly increased to $7 million. Following the closing of the first bid, attorneys met and decided that amount was too low.The second round then got under way with different parcels being auctioned off individually.America First Credit Union had the winning bid of $7.1 million for Wolf Creek Ski Resort, which it holds the lien on.Zion's Bank is now the owner of Wolf Creek Golf Course, which it holds a lien on. There were no bids made on the golf course.The Farm Bureau took over ownership of the Pineview Lodge and the clubhouse with a winning bid of $600,000.About 1,400 acres were sold to the Summit Series group for $500,000.Mike Johnson, an attorney for the unsecured creditors, said Summit Series has no lien on any of the properties.Wolf Creek resort was originally called Patio Springs and opened in the early 1900s. In 2000, Steve Roberts and Steve Malachowski founded Eden Investments, LC and Eden Properties, LC for the sole purpose of forming Wolf Creek Properties, LC. Eden Properties is the managing member of Wolf Creek Properties, LC.

We added the red font as our readers will remember the Summit Series group as the suitor of Powder Mountain in a story we first broke in February.

Dyers Woad Cleanup Saturday Morning

Join Representative Gage Froerer for the second annual Dyers Woad Cleanup

June 2nd - 9AM at the Eden Park.

Bring gloves, shovels etc.  Lunch will be served.