Historian loses Echo appeal
July 21, 2009
Film buffs like Echo because its red-rock cliffs have provided backdrops for countless Hollywood movie and television sets, Echo resident Frank Cattelan said.
The unincorporated North Summit town situated at the mouth of Echo Canyon also attracts history buffs eager to walk in the footsteps of the ill-fated Donner Party, Mormon pioneers and early Pony Express riders.
"Echo is a historical place," Cattelan told members of the Summit County Council at a meeting July 8.
Cattelan was determined to stop Granite Construction Co. from building a plant in Echo to crush rock and mix hot asphalt this summer as the contractor resurfaces portions of Interstate 84.
Following several hours of testimony June 17, the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission made a unanimous decision to approve a long-term temporary use permit for the project, which Cattelan appealed to the Summit County Council.
An asphalt plant does not mesh with the historical value of Echo, which boasts having the second-oldest church in Utah, Cattelan said.
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"Echo’s got a lot of history and a lot of people stop there," said Cattelan, who owns a café and service station in Echo.
He also heads the Echo Community Historical Organization.
"There is no doubt about it. There has been a lot of history pass through there," North Summit High School history teacher Russell Judd said about Echo Canyon.
Judd at the hearing asked Granite Construction which toxins the asphalt plant would emit into the air.
"They couldn’t answer my question," Judd said in a telephone interview. "They did show me that Utah state health had given them a permit on air quality."
But asphalt processing does spread air pollution, Cattelan claimed.
A Granite construction official countered that the state Division of Air Quality will regulate emissions from the plant.
Using grant money from the federal stimulus package, Granite Construction is resurfacing portions of Interstate 84 near Henefer, according to Summit County planner Sean Lewis.
The facility for crushing the rock and mixing asphalt is located at 3371 South Echo Road, Lewis said.
The property, which consists of roughly 500 acres, is about a half-mile north of Echo. Granite Construction would use about 10 acres of the land.
Lewis recommended the Summit County Council reject the appeal from Cattelan.
"You feel so strongly about something that we don’t really have the leeway to deny," Summit County Councilwoman Claudia McMullin told Cattelan. "We did hear you, but legally we can’t do much about it."
The County Council voted 3-0 to deny the appeal. Summit County Councilpersons Sally Elliott and John Hanrahan missed the vote.
"Here [Cattelan] puts up $100 so he can appeal it and two of the councilors aren’t even there," Judd said. "Sally Elliott was the one I thought would have given him the most support, and she wasn’t there."