Juab County is looking forward to bright economic conditions in 1991.
Glenn Greenhalgh, Community Economic Development Agency director, said several new developments should add to the economic stability of the area.A natural gas line to be built in east Juab County by July 1991 promises to attract new business to the area. "Several businesses have already indicated interest in the area if, and only if, natural gas can be provided," said Greenhalgh.
Nephi plans to build a municipally owned gas distribution system and bring natural gas to the city. In November both Mona and Levan agreed to participate and Juab County Commissioners agreed to provide gas on a county level.
Golden Mangelson, gas project manager, said Nephi will contribute $1.2 million to the project. Juab County would need to contribute $600,000, and Mona and Levan each will pay $200,000 for transmission line construction and $400,000 for distribution costs.
Mangelson said his studies indicate that even with capital outlay to build distribution systems inside the towns, the systems would begin to show a profit in three years.
"If we all work together," said Nephi Mayor Robert Steele, "we should be on line in July 1991."
The Community Economic Development Agency has been active in Juab County, said Greenhalgh.
"The agency works with businesses in hosting on-site visits by businesses interested in working with the county. They have closed two revolving loans and have worked with four businesses who are interested in using the county revolving loan fund," said Greenhalgh.
This past year the agency has worked on several tourism projects such as reprinting the Nebo Loop brochure, updating information that tour operators use, and have worked on official signing and billboard signing issues.
"Mid-State Consultants recently constructed a new building in the Nephi City Industrial Park," said Greenhalgh. The 12,000-square-foot facility cost more than $400,000.
Bronze-stone, a company which makes bronze-type statues out of stone material, also located in Nephi this last year, said Greenhalgh. In December Intermountain Farmers Association had a grand opening of their new store in Nephi.
Continuing industries include NRP Inc., an industrial-strength rubber hose manufacturer; Ash Grove Cement, one of the most productive cementplants in the nation; and a cap factory called U-American, which opened a new facility in Nephi 1989 and now employs 80 people.
In August the Nephi Salt Creek interchange was opened. "The interchange offers additional commercial potential for business, though it is still too early to be certain whether the opening will have a positive or negative effect on Main Street businesses," said Greenhalgh.
Interstate-15 bypassed downtown businesses in 1984. Nephi annexed the interchange south of town, keeping it in the city's tax base. "Since then the city's sales tax revenues have increased," said Greenhalgh.
County property tax values are also up.
"The unemployment rate continues to decrease and population to increase," said Greenhalgh. According to the Utah Department of Employment Security, the county's labor force had 78 more people during the second quarter of 1990 than in the same period last year. The unemployment rate was 7.3 percent as compared to 9.1 percent from the same period in 1989.
Unemployment in Juab County reached a high of 15.8 in 1986 and after that began to drop. However, the initial decrease was due, in part, to a shrinking labor force. "In 1990 unemployment continues to go down while the labor force has continued to increase," said Greenhalgh.