By Myrna Trauntvein
Mayor Chad Brough says that contrary to a headline in The
Times-News, the city council is not trying to stall
developers on constructing a movie theater.
Results of recent court findings have placed even more
responsibility on government entities to be accountable with
taxpayer's funds and property.
For example, said Chad Brough, Nephi City mayor, findings
of the court in the action of taxpayers against city
government in Orem when extra incentives were given at the
mall there, in order to keep and attract clients when the
Provo mall opened, were not in the best interests of
"That was also at the center of the difficulties the Salt
Lake County Commissioners had with their county attorney,"
said Brough. "The courts are upholding the wise use of
taxpayer money and resources."
There is a difference, he said, between what a government
entity can legally do for private enterprise and for
non-profit organizations as far as allowing the use of city
property. Non-profit organizations are considered, under the
law, to be of benefit to the public which is why the
tax-exempt status is allowed in the first place.
"There are some things we can do," said Brough. "We just
need to make certain that our ducks are all in a row,
The theater developers had not yet completed a business
plan, he said. That was one essential the council would need
before city property could be sold or exchanged.
One individual, who was interested in constructing a
theater in Nephi found, when a business study was done, that
the enterprise would not be profitable. The city will need
another 1,000 residents before such a venture could be
"If the city did allow the construction of the movie
theater on the Old Pink School Park, we would need to make
certain that the theater could be profitable and would not
close down in a year or two."
Once the property was re-zoned to allow a commercial
enterprise to be constructed there, anything the city now
allows in a commercial zone could be developed there. So if
the theater were not profitable and had to be shut-down, the
property could be sold to any commercial developer for any
Some of those uses would not be good to have in the
center of a community.
Of course, said Brough, the city would do all they could
to prevent such a use, but there were only so many things
which could legally be done. Hopefully, public pressure on
the future developer, in such a case, would force a
consideration by the developer. That may not be the
In addition, he said, an empty building which was
privately-owned would need maintenance in order to keep it
from becoming an eye-sore. There are enough of those in
public view at the present.
"There are things the city can do, legally, to encourage
private enterprise," said Brough. "The city is willing to do
those things because we, along with all other residents,
would like to have a movie theater in Nephi. We all think
having a movie theater is important."
There are other options, he said. There are other good
properties were the theater could be constructed and the
city was willing to pursue all sites. If there were
exchanges of like value, if the city could help with
installation of utilities, and other legally-allowed items,
the council would be happy to agree.
"Some residents have asked about the property owned by
one of the four proposed developers, but there isn't enough
property at the location," said Brough.
The theater development project would need at least two
acres. The property currently owned on South Main Street by
one of the developers, he said, was not large enough. It is
only one and a quarter acres. There are also some unused
structures on the site which would need to be razed in order
for the theater complex to be constructed.
All of items of discussion, he said, were still just
that--discussions. A great deal of work and time was still
"We presented several alternatives to them (Mike Cowan,
Tyler Cowan, and Kelly Andersen)," said Brough. "The ball is
now in their court."
"We would all like to see a movie theater in Nephi," he
said. "That is one of the pleasant memories of
mine--attending the movies here in town. We have all missed
the theater since it burned down and would like to see
another one not only built but successful."
Chad Brough, mayor, said he welcomes phone calls and
letters from constituents and will answer each question and
comment addressed to him.
Brough said, in addition to those who contact city hall
and ask to have a message relayed, many people send mail to
his home or call him at home.
"I have never failed to respond to a call or letter from
a person who wanted my reply," he said.
He can also be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com,
"I am interested in what people think," he said. "I would
like the chance to talk to them, to write to them, or to
respond to their comments so that I understand what they are