Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

HELPER (UTAH)

Agency History #486

CREATION

The town of Helper was established in 1907 and incorporated as a third class city in 1915. The council was created for the administration of municipal business relating to the health, safety, and general welfare of the community.

FUNCTIONS

The council was authorized to manage all city business. The city council had broad authority for the health, safety, and welfare of the residents. These include providing for police and fire protection; sanitation; public works such as roads and electrical and water systems; establishment and enforcement of licensing requirements; levying taxes, budgeting, and creating bond issues.

City business includes budgeting; constructing sewage, road, and electric systems; establishing city ordinances and making resolutions; auditing all claims against the city and payments by the treasurer. Bids received, and bills and wages paid in conjunction with the activities are handled by the council. They levied property taxes and could call for bond elections. Bond elections were called for the construction of the power plant in 1912, the waterworks plant in 1925, and the civic auditorium in 1936.

The city council promoted public health. They created ordinances regarding animal control and rabies, garbage and the infestation of flies, driving under the influence of alcohol, and speed controls within city limits. Specific actions were taken or ordinances created in the 1930s concerning labor unrest. In 1933 the council declared a state of emergency and prohibited the public gathering of more than three persons. There soon followed a resolution against "labor leaders" that were creating unrest.

On May 19-20, 1919 a fire destroyed numerous buildings and Helper required the help of the Price Fire Department. The next month, the council passed a motion to purchase a fire hose, cart, nozzles, and later to purchase a fire truck. Along with increasing the number of firemen, the fire committee made plans for effective fire protection.

In February 1964, the council along with city merchants discussed establishing a mining museum to attract tourists to Helper. The Western Mining and Railroad Museum was given a room in the Civic Auditorium for exhibitions.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The town board, organized in 1907, established the following committees prior to city status in 1915: Claims and Accounts, Fire and Water, Licenses, City Property- Streets and Alleys, Laws and Ordinances, Sanitation and Health, Finance and Auditing, and Lighting. The Electric Lights and Buildings committee was established in 1918. During the subsequent years, the city committees which were headed by the council members evolved into the separate departments of Public Safety, Water Department, Street Department, Electric Department, Park Department, and Building Department.

ADMINISTRATION

Municipalities in Utah are organized under the authority of Title 10, Chapter 3, Utah Code, and Article XI, Section 5, of the Utah State Constitution. Municipalities operate as subdivisions of the state and, as such, are subordinate to the state. The rules for the creation, classification, and administration of municipalities are established by general laws (Utah Constitution, Art. XI, Sec. 5) passed by the State Legislature

Organized in 1907, Helper Town was governed by a Town Board which consisted of a Town President and four trustees. On October 9, 1915, Helper Town was reclassified as a city of the third class. The council structure changed the following month with the election of a mayor, one 4-year term councilman and four 2-year councilmen.

TOWN PRESIDENT

Barbaglio, Joe 1911-1915

MAYORS

Barbaglio, Joe 1915

Moss, Ben 1916-1917

Slopansky, F.R. 1918-1919

Borkenhagen, E.T 1920

Evans, A.M. 1921-1922

Bertolina, F.E 1923

Ballinger, Glen 1924-1925

Porter, Frank 1926-1933

Gianotti, E.F 1934-1935

Nilson, R.A. 1935

Sprattling, George 1936-1939

Hyde, B.H. 1940-1943

Downey, D.K. 1944-1945, 1948-1953

Mullins, Frank 1946-1947

Diamanti, Steve J. 1954-1956

Jouflas, Chris P. 1957-1966

COMPILED BY: M. Call, March 1998

SOURCES

Helper (Utah). Municipal Council Minutes (Series 84970)

Watt, Ronald G., A History of Carbon County . Utah State Historical Society; Carbon County Commission, (Salt Lake City: 1997). p. xiv, 417.