Grantsville City Mayor Brent Marshall expressed appreciation to the community Wednesday night for its response to the shooting tragedy at the start of 2020.
“We had what was the most profound low in our community in a long time,” he said during his State of the City address. “Nothing can prepare a community for a tragedy of this magnitude. This was the most painful experience of my life in public service.”
On Jan. 17, Grantsville police responded to a home and found a mother and three children shot to death. A 16-year-old son of the family is in custody and faces felony counts for aggravated murder and attempted murder.
Marshall said the tragedy demonstrated the remarkable ability of a community to come together.
“I venture to say it may be the one event that never leaves my memory,” he said. “But we learn there is goodness that rises from the ashes of pain. I have never seen this much outpouring of kindness and generosity.”
About 25 people listened to the mayor’s speech at City Hall. His speech was punctuated with several statements of appreciation.
He thanked volunteers for providing a “spectacular” Fourth of July celebration; law enforcement and Police Chief Jacob Enslen for protecting the community; Grantsville Fire Chief Rob Critchlow, and all the volunteer firefighters, for their service; public works director James Waltz and his team for providing services to enhance residents’ quality of life; and finance director Sherrie Broadbent and her team for efficiently managing the city’s finances.
“Once again, the independent audit showed our finances are in order. Seven years in a row with no findings,” Marshall said. “This is a team effort, but one that is essential in how and when we spend your tax dollars.”
He also thanked city staff and employees.
“They are dedicated and have a great work ethic, always striving for excellence,” Marshall said.
The mayor next thanked the Grantsville City Council.
“What they have in common is hard work, vision, sacrifice, and dedication,” he said.
His final “thank you” was for his family.
“They are my greatest joy,” Marshall said. “I am very blessed.”
The mayor began his speech by reviewing major accomplishments achieved by the City during 2019. One was completion of the $10 million new water and sewer lines project, and repaving Main Street.
“Both water and sewer were in critical need of improvement,” he said.
Construction was very disruptive and caused damage and traffic problems, he added.
“We wondered how we could get where we needed to go. Driving down Main Street was more confusing than math homework,” he said. “But through all this we did get a new Main Street and a paved Matthews Lane.”
The mayor mentioned several new improvements to city parks, new sidewalks on Durfee Street, completion of the North Well, settlement of a lawsuit between Grantsville and Tooele County, and updating the General Plan. He stressed the importance for citizens to participate in the 2020 Census.
“The success of our city was built by the vision and sacrifices of many,” he said. “We have accomplished a lot of things in the past 10 years and there are bigger plans for the future … The state of our city is strong and Grantsville’s future looks bright.”