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The sister communities of Gunnison and Centerfield share boundaries and growing pains but also benefits to their economies.

Much of the benefit is tied to the Central Utah Correctional Facility and expanded modern medical facilities of the Gunnison Valley Hospital.Last year, 11 new businesses opened in Gunnison, and six expanded or changed ownership. Nearly two dozen new homes were built in less than two years in Centerfield.

"We have seen more growth the last two years than the past 20 years combined," officials concluded in a report to the community. "In preparation for the growth we are experiencing, the council decided to use its own funds to renovate the spring."

That project turned out to be larger than anticipated, but officials conclude they did the right thing. After that project is completed, they will move on toward solving other pressing problems.

Road and street improvements have been completed along with a fire-hydrant project. Centerfield residents were asked to "adopt a hydrant," pledging to keep the area clean to give firefighters better and more convenient access.

The "adopted" fire hydrants have been painted - but not red. Individuals used their own ingenuity to paint each hydrant to resemble a particular breed of dog.

Meanwhile, the Gunnison Valley Lions Club, in a cooperative effort with the city, roofed the pavilion at the city park. Volunteers rebuilt swings, and an Eagle Scout project repaired an information booth.

Officials said computers were upgraded in the city office, library, court and police department. CD-ROM encyclopedias were purchased for the library and a history wall and new curtains were installed.

Among other improvements in Gunnison are an addition to the fire stations, sidewalk, curb-and-gutter projects, painted fire hydrants and curbs, new traffic control signs, new street asphalt overlays, new flag poles, a veterans' monument, sprinkler system improvements at the cemetery and a new rodeo arena. Some projects were done by Scouts and volunteers while others were completed by the city.

Plans for a new swimming pool were delayed because of the urgency of other programs, but officials anticipate it will be built later.

Improvements by other entities include a major expansion at the Gunnison Valley Hospital, new fiber-optic telephone lines by the privately owned Gunnison Telephone Co. and a new nondenominational chapel at the state's prison, which was paid for by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.