City Council discusses prairie dog fencing, water fee waiver

Stock photo | St. George News

CEDAR CITY – Public hearings were held at Wednesday afternoon’s City Council work meeting to discuss a prairie dog fence at the Cedar Ridge Golf Course and a partial water fee waiver for Iron County School District.

Prairie dog fence

The state legislature has allocated $100,000 for the Cedar Ridge Golf Course prairie dog fence while Iron County has allocated $30,000.

A public hearing was held to discuss Cedar City’s $30,000 contribution for the fence. The public made no comment.

Prairie dog holes can be seen along Cedar Ridge Golf Course, Cedar City, Utah, May 22, 2014 | Photo taken by Kevin Robison, St. George News
Prairie dog holes can be seen along Cedar Ridge Golf Course, Cedar City, Utah, May 22, 2014 | Photo by Kevin Robison, St. George News

Immediately following the work meeting, a special action meeting was held to approve the $30,000 from the city for the fence project and to approve the fence itself.

Rick Holman, city manager, said he wanted to pass the project quickly in order to have it completed before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service traps prairie dogs and relocates them outside the fence limits.

“The trapping period for prairie dogs is July and August, so if we could start the fence project by the middle of June then we think it could take 45 to 60 days,” Holman said. “We may be pushing that trapping period, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife will work with us on giving us some leeway on that.”

Similar prairie dog fencing projects have taken place in Cedar City in the past, specifically around the Cedar City cemetery.

Since this fencing is not new to the area, the parks and recreation department, by experience, has figured out the best way to install it, a representative from the parks and recreation department said.

Partial water fee waiver

With the Utah Summer Games quickly approaching – kicking off with opening ceremonies on June 12 – venues are being prepped for incoming athletes.

One of the largest participated sports in the summer games is the soccer tournament.

It’s been our biggest event for probably the last 12 or 15 years,” Casey McClellan, Utah Summer Games director, said. “We want to continue to make sure we offer a tournament that people have on their calendar and are looking forward to attend.”

To ensure soccer fields are properly prepped and watered, City Manager Holman proposed Iron County School District be partially waived on a water fee.

Water rates were changed in January 2013, increasing water bills for many. Because of the increase, Iron County School District was not able to water the field to the liking of the athletes for last year’s games.

“We certainly want to have a tournament that teams feel like the product of what we offer is equal to or better than other tournaments they attend,” McClellan said. “Certainly, field conditions are something that they take into account as they’re making decisions to attend a tournament.”

A public hearing was held, but no public comment was made. The partial water fee waiver was put onto Wednesday’s action agenda.

“At the end of the day, I’m just really excited,” McClellan said, “and the organization is really excited, to know that we have such great partners – the city and the school district and their willingness to try and help us continue to offer a fantastic product to our customers.”

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