HURRICANE – Hurricane City Council members and residents have been accustomed to long City Council meetings lately, but Thursday night’s meeting was an exception, lasting only an hour. There was a light formal agenda, but a variety of issues were brought up during the mayor, council and staff reports.
Hurricane Valley Fire District
Citing the need for public transparency and full disclosure, Mayor John Bramall mentioned a meeting held the night before with the mayors and city councils of LaVerkin, Toquerville and Virgin to discuss joining forces in the Hurricane Valley Fire District, which would replace the inter-local agreement Hurricane currently has with the other municipalities. The mayor said further discussion would take place during the November 20 City Council meeting.
Joining the fire district would allow for the district to handle accounting and payroll instead of the city, Bramall said. It is a levy district, Bramall noted, meaning that any tax increase or adjustment to fund the district has to go through public hearings. Districts who just tack on fees leave a bad taste in residents’ mouths, he said.
After the meeting, Bramall said joining the district would reduce the administrative burden and capital costs for the city. Pulling out of the district approximately four years ago was a knee-jerk reaction to potential tax increases, especially for businesses, in an economic downturn, he said. Today, those concerns have been alleviated, first and foremost since the other municipalities have taxes in place to fund fire management, both Bramall and Councilman Kevin Tervort said.
Other issues presented
- Recommendations about vendor carts and a discussion about vacation rentals within the city will be forthcoming, Councilman Darin Larson said.
- Sky Mountain Golf Course is doing well, Tervort said, but it is experiencing a raccoon problem. Raccoons are digging up the greens to get grubs and are making a mess. Hurricane Animal Control and the State Division of Wildlife Resources will be live-trapping the raccoons to alleviate the problem, he said.
- Councilwoman Ethelyn Humphries voiced her disapproval of the current alignment of a proposed road from Purgatory Correctional Facility to the county landfill, which would cut out approximately 50 acres of the landfill, she said. Mayor Bramall said other alignments are being considered that would include less impact on the landfill.
- A proposal for a sports complex near Sand Hollow is in the works, Mayor Bramall said. If built, he said, it would benefit all 14 cities in the county and could potentially bring members of the Seattle Mariners to the area for training.
- The council approved elimination of the yard light ordinance, which will do away with erecting light poles upon resident request, but poles already established under the ordinance would be grandfathered in and will continue to be serviced by the city.
- The mayor mentioned the establishment of a tourism committee to assist business dealings with tourists.
- Councilwoman Pam Humphries brought up the need for a skate park in town. A group of interested residents who said they would raise money for one have not yet done so, she said.
- Hurricane council discussion favorable toward joining fire district – Oct. 10
- City Council entertains new fire district, booster club funding; removes restriction on RV use – Sept. 19
- Hurricane City drills for disaster; STGnews Videocast
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