Interesting things coming down the pike in Hurricane

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.

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  • Burton November 9, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Sports complex’s if done right are self sustaining and sometimes even profitable for the city/county, skate parks aren’t. if a special interest group wants a skate park a special interest group can pay for it and donate it to the city. I wouldn’t even have a problem with the city donating the land. since when does city tax go for making sure all the youth are entertained? Here is a concept. how about the city encourages a bowling alley or a skating business to come to town. One where kids could not only go to recreate but I might actually create some more jobs for the kids around here. Lets encourage the market, not more local government funded crap.

    • Don November 10, 2014 at 9:30 am

      The fact that this is a closely-guarded secret among council members is reason enough to nip it in the bud. The Mayor said, “We’re running foll speed ahead” on the project. The complex would cover 200-plus acres and include all kinds of sports fields, pickle ball courts and god knows what else. If you think St. George has a locked formula for squandering public funds on nebulous projects, just wait until Bramall and Company get started. The argument is made that major league sports teams will flock to this area to use these facilities because they don’t like the heat in Arizona. “This area is much more attractive because of all the attractions here,” says the Mayor. By that, he means the two motels and Zion, I guess. Another pipe dream. I ran out to Grandpa’s Pond the other day to see what great accomplishments have been made on Bramall’s pet project. What a joke!

  • Old Guy from Hurricane November 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    “V=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.”
    Uh-NO. From the way I understood it, Hurricane pulled out of the district, not over tax increases, but as a power play. The city wanted “more control” over the fire district, so they “took their fire trucks and went home.”
    I believe there was a tax increase when the district was first formed, and I don’t think that increase has ever been rescinded. It looks to me like this is a sneaky way to raise taxes, yet again.
    I don’t trust the “city fathers,” gee, I wonder why. . .

  • Phil Stratton November 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Fire District is one thing but there’s still a lot more fixing things that Tom Hirschi, Mike Jensen and Kevin Trevort made a mess out of. What’s it going to take for some educated people to run for office in Hurricane. That Pam Humphries lady has clue how did she ever get elected. Ethelyn and Darren Larsen have their work cut out for them.

  • Char November 9, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Yes, the animal control will do live trapping of skunks and raccoons, but then the trap and its contents are put into a barrel of water to drown the animals. Sick. Heaven forbid that the raccoons should disrupt a golf game.

    • Sarcasm November 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Raccoons werent here until some idiots introduced them to the area up the canyon. Notice how the frog population in Zion is almost gone? Raccoons love frogs too!

    • Koolaid November 11, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Animal control needs to visit the next STG council meeting and rid it of five skunks.

  • Don November 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

    The Hurricane City Council did indeed meet with some of the Mayors and Councilmen from surrounding villages on November 6. This Special Meeting was called to discuss the planned return to the Fire District. The meeting was never called to order, nor was there an oral roll call conducted, so it’s not clear just who was there. Anyhow, the discussion centered more on which city would have the best representation on the Fire District board. Chief Tom Kohlman was in attendance, but he is neither a Mayor nor Councilman. Anyway, the District plans to build at least two new fire houses in Dixie Springs and Coral Canyon. That is apparently Kohlman’s chief interest. He wants to spread the cost of these structures and equipment across several villages instead of Hurricane bearing the total cost itself. Whether those new fire houses are actually needed–or not–was not made clear. This meeting brought out the fact that there are potentially 14 cities eligible to join the district, but most of the squabbling will be over who gets how many votes. The plan is to hold some more public meetings so that the poor taxpayers will be informed, but the chief says, “Those meetings don’t work because nobody comes to them.” We’ll se.

    • Old Guy from Hurricane November 10, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Nobody comes to those meeting? That is a bare faced like the chief is telling there. There were a lot of folks at the meeting I went to when they were first talking about forming the district the first time. Just because this was before this chief was here, doesn’t mean it wasn’t attended.

  • Bubba November 10, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Char, a life is a life is a life. Killing a raccoon or skunk is the same as killing a weed in your front yard. Both are taking a life. Just because one has fur and one has none, doesn’t excuse the reckless killing of living organisms. I am sick of people placing animals above plants. I love plants. The ruthless inhumane killing of plants for recreation and consumption is sick.

    • Burton November 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Well that explains why no one takes care of their yards or weeds in this dirty run down community.

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