HURRICANE – Tourism is on the docket regularly for the Hurricane City Council. It often listens to event promoters asking for its support of their events and is in the process of establishing a tourism council. During Thursday’s meeting, tourism was front and center again with three presenters encouraging the council to help Hurricane, in the words of City Councilman Darin Thomas, “be a destination.”
Sean Reddish, president of the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS), which holds an event at Sand Hollow State Park April 17-19, was the first to talk about attracting visitors to the city. He spoke in the public forum to ask for the city’s support of his event through fire and EMT services, touting it as one that fills Hurricane hotel rooms, brings in many tourists and attracts attention to the city, since the event will be televised on ManTV.
Reddish had an easy task, with City Manager Clark Fawcett saying Reddish’s event is top notch and one the city needs to support it. Police Chief Lynn Excell echoed Fawcett’s sentiment, saying it is “one of the greatest events that comes to the community.”
In the midst of his presentation, Reddish encouraged the City Council to help improve Hurricane’s tourism image.
“I truly believe this town is set to be a balance point for so many avenues,” he said.
One of the the things the city could do to help its image is improve its website, Reddish said, because the site doesn’t show the town very well visually. Reddish also suggested that the city should put more money into attracting big events and erect a sign welcoming tourists into the town that provides a good representation of what the town has to offer, saying that Beaver, Utah’s sign is a good example to follow.
In response to Reddish, Mayor John Bramall said that some of the hotel room sales tax would go towards promoting tourism.
Resident Kevin Adams, who came seeking a conditional use permit for an in-home Bed and Breakfast, said that the city needs more lodging options, such as Bed and Breakfasts, where visitors can sit down and chat with locals to find out more about the area, which is a vastly different experience than staying in a local motel.
Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce President Lon Allen, in his presentation updating the council on what the chamber is doing, agreed with Reddish that Hurricane should better market itself for tourism.
“There are a lot of people willing and ready to invest in this community,” he said. “There is so much we can do.”
Allen also agreed with Reddish about the need for a sign and for a website makeover, especially when it comes to listing upcoming events. For instance, Allen said he had a friend looking for information on this year’s Peach Days, but all that was available on the website was information on last year’s event.
“To find out what’s going on in Southern Utah, you need to go to six or seven different sources,” he said.
Tourism aside, Allen said the Chamber’s goal is to become self-sufficient and not have to ask the city for money to sustain it, as it did at the meeting. As such, Allen said the chamber would like to start a fundraiser, an exotic foods festival tentatively scheduled for Oct. 16. He said he would like to enlist teams to be in charge of cooking an exotic food, which Allen classified as food not available for purchase in a grocery store – anything from alligator meat to venison, and informing attendees about that food.
Grading permit plan exception
Karl Rasmussen, representing First National Bank of Layton, requested the land at 2140 W. State Street be graded and leveled, a continuation of a request from the last meeting. Rasmussen and First National want to make the piece of land look better to ensure a quicker sale.
Council members shared their thoughts, saying the land that has been graded has become a nuisance of tumbleweeds, dust and loose dirt for residents living in houses nearby. Thomas compared it to repossessed homes, which have caused similar problems and elicited many resident complaints, to which Rasmussen responded saying that this property would be a good example of such issues not happening.
Rasmussen would like the land graded even though there is no site plan in place, thus the need for the exemption. Councilman Darin Larson said that with a site plan the project would move forward easily
“If we can mitigate drainage, dust and weeds, I’d be in favor of it,” Larson said, but in the same breath pointed out that lots across the street are not selling.
Ultimately, the Council approved the request upon the condition that the drainage, dust and weeds is mitigated as Larson suggested.
Power Rate Design Study Method
Hurricane City Power Director Dave Imlay presented the city with a preliminary plan for power rate increases to ensure the power department’s future solvency. Imlay said that no one group, residential, commercial or agricultural would receive more than a 4 percent increase over a year’s time. A spreadsheet of proposed increases is included in this article.
Days of ‘47 Festivities Participation
The Council lent its moral and financial support to a future extended Days of ‘47 celebration in Washington County set to commence in 2016, which will include events such as a junior rodeo, performances by local theatrical companies such as Tuacahn and Brigham’s Playhouse, a children’s mountain man camp, square dancing, an archery contest and many others said Rick Neilson, President of Days of ‘47 Dixie, the organization behind the celebration.
Amended Plat for Park Subdivision
The Council approved the request to file an amended plat for The Park Subdivision, whose property lines needed to be resurveyed due to a previous filing error, with the owners’ signatures only.
New Miss Hurricane
At the beginning of the meeting, the new Miss Hurricane Royalty was introduced, which includes Miss Hurricane, Cameryn Sorge, 1st attendant Sabrina Holmes, 2nd attendant Mataya Rosander, and Miss Congeniality, Jennifer Humphries. Sorge pledged that she and her attendants would help Hurricane City in any way they could. Bramall gave Miss Hurricane Pageant Director Tacy Wright a card to express the city’s thanks for her work on its behalf.
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