City Council approves fee changes at animal shelter, roundabout bid, hears Little Valley concerns

St. George City Council, St. George, Utah, Feb. 6, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The St. George City Council passed a resolution Thursday approving changes to fees at the St. George Animal Shelter related to adoption and impound costs. The council also tabled approval of improvements to Little Valley Road over concerns related to increasing development in the area.

Lower adoptions fees at city animal shelter

In an effort the promote more adoptions of dogs and cats from the St. George Animal Shelter, St. George Police Sgt. Iver Fuller, who oversees the shelter, asked the City Council to approve lowering current adoption fees for male and female dogs – $100 and $105 respectively – to a blanket $50. Cats, currently at $70, would be reduced to $40. Spaying and neutering is covered in the new fees. The cost for animals already spayed and neutered remains at $20.

Pet owners relinquishing their animals to the shelter have previously paid a $25 fee that will  be increased to $50. Animal impound fees also will increase. An initial impound has been $25, followed by $50 for a second impound, and $90 for a third impound. With the resolution, those fees have risen to $50 for the first offense, then $70 and $100 for the second and third impounds. Boarding cost for the animals remains at $5 a day in addition to the impound fees.

Fuller said the increased rate for the first impound is anticipated to help reduce second impound incidents.

I’m really impressed with their thinking and their adoptions,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said, noting the many improvements and pet adoptions that have taken place at the shelter in previous months.

Last summer the city animal shelter was a center of controversy revolving around allegations of animal cruelty and neglect. The city launched an investigation into the matter and ultimately saw the police officer overseeing the shelter at the time removed and replaced by Fuller. Various improvements have also been made to the shelter since then.

Pike added he was impressed with the work Fuller and the others involved in the animal shelter have done. He mentioned the shelter’s Facebook page which is routinely updated with images of adoptable pets. Utilization of social media, along with the general overhaul the shelter has undergone, has helped the reduce the city’s reliance on animal rescue groups, he said.

Little Valley concerns

Improvements to Little Valley Road were temporarily tabled to allow the mayor and council members time to visit the Little Valley area during their work meeting next week. The matter of Little Valley Road, and Little Valley in general, is one of concern for the council and area residents as a balancing act is currently being played out between a desire to keep part of the area agricultural-based amid rapidly increasing development.

Little Valley resident Paul Gooch referred to Little Valley Road as a race track in front of his home. It is a potential hazard to livestock kept in the area, he said. He told the council that area residents aren’t against development, just development that is hostile to their way of life. Agricultural areas should be interconnected he said, but increasing development is dividing it.

The city plans to improve Little Valley Road in order to better accommodate increased traffic, as well as install curbs, gutters and sidewalks as needed. Tabling improvements will allow the council time to considered possible alternatives to the city’s original plan for the roadway.

Clarification on public comment

It was originally reported by media, St. George News included, that people who participated in the monthly general comment period would be able to address the City Council on any topic as long as it wasn’t something pending before the council in that particular meeting. Pike said this is not the case – matters pending before the City Council could be ongoing items not listed on a specific agenda.

St. George residents with concerns about the commercial development at 1450 South River Road had hoped to address the council, but were unable to as the mayor noted it was one of the pending matters that would not be heard. The matter is “pending” because it was tabled by the planning commission last month, and will eventually find its way to the City Council for debate and a public hearing. He said it would be unfair for the council to hear one side of the argument without the other side present – in this case, the developer. However, in instances where the city is the “other side” involved in a potential grievance, the mayor may allow the matter to be heard.

Other business

While improvements to Little Valley Road were tabled, improvements to 3000 East, which is anticipated to become a major roadway once the Mall Drive Bridge is completed, were approved by the council.

The council also approved a $152,552 bid to Bud Mahas Construction for the City Hall East Annex on 200 East. The job entails lighting and electrical upgrades to the building, as well as grading, drainage, and concrete work. Originally the home of the Fifth District Courthouse, the city took over the building once the new courthouse on Tabernacle Street was completed in 2009.

A bid award for roundabouts at 400 East Tabernacle and 600 West Tonaquint Drive was approved by the council to Progressive Contacting, Inc., for $549,117.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

St. George City Council, St. George, Utah, Feb. 6, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
St. George City Council, St. George, Utah, Feb. 6, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

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  • Nonbeliever February 7, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Thank you for making adoptions more affordable. I have noticed that under Fullers command that the FB page is now updated often with available pets for adoption.
    My fear is that increased costs to relinquish pets will cause more people to dump their animals. I believe more needs to be done to educate prospective pet owners, shut down back yard breeders and implement stiff fines (and even jail time) for animal neglect and acts of cruelty.
    Case in point Quiver the cat was found a few days ago in a Washington City park with an arrow through its head and chest.
    There are far too many cruel and ignorant people in Washington County with no regard for another life. It needs to stop.

  • concernedcitizen February 11, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Paul Gooch was Mayor Pike’s campaign chairman.

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