Hurricane Council swears in new members, addresses transportation and development

HURRICANE — For its last meeting of the year Thursday evening, the Hurricane City Council members had the future on their minds, approving transportation and development plans and swearing in three new council members who will take office at the start of the new year. 

Hurricane Mayor John Bramall at the Hurricane City Council’s Dec. 19, 2019 meeting at Hurricane City Offices | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The council unanimously approved, 5-0, a new master transportation plan. 

City Engineer Arthur Lebaron said that the plan lays out a vision for future generations in Hurricane; however, there were some objections from those in attendance. 

The council initially heard from a resident who expressed trepidation about a proposed connection from Main Street to 200 West. As part of the council’s approval of the plan, at the suggestion of outgoing Councilman Kevin Thomas, an addition was added that deemed such a potential connection a minor residential street rather than a main thoroughfare.

Councilman Darin Larson also expressed concerns about the plan extending 300 West beyond its unconnected cul-de-sacs.  However, Mayor John Bramall said there is a need to relieve traffic on such north-south thoroughfares as 700 West. 

“Ask people on 700 West how they would feel if 300 West, 400 West and others were finished,” Bramall said.  

In another unanimous vote related to transportation, the council approved an amendment to allocate $125,000 of the city’s budget toward the initial engineering and design of a connection between 325 North and 1040 West to create another access road to Hurricane Elementary and Valley Academy. 

Thomas put forth the amendment because of what he said were safety concerns about incomplete streets around the two schools and arriving and departing students trying to cross them — something Hurricane’s mayor agreed with. 

“As mayor, they’re all my kids,” Bramall said. “And one kid [in danger] is too many.”

Also looking to the future, the council unanimously approved plans for two housing developments.

The first development – Hurricane Views and Hurricane Village – intends to create 161 town houses and 30 single-family homes on approximately 30 acres encircled by Rlington Parkway, 200 South, 2500 West and 1900 West. 

The council also gave unanimous approval to a zone change from 100 to 200 affordable housing units at 296 N. Foothills Canyon. 

Splash pads and solar power

In other business, the council followed up on its previous approval on Dec. 6 of a renovated splash pad at Hurricane Community Center and higher solar power output for residential users

In addition to the community center, the council unanimously approved a contract with Salt Lake City-based Splash Pads USA for a new splash pad for Dixie Springs Park. It will be larger than the water feature being renovated at the community center, which is also being constructed by Splash Pads USA. The $350,000 for the Dixie Springs Park feature had already been approved in the city budget. The new feature will include a stream bed similar to the one seen at St. George’s Town Square. 

In another 5-0 vote, the council approved raising the base power rate for residential customers using larger solar installations from $19 to $30. At its previous meeting, the council approved doubling the allowed power output of residential solar installations in the city from 8  to 16 kW DC.

Of the 12 votes on the council’s agenda at the Thursday meeting, the only one not to receive unanimous approval was a $7 peak rate increase for Sky Mountain Golf Course to help with capital improvements. It passed by a 4-1 vote, with Thomas being the lone dissenting vote, saying he would rather see the additional fees covered by tourists rather than local residents. 

In with the new, goodbye to the departing

Councilwoman Pam Humphries closes out her last meeting as a member of the Hurricane City Council on Dec. 19, 2019, at Hurricane City Offices. Humphries is retiring after 12 years on the council | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Thursday’s meeting also included the formal swearing in of new council members Nanette Billings, Joseph Prete and Dave Sanders.

The three will officially take office on Jan. 6, replacing retiring members Pam Humphries and Cheryl Reeve, as well as Thomas, who came in fourth in the November election for the three open council seats

As the meeting was closing and Deputy City Recorder Beccie Williams was removing the name placards of the outgoing members to give to them, Humphries looked down and noted, “Wow. That’s been there for years.” 

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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