Council supports police actions regarding loose bull; considers BLM, billboard issues

CEDAR CITY — At its work meeting Wednesday, the Cedar City Council considered: action taken by police when a bull went loose throughout Cedar City Monday; a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau Land Management for the use of a recreational area; and bids for new city billboard signs along Interstate 15.

Bull on the loose

Cedar City Councilman Don Marchant encouraged citizen support of police officers for their action taken to shoot a bull that went loose in the city Monday.

I feel like our officers responded in a very responsible manner and they were there to protect the citizens,” Marchant said. “Unfortunately, some were injured by no fault of their own. They just happened to be in the wrong place where the bull was in the right place.”

Cedar City Police Chief Bob Allinson addressed the situation, which he said was a lot more extensive than what people heard or read about.

“The whole story isn’t available unless you get it in the papers,” Allinson said. “But even in that case, you can’t get it all out.”

Officers spent more than 30 minutes at one place waiting for local ranchers, whom they had called to come attempt to capture the bull before it went across Main Street and was almost hit by a car, he said.

The main concern police officers had was to keep the public safe from the animal, specifically the children at South Elementary School where the bull was near at some point during its rampage.

“We will do anything we can to not kill an animal like that, but that decision had to be made this time because there were too many kids in danger around the school,” he said.

The bull also charged an officer, knocked him down and almost crushed him at some point, Allinson said, which influenced the action taken by officers to stop the animal.

“(The officer) rolled off to the side and that’s when they decided ‘this is getting way too dangerous, we’ve got to stop it,’” he said. 

The issue with using a tranquilizer, Allinson said, is not having one big enough to affect an animal the size of the 1,300 pound bull. The Police Department has the ability to look into bigger tranquilizers, but the concern was that the tool would not help the situation, he said.

“Even after shooting a dog with a tranquilizer it still runs around,” Allinson said. “We just don’t think that’s the answer.”

The officer who shot the bull, hit it in the left shoulder, but the animal continued to run after the action was taken.

Councilman Fred Rowley said bringing horses that wear steel shoes would not have helped the situation because they would struggle running after a bull on asphalt.

Officers called down to the market for ranchers to bring horses and trailers, but they did not make it to the scene on time before serious injury could have been incurred as a result of the bull’s presence in the city, Allinson said.

BLM Memorandum

The City Council approved removing an item from the agenda for the next council meeting after discussion regarding use of the Thunderbird Gardens, a recreational area on the south end of the Cedar Ridge Golf Course, proved further action needed to be taken.

The recreational area is approved for the BLM to construct a 30-mile trail system to accommodate runners, cyclists, horseback riders and pet owners. The request for approval of the trails was brought before the council in August.

At Wednesday’s work meeting, BLM Recreation Planner Dave Jacobsen presented a request for a Memorandum of Understanding with the BLM for the area’s future use.

Thunderbird Gardens, which is currently used as a shooting range, will receive a new policy that will prohibit shooting. After discussion, the council determined that they need to find a new location for a shooting area before approval of the memorandum can be made.

City billboards

Newly appointed Economic Development Director Danny Stewart presented bids for city billboard signs that will stand along I-15 on the borders of city limits.

Rainbow Sign & Banner, Star Sign and YESCO were the companies considered to produce the billboards.

The billboard displays a simple design including the inscription “Welcome to Cedar City, Festival City USA.” Rainbow Sign & Banner bid $38,368, Star Sign bid $31,324, and YESCO bid $29,568.

Stewart said the image should be able to withstand strong winds and is kept clean and simple just as a nice welcome to the city.

Rowley suggested the billboard be switched out every season with an image that shows significance to the events going on at that time such as the Utah Summer Games in the summer or the Utah Shakespeare Festival in the fall.

The council determined implementing the suggestion the sign be swapped out seasonally could cost more than the initial replacement cost bid.

Council approved the lowest bid and the simple design for the billboards.

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