County Commission, city plan redevelopment project in Ft. Pierce Industrial Park

ST. GEORGE – The Washington County Commission approved an agreement with the City of St. George Tuesday to create a community development area in the Fort Pierce Industrial Park. The commission also heard proposals for Community Development Block Grants for 2015.

Map of Ft. Pierce community development area | Map courtesy of Washington County Commission, St. George News
Map of Ft. Pierce community development area | Map courtesy of Washington County Commission, St. George News

The community development project area encompasses 57 acres in the Fort Pierce Industrial Park, and tax incentives will be offered to property owners to sell, lease or develop their property in that area. This is expected to result in approximately 85 new jobs with an average monthly wage of approximately $2,540, according to Ft. Pierce Redevelopment Plan documents.

St. George City Manager Gary Esplin spoke to the commission about the plan.

“I think it’s a win-win,” he said.

All taxing entities that would be affected by the community development area have to agree to the plan and can opt out if they choose. This includes the school district, the mosquito abatement district and others.

In essence, the city and other taxing entities are deferring what little taxes they could get out of the properties now in exchange for building businesses and subsequent tax revenue down the road, Esplin said.

The commission also held a public hearing to accept proposals for Community Development Block Grants for 2015. Through these grants, federal funds are distributed by the state and are intended to benefit low- to moderate-income populations.

Dan Dodds, representing Angel Springs Special Service District in Leeds, requested a grant to tie the fire systems into a loop. Currently, there are three different dead ends on the water system, Dodds said.

“There is a lot of iron manganese that builds up in the pipes. The residents are receiving rusty water in their drinking systems,” Dodds said. “If we tie these loops together, we will have a continuous flow, we will save water, and we will greatly improve our health and well-being in the valley. It is about 3,000 feet of pipe. The valves and all the hardware and the labor is included in this bid.”

The hearing was a formality required in the grant process, and the commission agreed to recommend approval of the Angel Springs proposal to the Five County Association of Governments.

One other written request for Community Development Block Grant funding has been received by the commission for a remodeling project at the Brookside Fire Station. Eligible projects include public works; infrastructure, such as fire stations; senior services; and other similar public services.

 Other commission business

  • Renewed a standard cooperative agreement for Utah State University Extension educational work for 2015.
  • Renewed a consulting agreement with Cornell Christensen, of Intermountain Public Land Consultant, to provide expertise on Environmental Impact Statements; classification of sensitive, threatened and endangered species; and other public land issues for the calendar year 2015.
  • Amended a contract between Washington County and Telmate LLC for inmate phone and video visitations systems and services at Purgatory Correctional Facility. The amendment set the county’s commission rate for gross revenue generated from collect phone calls and prepaid phone calls at 60 percent of gross revenue and set the county’s commission at 25 percent of gross revenue from remote video visitation on Telmate’s equipment. Both Telmate and the county agreed to the contract changes.
  • Adopted a new fee schedule for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office fee schedule for services such as serving papers, civil process, posting notices, etc., has not been reviewed since 1999, Undersheriff Bart Bailey said. The Sheriff’s Office spent several months making sure the fees were in compliance with state law and in line with other law enforcement agencies. For more information, see the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website.
  • Approved the allocation of $75,000 of Habitat Conservation Plan funds for an endowment on the 140-acre White Dome property. The property is located south of the Southern Parkway and east of Interstate 15 and was acquired by the Utah Department of Transportation in 2007 to mitigate the Southern Parkway construction. The property will be transferred to the Nature Conservancy, and the funds will be used to maintain the property in perpetuity. The White Dome property is habitat for the bear claw poppy and the Siler pincushion cactus, and the endowment fulfills a requirement that the Habitat Conservation Plan help conserve other threatened or endangered species.
  • Approved a memorandum of understanding between Washington County and the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. The memorandum relates to the deployment and dispensing of prophylactic medications and other supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Strategic National Stockpile through the Utah Department of Health and Southwest Utah Public Health Department in the event of a “widespread bio-event.” Read the full memorandum of understanding.
  • Rezoned 7.7 acres in Pine Valley from A-20 – agricultural with 20-acre minimum lot size – to RE-40, which is residential with 40,000-square-foot minimum lot size.
  • Rezoned 2 acres in Veyo from RA-1, residential agricultural with 1-acre minimum lot size, to C-3, general commercial, in preparation for a Family Dollar store.
  • Renewed an agreement with Wendy Sandberg for consulting work on the Washington County Fair.
  • Adopted an ordinance amending the Home Occupation Zoning requirements, as discussed at the last commission meeting.
  • Set the Washington County Commission meeting schedule for 2015.
  • Renewed public defender agreements for 2015 between Washington County and Aric Cramer, Benjamin Gordon, Leah Jensen, Gary Kuhlmann, Michael Lastowski, Robert Latham, Travis Marker, Michael Rawson, Douglas Terry, Jay Winward and Lamar Winward.

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2 Comments

  • Chris December 4, 2014 at 11:46 am

    How is that supposedly conservative Republicans support this blatant interference by government into the free market mechanism? If free enterprise is the most efficient, fairest allocation of resources for an economy, then why do politicians feel compelled to meddle with it? I’d love to hear the commissioners reconcile these actions with their political philosophies.

    • Koolaid December 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      You are in Utah where everything is controlled by the Reich Wing Republican Government and church.

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