Hurricane denies funding for bike festival, extends vacation rental moratorium

Hurricane City Council, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 7, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

HURRICANE – With a short, varied agenda, the Hurricane City Council on Thursday addressed everything from funding for a mountain bike festival, the Police Department’s annual report, traffic safety concerns and funding for a road improvement project.

Mountain Bike Festival pump track funding

DJ Morisette, “Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival” director and owner of Over The Edge Sports, came to the meeting seeking funding to pay for a pump track for the festival. The festival is scheduled for March 18-20 at the Hurricane City Community Center, 63 S. 100 West.

Morisette said she expects approximately 300 registered participants at the festival this year, double what there were last year.

The festival, now in its sixth year, will include bike demos, a fashion show, which is new this year, and national press coverage, she explained.

The festival needs to raise an additional $1,500 to pay the $4,500 price tag of the pump track, which is a continuous circuit of dirt rollers, berms, and jumps that loops back on itself, which allows the rider to ride it continuously and practice “pumping” the terrain to gain speed.

Morisette said such an attraction, which would be placed on the north side of the Fine Arts Building during the festival, would attract more people to the festival, which she said helps bring tourism money into Hurricane’s economy.

Despite Morisette’s presentation, the Council was unwilling to pony up any more money to help the festival. Councilwoman Cheryl Reeve said the city has already given $3,000 to the event, which exceeds what the Council has usually donated for similar events.

Both councilmen Kevin Tervort and Kevin Thomas said they like the festival, but are unwilling to use city funds to pay for the track.

“We’ve helped it more than we should have,” Tervort said.

Councilwoman Pam Humphries encouraged Morisette to apply for a Recreation, Arts and Parks, or RAP, tax grant to help the festival next year. Applications for those grants are available on the city’s website and due March 11. Funds for those approved for the grants will be available in July, City Manager Clark Fawcett said. 

Annual Police Department Report

Sgt. Jerod Brisk provided the council with the 2015 annual police report, which showed criminal activity had increased. According to Brisk’s presentation, there were 6,383 law incidents (an increase of 159 from 2014), 840 arrests and 2,529 citations in Hurricane City last year.

Brisk said there were 163 different types of incidents last year, the top one being suspicious activity, which goes along with the police department’s motto of, “See something, say something.”

Unfortunately the average response time to incidents also rose from 5:53 minutes to 7:10 minutes, he said.

Crimes on the rise include possession of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia and stolen property. A lot of the crimes can be deterred, Brisk said, by locking cars and homes.

During the presentation, Tervort asked Brisk to clear up a misconception held by some that police officers who spend time on the computers installed in their trucks or cruisers are not working.

Brisk said the policemen doing that are certainly not playing games. Each of those computers is a mobile data terminal, allowing officers to do their reports in the field instead of always returning to headquarters.

“We try to keep officers out and visible,” Brisk said.

Keeping officers in the field like that, he said, saves on time, fuel and maintenance costs but is also a deterrent to speeding, he explained. Without officers regularly in the field, Brisk said response times to incidents would be longer.

Vacation rental moratorium

The council unanimously approved an extension of the vacation rental moratorium for 30 more days. The changes to the ordinance discussed in a work meeting last week could potentially be approved in a meeting next month when the city council has a full quorum (Councilman Darin Larson was absent from Thursday night’s meeting).

State Street improvements funding

The council approved a contingency billing cooperative agreement with Utah Department of Transportation for improvements to be made on state Route 9 between 300 West and 700 West.

City Engineer Arthur LeBaron said a median curb would be placed on 700 West for safety reasons to avoid potential accidents from cars entering the parking lot of the Chevron/Burger King on the corner of 700 West and State Street in different places and directions.

The concern arises specifically from vehicles turning left into the business immediately after turning right onto 700 West from State Street. Mayor John Bramall and Thomas expressed concern over the ability of those driving semitrailer trucks to enter the parking lot if the curb were there.

The billing cooperative was approved with the contingency that LeBaron would look into the feasibility of the curb placement, specifically for semitractor-trailers.

Email: rwadsworth@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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