No room to play: Hurricane considers building new recreation facility

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

HURRICANE – One of the most significant agenda items during the Hurricane City Council Meeting Thursday night regarded a discussion about the direction the growing recreation department should go.

Hurricane Mayor John Bramall suggested the need for a poll of residents on what they would like to see out of the city’s recreation department and ensure there would be funds in the 2017 budget to pay for such a survey.

A graph showing membership growth in Hurricane City's recreation programs. Image courtesy of Bryan King, St. George News
A graph showing membership growth in Hurricane City’s recreation programs. Image courtesy of Bryan King, St. George News

Hurricane Recreation Director Bryce King said his vision for the recreation department is constructing a recreation facility, but not one with all the frills of the Washington City Community Center. He envisions one more along the lines of the recreation center in Heber City, which the department has already toured.

For instance, the Heber City Recreation Center does not include an aquatics center, and, much like Hurricane’s own community center, was established from an existing building that has been retooled, Assistant Recreation Director Matt Patterson said after the meeting.

Heber City converted an old soup factory into a recreation facility with numerous courts including basketball, volleyball, tennis and racquetball. It also includes a walking track, indoor turf for football and soccer, putting greens and batting cages. Retail space in the recreation center is leased by businesses and helps pay for the administration and maintenance of the building, Patterson, who grew up in Heber City, explained.

Bramall said part of the survey would ask if residents would be keen on higher taxes for a bond to pay for such a facility.

It’s not a question of what they want but what they’re willing to pay for,” said Councilman Kevin Tervort.

King said the recreation department is having to cancel some practices, especially for its 62 current basketball teams, because they have to use school district facilities and, in King’s words, “the schools are bumping us.”

A needs assessment should be done to gauge what city residents would like to see out of the recreation department, which King said should be part of the city’s Master Plan. Currently, parks are part of that plan, but not the recreation department as a whole, he noted.

King admits that even with such a facility built, the recreation department would still have to use school courts but feels having a flagship building would provide more benefits to residents.

“We just need to form a committee and do some research,” King said. “It’s going to have to be a phase process.”

At the end of the recreation department discussion, Councilwoman Pam Humphries asked Bramall about the status of the proposed Regional Sports Complex feasibility study, saying the council gave Regional Sports Complex Director Scott Raines more money to complete the study, but haven’t heard back from him. Bramall said the final report is ready and would be on a meeting agenda in the near future.

King said that report would help provide some foundation for the future direction of the recreation department.

Other business

The Council approved a resolution approving the authorization to execute and deliver the renewal offer documents as they relate to independent power producer (IPP) gas repowering, switching a coal-powered plant the city uses to natural gas. By doing so, Power Director Dave Imlay said the city could increase its entitlement share up to 3 megawatts.

Imlay also made a presentation about possibly franchising additional areas in the city to Dixie Power. A powerpoint Imlay presented said the benefits of franchising with Dixie Power would be avoided risk, fewer substations, lower costs for some users and transmission sharing. The drawbacks he listed included loss of economies of scale, fewer employment opportunities and less pride knowing that the city is relying on other sources instead of providing for itself. No decision on the franchising was made during the meeting.

Pointing out Hurricane City Power’s reliability indices was also part of Imlay’s presentation. He indicated that Hurricane is way ahead of the average reliability and that according to his statistics, Hurricane residents have power 99.9962 percent of the time while the average is 99.9108 percent.

Councilman Darin Larson asked Imlay if the reliability tracker could pinpoint outage clusters which Imlay said are very rare. He said in the last year there was one area in town that did not have power for 8-10 hours, but that it was an isolated incident. He said most power outages are minor and caused by lightening or animals such as lizards and squirrels.

The council unanimously approved a motion to transfer all of Hurricane Fire’s movable and depreciable assets to the Hurricane Valley Fire District. Bramall said the assets in question are trucks and ambulances, approximately 12 of the District’s fleet of 47 that still belong to Hurricane. Bramall said they need to be in the care of the Fire District so that they can be depreciated appropriately so residents are not taxed twice for them.

The city pledged to clean up the former community garden with Bramall personally volunteering his tractor mower to help do the job.

Players enjoy games of pickleball at the Hurricane pickleball courts, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 7, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News
Players enjoy games of pickleball at the Hurricane pickleball courts, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 7, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

Scott Johnson, who lives across the street from the city’s pickleball courts and has been rallying as of late to require pickleball players to stop play at 10 p.m. instead of 11 p.m., came to thank the Council because no pickleball players are doing just that – playing past 10 p.m. – within the last few months.

Subdivision approvals

The Council unanimously approved the final plats for the following future subdivisions:

  • Colonial Heights, an 8-lot subdivision located at 2500 West and 150 South.
  • Painted Sands Phase 1, a 48-lot subdivision located south of 600 North, west of 1380 West and east of Gould’s Wash, approximately.

The Council unanimously approved the preliminary plats for the following future subdivisions:

  • Villas at Sand Hollow Condominiums, Phase 4, a three-building, 54-unit plat located at approximately 5228 West Villas Drive North.
  • Falcon Ridge Phase 3B, a nine-lot subdivision at 1100 N. 260 East.

Email: rwadsworth@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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1 Comment

  • sfjo59@gmail.com November 4, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Scott Johnson doesn’t want to thank the city council. He would like to thank everyone for their support of 10PM lights are off. Not one person played past 10PM thank you.

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