ST. GEORGE – The Washington County Commission set a fee schedule for credit cards, approved a bid for flood repair work in Hildale and appointed two members to the Habitat Conservation Advisory Committee at a regular meeting Tuesday.
St. George City Councilwoman Bette Arial was appointed to the Habitat Conservation Advisory Committee, which oversees the Habitat Conservation Plan and the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. Arial replaces St. George City Support Services Director Marc Mortensen in the “Citizen at Large” position on the committee.
“When they wrote the HCP and came up with the ACAC membership, they wanted to make sure the different interests were represented,” Deputy Washington County Attorney Eric Clarke said.
The Citizen at Large seat on the committee was designated to represent the largest participating municipality, Clarke said, which is St. George.
Ivins Mayor Chris Hart was reappointed to the advisory committee representing development on the committee. The new terms of both Hart and Arial expire Feb. 28, 2020.
In other business, the commission passed a resolution allowing each county department to set its own fees for customers who pay with a credit card.
“The question that comes up is, ‘Can they charge a fee if allowing someone to use a credit card on a sizable payment costs the county money?'” Clarke said.
“I think it’s so important to have this convenience for our citizens,” Commissioner Victor Iverson said. When purchases are made by credit card at a business, there is a cost involved that is usually borne by the company.
“Unfortunately we can’t offset that cost at the cost of other taxpayers,” Iverson said.
Each county department will now be able to decide whether to accept credit cards as payment. Some departments have been doing so for quite some time. However, to charge a fee requires the OK of the county commission.
The commission also awarded a bid for construction of flood control measures in Hildale which will be funded primarily by the Emergency Watershed Protection program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The city of Hildale will also furnish funds or in-kind contributions.
“We will be out there working on a storm water diversion structure to transfer all that storm water that’s always run over Utah Avenue in several areas and down through the streets and in people’s back yards and houses,” Washington County Public Works Director Ron Whitehead said at a Feb. 7 commission meeting, when the work was approved.
The project is being sponsored and managed by Washington County; a bid in the amount of $366,630 was awarded to Feller Enterprises LLC for the work.
“I think it’s great that we’re making progress on this terrible flood that happened a year and a half ago, ” Commissioner Dean Cox said.
Thirteen people died in a Sept. 14, 2015, flood event that also caused extensive damage to roads, bridges and a municipal water pipeline in both Hildale and Colorado City, Arizona.
The current project is one of several repair and prevention projects undertaken since the fatal flooding in Hildale. Roughly $81 million has been spent in the county on flood control and flood damage repair since the floods in 2005, county public works director Ron Whitehead said.
Ed. note Feb. 22, 8:10 a.m.: Correction made to terms of Hart and Arial, which expire in 2020, not 2017.
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