Downtown development, finding new city manager on minds of re-elected officials

Jon Pike is sworn into office as he begins a second term as the mayor of St. George, Utah, Jan. 2, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – This week will see newcomers and incumbents alike take the oath of office in municipalities across the state as they either settle into or continue their roles as elected officials. In St. George where the incumbents swept the elections, returning Mayor Jon Pike and council members Joe Bowcutt and Michele Randall were sworn in Tuesday.

Read more: Incumbents sweep St. George elections

After voting results came in election night last year, Pike said he believed his re-election, along with Bowcutt and Randall, was a sign they were in step with the will of the voters for the city’s future.

Pike, Bowcutt and Randall will be returning for second terms in their current capacities on the council, though Bowcutt said Tuesday he has no plans on running for a third term.

Looking to the immediate future, Pike said a major issue the council will be addressing over the next month or so will be moving work on Tech Ridge along. The mesa top that once served as the home of the St. George Municipal Airport is now the designated spot for a forthcoming tech business park.

Read more: City chooses developer for ‘Tech Ridge’ in bid to attract top tech talent to St. George

Tech Ridge is anticipated to be a place that will both attract and grow tech-based companies and provide higher-paying jobs for the area. Hotels, restaurants and residential neighborhoods are also planned for the mesa as Tech Ridge grows.

L-R: Michele Randall and Joe Bowcutt are sworn in as they begin second terms on the St. George City Council, St. George, Utah, Jan. 2, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

A developer was chosen in November to develop 30 acres of Tech Ridge just north of the Dixie Technical College campus. Over the next month the city will be working on putting together a property purchase and development agreements in relation to the project.

“That will be the order of the day for the first month or so of the year so we can really get that going,” Pike said.

Bowcutt said he was also looking forward to see the Tech Ridge project move forward.

“It’s very exciting to see that come to fruition,” he said. “That’s one of the big things that I hope I’m around to see as it gets going. That’s an incredible project.”

Other large projects taking place within the city are the construction of the City View project and pending construction of the Joule Plaza project in downtown St. George. Both projects offer mixed-use properties that will bring additional housing and retail space to the area.

Read more: $40 million ‘City View’ project breaks ground in heart of St. George

Once completed, the City View project will offer 110 apartment units for between $900 and $1,600. While not in the realm of low-cost housing, Pike said it would nonetheless aid in relieving a small part of the available housing crunch hitting the county.

2018 is going to be a very big and busy year,” Pike said.

The city will also be looking finding a replacement for outgoing City Manager Gary Esplin, Councilwoman Michele Randall said.

Esplin, who has served as the city manager of St. George for 41 years, will be retiring in early February.

“We hope that we find the right person to step in and fill his shoes,” Randall said, adding Esplin’s visions of the city over the last four decades has been instrumental to its development.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • tcrider January 3, 2018 at 9:32 am

    what about the water park that only the city planers and developers want?
    what about the citizen tax payers of st george that do not want the water park?

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