Verbal fireworks at Hurricane City Council Meeting over Peach Days booth space; officer, city employee honored for dedication

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HURRICANE – Hurricane Police Chief Lynn Excell recognized the outstanding work of Officer Justin Gray and presented him with the employee of the month award from the City of Hurricane during Hurricane’s City Council meeting Thursday evening.

City Manager Clark Fawcett also recognized Dallan Wadsworth of the water department for his dedication, skill set and for 15 years on the job serving the citizens of Hurricane.

Greg Aldred of Star Max Solar presented a proposal for providing solar heating to the city pool and lockers at an estimated cost of $6,400 for equipment to heat the locker room and roughly $38,000 for the city pool’s conversion to his system.

Aldred was questioned by the council on proposed cost saving and warranty of this conversion. Councilwoman Pam Humphries expressed concern that the money needed for this conversion was not in the current city budget and moved to table the proposal until further research could be done on the project.

The City Council next heard a proposal from Daniel Sanger of the Diamond Ranch Academy to consider an agreement between his organization and the city to move forward with a proposed new facility just off of Sand Hollow road and State Route 9.

Diamond Ranch Academy, a Youth Residential Treatment Center for Troubled Teens ages 12-18, will be building a new athletic facility and housing center in the Sand Hollow area. The agreement was approved by the City Council, not withstanding proposed changes discussed by the council to Sanger’s building plans.

Next on the agenda was the possible approval by the council of the condemnation of the Elim Valley property for the Dixie Springs subdivision.  After debate on the issue, Councilman Kevin Tervort moved to make a motion to condemn the Elim Valley Property in question via use of eminent domain law, and the council approved the motion.

A bit of verbal fireworks followed the scheduled agenda items when local resident Steve Meyer, the treasurer of the Hurricane Lions Club, stepped out of the audience and addressed the mayor and council about the issue of booth space at the upcoming Peach Days festival.

Meyer stated that he felt the city did not have a firm policy in place to waive the fees for not-for profit organizations such as the Lions club.  After a bit of exchange between Meyer and Mayor Tom Hirschi, Fawcett addressed Meyer’s concerns and stated that the city does need to formulate a plan for the waiving of booth fees for nonprofit entities.

The night was then wrapped up with a report from Humphries on the location of a “patriot park” consisting of a tree garden to honor patriots in the downtown area. The issue was debated and will be planned with the committees involved in the project.

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