ST. GEORGE – Jon Pike was welcomed as mayor in the St George City Council meeting Thursday as he and new Councilmembers Joe Bowcutt and Michele Randall joined Gil Almquist and Jimmie Hughes discussing city items, events and ordinances for discussion.
The mayor and council members kept discussions few, efficient and lighthearted as they injected comments about Hughes’ entering the Dixie State University breakdancing competition during the spring break concert and who would be most likely to “blend in”.
The meeting was close to seamless as item after item was discussed, ruled upon or tabled for a later date. Residents of St. George popped in and out of the meeting, or were able to view the meeting via live streaming.
New veterans advisory committee
The mayor and council took time to recognize the newly formed Mayor’s Veteran Advisory Committee that will be working in conjunction with the city to assist the community’s veterans.
“We empower people toward improved mental health, physical health and the overall well-being of the veterans and citizens of St. George,” said Bruce Solomon, a founding member of the group. “We are going to represent the military to make sure they get mental checkups, dental checkups, health checkups. We are here to serve the community overall but especially our veterans.”
“There is an existing Veterans’ Coalition of Southern Utah which gathers and disseminates information, but we are an action group. We are going to be getting our hands dirty and rolling up our sleeves,” Solomon said.
Dixie State’s spring break concert
More details surfaced regarding Dixie State University’s Spring Break Concert and how they plan to minimize sound, disturbance and provide a safe, alternative to sometimes less than honorable activities that happen during spring break.
“American Authors will start around 6:45 p.m. and they will be done at 8 p.m.,” Luke Kerouac said. A dance and paint fight will follow the performers, he said.
“The paint is water soluble, easily cleaned and managed by a large company,” Kerouac said. “It will be a friendly, college environment. We want them to be there and be safe instead of going around doing whatever they want them to do.”
Questions were raised regarding parking, security, clean up and safety.
“I would anticipate more people and it is a bigger area and it isn’t confined as much,” City Manager Gary Esplin said. “We have security to worry about and parking people that will help, but I’m not sure they are security people. We are a little concerned about what is going to happen. Could be good and could be bad. Some security are dedicated to the performers only. We will need crowd control and when we get that many people together in a closed area, it could easily result in injuries. We just don’t want to have something bad happen. We know some of the city will share some of the responsibility and blame in that.”
In response to the concerns, Jordan Sharp, Director of Student Involvement and Leadership at DSU, said that as the date approaches, they will be more aware of how many people will be in attendance and will work with the Utah Department of Transportation and St. George Police to cover costs of additional event needs and security personnel.
“Anything they suggest for the event – anything – we will cover the cost,” Sharp said. “You tell us what needs to be done and we will do it. As it gets closer we know more people that we have and based on those numbers we will work with those numbers.”
City Council approved the extension of the closing time for the concert and dance to 11 p.m.
“We hope it is a good success and just work closely with us,” Pike said.
Joel Tucker, St. George Library Director, requested the waiving of the special event permit fee and the fee for the use of Town Square for the KUED Super Reader Party.
“KUED was offering grant and we applied as seven different libraries and we were able to get $1,000 and St. George Library is matching that,” Tucker said.
Salt Lake City has an annual KUED Super Reader Party and our “intent is to get recognition down south and start bringing that down here. We hope to have a super reader, mime, bouncy castles and pizza for kiddos who participate,” Tucker said.
Another event received a special event permit fee waiver and was approved by the council to use the Ridge Top Complex for the Starry Night Annual Awards and Installation Banquet.
“It is an inspiring event and just a good thing. It isn’t a fundraiser,” said Gregg McArthur, president of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce. “We do it only to provide value and not to make money.”
McArthur discussed several noted persons and businesses in the community that will be highlighted during the event, including start up business of the year, Swig.
“You always put together some neat presentations on each person,” Pike said. “I like them and it’s always neat and inspiring. I don’t think I’ve ever missed your event.”
An item of note is that Pike’s election has left an empty seat on the City Council. Applications are due by Jan. 15 at 5 p.m. The City Council will determine who will fill the vacancy in a council meeting Jan. 23 at 4 p.m.
Applications are supplied through Christina Fernandez, City Recorder, 175 East 200 North, or on the St. George City website.
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