City Council awards bid, approves tax incentive, extends industrial park

ST. GEORGE – The St. George City Council Thursday awarded a bid for initial work on the All Abilities Park, approved a tax incentive plan for Industrial Brush Company and extended the Fort Pierce Industrial Park.

The bid for the All Abilities Park was awarded to JP Excavating for $824,950.75.

“This means we start January 5,” Mayor Jon Pike said. “We’re going to push hard and try to get this thing done by June.”

The All Abilities Park will be built adjacent to Tonaquint Park, and will be designed to be accessible to children with “all abilities.”

JP Excavating’s bid for the initial work beat out 10 other qualifying bids, many of which came in well under initial estimates. The bid includes civil engineering work, such as site grading, underground utility installations, roadway and parking construction.

St. George City is soliciting donations for the project.

For more information and ways to donate start here: City unveils design for All Abilities park; animated video shows dinosaur theme

Tax incentive agreement

The City Council formalized a tax incentive agreement for Industrial Brush Company. In exchange for the company investing $6 million in its new manufacturing facility and paying its 23 employees wages and benefits equal to 175 percent of the Washington County average, Industrial Brush will receive a property tax cut.

“The incentive is 80 percent of the property taxes that they would pay, for five years,” St. George City Manager Gary Esplin said. “People say, ‘well, how can you give back property taxes?’” Esplin said. “If they don’t come, you don’t have it to give away.”

That’s what the city has done with the Family Dollar facility and others, Esplin said.

The mayor agrees with the strategy.

“If they don’t get those benefits, if they don’t get the tax break,” Pike said, “then they don’t do it.”

The city will not not offer tax incentives to companies that do not pay above 125 percent of the county average, Pike said.

“We do occasionally get inquires (by companies) that would like to come, and would like to have incentives,” he said, “but they’re not meeting those requirements, so they don’t get the incentives.”

Fort Pierce Industrial Park expansion

In other matters, the city approved an amendment to the City General Plan Use Map which extended the Fort Pierce Industrial Park. The area is west of River Road and south of Enterprise Drive. The amendment came at the request of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA, which owns a large chunk of the industrial park expansion area.

Fort Pierce General Plan Amendment | Map courtesy of St. George City, St. George News
Fort Pierce General Plan Amendment | Map courtesy of St. George City, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge

The industrial park expansion changes the land use designation from residential, commercial and open space designation to 93 acres of business park and 17 acres of open space use.

The business park designation is more neighborhood-friendly than an industrial park, and includes light industry rather than heavy manufacturing.

It’s also a good idea for the city to designate the property for business use before any neighborhoods are built in the area, Esplin said.

There’s nothing built out there,” he said. “By doing this now, it’ll be established. The residents will know, and because this is coming first, there’s no one there to be hurt by it. Anybody that comes in will have to recognize that.”

 Other business of the City Council

  • Amended a contract for engineering consulting fees for the All Abilities Park project, increasing the engineering design fees due to increased work requested by the city.
  • Heard complaints from a citizen about the condition of the streets in Bloomington, specifically Bloomington Drive and some of the connecting streets. Esplin said that the roads in Bloomington were already in existence when the area was annexed by St. George City, and the roads were not originally built with the city’s required six inches of road base. This makes street maintenance, beyond filling potholes, difficult. Esplin said the residents may want to form a special service district to completely repave the streets.
  • Heard from resident Richard Kohler, who requested that city officials support his efforts to influence Utah Department of Transportation’s plans for freeway-capacity changes to Bluff Street. UDOT’s plans are based on faulty traffic estimates and projections, Kohler said. Esplin said that both Bluff Street and Sunset Blvd. are state highways, and while UDOT  will take input from the city, UDOT has the final say.
  • Approved a full service restaurant liquor license for Peppers Cantina, located at 1812 W. Sunset Blvd.
  • Approved an ordinance creating the Airport Advisory Board, which will consist of seven appointed members. 

Resources to get involved in the All Abilities Park development

  • City of St. George All Abilities Park and Playground –  Web page | Facebook
  • Download donation packet
  • Contact: City of St. George All Abilities Park c/o Leisure Services Department | Mail: 220 North 200 East, St. George, UT 84790 | Email: [email protected] | Fax telephone 435-627-4509 | Telephone 435-627-4530

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