WASHINGTON CITY – In its first regular meeting of the new year, the Washington City Council approved a pending agreement with the City of St. George for SunTran expansion into the city. The council was also updated on the design of the new police station slated to be built next to City Hall.
SunTran bus service
The Washington City Council unanimously approved a pending interlocal agreement with the City of St. George for SunTran bus service. City Attorney Jeff Starkey said the agreement is based on the one St. George has with Ivins, with some tweaks.
The interlocal agreement lays out the city’s initial costs for opening a bus route, as well as annual costs of operation and maintenance.
“I think we’re getting a pretty good deal for the value it gives the city,” Councilman Thad Seegmiller said.
The overall cost of starting a public transit route in Washington City will be $825,660. However, thanks to federal grants that cover a majority of the costs, the city’s costs will be $227,332 for the first year. Annual costs of operation are projected to be around $138,200.
The proposed SunTran route will likely start at Deseret Industries, 2480 Red Cliffs Drive in St. George, and proceed in an irregular loop around Washington City. Possible stops along the route include: Wal-Mart, City Hall, near BioLife Plasma Services, city parks, the area by Washington Elementary School and the Washington City Community Center, among others.
There are over 20 possible stops along the 40-minute route.
As there is an 18-month wait for a new bus once it’s ordered, Starkey said, the City Council will have time to make any potential tweaks to the route before finalizing it.
City Manager Roger Carter said he believes St. George may be ordering new buses within the next 30 to 60 days. If ordered during that time frame, Washington City’s SunTran route could begin running by late summer or early fall of 2016 once the new bus arrives.
“I’m really excited to see this come forward,” Councilman Jeff Turek said. “There’s probably a bigger need (for this) than we’re heard.”
The interlocal agreement now moves to the St. George City Council for apporval.
New police station
Washington City Police Chief Jim Keith updated the City Council on the design plan for the city’s new police station. He shared slides of the building’s design, which will have a look and color similar to City Hall and will be located next door on 100 East where the community garden current sits.
The 14,000-square-foot building is slated to have a 40-year lifespan, Keith said; and, while it will be the primary public safety office, there was also talk of creating satellite offices in other parts of the city as the population grows.
The city hopes to break ground on the new police station by the end of April, with construction expected to last at least a year.
Before adjourning the meeting, the City Council temporarily paused the meeting to convene as the city’s Municipal Building Authority in order to hold a brief public hearing regarding the issuance of bonds that will finance the building of the new police station and related improvements. The costs are set not to exceed $3.7 million with an interest rate not to exceed 6.5 percent – which may be lower now, Carter said. The bonds are set to mature over a period of 21 years.
Nobody spoke against bonding for the new police station, though a question was raised as to whether or not other locations had been considered. Seegmiller said there had been debate over the matter, and that the vote approving the facility’s final location had not been a unanimous one.
- Washington City Council discusses SunTran expansion
- Buses over breakfast, citizens chat with Washington mayor
- City seeks public input on SunTran route connecting Ivins to Hidden Valley
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