City Council approves trail improvements

Part of the St. George trail system, stock photo | St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The City Council approved various bids for future improvements to parts of the city’s trail system and facilities Thursday night. One of the bigger projects involves improving a drainage channel in the Mall Drive-3000 East area of Washington Fields while also creating an additional trail.

Unanimously approved by the St. George City Council, the nearly $1.6 million project will improve a preexisting channel that drains into the Virgin River.

“(The project) takes the current drainage easement, improves on it, takes it up to the capacity of a 100-year storm …. and allows us to connect the drainage to the east side of 3000 East,” City Manager Gary Esplin said.

In addition to adding to the channel’s capacity, it will also include three culvert crossings – one at 3000 East, another at the entrance of the incoming commercial property along Mall Drive, and another on the westerly side of the commercial project that will include a trail crossing. Landscaping will also be added to make the channel more aesthetically pleasing.

Sometimes a drainage channel such as this seems like an impediment, but it can turn out real nice,” Mayor Jon Pike said.

The project will be paid for through drainage impact fees, Esplin said. As the project involves drainage, however, the Flood Control Authority will reimburse St. George half of the cost, he said.

Development of the trail system in the area will progress as development continues to takes place. So far, a commercial center centered around a Lin’s Market is planned for the area along Mall Drive and 3000 East. Nearby, just off Riverside Drive on 2450 East, a large apartment complex is also projected to be built.

Two of the city’s trailheads were the subject of improvement bids Thursday night as well, with each being unanimously approved.

The St. James Trailhead will receive 1,820 feet of asphalt trail, an irrigation system and 7 acres of turf. The winning bid for the project was $213,400.

Improvements to the Webb Hill Trailhead include the construction of a small parking lot, a shade structure and information kiosk for $81,000.

An engineering agreement for additional work on the Virgin River Trail from River Road to Springs Park at 2395 East Springs Drive was also approved for $72,500. Starting in the area of 1450 South, improvements will include over 6,500 feet of additional trail over two phases of construction.

A purchase of playground equipment for Silkwood Park was also approved for $99,800.

“We’ll always be developing trails,” said Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager. “It’s one of our signature brands in St. George.”

The city’s trail system, which includes both paved and unpaved trails through rural and urban areas, has become increasingly popular over the years and Mortensen said the city will likely be pursuing trail development for the next few decades.

“We’ll be continuing with trail development until we reach build out,” he said.

Other business

During the 1st-of-the-month public comment period of the council meeting, the City Council heard from two city residents in favor of the city passing an ordinance banning pet stores from selling puppies acquired from so-called “puppy mills.” They said dogs used for breeding in puppy mills are not treated humanely, and as a result, puppies born from such conditions can be sickly and are not properly cared for before being sent to a pet store.

Pike said the city staff would look at example ordinances the two residents provided.

The City Council and St. George Arts Commission recognized artist Roland Lee and musician Howard Putnam with its annual Excellence in Art Awards.

The city agreed to sponsor the George First Friday Street Fest on Main Street. Starting June 5, and each first Friday of the month after that in 2015, Main Street between Tabernacle Street and St. George Boulevard will be blocked off for outdoor concerts and other events.

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1 Comment

  • tcrider April 3, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    these trails are excellent and are used by way more people than the stupid soccer fields that will cost all the tax payers money to keep the grass growing and used for only one tenth of the year by a handful of so called soccer events.

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