Hurricane considers RAP tax revenue, transportation tax, land purchase in brief meeting

Hurricane City Police Sgt. Brandon Buell passes out certificates to the first graduates of the Police Department's Citizens Academy, Hurricane City Council, Hurricane, Utah, June 4, 2015 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

HURRICANE – With only seven items on the agenda, Mayor John Bramall absent and Councilwoman Pam Humphries acting in his place, the Hurricane City Council experienced a rare less-than-one-hour meeting Thursday in which it briefly discussed and approved a variety of proposals and voiced its disapproval of the proposed ballot measure for this fall.

The City Council approved a resolution approving the first amended Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between Washington County and the municipalities within the county regarding the distribution of Recreation, Arts and Parks Tax revenue.

The council’s only question on the interlocal agreement was if municipalities in the county must seek approval from the advisory board on how to spend their distributions, but City Attorney Fay Reber was able to answer that question: He said the county will consult the board when it makes its distributions to the municipalities but that the municipalities do not have to consult the board.

Map showing the location and shape of the 13-acre parcel which will facilitate a power line route in Hurricane City. The portion currently owned by Rocky Mountain Power that would be deeded back to the landowners is near the bottom. Hurricane City Council, Hurricane, Utah, June 4, 2015 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News
Map showing the location and shape of the 13-acre parcel that will facilitate a power line route in Hurricane City. The portion currently owned by Rocky Mountain Power that would be deeded back to the landowners is near the bottom. Hurricane City Council, Hurricane, Utah, June 4, 2015 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News | Click to enlarge

Dave Imlay, Hurricane City Power director, presented to the council the details of purchasing property at approximately 1150 W. 400 North next to the Fox Hollow Subdivision to facilitate a power line route. Imlay said the landowners would like to divest themselves of the 13-acre parcel and sell it to the city for $213,000, but that option is not feasible.

Instead, Imlay came to the City Council seeking the authority to negotiate an alternate deal: the purchase of a 30-foot strip along the roadway and, to appease the landowners, the purchase of a 0.43 acre parcel owned by Rocky Mountain Power, which housed a substation no longer needed when Hurricane took over its power needs.

That little chunk makes the property an odd shape and when acquired by the city, would be deeded to the landowners to make the parcel more attractive to potential buyers, Imlay said.

The price of the Rocky Mountain Power parcel would be $9,000 and the 30-foot section of roadway would be $11,000, meaning the city would be purchasing both parcels for $20,000. The purchase of the Rocky Mountain Power parcel is contingent on the acquisition of the roadway piece, Imlay explained. The council unanimously gave its blessing for Imlay to negotiate the land deal to facilitate the power line route.

The council briefly discussed, in the language on its agenda, a resolution deriving from the state Legislature’s Transportation Infrastructure Funding bill, designated as 6HB362 during the 2015 General Session signed by the governor March 27 and effective July 1. Among other things, the new law authorizes a county to impose a local option sales and use tax for highways and public transit.

The council’s proposed resolution supports a 1/4 percent local option general sales tax dedicated to transportation, encourages Washington County to submit the proposal to voters on the November 2015 ballot and encourages voters to support the proposal.

City Manager Clark Fawcett said the money garnered from the proposed tax would go towards roads, including construction, maintenance and equipment for the street department.

Councilwoman Ethelyn Humphries made a motion not to support it, to not add another tax. The council approved her motion with a vote of 3-1, with Councilman Darin Larson the lone dissenter.

However, Pam Humphries said it is ultimately up to the county as to whether it will appear on the ballot in November.

Other business

The City Council approved the preliminary plot for a 26-lot twin home subdivision in Sand Hollow Resort on a parcel originally slated to be for a building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The City Council granted landowner Vicky Sanders a zone change from Residential Agricultural 1 acre to Residential Agricultural 0.5 acre so she could build a house on the other half of her lot at 713 W. 1300 South.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Hurricane Police Department presented certificates to the first graduates of its Citizens Academy, which educates citizens on the policies and procedures of the Police Department.

Ed. note: The Transportation Infrastructure Funding bill, 6HB362, passed the Senate 20-8, with 1 not voting; from Southern Utah, Sens. Ralph Okerlund, David Hinkins, Steve Urquhart and Evan Vickers all voted for the bill.  It passed the House 44-29, with 2 not voting; from Southern Utah, Reps. Brad Last, John Westwood, Michael Noel, V. Lowry Snow, Don Ipson, and Merrill Nelson voted for the bill, and Rep. Jon Stanard voted against it.

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