Hurricane City supports curbside recycling but unsure how to administer it

Hurricane City Council, Hurricane, Utah | stock image, St. George News

HURRICANE – The agenda item the Hurricane City Council discussed the longest during its meeting Thursday was how the city should approach the curbside recycling program soon to be implemented by Washington County Special Service District No. 1 and Dixie Waste Services.

Read more: Curbside recycling plan goes to cities, service could begin January

The City Council wants the city to participate in the program, but is unsure if it should be mandatory or should allow residents who don’t want to participate to opt out.

Stock photos, St. George News
Stock photos, St. George News

City Councilman Kevin Tervort was adamant about making curbside recycling mandatory, while councilwomen Pam and Ethelyn Humphries felt that residents should have the choice to opt out if they desired.

“I say either do it mandatory or get out,” Tervort said, explaining that an opt-out option would be an administrative nightmare.

“On the other side, I don’t want the city to tell me I have to recycle,” Pam Humphries said. “I don’t want it to be mandatory.”

Tervort said that even those residents who aren’t keen on the idea at first might acquiesce, thinking that since they’re paying for it, they might as well take advantage of it.

In the end, Tervort floated a motion that it should be mandatory, which was not seconded, while Ethelyn Humphries motioned that it should be on an opt-out basis. The vote on that motion was 2-1, with Tervort being the dissenter. Mayor John Bramall then explained that without three votes, the motion couldn’t pass and that the discussion on the issue would have to continue next City Council meeting, when councilmen Darin Larson and Darin Thomas, both absent, would return.

This outcome prompted City Manager Clark Fawcett to tell the residents in attendance that the council had a “cliffhanger” on its hands – and the residents would have to come back next time to see how the issue shakes out.

Other Business

Fawcett made a short presentation to the council about a budget allocation of between $50,000-$200,000 to improve State Street in between 300 West and 700 West, inserting a median with landscaping similar to the section of the street between 100 East and 200 West. The work on the street will coincide with the repaving of the street by the Utah Department of Transportation to be completed between March and July of next year. Nothing was approved on the proposed project as there were no clear numbers on how much it would cost, Bramall said, explaining that there will be public hearings before anything is approved.

The City Council decided to establish a “Behind the Meter Distributed Generation KWH power purchase rate,” which means it will purchase power at 4 cents per kilowatt hour from homeowners within town who have solar panels that kick power back into the system, City Power Director Dave Imlay said. The rate is equal to what other municipalities such as Washington City and Santa Clara provide for their residents. Imlay said there are only 17 homes in Hurricane with solar panels, but that number will be growing.

The City Council approved the execution of participation documents for the “Carbon Free Power Project Siting Phase Agreement” with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, or UAMPS. This project will construct a nuclear power plant near Idaho Falls from which the city will draw some of its power. The plant uses new technology that, Imlay said, will prevent an accident with the reactors similar to the one that damaged reactors in Fukushima, Japan, in March 2011 after a tsunami.

Map of an area proposed for Bob Brennan's exchange in Sand Mountain Recreation Area, presented to the Habitat Conservation Plan committee meeting June 23, 2015 | St. George News
Map of an area proposed for Bob Brennan’s exchange in Sand Mountain Recreation Area, presented to the Habitat Conservation Plan committee meeting June 23, 2015 | St. George News

Instead of residents speaking during the public forum portion of the meeting, Bramall took the mic and explained further the city’s intentions with its proposed annexation of approximately 1,200 acres of Sand Mountain. Bramall said Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, along with Utah’s house representatives, will propose a bill that would turn the Bureau of Land Management property within the acreage they’re trying to annex over to Washington County and, if annexed into Hurricane, the city could be the “second opinion.” Bramall said that acreage has been in the city’s annexation plan since 1999.

Of that, Bramall said, 450-650 acres might be excluded to swap with developer Bob Brennan. He said 2,000 acres were exchanged on the east side of Sand Mountain, which, in his words, “gave us heartburn,” so they want to preserve what they can for recreation, especially for off-road enthusiasts.

Read more: New Sand Mountain land swap proposed by developer

The Council approved the appointment of Tervort to the Hurricane Valley Fire District Board. Later, during council and staff reports, Tervort said that Leeds would most likely be joining the fire district and that the fire district will be purchasing two more ambulances. Tervort also commented on how well he thought the 600 North project is going.

At the end of the meeting the City Council pledged its support, through a donation of up to $3,000 in discretionary funds, of four wrestlers in the Hurricane Valley Wrestling Club who will be competing in a national championship competition. The donations will help wrestlers Treyson Abbott, Devin English, Jaden Griffin and Matthew Lemmon, all students in Hurricane’s secondary schools, travel to Fargo, North Dakota, along with their coaches, Randy Jakes, Courtney English and Rod Paletta, to compete in nationals at the end of this month.

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