Hurricane City Council discusses Lake Powell Pipeline, $25 million bond for recreation center

Zach Renstrom speaks to the Hurricane City Council about the Lake Powell Pipeline, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 15, 2019 | Photo by Mikayla Shoup, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Future water conservation actions – both relating to the Lake Powell Pipeline and beyond – and the inclusion of a $25 million bond on the November ballot were part of Hurricane City Council’s discussion at their meeting on Thursday. 

Washington County Water Conservancy District board member Zach Renstrom started the meeting with a presentation about the Lake Powell Pipeline project. 

The water district supplied around 200 million gallons of water to the city of Hurricane in the past three years, Renstrom said, adding that while Washington County is often criticized for its water usage, the county actually exceeded the governor’s water conservation goal of 25% by saving 30%, just by educating the public on water conservation alone. 

“The next step of water conservation is going to be much harder, and it’s going to fall on the City Council,” Renstrom said. 

The next step is to begin implementing city ordinances, he said. While it will be up to the city to ultimately decide how they want to conserve water, other municipalities have tried things like banning turf in front yards and hiring “water cops” to enforce water regulations and charge hefty fines to those who fail to follow them. 

Zach Renstrom speaks to the Hurricane City Council about the Lake Powell Pipeline, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 15, 2019 | Photo by Mikayla Shoup, St. George News

“Even with the Lake Powell pipeline, we’re still going to have to conserve a lot of water,” Renstrom said. 

The district has looked to other ways to save and obtain water resources other than the pipeline. They are currently in the process of drilling wells around Sand Hollow Reservoir to use the water that is “seeping” into the ground surrounding it. Each well costs around $1 million. 

Other City Council business

In Thursday’s meeting, the City Council also approved the selection of Civil Science as the consultant for three street projects in town, including the building of 2800 West, which will continue state Route 7 to connect to 600 North. 

They also discussed a resolution for a special bond election to be held to vote on the issuance of a general obligation bond of up to $25 million to pay for the construction of a community recreation center. 

The council approved the request to put the issue on the Nov. 5 ballot. Mark Anderson with Zions Public Finance, who is consulting on the issue, said the 20-year bond would be based on market rates at the time the bond was approved by voters. 

Based on current market rates, if passed, the estimated tax impact for residents would be around 2.56%.

“The nice thing about these GO bonds is as the city continues to grow and the tax base increases, the impact to the individual resident goes down over time. And as fast as Hurricane has been growing, that’s a good thing,” Anderson said. 

The council will hold a public hearing on the issue on Sept. 19 to allow the community to give their input. They will also hold a public meeting on Oct. 3 to hear arguments for and against the bond. 

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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