Hurricane City Council approves splash pad replacement, broader solar panel limits

HURRICANE — Despite a recent turn in the weather, the Hurricane City Council members had sunnier subjects on their minds at their second-to-last meeting of the year, including improving funding for a new splash pad and addressing city policy regarding solar power.

Rendering of the renovated splash pad that was unanimously approved by the Hurricane City Council on Dec. 5, 2019. | Photo courtesy Hurricane Parks Department/Splash Pads USA, St. George News

At the council’s Thursday night meeting, all five members unanimously approved $242,800 to fund a complete replacement of the splash pad at Hurricane Community Center. 

Designed and planned for installation by Salt Lake City-based Splash Pad USA, the pad will include eight features up to 9 feet tall, compared to the three features of the current splash pad. Included will be a portion specifically for the youngest children that will be a safer improvement over the current facility. 

The condition of the current pad, located at 63 S 100 West, has deteriorated as it has steadily gained in popularity among the kids – and even Hurricane’s not-so-young residents. 

“There’s always kids having a heck of a time,” said Councilwoman Pam Humphries, who added she doesn’t mind sneaking in a splash or two herself. “I’m a little kid at heart.”

This popularity has caused leaks and settling of the pad.

“It was more heavily used than anticipated,” Hurricane parks superintendent Darren Barney said. 

The old pad will be completely demolished and replaced, rather than just renovated. 

“It’s going to be completely different,” Barney said.

Barney told the council he expects the splash pad to be completed by April 1 and added that the parks department has plans for an even larger splash pad at Dixie Springs Park. 

More solar for residents

In another unanimous vote, the council approved an amendment to current city power policy to allow for higher outputs for residential solar panels in the city. 

The city will now allow homes to have solar-powered output of up to 16 kilowatts DC with a 6 kW AC limiter. Previously, the city had a limit of 8 kW DC. 

Hurricane Councilwoman Pam Humphries at the Dec. 15, 2019, Hurricane City Council meeting, Hurricane, Utah | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

“We continue to get inundated with people asking to install solar outside our policy,” said Dave Imlay, director of Hurricane’s power department.

Hurricane Mayor John Bramall described the move as a win-win for both the city and residents. 

“I think it protects our power company and gives our residents a choice,” Bramall said. 

In other business, the council was presented with the city’s 2018-2019 annual audit, which showed a general fund balance between $2.3 million to $2.9 million.

 “We’re spending what we take in every year,” Bramall said. 

The council also announced that new council members Nanette Billings, Joseph Prete and Dave Sanders would be sworn in at the Dec. 19 council meeting and begin serving their term on Jan. 6.

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

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