Cedar City Downtown Historic District established; library late fees for April, May waived

This Febuary 2020 file photo shows Cedar City Council members discussing ordinance revisions and water use, Cedar City, Feb. 26, 2020 | Photo by Kelsey Cooke, St George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The Cedar City Council voted Wednesday to formally adopt an area of the city as its historic downtown, as well as to waive Cedar City Library late fees for April and May due to COVID-19.

A map with highlighted portions detailing where part of the Historic Downtown District will be, provided as part of the May 13 City Council meeting packet | Screenshot by Kelsey Cooke, St George News / Cedar City News

Councilman Scott Phillips, who is also on the Historic Downtown Committee, proposed an ordinance that formally acknowledges the city’s Historic Downtown District. Although the city has signs announcing the district exists, no formal ordinance was accepted to create the district.

The formal creation of the district designates the boundaries of the district and allows business and building owners to qualify for tax credits if they choose to remodel or keep buildings in compliance with historical design and condition.

The boundaries of the district go from Coal Creek Road to 200 West, and 100 East to 200 South and include both sides of the streets named.

Phillips said, “no one has to opt in unless they want to; if they renovate or restore they can qualify for tax credit.”

A map with highlighted portions detailing where part of the Historic Downtown District will be, provided as part of the May 13 City Council meeting packet | Screenshot by Kelsey Cooke, St George News / Cedar City News

The committee has also received a grant from the state in order to survey the approximately 373 buildings in the proposed district for age and historical significance.

The council approved the proposed Downtown Historic District unanimously.

Library late fees waived

Councilman Craig Isom proposed that the council waive library late fees, as the library was closed for cleaning due to COVID-19 pandemic from March 18 to May 3.

“I have been offered to defer mortgage payments, had car insurance money refunded, a lot of things to help people,” Isom said. “In the sense of kindness and compassion, those that were confused and didn’t think they could get things back, I would like to see if we can consider waiving late fees accrued during March and April.”

Isom said since the library was closed, there may have been some confusion within the community.

Phillips said he agreed with waiving the fees.

“These were extenuating circumstances and I believe it would be in (the) best interest of us and the community to waive the fees,” Phillips said.

Library Director Steve Decker reported to the council via letter that during the library’s closure, approximately $4,205.07 worth of late fees were accrued. Decker also said in the letter that the library provided the ability to return items and sent out overdue notices.

Decker’s letter also explained that of the total fees accrued, approximately $1,700 had the potential to be realized, although it may be months or years before that happens.

Decker stated his recommendation to the council would be to waive fees for materials that would have been due during the COVID-19 and cleaning closure.

“lf I were encouraged to make a recommendation, I would recommend making a one-time exception to the fee schedule,” Decker’s letter said.

The council voted unanimously to waive late fees for April and May, up to the $4,205.07 that accumulated during the library’s closure.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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