Washington County swears in officials, commission approves $700K transportation infrastructure project

ST. GEORGE — The Washington County Commission started the year with a short meeting Tuesday as it swore in county officers and tended to a short list of items.

Elected county officials are sworn into office by Washington County Clerk/Auditor Kim Hafen, St. George, Utah, Jan 5, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

County Commissioner Dean Cox, County Attorney Erik Clarke, County Treasurer David Whitehead, County Assessor Tom Durrant and County Recorder Gary L. Christensen were sworn into office at the start of the meeting.

With the exception of Cox, the rest of the county officers ran unopposed for their respective offices last year.

Cox was challenged for the Commission Seat C by Independent American candidate Robert Love, who managed to garner nearly 16% of the vote to Cox’s 84%, allowing the incumbent to return for a second term.

Clarke was already serving as the county’s interim attorney following the resignation of County Attorney Brock Belnap in early February 2020 to join the Washington County Water Conservancy District as an assistant general manager overseeing matters related to the Lake Powell Pipeline project.

Christensen takes the place of former county recorder Russell Shirts, who served with the county for over 40 years.

In other business, the County Commission approved a Council of Governments funding recommendation for a Washington City transportation infrastructure project.

A sign directly passersby to one of the gun ranges at the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park, Hurricane, Utah, May 24, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Amounting to around $700,000, the funding will be used by Washington City to purchase property for right-of-way access for an extension of 3650 East that will eventually connect to the Southern Parkway.

The commission also approved an agreement between the county and the Southern Utah Practical Shooters group for management of one of the gun ranges at the county’s Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park.

The county-owned shooting ranges contain multiple sports venues, such as archery, rifles and black powder. Commissioner Victor Iverson said the venues are managed by different groups that have agreements with the county. He also noted that a part of the shooting range had recently undergone reconstructive work.

“We’ve just gone a massive reconstruction out there to increase the safety and also the capacity to have events,” Iverson said.

Safety issues related to the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range portion of the sports park arose in mid-2019 due to bullets ricocheting into a nearby subdivision. Work done on the range since has been focused on mitigating the issue.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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