The Monticello City Council started a new year with a few new faces. Two new councilmen, Scott Shakespeare and Jerry Ward, were sworn in at the January 9 meeting of the council. The two were put to work immediately, as Councilman Hoggard was the only other council member present at the meeting.
Mayor Doug Allen started the year by presenting a review of projects currently in progress for the City of Monticello. Allen said that the completion of the mountain water project is the priority. He also pointed out that infrastructure on Main Street and Hwy 491 needs to be a main area of concentration in 2008.
Allen told the council that the Utah Department of Transportation has asked the city to complete infrastructure, mainly sewer and water, prior to August 15, 2008 in order for UDOT to put an overlay on the street as the reconstruction will not occur until 2009 for Highway 491 and 2010 or 2011 for Main Street.
Allen told the council that the park pavilion and improvements in Veterans Memorial Park are also in the works for the current year, as well as the fire station and city shop. Also on the list is a proposed aquatic center/recreation center.
Mayor Allen presented the council committee assignments for 2008. A few changes were made with the addition of two new councilmen, but many stayed the same.
Each councilman is assigned to be the council liaison to specific committees, and a back-up councilman is assigned in the event the lead councilman cannot attend.
Assignments for 2008 for Walter Bird are planning, airport, and adjustments. Jerry Ward will cover parks, beautification, landfill and sanitation. Scott Shakespeare will cover recreation and sewer. Jeremy Hoggard covers economic development, mill tailings, and the Chamber of Commerce. Councilman Brad Randall is over golf, the ATV Safarri, fire and streets. Mayor Doug Allen covers the Southeastern Utah Association of Governments, San Juan Health Care Service District Board, police and water.
As they start a new year with new committee assignments, the council will also look into restructuring committee leadership in order to better utilize the time of those serving on committees.
Councilman Jeremy Hoggard brought the issue to the attention of the council. Hoggard pointed out that all too often, only three members of a five-member committee attend a meeting. With one acting as chairperson, there are only two voting members, therefore not enough to make a quorum.
Hoggard asked if the City Councilman who is serving as a liaison to the committee could be the acting chair of the committee in that event, with the exception of the Planning Commission, the remaining three members can hold the meeting and conduct business.
Mayor Allen shared some concern about making the change with the fully functioning committees and worried that it might make them feel a lack of confidence from the council, and that making a council member their chairman might stifle their creativity.
The council said that if the possibility were only used in the event where one member was needed for a quorum, it would not detract from committees that are functioning at capacity.
Hoggard pointed out that he doesn’t want the extra responsibility, but has frustration when three people and a councilman take the time to attend a meeting and can’t hold the meeting because of lack of a quorum.
He said the change could be made to individual committee bylaws on a case-by-case basis. The council members will take the issue to the committees for their input.
The Council was approached by a representative of the Chamber of Commerce to see if the city would be willing to run the payroll of a Chamber employee through their books.
The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is considering hiring an administrative assistant to work at the visitor center. Mayor Doug Allen is not sure if there were any problems with the request, but said the City would research the issue. In concept, they did not think it would cause a problem, and said it might be a good partnership if the two groups could work together to increase the hours at the visitors center.
Winn Westcott presented the council with an update on the Big 4 Tractor reconstruction progress. Westcott reported that the cylinders are back and are in the process of being installed on the engine. He told the council the transmission is finished and the radiator is being repaired.
The council approved alcoholic beverage licenses for MD Ranch Cookhouse, Out West Food and Fuel, and Blue Mountain Foods.