by Eric Niven
The Monticello City Council approved new mission and vision statements as part of a new look which will include a new logo and web page. The work was approved at the April 10 council meeting.
The logo is being refined prior to acceptance and incorporation into the new website.
The Monticello Mission Statement is: We are dedicated to providing quality services and opportunities while being responsible stewards of community assets.
The Monticello Vision Statement is: The Town of Monticello is a welcoming community that celebrates our small-town character. We seek sustainable growth that protects our natural and historic resources, while preserving our values, qualities, and culture.
The Council also had its hands full with two emotional issues.
Concern about the use of ATVs in city limits was expressed during the public comment period by resident Ammon Boswell, who lives on Latigo Loop.
Boswell said a neighbor is using a vacant lot next to his home as a circular ATV track. The neighbor owns the lot.
Boswell said this use generates excessive noise, dust and fumes, which he believes violates the city residential zoning laws.
Boswell said he raised the issue previously, but nothing was done.
City Manager Doug Wright said he met with Boswell and did not agree that there was a violation. Wright suggested Boswell approach the City Council.
Wright said this isn’t the only place where ATVs are driven in residential areas. He said that if the Council prohibits use in this case, it would have to prohibit similar uses throughout the city.
Boswell said he tried to resolve the issue with his neighbor but no change resulted from his attempts. He added that other neighbors share his feelings but are hesitant to publicly voice their opinion.
Mayor Tim Young said he was on the Council when they enacted the ordinance in question. They determined that riding ATVs is not prohibited in residential areas in order to facilitate getting the ATV outside of city limits.
Boswell stated this case is not just transporting the ATV outside city limits, but using the lot as a track itself.
Boswell added that if specific activities are listed as permitted in the ordinance, then anything not listed is inherently prohibited and vice versa. For an example, he said he could take up chainsaw carving as a hobby since it is not listed specifically as a prohibited activity, regardless of the noise, fumes, etc.
The discussion became more intense when Boswell implied his concerns about political connections with members of the Council. Mayor Young responded that he is offended with the implication.
The Council is split over whether there was a violation, specifically of the noise issue. The ordinance will be reviewed by the city attorney to determine if violations are occurring.
The next issue to raise eyebrows is adopting the general plan as created and submitted by the city planning commission.
Three years ago, the council asked the planning commission to develop a new plan. The group has been working on the assignment since that time.
The commission recently submitted a draft general plan to the council.
To begin, Councilwoman Bayley Hedglin requested the Planning Commission include a master summary of General Plan to facilitate its use.
Councilman George Rice requested that three items be changed or removed before the plan is adopted. He questioned the accuracy of statements regarding weather patterns, questioned the implication that the city provides electrical services, and questioned if Dark Sky is an objective of the City.
Rice said the Council had already discussed the Dark Sky issue, and it was voted down. He said he would fully support any private enterprise focused on Dark Sky but emphatically stated, “The City needs to stay the hell away from it.”
Rice suggested that Nathan Chamberlain and Blaine Nebeker – members of the Council who were not present at the meeting – are equally opposed to anything promoting Dark Sky issues.
It was concluded that all members of the Council needed to submit input on the issues before the Council votes to adopt the General Plan.
The draft recommendation suggested that Monticello has the potential to become a Dark Sky city but does not state that it is an objective of the city.
The council has the ultimate say on the general plan.
Nate Langston, the Director of Public Works, presented a water report. Currently, Loyds Lake is 51 percent full, the culinary #1 pond is 30 percent full, the culinary #2 pond is 90 percent full, and the secondary pond is 40 percent full.
Langston said there are sufficient water resources for the year but added that replenishment is problematic due to the lack of precipitation. More information will be forthcoming.
Another issue brought before the Council is using funds earmarked to promote economic development to create a RV dump and water station at the Visitor Center.
Visitor Center Manager Wanda Skinner said there is sufficient room, septic access and water to create a station at minimal cost.
It was also proposed that water be made available for RV water tanks. It was suggested the City could make water available for RV tanks for a minimal cost rather than just give it away. This could placate those who buy and haul water for household use. The Council is considering the proposal.
Other items addressed and passed by the Council included assigning Rice as Mayor Pro Tempore, the participation of the City in a cooperative role with the BLM in the Canyon Rims Travel Management Area, and allowing portable storage containers to be increased to the current size of shipping containers.
Hedglin presented the winning entry in the Water Wise campaign poster contest. The first place winner is Hailey Murdock with a poster and catchy slogan, “Be a Hero – Waste Zero.”