Monticello City Council discusses road construction issues
Jun 17, 2009 | 1489 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
by Anna Thayn

The road construction season is about to begin in Monticello. 

City Manager Myron Lee reported to the City Council at their June 9 meeting that the Utah Department of Transportation awarded the contract for the reconstruction of Highways 491 and 191. 

UDOT will hold a meet the contractor event on June 22 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and anticipate starting construction the next day.  They will bring a map of the project and discuss details at that time. The City Office is continuing to collect e-mail addresses for those interested in receiving updates. 

Due to the construction, Highways 491 and 191 will be closed to all but one lane of traffic in each direction, and will have no parking allowed on the streets. 

The council discussed the need to change the Pioneer Day parade route, as they will not be able to use Main Street. The parade will go from the High School to the Elementary School and then back to the High School on 100 West.

The Chamber of Commerce suggested moving the activities normally held in the park to the Visitors Center area on 200 South from Main to 100 West, and close the street to vehicular traffic for the day. 

The council approved closing the city block on Saturday, July 25 for the Pioneer Day Celebration, while still allowing access to the residents that live on the street.

The council amended the fiscal year 2008-09 budget and discussed the fiscal year 2009-10 budget.   Myron Lee said they refined the sales tax, energy sales tax and property tax numbers and still show a $42,000 deficit, with another possible $20,000 deficit due to employee benefit issues. 

Lee said there were several options to balance the budget, including cutting programs or increasing fees. Lee reported that the departments have all cut between seven and ten percent of costs from their budget. 

The certified tax rate for 2008 was .003025.  The council discussed the possibility of keeping the tax rate the same, and going through a Truth in Taxation hearing, as it would generate an additional $24,405 revenue.

They also discussed the possibility of raising the rates for sanitation pickup. The council was told that the rates are currently $12.50 and has not been changed for several years.

Compared to other towns in the area, this is extremely low, and is not covering the costs in the department.   Raising the rates by ten percent would generate an additional $18,000.  

They also discussed making the secondary water rate more equitable across the board, so that it is based on acreage watered, making it more fair between large and small water users.   

The council discussed a special meeting in order to adopt a balanced budget and set aside the decision for the current time. 

They gave the city administration direction to make changes to the city employees health benefits, look into leaving the certified tax rate the same, and put together a proposal for increasing utility costs.  

The council awarded the CMGC swimming pool contract to Hogan Construction for a guaranteed maximum price that does not exceed the budget of $1.7 million, which includes all fees, bonds and costs outlined in the request for proposal. 

Kimm Henderson approached the City Council regarding a request she has made to purchase ten feet of property in front of her home.  She said that the street she lives on is 60 feet wide and even with the purchase of the 10 feet, it would leave seven feet of city right of way.  

Henderson would like to put a front porch on her home, but the front door is only 15 feet from the property line and the requirement is 20 feet.  Henderson said she could not understand why they would not be willing to sell the property.

“I’m sick of hearing the answer ‘we’re not going to do that because it’s going to open up a can of worms,’” said a frustrated Henderson. “Codes continue to not get enforced and those of us who try to follow proper procedure get smacked in the face time and time again.”

Henderson said that it would benefit the city to sell the property, as they would receive a lump sum of what fair market price would be, as well as increase in property taxes. 

Councilman Walter Bird said that it would not increase the property taxes, as they are based on value and actual square footage. 

Bird said that the rights-of-way include other items besides roads, including utilities and other city infrastructure.  He expressed concern that if the council determined to sell the property, they should do it everywhere in town.  Bird said they should consider the future before making any decisions.

Henderson said that it would be best to leave a seven foot setback behind the curb and gutter and give people their property back to do with as they please. 

Mayor Doug Allen told Henderson that they have not made a decision on her request and are not opposed to looking at it, but that it was not a simple process. 

He said that surveys would have to be done for the entire block, and many of the neighbors may not be interested or willing to purchase the property.  

Mayor Allen told Henderson the council would be willing to look into the issue further.
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