Previously, water users paid a base rate for water and for secondary water. Residents not on the secondary system received a 50,000 gallon per month allowance on their culinary water during the secondary water season.
The council discovered that some users see a decrease in their water bill during the growing season and pay less for outside water than those on the secondary system. To make the system more equitable, the council changed the allowed amount from 50,000 to 30,000 gallons. Users have the option to “opt out” of the program if they do not want to continue paying the secondary water rate.
Councilman Craig Leavitt said there should not be a special user rate for people not on the secondary system, and all water users should pay the same amount. Leavitt said the 30,000 gallon allowance is too high.
The water department suggested that new owners on properties outside the secondary system not be given an allowance and not be charged the secondary fee, paying for water per gallon used from the culinary system. The council voted 4 to 1 in favor of the a lowered allowance, with Leavitt voting against the motion.
A salary increase for Interim City Manager Ruth Skouson was narrowly approved by a 3 to 2 vote. Councilmen Brad Randall and Leavitt voted against the increase. The increase began on April 16 and will run until a new city manager assumes the duties.
The City Parks and Beautification Committee reported that they are sponsoring a benefit dinner on May 24 at K&A Chuckwagon to purchase flowers for the pots on Main and Center streets. Donations can also be made with utility payments.
The council approved a proclamation, recognizing Arbor Day on April 30 in the City of Monticello. The city is working with the Victims of Mill Tailing Exposure to plant trees at the Mill Site in remembrance of cancer victims. The Monticello Rotary Club is also working to raise funds for trees to be planted at the Mill Site.
Ruth Skouson presented a report on the city recycling program. Expenditures for the program areapproximately $1,800 and savings are about $300.
Skouson reported that volunteer hours spent on the program are valued at $1,400. The city will not be able to rely on volunteers to continue an effective recycling program. They are currently considering adding #2 plastics to the list of recyclables.
The contract with the Seventh District Juvenile Court restitution program was renewed for the 2010-11 contract year. The program provides a way for youth to work to pay fines that are assessed by the Justice Court. The crew, run by Arthur Adair, does a great deal of clean up and beautification around town, for which the council expressed appreciation. The contract includes cleaning facilities at Loyds Lake, lawn care and debris clean-up at the Visitors Center, keeping weeds and debris away from fire hydrants and other items as requested.
Keith Clark presented the council with details regarding the upcoming Farmer’s Market that will be organized by the Economic Development Committee and held on Thursdays beginning May 20 at the K&A Chuckwagon.
Local gardeners and farmers are encouraged to participate. The market will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. with Keith and Anna Clark as managers. Councilman Scott Shakespeare said he would look into involvement by students at Monticello High School.
The council received a report on VISTA volunteer Katherine Rogers, who will work on a City Code Enforcement program.
Nancy Dutcher asked the council to advertise Monticello as the entrance to the Needles District of Canyonlands. Dutcher also presented a list of protesters that are concerned about street vendors. She said the city may lose sales tax and the vendors bring a poor aesthetic to the city.
Restaurant owner Keith Clark offered a dissenting opinion, stating that if a person has all the proper licensing, they should have the right to sell.