Blanding City Council discusses CDA, approves dock contract, moves forward on Westwater project

The Blanding City Council discussed a Commercial Development Agreement to aid businesses in town, approved a contract to bring a dock to Recapture Reservoir, and moved forward on a Westwater water project at their latest meeting.

At their February 22 meeting, the council discussed a possible Commercial Development Agreement for the City of Blanding.

Some cities create a Commercial Development Agreement or variation as a tool to distribute monetary aid to local businesses, usually in the form of utility bill forgiveness and allowance.

A development agreement can also allow for the city to aid in the creation of new utility lines and roads necessary for commerce.

This development agreement would use a model to evaluate projects. This would allow the council to objectively rank eligible businesses and would set a budget for financial aid given to participating businesses.

City Economic Development Specialist Pratt Redd presented the discussion item to the council and requested guidance in drafting an agreement.

The discussion comes following a request made by Sunrise Outfitting. At their previous meeting, Josh Nielson, owner of Sunrise Outfitting, requested that the city help mitigate costs to the business by waiving connection fees.

The council agreed to draft the Commercial Development Agreement. Once an agreement is established, they will then decide how to best aid businesses such as Sunrise Outfitting.

At their previous meeting, the council discussed a commercial policy for the municipal airport. City Manager David Johnson presented a draft policy and requested feedback from the council. The policy draft includes rental fees for hangar, tie down, and parking.

The city currently charges $100 a month to rent a hangar. The draft recommended the monthly hangar fee be increased by $50 every year until 2026, when the monthly fee of $300 will stay the same.

Councilmember KD Perkins said she liked the $50 increment each year but questioned the $300 maximum. Perkins suggested the hangar fee “keep increasing until we've met the threshold of supply and demand.”

The council voted and approved acceptance of a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be used at the airport.

The FAA provides money through the State of Utah for general operation and maintenance at the airport.

City Community Development Director Bret Hosler explained that the FAA is particular about the use of funds, and so the city must track and report its use.

Hosler does not know the exact amount the city will receive at this time, but he anticipates an amount similar to last year, somewhere around $20,000. The money will be used to pay wages and do repairs around the airport.

At the meeting, Mayor Logan Monson appointed Trent Herring as the new representative for the County Health Board.

Monson reported he had interviewed two people in Blanding and applauded both applicants, but chose Herring to serve on the board. Herring works as an administrator at Blue Mountain Hospital.

The council also approved a contract with the Utah Divison of Wildlife Resources (DWR) to bring a dock to Recapture Reservoir.

At a previous meeting on January 25, Pratt Redd presented a contract with the DWR which stipulates the DWR to provide a dock at Recapture Reservoir. The city will maintain the dock.

At the previous meeting, the council directed staff to change the language of the contract in an effort to precisely outline the city’s responsibilities.

Redd presented the revised contract to the city council at their February 22 meeting. The council approved the contract, with Councilmember Erik Grover voting against.

The city also approved a grant from the Utah Division of Drinking Water (DDW) to help bring running water to Westwater community.

The council approved receipt of a $340,984 planning grant o help design a new deep well, and master meter to provide wholesale culinary water to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA).

Funding for the project will be reimbursed in full by the DDW. Once complete, Blanding City will enter into a contract to provide wholesale water to NTUA, who will in turn provide the utility to Westwater residents.

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