Blanding sets policies for solar, event sponsorship

by David Boyle
News Director
Members of the Blanding city council touched on a variety of topics at their latest meeting including updating policies related to solar power and event sponsorship as well as approving a bid for the shade structure at the city ball fields at their latest meeting.
Members of the Blanding City Council approved a contract bid for the creation of a shade structure at the Centennial Park ballfields at the April 9 meeting.
The city was awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) last April for the project and has been working towards completing the project since. With the city selecting a contract, that same contract now goes to be reviewed by CDBG, with that group’s approval leading to work beginning on the project.
Members of the Blanding City Council also approved a change to the city council event sponsorships. Members of the council approved changes, while the policy previously only allowed residents to ask for city sponsorship during a short time during the start of the year, the new policy allows event organizers to ask for sponsorship throughout the year. The updated policy also removed a requirement that event proceeds of city-sponsored events go to nonprofit organizations.
Members of the Blanding City Council also canceled their next meeting scheduled for April 23. The city council canceled the meeting to avoid a conflict with the Bears Ears National Monument Draft Plan Open House scheduled for April 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at USU Blanding campus. Another open house meeting will be held at Monument Valley High on May 16. Blanding City Council also brought up the city plans to provide workshops for how to provide effective comments on the draft plan. Those workshops are scheduled for April 24, May 15 and June 5. With workshops occurring from Noon to 1:00 pm on those days and from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm as well.
Members of the Blanding City Council also approved policies related to solar power.
According to the passed resolutions, the policies were developed to “streamline the permitting process, ensure fair and equitable net metering agreements, and provide clarity on program participation for solar PV system owners”
The Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system permitting guidelines, net metering service agreement and net metering program description policies were crafted with the aid of West Coast Consultants, as the company has extensive experience in creating policies regarding solar power.
Members of the Blanding City Council also approved a change order to a city street project to address a storm drain issue recently discovered. Herring explained that the change order will allow crews from LeGrand Johnson Construction who are already mobilized on a streets project, to address a storm drain issue. The estimated cost for the repair is just shy of $90,000 with the cost covered from the city storm drain account. The repair will draw less than 10-percent of that particular account.
At the meeting members of the Blanding City Council also approved the appointment of Steve Hiatt to serve as the Blanding representative on the Public Health board. Mayor Logan Monson explained that he had previously served on the board, with Blanding last represented by Herring, after taking the position as city manager the council was looking to fill the board position. Monson proposed Hiatt, who works as a behavioral health counselor for Utah Navajo Health System take the role, members of the council unanimously approved the appointment.
Members of the Blanding City Council also approved a privacy policy statement. As required by the state the policy will give clear direction for how the city collects, uses, and protects the personal information of citizens.

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