Monticello City talks landfill, Big 4, fee schedule

by David Boyle
News Director
Members of the Monticello city council discussed equipment for the parks department, the future of the Big 4 tractor and the city fee schedule at their latest meeting.
At the May 28 meeting members of the council heard a request for a new John Deere Gator for the Parks Department after the motor on the old one went out earlier in the month.
City staff came to the council with a bid from a Cortez area John Deere dealer. Staff noted the needed equipment could be replaced quickly with one in stock and the city mechanic’s preference for John Deere machines was also noted. Members of the council were supportive of replacing the vehicle but asked for additional bids to consider before granting approval for the $21,000 machine.
Members of the city council also reviewed the consolidated fee schedule and a few price changes to some items. While the fee schedule would be updated at the start of the new fiscal year, members of the council did not approve the schedule but did review and provide feedback.
Among the proposals was an increase for building inspection fees from $35 to $65.
Another proposal would see business licenses annual fee remain the same at $50, however businesses that registered early would pay a reduced rate with city staff recommending $25 if registered before December 31. A new fee of $40 would be required for fire inspections, conditional use and non-conforming use application costs would be halved from $150 to $75. Also recommended were some recreation fee changes including the ability for residents to use the city ball field lights until 10:00 pm at a cost of $55. Another proposed increase would be the fee for use of the Pioneer Park Church and the Loyds lake pavilion; city rec program fees were also discussed. Finally staff also recommended a $1 increase per 1,000 gallons for the culinary water fill station. Raising the rate from $12.50 to $13.50.
Members of the city council also discussed the future of the city landfill. Council members foremost addressed rumors that the closure of the landfill is in the near future, clarifying that discussion about the landfill is related to extending its life rather than an impending closure of the landfill.
Council and staff discussed a possible future change to make the location a transfer station, while still accepting yard waste and possibly using the remaining space to receive construction materials from large projects that benefit the community such as the new San Juan hospital which received funding in spring of this year.
Members of the city council also discussed the future of the Big 4 tractor.
The nine-ton tractor built sometime between 1907 and 1912 is a piece of agricultural history. The tractor sat in the city park for over 40 years before a group of volunteers began repairing the tractor in 2005. The group of volunteers brought the Big 4 back to life where it has made appearances driving down Monticello’s main street for Pioneer Day parades. The tractor is now housed on Main Street in a building named after Winn Westcott, one of the volunteers who worked to restore the machine.
While volunteers have restored and maintained the machine for decades, the future of the machine was part of the discussion at the latest city council meeting.
Council member George Rice expressed concern for possibly having city staff be trained and responsible for maintenance of the machine, as the city is already stretched thin.
At the meeting council also discussed how the city previously had a line item for funding the upkeep and maintenance of the machine. Members of the council informally agreed to look closer at that idea once again.
City council members also approved a three-percent cost of living adjustment raise for city staff at the meeting. Council member George Rice, who works for the city, recused himself from the vote.
City Council also discussed the city writing a comment letter regarding the Bears Ears National Monument Draft Plan, with plans made for the city to write-up a comment letter before the June 11 deadline.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

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