Monticello City Manager resigns
Monticello City Manager Douglas Wright has tendered his resignation effective in July. Wright has been the City Manager since August 2017, providing leadership and direction for the city for nearly three years.
The city states during Wright’s tenure many practices were stabilized and processes were established that will benefit the city in the years to come.
Wright became the city manager after serving 14 years as superintendent of the San Juan School District.
Wright said that his decision to retire was made before the COVID-19 pandemic. He expressed a willingness to stay until the right candidate was found.
Over a meeting held online on April 14, the Monticello City Council discussed impacts caused by the resignation of Wright, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Interlocal Agreement with San Juan County.
The city is conducting business as usual and has collected 98 percent of anticipated tax revenue. The city does expect a dip in Transient Room Tax revenue.
Wright expressed concern about possible sewer issues as a result of flushable wipes, etc., sent down the drain in the absence of toilet paper. Wright also reported the Monticello Landfill is closed for sanitary reasons.
Mayor Tim Young asked when the landfill will reopen and Wright estimated it will open next month with the use of substitutes.
The city has provided options for people to get rid of garbage and debris. A dumpster has been placed at the Monticello City Office for county residents.
Public Works Director Nathan Langston said people are allowed to take loads to the Landfill on Thursdays by appointment.
Wright said the Police Department is still down one officer and all applicants required POST training prior to employment, which cannot be offered until the pandemic is over.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has provided an additional $20,000 grant to the airport.
Registration for youth activities is open. Events that are not running in the spring may be operational later during the summer.
The Hideout Golf Course opened for business Monday, April 20.
The council discussed water storage capacity and secondary water rates for 2020. Langston reports pond levels are good and engineers expect them to fill to capacity.
Langston recommended a Tier 1 secondary water rate for 2020, which is the lowest rates for secondary water. The council voted unanimously to adopt these rates.
The Monticello City Interlocal Agreement with San Juan County was discussed at length. Wright reported the last Interlocal Agreement was signed in 2002.
Main items in the Interlocal Agreement include snow removal, street improvements, fire protection, emergency response, and recreation. Wright stressed the importance of the Interlocal Agreement and urged councilmembers to look through it carefully.
Mayor Young said San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams believes we should review the agreement and push to keep one in place.
Wright said a concern of the county is growth in Spanish Valley, which has the potential to add another municipality for them to serve.
Committee assignments for City Council members were approved. Councilmember Kim Henderson is on the Planning Commission, Councilmember Bayley Hedglin is on the Economic Development and Recreation committees, Mayor Tim Young is on the Parks and Beautification Committee, Councilmember George Rice is on the Transportation Special Service District, and Councilmember Ron Skinner is on the Airport Committee and is the liaison for the Police and ATV Departments.
The Council also discussed the Pioneer Day budget and Cooperative Agreement. City Manager Doug Wright reports the city doesn’t generate any revenue off the celebration.
Councilmember Hedglin pointed out the city recoups the sales tax generated. Mayor Young proposed looking into business sponsorships to help pay for the event.
Councilmembers discussed whether or not the swimming pool would open this year. Lifeguards will need to be trained and conditions still remain uncertain.
Doug Allen expressed concern about holding city council meetings electronically when the Hideout Community Center has enough room to practice social distancing. He also expressed concern about opening the Hideout Golf Course, the city committees, and the city offices.
He wrote, “I view the City as an essential business, such as the grocery store, and as such, needs to be open to the public as much as possible. My family and friends who work at Blue Mountain Foods are there for the public six days a week, even opening an extra hour a day. Please show more courage and leadership while being safe.”