“This problem is getting worse,” said resident Bob Turri. “When I came to Monticello, there wasn’t a deer in this town. Now they live off of our flowers and gardens and trees.”
“The Fish and Game hasn’t taken one step to deal with this problem,” added Turri. “I don’t have to sit back and tolerate the damage that is being done to my property.”
Turri requests that the City ask the State Division of Wildlife Services (DWR) to cull the deer population. “I hope the city will support me in taking some action,” said Turri. “Now that they are resident deer, we will have a problem until it is taken care of.”
DWR requires the city to ask for action. They won’t respond to individual concerns in city limits.
A group of city residents are conducting a survey to measure community sentiment related to deer control. The results were to be presented at an August 27 council meeting.
Councilman Brad Randall reminded the council that the DWR harvested 60 deer from the community a few years ago.
Councilman Tim Young added, “The deer problem appears to be getting worse. I think that asking the DWR for a reduction is not too much to ask.”
In other matters at the August 13 council meeting, the council voted to discontinue the tackle football program and replace it with an NFL-sponsored flag football program. The city has had a tackle program for about ten years.
City Recreation Director Oliver Crane said a number of city residents and the city recreation committee favor the change.
Crane reports that participation in the tackle program has dropped in recent years. He suggested that the program is expensive for participants and the city, and requires lots of time for practice and travel.
He added that kids face a higher risk of injury and concussion, the program can pigeonhole kids, it can ruin motivation, and it encourages burn-out.
“What is best for our kids right now?” asked Crane. “I think that the change could increase interest in football. We are not dropping football, we are increasing football.”
The new program will feature real NFL jerseys for participants, which will be for third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. Teams can play with as few as five and as many as ten players.
“The idea is to help the kids have lots of fun, get NFL jerseys, and teach fundamentals other than tackling,” said Crane.
The new program will only have teams from Monticello. Teams from Blanding and Moab participated in the tackle program.
Tim Young, who also served as a coach for the tackle team, said he favors the change to flag football.
“Tackle tends to discourage younger kids,” said Young. “They do not even try out when they get to junior high. I think that more kids would have a better experience with flag rather than tackle.”
City Manager Greg Westfall said the high school coaches support the flag program. The fee to participate in the flag program is $45.
Westfall reports that construction is progressing on the building to house the Big Four tractor, adjacent to the Frontier Barn Museum. The Council approved an additional $8,000 for windows on the north wall of the building. The construction cost is still below the $157,000 budget for the project. The building will be covered with metal siding that looks like the board and batten on the barn museum.
A 60-percent design meeting was held for the new community center, to be adjacent to the Hideout Golf Club. Westfall hopes to award a bid in December and begin construction in the spring.
Crews are 25 percent complete with the installation of the secondary water metering system.
Mayor Doug Allen reports that the flood insurance problem no longer exists in Monticello after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved changes to the flood risk map.