Monticello Council talks new fence, end of water year and possible rezoning

by David Boyle
News Director
Members of the Monticello City Council heard a request for help with a new fence and an end-of-year water report. They also discussed possible rezoning along 100 West at their latest meeting.
During their October 25 meeting members of the Monticello City Council heard from members of the Rotary Club about a need to replace fencing at Pioneer Park across the street from the Post Office on Main Street.
Members of the Rotary Club explained that they had torn down portions of the old wooden fence that was in poor condition in the park, and had secured a bid from San Juan Building Supply for parts to replace the fence.
Neighbors that share portions of the fence agreed to pay for half of the new fence, while the Rotary Club is willing to provide the labor to install the fence. 
Rotary members estimate the cost to the city would be about $6,200, although they add that waiting too long on a decision could see those prices increase.
Mayor Bayley Hedglin added her appreciation for the Rotary Club and their work. She said that the city needs some time to review its budgets during its transitional stage while the city looks for a new manager.
“I also know how the state feels when we go over budget,” said Hedglin. “One of our main jobs is to be fiducially responsible for everybody’s tax dollars. I won’t say too much more but we’re facing some big issues right now and it doesn’t seem like that much money, but it’s worrisome. I don’t want you to think we don’t want to do it, we do.”
Hedglin suggested the city could have an answer for the club in a week or two. Council member George Rice suggested that the city create a priority list for projects as the city uses its limited resources.
“I just think it would be irresponsible to offer you that kind of money or commit to that kind of money right now, when we have a lot of things to take care of.”
One item on the agenda for the council is to consider the approval of financial and audit services for the city. That item was tabled for the next meeting.
During their meeting council member Kim Henderson brought forth a proposed zone change in the city.
Henderson noted that blocks on the east side of 100 West change from commercial zone along Main Street to Residential zone on the other side of the block.
Henderson suggested that all or parts of 100 West be considered for the R2 Residential zone to allow for a buffer between the zones.
Henderson pointed out that current zoning doesn’t allow for multi-family housing such as apartment buildings in the R1 zones near Main Street. 
Henderson added she’d like to see multifamily housing encouraged there as the city already has existing apartment buildings in that area.
Henderson also suggested that a property currently housing an automotive repair shop on the north end of town just off Main Street be zoned commercial.
Council member Nathan Chamberlain offered some hesitancy to make changes to the current zoning in place.
“I think we as a council have overstepped the planning and zoning committee several times, no our decisions that we’ve made rather than listening to planning and zoning.”
After some discussion about where to potentially change the zoning, the council did not take any action but planned to continue to discuss the proposal in future meetings.
Members of the council also heard a year-end water report from Public Works Director Nathan Langston.
Langston reported the city is at 79 percent of normal for accumulated precipitation. 
Additionally, the city didn’t pump Loyds Lake this year but it also didn’t add to the storage. Langston reported that forecasts show that hopefully, the city will gain water through the winter, this year instead of losing.
Langston also gave an update that the city project to acquire additional water rights is moving along, with several steps remaining.
In another water matter, Mayor Hedglin reported that the city efforts to acquire the BLM land that the city water treatment plant sits on has received a letter of support from Senator Mitt Romney and that Congressman John Curtis has also signaled his support. The city is also seeking support from San Juan County as well.

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