Monticello provides update on city pool
by David Boyle
The Monticello City Council discussed a nuisance ordinance, semi-truck parking, and received a thorough update on the city pool at their July 26 work meeting.
New city assistant manager Kaeden Kulow presented the Monticello City Council with a thorough document explaining what’s been happening at the city pool for the past three years.
“Essentially a lot of citizens feel like we’ve given up, when really we’ve worked our tails off to try and get this facility up and running. It’s just been bad luck after bad luck.”
Response to the COVID-19 pandemic closed the pool for the entirety of the 2020 season. The pool re-opened in May 2021, in June of that year the pool closed for two days to get new ignitors for the boiler.
The boiler helps keep the pool at 80-86 degrees Fahrenheit. Organizations such as The American Red Cross and the World Health Organization do not recommend indoor pool temperatures drop below 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
In July of 2021, the week of Pioneer Day, the boiler failed again. In August a Price based HVAC company discovered that the control board for the boiler needed to be replaced.
Supply chain issues meant the part arrived in January 2022 with a test revealing the boiler was working with the new equipment installed.
In April 2022 another boiler failure, related to the ignitor, prompted the request for a new boiler which was approved by the city council at their May 10 meeting. The boiler was ordered with the promise of arriving in six business days once on a truck.
In mid-June the pool began preparations for the season but the old boiler was reportedly burning through one ignitor a week as well as leaking water. With the potential for long-lasting damage to the building in mind, the decision was made to shut down the boiler until a new one arrives.
In July the city received an update from the new boiler manufacturer customer service that the company salesman had severely overpromised and the boiler may arrive in August or September.
Once the boiler is installed and minor repairs are made the city will make an announcement for any potential use of the pool in 2022.
At the same July 26 meeting, Kulow also outlined the pool’s annual electric and natural gas bills over the past four years.
2019 was the last normal full-year of operation at the pool. In that year the city paid $9,981 for natural gas and $12,195 for electricity over the course of the year, although $622 of the electricity was in connection fees charged each month.
The city council asked for the information as part of evaluation of the proposed project from AES to donate solar panels to help power the city pool. The project was not discussed at the July 26 meeting.
At the same work session city attorney Alex Goble presented a five-page update of the city nuisance ordinance.
The ordinance defines nuisances including the storage of equipment, refuse or materials in residential areas, dilapidation of yards or structures, and noise that is out of character for a surrounding area.
The appointed city enforcement officer, Kulow, will investigate and initiate enforcement actions for violations. Starting with identification of violations to responsible residents, followed by written notice and a warning period. If corrective actions aren’t taken violators face civil fines.
Goble and the council discussed what the length of the warning period should be, ranging between 30 and 60 days. With violators having the option of sitting down with the code enforcer to create a plan to address the issue.
Goble outlined two common issues for violators. “It’s usually due to either the financial difficulty of the property owner, or they’ve had surgery and so they can’t take care of their house until they’ve recovered. So this is to give that opportunity for them to come in and have the conversation so a plan can be set-up.”
The process also allows for mediation between residents, and the code enforcer by the city council.
The council also discussed specific nuisances including dog barking and how to define what should be considered a nuisance although no decision was made.
The council deferred action to next month to allow city staff time to work on policies.
The council also discussed semi-trucks using residential roads and overnight parking.
Although the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) does not allow the city to restrict semi-truck parking on Main or Center Street, the city can create a parking ordinance which includes striping streets and restrictions on residential streets.
Council member Kevin Dunn suggested “No Thru Traffic” signs along intersections on the north end of Main Street and the east portion of Center street to dissuade the majority of truckers in the area from parking on residential streets.
Council member Kim Henderson shared her concern regarding the egress from the Maverik gas station parking lot, where semi trucks parked near the parking lot entrance and exit restricts visibility.
“I think it’s unacceptable that people have to pull halfway out of the road when you’ve got a semi-truck parked right in front of maverik.” Henderson shared she heard the same complaint from fellow residents.
Other council members expressed concerns about equal enforcement of red painting near other parking lot access points as well as a potential unintended redirecting of semis on residential streets.
The council directed City Manager Evan Bolt to discuss the concern with the Maverik gas station.
A draft parking ordinance is scheduled to appear before the council in August.
Mayor Bayley Hedglin also reported that funding had been approved for the Victims of Mill Tailings Exposure, with the county to receive $500,000 for cancer screenings with people who lived in Monticello before 2002 deemed eligible.