Monticello talks speed shift, approve banners with provision

by David Boyle
News Director
Members of the Monticello City Council approved their annual budget and adopted final tax rates as part of their latest meeting. Council members also approved banners on city highways with stipulations and talked about speed enforcement in the city.
At the June 27 meeting, members of the Monticello City Council heard a presentation from San Juan County Sheriff Lehi Lacy regarding speed enforcement in city limits.
Sheriff Lacy presented the idea of a speed shift in city limits. “The biggest complaint that I’ve been getting as a Sheriff is speed on Main Street. People not seeing officers on Main Street because they’re on call or in different parts of the city.”
Sheriff Lacy said he got the idea from the state. The proposed shift would offer a deputy overtime for four hour shifts, with one officer focused solely on the speed on Main Street. Shift costs would be offset by citations.
Sheriff Lacy said, “It’s not all about the finances, it’s about the safety and the speed going through town.”
The shifts would likely start at two a month, with an option to add holidays as well. Members of the council thanked Sheriff Lacy and gave their support of the idea.
Monticello City Council members approved a proposal for the Canyon Country Discovery Center to hang banners promoting their events for the upcoming Annular Solar Eclipse on October 13.
The council approved the banners with the stipulation that they not include logos of corporate sponsors of the event.
The Monticello-based Discovery Center has a full week of activities planned ahead of the eclipse, and wishes to promote the event on the banners on the highways through Monticello.
Council members first discussed the idea in a May meeting, with amenable feelings towards the idea as long as the council approved the banner and costs associated with the banners, including set-up, covered by nonprofits or educational institutions interested in setting them up.
At the June 27 meeting, members of the council approved the placement of Solar Eclipse banners as long as corporate logos are not part of the banners.
Representing the Discovery Center, Doug Allen explained they would like to have the banners up by Pioneer Day to promote their events.
Members of the council discussed the banners for nearly 30 minutes at the meeting.
Council member George Rice expressed his personal opinion that he opposed promotion of Bank of America, one of the event’s corporate sponsors, for their policies. The discussion led to what should be promoted on city banners, if anything.
Rice said, “If people want to put heads in beds and they own hotels and they’re private industries then by all means they can put whatever banner, they can support whatever group they want. It’s their private right to do so and I fully applaud that. I’m behind private business within reason, doing whatever they need to do to make their business grow. I don’t know that it’s necessarily the government’s job to do that.”
Mayor Bayley Hedglin replied, “My favorite saying is how much government do you want? But as we just went through the budget, one of our main sources of revenue is sales tax, so it comes to that fine line of walking that sword’s edge.”
Allen added “My plea to you is we need a decision to move forward on this that would benefit not only the Discovery Center but the county and the city.”
Members of the council approved banners promoting the event without corporate logos, with council members Nathan Chamberlain, Ron Skinner, and Kim Henderson voting for, Council member Kevin Dunn abstaining, and Rice voting against.
Members of the Monticello City Council also approved a consolidated fee schedule for culinary water connection fees. City manager Kaeden Kulow explained the city had learned that the cost to connect users has been higher than what is typical for normal cities, where third parties are often involved to make connections.
The approved fee schedule charges culinary water connections based on pipe size, as well as whether the connection is made on a street without asphalt. Culinary connections on streets with asphalt have a difference in cost depending if the house is located on the side of the street that is nearest or farthest from the culinary pipe.
Members of the council approved the fee schedule for culinary water connections.
Members of the Monticello City Council also approved an ordinance outlining enforcement procedures for city code violations. The ordinance outlines procedures for code violations that don’t already have a current process in place.
City Code Enforcer Megan Gallegos explained the ordinance is needed for the city to enforce code. The ordinance was reviewed by the city attorney, who drew much of the text from state code.
Code violators will first receive a letter from the City and have two calendar days to respond to the requests, with a plan to address the issue. Those that do not respond after two business days will have an additional five business days to complete compliance. If an individual in violation does not come into compliance of the violated Code, Resolution, or Ordinance after five business days, a daily civil penalty will be assessed by the Monticello City Code Enforcement officer not to exceed $50 a day.
Kulow explained the process allows city administration to make adjustments based on circumstances. Adjustments however cannot be made based on discriminatory traits, in order to prevent claims of favoritism.
Members of the council passed the resolution unanimously.

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