Residents only on Monticello Planning and Zoning Commission
Update: The print edition of the newspaper incorrectly identified the member of the planning commission who lives out of town. This story has been updated.
A new Monticello residency requirement in order to be a part of the planning and zoning commission was passed unanimously by the Monticello City Council on May 10.
According to Councilmember Kevin Dunn, news of the city council potentially moving in this direction was met with “hostility” and “harsh words” from the current planning and zoning committee.
Planning committee members said that by implementing this Monticello resident requirement the City would lose out on potential talent.
An alternate plan was pitched where at least three of the five members must be residents. Those other two positions would then be open to any residents of the county who lived outside or inside of city limits.
That proposal was met with sturdy disapproval from the council, specifically Councilmember Kim Henderson.
“If there’s not a full quorum there then we still run the risk of somebody outside city limits having a vote on stuff that just pertains to people in the city,” Henderson said. “I am adamantly opposed to that.”
The current committee pointed to George Matocha as an example of a San Juan County resident living outside of city limits as a talent who would be lost to these new requirements.
Henderson went on to say, “We can’t make this decision based off one person. I don’t think that that would be the responsible move… I appreciate his work, but I don’t think we should ever go into a decision making it solely off of one person.”
The council reiterated their support for the committee collaborating with experts or talents who live outside of city limits. But allowing people outside of city limits to have an actual spot on the board was out of the question for the city council.
Threats of quitting have been made by some on the planning committee, but the council said it wouldn’t allow the city to be held hostage by these threats and deter their ultimate decision of unanimously voting in support of this requirement.
The city also approved a purchase of a new boiler for the city pool to replace the broken boiler ahead of the start of the swim season.
The city is arranging to have the pool ready for operation by May 23 for an end-of-the-school year pool party for Monticello Elementary. An official opening to the public will tentatively come on May 25.
In order to combat the rise in gas prices and an aging dump truck, new sanitation rates were also discussed and approved by the council to raise an additional $16,00 a year in revenue.
This new proposal will see a slight increase in sanitation rates for everyone, rather than other plans which saw a less even distribution of increased costs.
Residents of Monticello will see a 50-cent increase in their monthly cost for trash services. The rate also is intended to incentivize larger bins with less pick-ups.
For example, a 4-yard dumpster picked up twice a week now will cost $220 a month, while an 8-yard dumpster picked up once a week would cost $210.
The council also held a tentative budget discussion during this meeting for the upcoming fiscal year budget.
The city is recommending allocating $100,000 to the repair and maintenance of city streets throughout this next year.
An $8,000 increase has been proposed to the Hideout Golf Club for the production of merchandise during the 20th anniversary of the course. City Manager Evan Bolt felt the increase in budget was warranted with the ability of current golf pro Jeff Simon to move their products
The state of Utah is requiring all cities to develop an affordable housing plan, which will first require a housing survey to be done by each city.
A budget of $50,000 has been put aside by the City of Monticello for this survey, but Bolt expects to only spend half of this amount.
Hopes of finding funds to potentially cover the cost of a city tackle football program was also briefly discussed, as well as a pitch by Councilmember George Rice to consider a raise for volunteer firefighters.