Blanding City Council changes water rate structure, standardizes info request code
by Alene Laney
The Blanding City Council started their meetings for 2020 on January 14.
Councilmembers Logan Shumway, Logan Monson, and KD Perkins took the oath of office. As the only candidates on the ballot, Monson, Shumway, and Perkins were re-elected for another term.
In getting down to business, council members voted in favor of adopting resolution 1-14-2020-1, which changes the structure for water rates. The new rate structure is based on color-coded water years, which will be determined in April each year.
The designation will be based on a water forecasting model developed by civil engineer Kayson Shurtz of Hansen, Allen, and Luce.
The purpose of the coded water years is to encourage water conservation, especially in orange- and red-coded water years.
Mayor Joe Lyman said of the change, “If we’re really going to be totally transparent to the public, we want to collect the same amount of revenue, but do it with less water.”
Councilmember Perkins added, “I’m grateful for all the foresight of previous councils and this council.
“We’re in a good position because we’re planning for those really bad years. I’m grateful to live in a city where we’re planning for those things.”
The council also agreed to take the next steps on standardizing city code for GRAMA requests and implementing a fee schedule based on time spent by employees fulfilling the requests.
A public hearing will be held, with a date still to be determined after legal notice is printed in the San Juan Record.
Four members of the council, with KD Perkins abstaining, approved a contract to a Public Defender for the Blanding City Justice Court. The council approved the contract for local Attorney Craig Halls.
The council discussed a grant offered by Utah State University to install low-water plantings in front of the city building in place of the grass currently there.
Councilmembers expressed a desire to partner with USU for the project and implement the suggested landscape design.
City Manager Jeremy Redd gave department reports for police, water, and recreation. Precipitation is at 179 percent of average for the current water year.
Cole Palmer is a new police officer for the city. He will start his P.O.S.T. training in February.