First Female Mayor for Monticello
After winning an unopposed election in November, Monticello’s new Mayor Bayley Hedglin was sworn into office at the council’s first meeting of the year.
Standing council member George Rice and newcomer Kevin Dunn were also sworn in for four-year terms following wins in the November general election.
After being sworn in, Hedglin encouraged community members to take part in the future of the city.
“Monticello was built on the backs of volunteers and I hope that everybody who lives here gets involved,” said Hedglin. “Get involved, stay involved.”
Hedglin is the first female mayor of Monticello. She thanked the city and its citizens for placing their trust in her and quoted a line from Stephen Covey’s The Speed of Trust
“The culture of trust can only thrive above board. High trust is a dividend as surely as low-trust is a tax.”
As part of their first meeting of the new year, the council approved a class C liquor license for Gustavo’s Mexican restaurant, a new restaurant located on East Center Street.
The council approved the request with a contingency of approval from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and San Juan County Sheriff Jason Torgerson.
Should Gustavo’s get the additional approval, it will be the final available class C hard liquor license in Monticello.
The three other full liquor licenses in the city allow the businesses to serve hard liquor. The licenses belong to The Granary, High Desert Cafe, and Doug’s BBQ.
At the meeting, the council also heard from San Juan County Economic Development Director Elaine Gizler, who introduced herself and her office. Gizler became the office director in San Juan County after serving in similar roles in Moab for the past six years.
Gizler addressed the concern she hears often from residents, that is that they don’t want to see San Juan County become like Moab.
“We’ll never be Moab down here, never,” said Gizler. “The good thing is that we can plan our own destiny for all of San Juan County. We can look at what the opportunities are and we can make happen what we want to have happen.”
Gizler gave an update on the efforts of the economic development office, including securing $200,000 in funds from the state. Of that, $163,000 is set aside as a grant to local businesses for growth and retention. The filing deadline for applications closed last week.
Additional money is set aside for expanding daycare opportunities in the county, and scholarship opportunities for local high school seniors.
Gizler also updated the council on her work to seek a $5 million grant from the federal government to help build an indoor arena at the county fairgrounds in Monticello.
The proposal for the arena is in the early application stages, but has letters of support from city staff in Bluff, Blanding, and Monticello.
At the meeting, the council also appointed resident Julie Bailey to fill an opening on the planning commission. Bailey was recommended by the standing members of the commission.
The council also approved the sale of a city truck using a closed bid process.
The 2007 Dodge Ram, previously used by the Hideout Golf Club, has an estimated value of $12,000.
The closed bid process will allow the city to receive several sealed bids, with an option to reject all bids if the council chooses.
If the truck is sold, the funds will be reallocated to the golf course and likely used to purchase new equipment. If the Hideout purchases new equipment, such as a lawnmower, they will offer the older equipment to the city Parks and Recreation department.
The council also received another update on the city welcome sign located north of town.
The sign was hit more than a year ago by a motorist. City Manager Evan Bolt reported after prodding, the motorist’s insurance company reopened the claim. The city hopes to receive funds to fix the sign soon.