City Council meeting notes

Council discussed streets, Horseshoe Bend, the new skatepark and advisory boards.

The mayor and city council approved moving forward with some of its street maintenance projects for fiscal year 2018-19 at the July 25 city  council meeting.

The approval to move forward with the remainder of the street repairs was held off until the Aug. 8 City Council meeting. The push was due to a need for a more in-depth study on the repairs of 10th Avenue by a consultant on the stabilization of the asphalt foundation, which may present an issue of gas and utility lines with possible erosion of the earth under the asphalt. The study could save the city money especially if the utility lines needed repair after the new asphalt is laid. Repairing then remapping those lines is an equally expensive project if that was an alternate plan. A recommendation to fix the “alligatoring” of the road was made since no pothole damage was visible and it would be cost efficient.
The City Council carried the motion to split the completion of the do-able repairs for half now (until October) and half in spring (April) under the same contractors that have a fee arrangement with the city to keep costs under  control. Currently the repairs being done are in the residential areas. Main street repairs will be addressed next year. The repairs have a three million dollars budget.

The unanimous approval of the housing study to be embedded into the General Plan was made to move forward in exploring solutions to the housing problem.  The housing study, paid for by Salt River Project, surveyed the demographics of Page to help provide a foundation for a planning group to carry out that part of the General Plan.

The Skate Park Design got some exciting news when Vince Onel presented a more budget friendly design plan that brought the project just under budget without taking from the wish list or needs of the skating community. The ‘all-wheels/all skills’ design was created for the athletically self-propelled; skateboards, scooter, bmx bikes, roller blades, etc.
“We had over 25 youth and some community members turn out for the design and planning workshop. It was a lot of fun.” said Onel.

The redesign took out the costly amenities that could be installed at a later time, such as a drinking fountain. A water line would be installed for water bottle fill station, however, in order for the design developed from the January 24 Community Design Workshop to stay the same, small amenities had to be cut. One item that all agencies of the city felt needed to remain in the design is the seven stadium type lighting with a dimming capability. It was the Page Police Department’s request to safely monitor the area. A unanimous approval to schedule the groundbreaking in September was made.

Page Police Chief Frank Balkcom made a petition to keep the budget for the Special Resource Officer. Angelo Santana, also known as part of the Page Unified School District security team stationed at the Middle School was in attendance. The budget includes educational outreach programs, such as, Stranger Danger or the Pop with a Cop and disciplinary data interpretation, on campus.  The Council unanimously approved the budget.

The Council approved the Substance Abuse Task Force’s request to replace Bee Valvo who had suffered a traumatic accident this summer and was unable to carry out her duties. The current bylines of the Task Force and Board replacements currently make no guidelines for members injured while serving or absent because of injuries or illness. Valvo’s replacement is Bunny Cochran, Integrated Care Manager at Encompass. Cochran made it clear that if Valvo were able to return to the Task Force, she would happily give the position back to her.

A discussion on the amount of members on city boards was motioned to be dropped to five instead of seven. The argument was that Board participation has been low on most committees or seven board members were not attending to create a quorum majority. So reducing the minimum of seven to five would be more efficient, perhaps with two alternative members with voting rights. This discussion led to a disagreement of how many members would an advisory board need to have to make an informed decision on an issue City Council couldn’t. Another question was could five members effectively represent the public’s interest if an advisory board was called in.

This issue provided insight on the need to redefine duties, such as, the former Community Advisory Board now lacks participation since the new duties center around planning and zoning. The suggestion to bring back their duties to tourism interests was positively received by all in the room. However, Mayor Bill Diak reminded the Council of the rules in place to encourage board member to remain involved or step down by default.

“It’s just respectful to call to say you won’t be there.” he said.

The topic became lengthy with all council members and advisors getting involved.  Councilman Darby McNutt suggested the topic be revisited once the Council had a chance to re-evaluate the list of city Boards so Council didn’t have to act as the Board of Adjustments. The discussion was tabled for study of what was more appropriate.  

The final item on the agenda was a possible fee scale at Horseshoe Bend. The fee would allow the city to recoup the costs of the improvements and safety measures.

“If the act of [paying a] fee discourages visitors then a reserve 20 percent decline adjustment is [factored in],” said councilman Dennis Warner who made the estimation of the fees Page should charge.

The fees will be suggested at three dollars to start with, with a three and a half year recoup time.

If Page had to factor in a 20 percent decline adjustment then it would extend to three to five years.

Many council members felt the fee should range from five to seven dollars but without knowing what the National Park Service fees are then estimating now could raise the price from free to too costly and deter guests visiting at all.

Councilman Levi Tappan made the motion to have the cost slated at zero dollars until the NPS came forward to produce a ground level fee.

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