Notes from 2018-01-02 Grand County Council meeting

*** Packet for this meeting is here. ***

(Notes by LT (first items) and KW (items N and following).)

Items A-K – Approval of minutes for Oct. 3 – Dec. 27, 2017, postponed to next meeting, again (Clerk does not have minutes prepared, thus Council cannot review and approve).

Mary McGann was elected Council Chair; Curtis Wells Vice Chair. Unanimous vote.

Department Reports

Item L – Update on Moab Area Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan (Zacharia Levine, Community Development Director).  [Liz will add update w/ summary of action plan later today; the Action Plan is not in current/previous packet or on webpage, but have requested copy from Z].  Zacharia, Mary and Curtis will go to SLC and meet w/ Gov. on Jan 18.

Agency Reports

Item M – 2017 Honey Bee Inspection Report (Jerry Shue, Grand County Bee Inspector) – In 2017, 35 inspections/assist calls to 20 beekeepers w/ 121 colonies. Africanized bees in GC not a big concern, but continue monitoring. Last winter’s colony losses in GC of 30% similar to national average. 2017 hot dry summer was one of best local honey production seasons.

Item M.1 (not on the agenda) – Judd Hill gave brief update on airport work.  Dirt work started today; giant culvert (700’+?) going in under both runways. Winter is worst construction time, but least disruptive to businesses that rely on airport during tourist season.  Hope to have work complete in May 2018.

Citizens to be Heard – Sky Ranch was only topic citizens presented.  Chuck and Judy Nichols, Don and Denise Oblak, Bo Kolb and Karl Spielman, SV residents, raised concerns over new development plan for Sky Ranch (Mike Bynum); ~60 houses/50 hangars, longer/wider runway.  New advertisement for chartered jets to use Sky Ranch runway is now online.  This is more hangars than at Canyonlands Field.  The original development plan was for 6 houses.  Main concerns:  noise, safety, character of SV which is now a densely populated area, property values.  And the threat of nightly rentals and non-owners flying in and out.  Noted that even though airstrip/development is located in SJCO, that the majority of residents that will be impacted live in Grand Co.  Discussed flight paths from various approaches, noting that city of Moab will be impacted.  If jets are allowed, even greater impact, noise circumference.  Bynum spoke to downplay concerns and said he’d like to work w/ neighbors on the covenants for Sky Ranch.  Council member Wells reminded residents that they should’ve approached SJCO first, not Grand Co. but citizens reminded him that their residents of GC and will be impacted. Plan is for citizens to continue talking w/ Bynum, and for citizens to get on SJCO Comm’n agenda in near future.  Curtis Wells agreed to go w/ citizens to SJCO meeting.

Item N – Michael Liss presented (rather enthusiastically) a plan to avoid a reservation system in Arches NP.  The plan involves electric busses, electric Jeeps, and a staging area on the reclaimed Atlas Mill site.

Item O – GCC approved letter from Travel Council to local newspapers re the proposed reservation system.  Travel Council letter was stronger than GCC official position on same topic, but most council members were OK with that.  Passed 5-1 with Clapper voting no and Paxman recusing himself.

Item P – Wells talked at great length about how Moab City should be giving the MIC some money.  Lease renewal approved 7-0.

Item Q – Moab Brewery is the official “County Rural Business of the Year” (7-0).  Remarks that MB supports schools and local non-profits (Seekhaven, presumably).

Item R – New funding proportions approved 7-0.

Item S – All board appointments approved 7-0, except for Planning Commission, where Wells and Paxman dissented and Trim was out of the room (approved 4-2).  Wells and Paxman did not give a reason for their dissent.

Item T – Board Rep/Liaison assignments shuffled a bit.  Wells talked is new BLM/FS liaison.  (Halliday also wanted this.  There was a 4-3 vote in favor of Wells, with Hawks joining the conservative wing.)