Grand County Commission Meeting Report 2020-10-06

Agenda and packet can be found here.

Commission, Other Elected Officials, Department, and Miscellaneous Reports

Mary reported that the Solid Waste Special Service District strongly encourages residents to take its survey regarding recycling. Survey is at:

Curtis reported that the Arches Hotspot projects still being discussed include: downtown parking; multi-use path in Spanish Valley; and public transit. These projects will help with congestion and benefit a broad spectrum of the community.

Chris Baird reported that even though sales, use and excise taxes were way below 2019 levels for February – June, that July – August are above 2019 levels. He stressed that continued success is dependent on how well we do at holding down covid case numbers in Grand County.

Bill Hulse, Building Dept., reported that 2020 has seen no slowdown due to the pandemic. Residential construction values are up.

Cody McKinney, Fleet Manager, was joined by representatives from Enterprise Rental in a presentation for county to consider contracting for rental agreements with Enterprise to lower fleet management expenses, especially the increasing maintenance expenses. Savings over 10 years estimated at $370,000. Enterprise stated it would be an open-ended equity lease, insuring that GC could terminate if savings did not materialize.

Patricia Trap, NPS superintendent for SEUG, reported that Arches NP is full – with lots of first-time NPS visitors due to pandemic. NPS is collecting data and trying to come up with multiple solutions to address over-crowding and parking problems. When the 3 major parking lots are full, this triggers a closure of entry into Arches NP, but this is not ideal; wants to have a more uniform entry of visitors to decrease wait time and alleviate traffic jams in the Park and at Hwy 191. Wants to engage the County, City and public in finding solutions.

  • County attorney noted that the GC Sheriff’s department is assisting in traffic management at the entryway to Arches NP/Hwy 191.
  • Evan noted that guides/outfitters do good job of protecting park resources as their permits and livelihoods depend on it, and hopes NPS will consider more permits for guides/outfitters in the parks. This is a good alternative to closing the parks or turning the masses lose unsupervised during covid outbreaks.
  • Gabriel mentioned the Hwy 313/191 Small Area Plan, and even though it’s late in the process, encouraged Patty/NPS to provide input asap.

Monument Valley Film Commission report by Bega Metzner – 2020 has seen a lot of interest in filming in the area. Over 1000 “cast days” thus far in 2020 and ~$400,000 in film-related spending in the area for hotels, restaurants, local crew salaries, etc.

Citizens to be Heard

Two citizens (Sara Melnicoff and Charlotte Maes) each spoke about the noise issue, primarily from UTVs, and now flying lawnmowers. Concerns raised about future confrontations between residents and tourists, and encouraged noise ordinance and enforcement asap.

County attorney took the opportunity to encourage folks to attend the Joint City-County noise meeting scheduled for October 20. She also noted that both the city and county have noise ordinances and that enforcement is difficult for various reasons, including moving targets, etc. These issues will be discussed at the joint meeting.

Kevin Walker noted that Paradise UT has a good noise ordinance that might be worth reviewing in light of Grand County’s noise problems.

Rally on the Rocks discussion

The applicant commented that the stipulations Grand County imposed on his permit are problematic, and possibly not legal.

County attorney noted that the stips are legal and getting a Special Event Permit is discretionary w/ County (not a right) and County has authority to impose stipulations to any permit it approves.

Mary noted that even though the ROTR discussion is not even an action item on today’s agenda, that the GCC received over 40 letters opposing the event.

Evan noted that the county approves numerous Special Event Permits and none of the permittees complain about any stips imposed. There is NO support from residents and county commission to remove the stipulations included in the ROTR permit and noted that the ROTR event generates more negative comments and complaints to the GCC than all other Special Event Permits issued by the county. If the applicant wants to hold the event, he has to comply with stipulations.

Form of Government presentation by County Attorney

Chrissy Sloan gave an overview of HB 224, the 2018 UT statute that required Grand County to change its form of government to come into conformance with Utah law; explained, in detail, the amendments the GCC voted on in August that brought Grand County’s form of government into conformance with UT law; and walked through all of the ballot questions (prop 10, 16 and 17) that will give voters a broad range of choices as to the form of government they want. This powerpoint presentation will be posted on the County website soon.