RD’s Moab City Council Meeting Preview 2020-12-08

[Editor’s note: Both Rani Derasary Mike Duncan have graciously agreed to let MADAR reuse their regular email updates to constituents. Despite the overlap, we are running both versions of the MCC previews. Readers can choose to read both, either or neither of the previews.]

November and December tend to be a bit slimmer for these emails from me as the City Council only has one regular meeting each in November and December – as opposed to two per month the rest of the calendar year. Our next City Council meeting is this coming Tuesday, December 8, and the next following that will not be until January 12, 2021 (unless we have the need for any added special meetings before that time). Below are details on the December 8 meeting.

Tuesday, December 8 City Council meeting – 6:00pm workshop + 7:00pm main meeting – online only. **As a reminder of how/why we’re meeting electronically, the agenda notes “Consistent with provisions of the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act, Utah Code Ann. § 54-2-207(4), the Moab City Council Chair has issued written determinations supporting the decision to convene electronic meetings of the Council without a physical anchor location. Due to the health and safety risks related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and considering public health orders limiting in-person gatherings, the Moab City Council will continue to hold meetings by electronic means.” The public is invited and encouraged to view the Council’s meetings live (or after the fact) on the City’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl00z0Zgdmz4y1FoI0l7CJA

Citizens to be Heard options: The public can call in to our December 8 meeting, participate via Zoom, or submit written comments on any topic. Please note that if you’re calling or zooming in, you’ll want to do so at 7:00pm on Dec 8, as Citizens to be Heard is now at the beginning of our main meeting agenda. Use the link and/or phone number shown on the agenda here: https://moabcity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_12082020-993. If you’d like to submit written comments instead, please fill out the form here before 7:00pm on Dec 8: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSctVokQ-Lj1eMAGSn1ZK1NhSlq0nEEKm-CpgSuUCswPpUOjQw/viewform?gxids=7628.

The 49-page packet for Dec 8 can be found here. If you prefer the 3-page agenda only, with links to packet parts, that is here. Here is a breakdown of what’s on the Dec 8 agenda:

6:00pm workshop presentations. There are 4 (!) back-to-back presentations on our 6-7pm workshop schedule for December 8 as follows: 

  • FY (Fiscal Year) 2019-2020 Audit Presentation. There are no pages in the packet about this item.
  • 100% Renewable City Facilities Presentation. There are no pages in the packet about this item either.
  • Presentation on Carp Treatment Project at Old City Park. The agenda summary on packet pages 4-5 explains that the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) approached the City about the carp in the pond at Old City Park. Apparently the carp are non-native and having a negative impact on other wildlife using the pond, particularly young birds. DWR is therefore proposing to partially drain the pond in February 2021, treat the pond with rotenone to eliminate the carp, and then replace the carp with a fish native to Utah: the roundtail chub. If I understand correctly, the roundtail chub is considered a Sensitive Species in Utah, and by turning the Old City Park pond into a propagation pond for the chub, the City could help prevent the fish from becoming listed under the Endangered Species Act. You can find a question and answer fact sheet about rotenone on packet pages 6-7, and DWR’s e-booklet “Better Fishing Through Management: How Rotenone is Used to Help Manage Our Fishery Resources More Effectively” on pages 8-15.
  • Institutional Rates Presentation. There are no pages in the packet about this, but I believe the presentation will address the repeated requests local churches have been making to amend the City’s sewer (wastewater service) rate schedule given how churches are currently charged. Tune in Tuesday if interested in this item, as I’m not sure if a proposed “institutional rate” would extend to others beyond churches.

7:00pm Main meeting

  • COVID-19 Updates (under Administrative Reports portion of agenda). There are no pages in our packet for this item, but often City staff, the Mayor and/or Southeast Utah Health Department (SEUHD) or Moab Regional Hospital staff offer an update with the latest information on the pandemic, as well as an opportunity for Council to ask related questions. FYI I recently asked SEUHD staff several questions given the pending rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the US. [Editor’s note: These questions and the answers Rani received from SEUHD Director Bradford are posted in a separate MADAR article.]
  • Proposed Resolution 39-2020: a resolution approving the Sunflower Minor Subdivision of property located at 889 N Main Street, Moab, Utah 84532.  On our agenda as a briefing and possible action, this item addresses a request to subdivide one current lot in the C4 (General Commercial) zone into two lots. The existing lot houses the Super 8 hotel and vacant land south of it. You can find an agenda summary with more detail, the resolution, a vicinity map, county plat and draft survey plat on packet pages 21-27. As a reminder, City code allows for a minor subdivision of less that 5 lots to be reviewed without a public hearing if it meets the conditions outlined on packet page 22, as is the case with this subdivision. 
  • Proposed Resolution 40-2020: a resolution approving the Jasmine Minor Subdivision of property located at 1089 N Main Street, Moab, UT 84532. Like the previous item, this is on our agenda as a briefing and possible action and it’s another minor subdivision request to split an existing lot into two parts. The existing lot is in the C4 General Commercial zone, and houses Motel 6, plus vacant land to the north and west of it. You can find an agenda summary with more detail, the resolution, a vicinity map, county plat and draft survey plat on packet pages 28-34.
  • Proposed Resolution 45-2020: a resolution approving the MAPS Phase III Minor Subdivision of property located at Care Campus Drive, Moab, UT 84532, Parcel #01-0MAP-0004.  The agenda summary on pages 35-36 explains that the Canyonlands Health Care Special Service District and Moab Regional Hospital would like to split the current parcel in question (located in the C2 and R4 zones – between the MAPS senior apartments, Grand Center and hospital) into two lots for future health care facility development. The proposed resolution, a vicinity map and draft plat are on pages 38-40. This is another item we’ll be briefed on and have the option to vote on. 
  • Proposed Ordinance 2020-16: an ordinance imposing a local sales and use tax of one-tenth (1/10) of one percent (0.1%) to fund cultural arts facilities and programs and recreation facilities in the City of Moab, providing severability and an effective date for the ordinance. By now you’ve likely heard that Proposition 8 on our November ballot passed (57% to 43%), allowing the City to move forward with the next steps in putting a new RAP (Recreation, Arts & Parks) tax in place. On our agenda as a briefing and possible action, pages 41-46 of the packet explain how the proposed ordinance would set us up to begin collecting this tax on April 1, 2021, and that a majority vote of the Governing Body (Council) is required to do so. Please note that this would add a new chapter to City code, Chapter 3.19, and the draft language for that is in the packet.
  • 2021 Legislative Session Priorities.  This is on our agenda for discussion only. The Utah legislative session is only 45 days long and set to begin soon: January 19, 2021. In preparation, Council will be discussing with the City Manager and the City’s lobbyist (Casey Hill) our priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Feel free to contact us if you feel there are key items not represented on page 47 of the packet. Tuesday is the Council’s opportunity to discuss and edit this list and communicate what’s most important to us to Mr Hill. 
  • Proposed 2021 City Council Meeting Schedule. December is when the City Council plans its meeting dates for the coming year. A proposed schedule is on page 48 of our packet. We’ll be reviewing this list and voting to approve it.
  • Proposed 2021 Moab City Holiday Schedule. December is also when Council votes to approve the upcoming year’s holiday schedule. You can see the proposed list for 2021 on page 49 of our packet. 

That’s it for our December 8 City Council meeting, except: aside from what’s listed above, the meeting will contain standard items such as: reports from the Council, Mayor, City Manager and selected departments – this time including an update on the Wastewater Reclamation Facility, updates from the Planning, Legal and Finance departments, and an update on City CARES Act funding; approval of minutes – this time for November 10, covered on pages 16-20 of our packet; Citizens to be Heard (please see Zoom, phone, and form link options for this above – you can make comments on any topic); and payment of the bills. 

There’s been so much going on that I’ll leave it at that for now. I hope you’re all doing as well as possible. As always, please let me know if there are ways I can be helpful.

Rani Derasary, Moab City Councilmember