Moab City Council Special Meeting Preview 2020-12-16

While the City Council tends to only have 1 regular meeting each December due to Christmas and New Year’s, sometimes there is extra business that requires us to have added special meetings. We have two special meetings this week – December 16 and 18 dealing mainly with: several mayoral appointments; local water resources; and a proposed amendment to the 2020-2021 budget that would makes funds available to send each Grand County household $45 in coupons to use like cash at local businesses, and to also create a community grant fund. Details follow for the 12-16 meeting are below. [Editor’s note: A separate MADAR post will include details of the 12-18 City Council Special meeting]

As a reminder to why the City Council is meeting online, per the December 16 agenda: “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 and participate in the Council’s electronic meetings – live, or after the fact – via the City’s YouTube channel:

Here is a breakdown of what’s on the Dec 16 agenda:

Mayoral appointments & re-appointments. The bulk of our Dec 16 agenda items address Council confirmations of Mayoral appointments (or re-appointments) of individuals to the Planning Commission and Mosquito Abatement District. In one case, a member is apparently being removed. FYI, under city and state code, the Mayor makes such appointments and the Council votes to approve them, so we will be voting on each of these on Wednesday. There are 6 total:

  • Confirmation of Mayoral appointment of John Knight to the Moab City Planning Commission with a term ending December 31, 2024. Please see packet pages 4-5 for related agenda summary and email from Knight.
  • Confirmation of Mayoral reappointment of Marianne Becnel to the Moab City Planning Commission with a term ending December 31, 2024. Packet page 6 has a related agenda summary.
  • Confirmation of Mayoral reappointment of Becky Wells to the Moab City Planning Commission with a term ending December 31, 2024. Please see agenda summary on packet page 7.
  • Confirmation of removing Brian Ballard from the Moab City Planning Commission. As far as I can tell from the agenda summary on page 8 of our packet, this removal is due to inability to attend the minimum number of required meetings.
  • Confirmation of Mayoral reappointment of Jessica O’Leary to the Moab City Planning Commission for a fill-in term ending December 31, 2021. Please see the agenda summary on page 9 of the Dec 16 packet.
  • Confirmation of Mayoral reappointment of Chace Gholson to the Moab Mosquito Abatement District Board for a term ending December 31, 2024. Please see page 10 of our packet for the related agenda summary.

Water resources discussion. Per page 11 of the packet, the City, State and Federal government have been involved in recent and ongoing studies about water resources in our valley. Growth, climate change, and our aging infrastructure make it critical for us to better understand and manage our water availability and resources for the long term. This is on the Dec 16 agenda for discussion only, and it looks like Council will be briefed on:

  • recent studies
  • related investments
  • possible new water conservation practices and policies.

Page 12 is a brief review of hydrologist Ken Kolm’s 4-phase 2018-2020 hydrologic assessment, prepared by the City’s Water Conservation and Drought Management Advisory Board. Please take a look at this review, as well as the links provided on page 11 to better understand what we know thus far about the water we depend on in Moab and Spanish Valley, and how the Advisory Board recommends proceeding.

Moving to a water-restricted future – Councilmember Duncan. While there is no agenda summary for this item in our packet, I believe pages 14-52 are PowerPoint slides which fellow Councilmember Mike Duncan will present to Council on Wednesday. I’m still reading through the packet, but it looks like there is a lot of good information in here, so please peruse the slides if possible. Thanks for all this work Mike!

Thanks for your interest and please let me know if you have questions or concerns. If we don’t connect before year’s end, I wish you a safe remainder of the year, and please feel free to join me in giving 2020 a swift kick out the door come 12-31-20! Here’s hoping 2021 is much better for all of us and our neighbors near and far! Happy New Year.

Rani Derasary, Moab City Councilmember